Macromedia enters the Rich Internet Applications market

Macromedia most certainly is not resting on its laurels. Recently the company released Version 1.0 of Flex (formerly codenamed Royale), a server designed to make it easier to use a Flash interface to present Web applications - now somewhat irritatingly called RIAs, Rich Internet Applications.

Actually, this product could be seen as the company's response to products such a Laszlo System's Laszlo Presentation Server, which we discussed a few weeks ago.

Flex allows the creation of Flash scripts in languages such as Java and .Net and converts them so that they can run as Web applications implemented using the Macromedia Flash Player.

Flex allows developers familiar with procedural languages to develop content in the way that is obvious to them rather than using the timeline model that is at the heart of Macromedia's Flash development tools.

The server works by converting the source language into an XML-based version that is processed by the Flash Player. It works with IBM WebSphere, BEA's WebLogic, Apache Tomcat, and other mainstream applications servers.

Macromedia has also built its own Flex-based development tool called Brady. Based on Dreamweaver MX 2004, Brady provides a wide range of Macromedia Flex Markup Language (MXML) editing features as well as data support, debugging tools, and integration with the Flex server.

Flex is priced starting at $12,000. Brady is priced on application.

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