Macromedia Announces Flash-based Initiatives for Rich Internet App Development

Alpha versions of Flash Player 8.5 and Flex Builder 2 are expected to be available for download later this month from the Macromedia site.With Microsoft increasingly focusing on rich application development for both the desktop and Internet deployment, as recently underlined by its release of the Acrylic suite, Macromedia has in turn announced an upcoming new version of its Flash Player client and a new product line for developers, Flex 2.

Flex 2 consists of Framework, the core Flex programming model and component library; Builder, an Eclipse-based development environment that uses rich media content created with Macromedia's recently-released Flash Professional 8; Enterprise Services, designed to enable data-intensive applications within the enterprise; and Charting Components, which provides components for data visualization. The updated version of Flash Player is designed to take advantage of the application development capabilities of the new tools.

Commercial versions of the announced tools are expected to be available in the first half of 2006. More information is available on the Macromedia site.