The latest incarnation of Macromedia’s recently-launched development tool for ‘interactive on-line experiences’, Studio 8, gives developers an impressive amount of power. Although it costs only a few hundred dollars, it now incorporates features such as advanced control and management of video images. However, the product could be missing a key target audience in the corporate community.
Macromedia’s Studio 8 could prove extremely valuable for the corporate wallet.
In Studio 8 complex programming is menu-driven and even more basic features like text representation and graphic effects have been greatly improved.
Online applications developed using Studio are deployed in the free-to-download Flash Player browser plug-in environment. Macromedia’s use of this business model extremely successful – the company believes Flash Player is present in 570 million PC environments globally, and in 98% of the world’s online devices of all kinds (including, for example, 50 mobile phone models). A new version of Flash Player has been released with Studio 8, and is designed to improve application performance on the browser.
Studio 8 is the highest-profile product so far to deliver on the promise of the rich Internet application (RIA) paradigm, which allows Internet-based applications to deliver via browsers while achieving presentation standards of the type that were, until recently, available on powerful desktop computers.
The maturity of the underlying Macromedia products within Studio 8 has allowed time for programming and management features to become more user-friendly than some current competitors’ solutions, but Studio 8 nevertheless remains a developers’ tool.
As Macromedia’s marketing is aimed at site designers and developers, and now also at professionals who could use the new features in their work with video, most corporate sponsors of IT (who ultimately could derive the greatest benefit from Studio 8) might miss its significance and potential altogether.
Surely if the corporate community became more aware of the differentiating online experience that they could be offering to customers, they would realize that their websites could well attract more users, and gain the crucial ‘stickiness’ they all seek.
The message is that it’s no longer a matter of waiting for technology that can give you RIA, and neither should it cost a fortune, as any development shop could afford Studio 8. It’s up to the business user community to start demanding these higher-quality applications from their IT providers. Macromedia would also do well to extend its publicity reach beyond a ‘techie’ audience and share the news.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)