Software platform vendor Macromedia has combined several of its development tools to create a product specifically built for the creation of online training content.
Macromedia's Web Learning Studio combines the Authorware, Dreamweaver and Flash tools, along with the Course-builder for Dreamweaver product, and additional updates of templates and extensions available on the Macromedia Web site.
Sein Chew, senior director Macromedia Asia-Pacific, said developers are not finding enough richness in the use of a single tool for the creation of online learning content.
"Our Authorware product has a long legacy dating back to the 80s, and was obviously not originally designed for the Web," he said. "It is Web enabled now, but its main strength is still in rich learning like multimedia CD-ROMS. Meanwhile, the market for Flash is taking off, with a lot of people beginning to use it for educational content. But one tool alone is not the best possible way - if you combine all the tools, you can deliver something that builds on the strengths of each product."
Chew said Macromedia's success is very dependent on its channel, for both niche product offerings like the Web Learning Studio and its high-volume development platforms.
"Although this product has a fairly high price, it is important for us to have specialist resellers for particular markets," he said. "In conjunction with our distributors and resellers, we have special arrangements with education departments in several states to lower the price and ease licence delivery."
"Traditionally, software development tools were high-price, low-volume," he said. "But the growth of the Internet has meant products like Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks are being used by many more people, so we have to rely on volume channel partners and a greater variety of resellers."