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'Rich clients are coming!' -- Macromedia

[MARCH 7, 2002] - Will tomorrow's software developers go Hollywood? They will if Web software pioneer Jeremy Allaire is right about the growing value of Macromedia's Flash plug-in.

Allaire became CTO at Macromedia after the company bought his firm, Allaire, maker of the popular ColdFusion application server, in 2001. With the release of Flash MX, Allaire maintains, the software is ready to become a part of the enterprise developer toolkit.

Already, said Allaire, the software has gone beyond its use for "art-y" splash screens on entertainment and corporate Web sites. It will soon find success by offering developers a means of building dynamic application interfaces for users, assert Allaire and colleague Eric Wittman, director of product management at Macromedia.

Macromedia Flash MX combines with Macromedia ColdFusion MX, previously code-named "Neo."

"Over the last year, we've been working on next-generation products. The core pieces are a rich client based on flash, server technology based on ColdFusion, and an integrated set of tools," said Allaire. Macromedia Flash MX supports ECMAScript, Unicode and XML.

"Rich clients are coming!" said Allaire. In effect, what he describes is the return of interest in interface logic after years of taking the so-called ubiquitous Web browser for granted. Others -- Altio and Curl, for example -- see this need, too. With its large installed base of Flash plug-ins, Macromedia is certainly in a unique position to profit, if Allaire's and others' estimates are right.

"Technologies on the Internet have plateaued," noted Allaire. "On the server, we are seeing a shift to services, but the end-user model hasn't changed at all. There hasn't been a lot of talk about the failure of the Internet model itself." Right now, he added, what we have is something that looks more like a traditional client/server model, but with Internet sensibilities.

So, enter Flash MX.

Downloads of Flash MX will be available soon, according to the company. For more, go to http://www.macromedia.com/go/flashmx/

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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