Toolkit released for Flash on Allaire platform

Web development tool vendor Macromedia and application development tool vendor Allaire have signed a joint development agreement which will see Macromedia Flash content migrate onto Allaire's ColdFusion Studio and JRun Studio development environments.

The two companies are developing a toolkit named Harpoon which will be available via Internet download from the companies, respective Web sites as of December. The toolkit will contain a series of pre-built components, like menu bars and calendars, that are created in Flash and can be used in both JRun Studio and ColdFusion Studio.

Allaire's ColdFusion Studio is an application development environment for the corresponding ColdFusion application server, and JRun studio is a Java development environment for the corresponding JRun application server. Macromedia's Flash client enables the delivery of rich content over a standard low bandwidth Internet connection, and is widely distributed among Internet users.

"The toolkit will let developers using JRun and ColdFusion make their user interface more engaging," said Adam Berrey, director of product management Allaire. "We want to show developers how our technologies are complementary, opening Macromedia's door to the application development community and Allaire's door to the Web community. "Berrey said Allaire customers were continually demanding richer user interfaces above and beyond what HTML can deliver, and believes the toolkit will solve these issues. John Paull, country manager for Macromedia Australia, suggests Internet users will soon see a great deal more advanced content on Web sites as a result of the joint development.

"This toolkit will enhance the look and usability of a lot of Web sites that are not dynamic or interesting enough," he said. "You often see a lot of Flash activity on the first page but then, as you drill down, the rest of the pages are just brochures, just static content. This will mean we can move beyond these introductory Flash animations and embed Flash as part of the overall site."

Australian developers will benefit from the fact that both Allaire and Macromedia products are sold through the same distributor, Firmware Design.

"We've had the same distributor as Allaire for our whole history, and Firmware approaches a common group of developers who will now receive a clear message during training and seminars," he said. "It's a big advantage for this market."