Macromedia polishes Flash

Macromedia’s Flash, the often annoying and hard-to-use software, has been revamped to the point where the company claims it is now easy and fun to use, as well as interactive.

While the user jury will have to deliberate on whether or not any of these claims are true, Macromedia on Tuesday launched Flash Remoting MX for .Net and Java technology-based application servers.

Already a staple when using Macromedia ColdFusion and JRun 4, Flash MX now supports rich Internet application development using Macromedia Flash with Java and Microsoft .Net based application servers.

Targeted at the corporate IT world and classic application developers, the company said users can access Web application services such as EJBs, Microsoft .Net components, ColdFusion, or SOAP-based Web services. In addition, developers are now able to build rich Internet applications.

Flash MX works with Macromedia’s Flash Player, which is the client runtime environment that runs on the desktop. MX is the authoring environment used to create and build Flash content that is later rendered in the Flash Player, explained Dave Gruber, product manager, Flash Remoting MX at Macromedia in Newton, Mass. Two versions of the software are available: one running pure Java, that can be purchased outside of ColdFusion in J2EE 1.2 or 1.3, and software for .Net.

While often seen as static, Flash Remoting MX promises to be more interactive. For example, a user can now call upon Web services directly, and Flash is more prominent within the browser and application itself.

“We’ve changed the Internet shopping model from this multi-step, page-based refresh-and-wait model to an integrated in your face interactive shopping experience where you can do things like drag and drop and other Windows-type features,” Gruber said.

Macromedia Flash Remoting MX is now available at a cost of US$999 per processor.