- 21 November 2003 11:05
Macromedia Central Developer Release now available
New environment to spark a renaissance in application design, development and delivery
Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR) announced the immediate availability of the Developer Release of Macromedia Central, a new environment that gives people the ability to interact with distributed information via XML and web services beyond the browser, blending the interactivity of rich client applications with the power of the network. Central provides Macromedia Flash developers with the infrastructure to design, develop and deliver a new class of rich Internet applications. The Macromedia Central Software Development Kit (SDK), also available today, delivers user interface components, a debug panel, extensive API (application programming interface) documentation and other essential building blocks to enable development of Central applications.
Additionally, Macromedia announced that it is working with America Online to build an SDK that will allow developers to build presence-enabled Central applications that incorporate instant messaging functionality. The SDK is expected to be available early next year. Also part of this agreement, America Online will promote Macromedia Central on the AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) client, which will enable all AIM users to install the application from their desktops. America Online, Inc.'s instant messaging network supports over a billion messages a day and supports over 50 million active users each month.
"The Internet has become a rich, interconnected world of distributed information and social experiences. A great abundance of information is now coming at people on a regular basis and is challenging to manage," said Kevin Lynch, chief software architect, Macromedia. "Macromedia Central delivers an application metaphor for managing information that lays the groundwork for a renaissance in the creation of elegant, intelligent applications."
Macromedia Central introduces an innovative new framework for designing, developing and delivering applications. The Central runtime environment includes an interface for applications, a console for notifications and "pods" (smaller containers for application data) and persistent agents that manage data in the background.
Built on the Macromedia Flash Player 6 code base, installation of the Central environment is enabled in the player, which is already distributed to hundreds of millions of users. Central leverages the strength of the Flash community and allows Flash developers to use their existing skills.
"Central provides a great set of APIs and the ability to easily tap directly into web services," said Daniel Dura, co-owner and developer, Dura Media LLC. "As a Flash developer, it was easy to get going with Central and fun to develop new applications that take advantage of it."
Central supports elegant application design by providing consistent user interface elements based on Halo components, a persistent desktop presence, pods for information highlights and the ability to share data with other applications. The notice mechanism in Central allows for instant notification of data updates and relevant events, so information can be delivered proactively to users. The ability to store and cache data in Central enables applications to transition smoothly from online to offline mode.
"What's great about Central is that I can easily pull data from various sources and web services into a rich interface that's really useful. It's like browsing the web, but with just the information you want," said Phillip Kerman, developer and author of Flash MX 2004 for Rich Internet Applications.
The Macromedia Central SDK includes an extensive set of resources and building blocks to jump-start development of Central applications. The SDK is available free of charge and includes Halo UI components, a debug panel that works within Central, complete and extensive API and component documentation, ActionScript utility classes for manipulating data, Flash authoring templates, sample applications with source code and libraries of application graphics and icons.
Central applications are delivered through single-click installation and automatic updates. Developers who create Macromedia Central applications will also be able to leverage an entire ecosystem to sell their applications directly to end users using try/buy functionality. A Central application created for Macromedia MAX 2003 conference attendees, which provides detailed information on the conference and shows the power of this new environment, is available at http://www.macromedia.com/go/maxapp/.
ABOUT MACROMEDIA Experience matters. Macromedia is motivated by the belief that great experiences build great businesses. Our software empowers millions of business users, developers and designers to create and deliver effective, compelling and memorable experiences - on the Internet, on fixed media, on wireless and on digital devices. www.macromedia.com/ap
### Copyright 2003 Macromedia, Inc. All rights reserved. Macromedia, the Macromedia logo, Macromedia Central and Macromedia Flash are trademarks or registered trademarks of Macromedia, Inc., which may be registered in the United States and internationally. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.