Developers will find that Flash MX is now suitable for a lot more than animations and annoying site intros. Macromedias updated content generation tool provides improved media, accessibility and data features that make it possible to create a wide variety of rich media applications for the Web. The much-improved development interface should make Flash more accessible to Web authors and designers.
LONG-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // Flash MXs improved support for XML is the first step toward becoming a true platform for dynamic Web development. Companies whose Web applications now rely on application servers will want to evaluate upcoming server releases, which should increase Flash MXs ability to work with data-rich applications. PROS // Improved, flexible development interface; now supports video within Flash application; some support for accessibility. CONS // Accessibility features work only on Windows Internet Explorer client; limited group development features. Macromedia Inc., San Francisco; (415) 252-2000; www.macromedia.com
SHORT-TERM BUSINESS IMPACT // Even if companies dont plan to use a lot of the new MX/6.0 features, which require the 6.0 client, developers can take advantage of the improved development interface now and save apps in the 5.0 format.