Macromedia Extends Contributes Reach

The company packages its business-user Web authoring tool into a broader enterprise system for Web publishing.

Macromedia Inc. on Monday delved deeper into enterprise Web publishing by combining separate publishing tools aimed at business users and Web developers into a single system.

The San Francisco-based company launched the Macromedia Web Publishing System with the goal of offering a more comprehensive way for organizations to build and manage Web sites and intranets.

The system comprises Macromedias Contribute application, targeted at individuals and business users; FlashPaper, a tool for converting files into Web-ready documents; and the Macromedia Studio MX 2004 suite for Web developers.

In addition, the Web Publishing System provides server-based software so Web and IT managers can manage users, roles and Web-site editing permissions. Called Contribute Publishing Services, the server software runs on Windows, Linux, Unix or J2EE servers and can integrate with LDAP and Active Directory employee directories.

"Were going from Contribute as a standalone product and expanding to offer a larger solution for organizations for an intranet or external-facing site," said Lawson Hancock, Contribute product manager at Macromedia.

Contribute, first launched in November 2002, has become Macromedias fastest-growing product with about 200,000 copies sold, Hancock said. It focuses on letting nontechnical users update Web pages and sites without needing to access more complex content management systems, Hancock said.

Also on Monday, Macromedia announced updated versions of Contribute and FlashPaper, which will be part of the new publishing system.

Contribute 3, which lets nontechnical users update Web pages and sites, provides lightweight workflow features for gaining other users approval before publishing changes as well as additional administrator controls, Hancock said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read about earlier versions of Contribute, click here for an eWEEK Labs review.

FlashPaper 2 adds support for converting files into Adobe Acrobat PDF files for archiving and e-mail distribution. FlashPaper previously only supported converting files into Flash documents.

Both the Macromedia Web Publishing System and the new versions of Contribute and FlashPaper will be available in August, Macromedia said. Preview releases are available for download now from Macromedias Web site.

The Web Publishing System runs on Windows or Mac OS X and will be available in packages of 10 business-user seats for every one full developer seat for Studio MX 2004. Pricing ranges from $2,499 for a 10-seat package to $24,990 for a 100-seat package.

Standalone copies of Contribute 3 will be available for Windows or Mac OS X and include FlashPaper 2. Pricing starts at $149 for a single copy. A standalone version of FlashPaper 2 will be available only for Windows and starts at $79 for a single seat.

/zimages/6/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Developer & Web Services Center at for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.


Be sure to add our developer and Web services news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page