Macromedia today introduced Pet Market, a sample application built using the entire Macromedia MX product family. Pet Market, a fictitious online pet retailer, illustrates both the benefits of rich Internet applications and the ability to deliver these experiences across different server architectures, including the Java platform and the Microsoft .Net Framework, according to Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia.
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Pet Market is accompanied online by source code, and more than a dozen articles to show designers and developers how to create their own rich Internet applications that drive down cost and bandwidth concerns while providing a usable, high-impact user experience, he added. The Pet Market
site and resources can be viewed and downloaded now.
“The Pet Market sample application highlights the enhanced user experience possible using the Macromedia MX servers and tools along with a rich client such as Macromedia Flash Player,” said Lynch. “The articles, documentation, and source code will help developers learn how to build rich Internet applications, as well as see how they can be deployed across Java and .NET server platforms.”
The sample app was created using the Macromedia MX product family, including Macromedia Flash MX, Macromedia Dreamweaver MX and Macromedia Fireworks MX. To showcase the cross-platform nature of rich Internet applications, Macromedia also released Macromedia Flash front-ends that extend and enhance the Java Pet Store and .NET Pet Shop blueprint sample applications. These front-ends will help Java and .NET developers understand how to use Macromedia Flash to deliver more intuitive and effective user experiences, Lynch said.
Dreamweaver MX is the company’s Web production application. See our
April 29 article for details.
Fireworks MX is the latest version of Macromedia’s tool for creating, optimizing and exporting interactive graphics in a single, Web-centric environment.
Flash MX is the MX version of the company’s Flash authoring software.
The client-side portions of Pet Market can be explored with Macromedia Flash MX and Macromedia Dreamweaver MX on the Mac. There currently isn’t a shipping version of ColdFusion MX for the Mac, however, some developers have succeeded in getting both ColdFusion MX and JRun 4 working on Mac OS X, Macromedia spokesperson Melissa Sheridan told MacCentral.
Pet Market was designed to clearly illustrate the more intuitive, responsive and effective user experiences of rich Internet applications, Lynch said. For example, the checkout process of Pet Market breaks out of the standard multi-step, page-browsing model of the web and brings all user interactions into a single screen that never requires a page refresh. The application also enables customers to use the browser’s back button to navigate through the Macromedia Flash user interface. Articles, commented code, and best practices are all available online to enable users to build their own rich Internet applications, Lynch said.
The sample app also illustrates the use of object-oriented programming on the client side, which enabled Macromedia to change the user interface of Pet Market to respond to feedback gathered through usability testing. The user interface evolved throughout the development process without any impact on the central business logic and data tier of the application, Lynch said. The Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern of Pet Market also helped to make the application modular and easy to port across different platforms, he added.