Macromedia, on Monday, announced upgrades to a number of its Web-design and development tools, including Dreamweaver, ColdFusion and Fireworks. The new versions bring the products into Macromedia's MX family, which already includes its flagship Web-animation and interactivity-runtime application Flash MX, says Jeremy Allaire, chief technology officer at the San Francisco company. The releases, which the company has been working on for nearly 18 months, are another step in Macromedia's vision to unify the tasks of Web design and Web development, he says. The second component for Macromedia's vision is addressed with the release of its new ColdFusion MX product, Allaire said. The upgrade redefines ColdFusion, moving the product from a proprietary application server to one that works with J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers and makes it easier to develop Web applications and services, according to Allaire. The new version of the software will allow script writers, rather than developers, to create Web services and applications, he says. MS and MX
ColdFusion MX also supports Microsoft .Net Web services initiative and will allow users to develop code to work with .Net, Allaire claims. The product also includes Flash Remoting, server software that will allow developers to create Flash applications that can interoperate with business logic and Web services, he says. The product runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris and HP-UX and works with application servers from IBM, BEA Systems, and Sun Microsystems' iPlanet division, he says. The third component of the company's MX range requires new design tools, which arrive in the form of MX-series versions of the visual Web-page-creation package Dreamweaver, and the Web-graphics and animation tool Fireworks, he said. Dreamweaver MX now includes four previously separate products: Dreamweaver, Dreamweaver UltraDev, ColdFusion Studio and HomeSite, Allaire says. The four applications have been "tightly" integrated and share a common code base, he claims. The new Dreamweaver improves the visual tools for creating Web pages and integrates other applications, such as Flash MX, to enable the creation of Web applications and services, he said. Dreamweaver MX also allows for the creation of .Net services and Java applications as well, he said. Fireworks MX adds support for XML (Extensible Mark-Up Language), eases repetitive tasks and smooths the export of graphics and HTML (Hypertext Mark-Up Language) to other applications, he says. Fireworks is used by designers to build and optimize Web graphics and small animations. Dreamweaver and Fireworks run on a number of Windows and Macintosh platforms – the new versions add support for Windows XP as well as native support for Mac OS X, Allaire says. Collection
Macromedia also announced the release of Studio MX, a suite of products that includes Dreamweaver MX, ColdFusion MX Server Developer Edition, Fireworks MX, Flash MX and the FreeHand 10 illustration package. The new MX products were designed to be tightly integrated and the tools, such as Dreamweaver and Fireworks, ship with the MX Workspace, a common workspace for those MX-series applications, claims Allaire. All the products announced Monday will be available in early June, Allaire says. ColdFusion MX will be priced at around £570 per server for the Server Professional Edition, while the Enterprise Edition will run at around £3,600 per server. Dreamweaver MX will be priced at £299 plus VAT and Fireworks MX will sell for £149 plus VAT. Studio MX will be priced at £589 plus VAT.