Macromedia unveils new Dreamweaver, ColdFusion

Macromedia has unveiled its latest Internet developer suite, Macromedia Studio MX, an integrated range of designer, server and client products for creating what the company claims will be the next generation of Internet applications.

Speaking at the announcement of the MX range in Sydney on Tuesday, Macromedia chief technology officer Jeremy Allaire said the enhanced product line aims to address the current inability of the Internet to provide application-rich content to users. While the Internet today is very good at browsing, it lacks the ability to deliver successful business applications through to the end user, he said.

"Today's Internet is built around browsing. The Internet of tomorrow will be about doing," he said.

Included in the new product suite are upgraded versions of Macromedia's Web development and design tools Dreamweaver and Fireworks, as well as the company's redefined ColdFusion server-scripting tool.

Allaire said the MX product range incorporates three main elements designed to create a more interactive Internet experience for the user: a rich client, good server technology and top-notch design tools.

Macromedia's rich client offering, the Flash MX player, is already available, and can work as an application environment for desktop and handheld programs, he said. It is also Web services aware.

The company also announced the latest version of its server-scripting tool, Macromedia ColdFusion MX. Unlike its proprietary-based predecessor, the upgraded version has been designed to work with J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers, such as those from IBM, BEA Systems and Sun. The redefined version also supports all Internet standards, such as HTML, XML and Web services as well as Microsoft's .NET framework, Allaire said.

A new level of functionality for Internet developers is also being promised through newly enhanced versions of Macromedia's page creation package Dreamweaver MX and Web graphics and animation tool Fireworks MX. All four tools have been tightly integrated and share a common code base, Allaire said.

The Macromedia Studio MX suite is expected to become available in Australia on 6 June, and will be priced at $1999. Each of the new MX products will be sold separately as stand-alone products, as well as upgrade packages for previous Macromedia software. Preview releases of all of these new products are currently available for download from the Macromedia Web site.

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