Cross-cutting some of the spoils of its 2005 Macromedia acquisition, Adobe Systems Inc is releasing a reorganized suite of web design products that mix and match the various offerings for web and multimedia production design.
It includes various groupings of 13 individual products that notably include the old Macromedia Dreamweaver web authoring, all of the Adobe graphic design pieces, and not surprisingly, integration of the Flash run time and Adobe Acrobat PDF document creation. The offerings will all be part of the Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 product family.
Creative Suite will come in a half dozen configurations that will include a Master Collection comprising all 12 products that are part of the line. If you don’t need everything but the kitchen sink, there are premium and design standard (more basic) editions for page design, website design, and multimedia production.
Most of the products will run across Wintel and Apple (Intel and PowerPC) platforms. Not surprisingly, given that brunt of development is now occurring on the Intel side, that’s where Adobe says you’ll get the best performance for these graphics-intensive offerings.
Additionally, the 13 individual products of Creative Suite will continue to be offered standalone, including Photoshop CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, InDesign CS3 (see separate releases), Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3, and After Effects CS3.
As to what the suites actually include, the Design Suite flavor of Creative Suite will include InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, and of course, Adobe Acrobat 8. The integration of Flash and Dreamweaver from the Macromedia side means that designers and developers will be able to import native Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator files into Flash projects with no loss of quality.
It will also include Device Central CS3 for targeting mobile devices. It will enable creators to preview how their work renders, not only on PCs, but also mobile devices from inside their authoring tools.
Dreamweaver in turn will optimize Photoshop files for web layouts, and in turn, could repurpose print content for the web by exporting InDesign artifacts or documents as XHTML files, which in turn could be opened in Dreamweaver for web design.
For multimedia production, Creative Suite Production Premium will integrate audio, video editing, special effects, and graphics for film, broadcast, web, DVD, and mobile devices.. The production suite will include After Effects CS3 Professional, Premiere Pro CS3, Encore CS3, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator CS3, Flash CS3 Professional, and Soundbooth CS3.
The release is the logical outgrowth of the 2005 Macromedia acquisition, which tied web development with the design tools from the Adobe side. It’s part of several trends. The first is the convergence of print, Internet, film, audio, and broadcast media.
The next is the unifying of web content and site design and creation through unified frameworks. And with the new re-bundling of Creative Suite products, it means integration of design and authoring tools. It’s also a shot across the bow to Microsoft, which also wants to infiltrate this field.