Macromedia Inc. on Wednesday will offer its Macromedia Central Developer Release for download. Also to be released is a software development kit (SDK) for Central. Macromedia also will announce an alliance with America Online to develop a separate SDK to allow custom-made Central applications to incorporate instant messaging.
Macromedia Central, first announced earlier this year, extends development of Macromedia Flash content beyond the Web browser. The system provides a framework for delivering applications and content to end users.
The still-in-development version available for download from Macromedia’s Web site shows off a few general-purpose uses of the technology, such as retrieving movie information, weather reports and checking Web site news. Macromedia also envisions Central as an effective tool for customer support, sales tools and other vertical markets.
The Macromedia Central SDK provides Central developers with user interface components, a debug panel, documentation for Central’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and other tools needed to create Central-based applications.
Available free of charge, the Macromedia Central SDK includes components of Central’s Halo user interface, ActionScript utility classes, Flash authoring templates, sample applications and source code, and libraries of application graphics and icons.
Details are still scant regarding Macromedia’s instant messaging SDK, but the company indicated that the new technology with provide Central developers with a way to tap into the features and functionality of the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) network.
As a result, developers creating applications designed to work in Central will also be able to integrate instant messaging capabilities into their applications. Macromedia perceives this to be a key feature going forward to add utility in Central applications used for customer support and other markets where direct one-on-one text-based chat interaction can be handy.
Hickman told MacCentral that the full scope of the instant messaging SDK hasn’t been determined yet, so it’s too soon to tell how much AIM and ICQ functionality Central instant messaging-based software will have. Macromedia plans to release the SDK to developers in the first half of 2004, however.
More information about Macromedia Central is available from the Web site.