The Allaire name will start to disappear from the web development world in July as Macromedia absorbs Allaire’s product range into its own.
A merger of the two companies was formalised late last month and Macromedia is now working on integrating Allaire’s ColdFusion cross-platform web server with the Macromedia development tool range, which includes Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks.
“We’ll still support ASP and JSP but there will be greater integration with ColdFusion,” says Sydney-based Macromedia product spokesman Paul Burnett.
Burnett says customers nervous about the integration process should look to the successful integration of Drumbeat, bought by Macromedia in 1999, with Dreamweaver, to create Dreamweaver UltraDev.
“Maybe similar integration will happen between Macromedia and Allaire,” Burnett says, adding that no decisions have been made about discontinuing any products.
There is a degree of integration already between ColdFusion and Dreamweaver UltraDev, in the form of context-sensitive help for ColdFusion Markup Language, a Live Data Preview function which shows server-side data while working in UltraDev and libraries of “server behaviours”.
Burnett was in New Zealand to demonstrate how Macromedia’s tools can be used to quickly assemble an interactive website. About 2000 developers – 1300 in Auckland alone -- attended sessions in the main centres, he says, to witness the creation of a site in the course of a day.
“It consisted of plain text, tabular data, a chat room and members’ section with purchasing functions,” Burnett says.
With 15 minutes of the day left, the “client” instructed the demonstrators he wanted the site completely revised, which Burnett says they managed to do.
Auckland web developer Lindy Gregory, who sat through the demo, says it showed how developers can collaborate effectively in building a site.
“What was impressive was how they managed to make the workflow so efficient,” Gregory says.
“One played developer and the other played graphic designer and the designer was able to create graphics using Fireworks which automatically contained the code for mouseovers and drop down menus.”
They also showed the efficiency benefits of using Dreamweaver templates, she says.
“But the most impressive thing was the way in which they completely changed the look and feel of the site at the end.”