In the late 1990s, NetObjects Fusion went toe-to-toe with Macromedia Inc.s Dreamweaver for the title of best WYSIWYG Web site design tool. But while products such as Dreamweaver and Adobe Systems Inc.s GoLive evolved into popular and powerful tools for professional Web developers, NetObjects Fusion slipped into obscurity.
Despite what some may think, NetObjects Fusion is still out there, and where products such as Dreamweaver and GoLive have become more complex while appealing to professional designers, NetObjects Fusion still champions ease of use for less experienced Web developers.
eWEEK Labs found the latest version of the product, NetObjects Fusion 7.5, released by Website Pros Inc. in October, to be intuitive and simple to use without sacrificing the capabilities that many novice-oriented tools do.
While NetObjects Fusion 7.5 cant compare with Dreamweaver in high-end, developer-oriented features, the product is a good fit for organizations looking to build simple but effective e-business Web sites.
One of the most important new features in this version is an e-commerce catalog builder. Using this feature, we could quickly build a product catalog for our site and tie it to payment processors such as Kurant Corp.s StoreSense, eBay Inc.s PayPal and E-Commerce Exchanges QuickCommerce.
NetObjects Fusion 7.5 made it easy to move among WYSIWYG, code and preview panes while we built our test site, although these panes werent as well integrated as in products such as Dreamweaver and GoLive. Also, while NetObjects Fusion does support most scripting languages, that support is basic.
NetObjects Fusion 7.5 runs only on Windows systems and is priced at $164. For more information, go to www.netobjects.com.