Macromedia Studio MX

An essential for any Web developer's tool belt is Macromedia's Studio MX - a $1999 suite incorporating the most significant releases to date of the company's Web design, server and client apps. Studio MX includes Macromedia Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX, Fireworks MX, Freehand 10.0, and the Developer Edition of ColdFusion MX Server (all of which would cost a little more to buy individually).

With the release of MX, Macromedia has attempted to leap past its reputation as purveyor of visual authoring tools and instead emphasise the use of its MX suite for business application development, such as e-commerce.

In this vein, Flash MX offers tools and templates for the development of dynamic applications such as hotel booking forms that update as users make selections. This is enabled through a new technology called Flash Remoting that has been added to ColdFusion MX. Flash Remoting sets up a direct connection between Flash Player and Web server, so that only the Flash application needs to reload, rather than entire Web pages - dramatically reducing bandwidth requirements for end users.

Dreamweaver MX also features notable enhancements with support for an increased number of development languages (including PHP - used mainly for Linux Web servers); tools that help to account for accessibility of Web sites for the disabled; and improved code completion that helps to hasten coding of pages.

With these significant new features in mind, MX Studio represents a wise buy for anyone working in the Web development space.

Macromedia Studio MX.

Price: $1999.

Phone: 1300 654 754.

URL: www.macromedia.com/ap.

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