Macromedia Moves to Project Management

Sitespring aids and links Web team designers through project sites and automatic versioning.

Macromedia Inc. entered the Web-based collaboration arena last week with the announcement of its Sitespring product.

Officials with the San Francisco company said helping Web teams manage projects is a logical extension of the companys product families that target designers and developers.

Sitespring, which entered a public beta last week, with availability slated for August, is a Web-based application that manages Web site production and links technical and creative team members with the project manager and client.

Sitespring users can set up project sites using various templates available in the product. Rather than having users exchange files dozens of times, all of the assigned tasks and work are kept in one location, stored on the local file server.

Monique Daley, director of Web development for KDG InterActive Inc., said Sitespring is helping her company streamline its design process and the work of its many free-lancers.

"With Sitespring, it allows our team members ... to post things themselves, even if theyre not technically savvy," said Daley, a beta customer, in Lake Elmo, Minn. "Its going to save me a lot of time because now I dont have to have my fingers in every project."

Daley added that the templates included in the product allow users to create project sites in seconds. "I dont have to worry about the look and feel because Sitespring does that," she said.

Other features include automatic versioning, which is transparent to the user and tracks changes to a project. Users can assign tasks, send e-mail alerts, start discussions and track progress.

Macromedia officials said the product will help Web team managers who need to do more with less by making the process more efficient and streamlined.

"It will help bring projects in on time, on budget and on specification," said Erik Larson, Sitespring product manager. "We cant solve the problem of [a project] being late, but we can make it a better experience."

While Sitespring does feature integration with a few Macromedia products, officials said it will work with any product from any company. Sitespring is built on top of Macromedias JRun server and is compliant with Java 2 Enterprise Edition, but the company said the product was under development even before Macromedia last year acquired Allaire Corp., which makes JRun.

The initial release will support Windows NT and Windows 2000. The product and three licenses cost $1,999. Additional licenses cost $300 to $500 each.