Web Site Solutions: Macromedia Inc. Generator 2

KEEPING SITES UPDATED with new content is a full-time job if you're stuck doing it by hand. Although many tools for creating dynamic Web pages exist, no solution we've seen this year can match the power offered by Macromedia Generator 2, so selecting it as the Web-Site Solutions Product of the Year was easy.

Generator eliminates the need to update sites manually, which will save your IT staff many valuable hours of Web-site maintenance. When coupled with Macromedia Flash 4, which is the development application for creating template files, anyone can create sites that deliver dynamic content.

A server-side component, Generator automates the updating of dynamic media within predefined placeholders in Flash template files. As pages are requested, it inserts new content into the placeholders and serves them as new Web pages to a browser.

This is particularly useful for targeting content toward specific users, updating banner ads, and ensuring that Web pages maintain a fresh look with new content. All of this is made possible by creating Flash templates using a version of Flash 4 that includes Generator extensions, which are available free from Macromedia's Web site.

In addition, Generator adopts Flash's scripting capability by inserting new content based on script commands in a Flash template file residing on a server.

Generator runs on Windows NT, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, and Linux servers. It can process and create new content each time a page is requested or work in offline mode, in which script commands, or batch files, can run at intervals to update content that changes less often. This helps alleviate the load put on the server and helps improve performance.

With an excellent price and no client license limitations, deploying Generator to automate the updating process of inserting new graphic elements will appeal to anyone.

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