Macromedia Server Brings Life to Web Sites

Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX lets developers add live, human interactions and instant messaging to their Web sites.

Macromedia Inc. Tuesday announced the availability of Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, its new server that unites communications and applications.

Peter Ryce, San Francisco-based Macromedias senior director of product management and product marketing for rich media, said the new server integrates support for streaming media, real-time collaboration, and multiway video, audio and text messaging into a single solution. The server also leverages the popularity of Macromedia Flash MX and Macromedia Flash Player, as well as capabilities of the entire Macromedia MX product family.

The Flash Communication Servers streaming media features let developers integrate streaming video and audio with motion graphics in a customizable player environment for multimedia presentation on the Internet, Ryce said. With rich media messaging features such as multiway, multiuser video and audio chats, developers can add live, human interactions and instant messaging to their Web sites, Ryce said. The real-time collaboration features, including Macromedias Shared Object technology, enable multiple users to share live whiteboards and other real-time data in the context of an application.

"Combining streaming, messaging, and real-time communication capabilities into a single server that uses Macromedia Flash Player 6 as the client will forever change communications on the Internet," said Jonathan Gay, vice president of engineering, Macromedia, in a statement. "With the release of Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, we are empowering developers to transform the Internet from a world of text and data into a space filled with live, human interactions."

On the client, the communication server leverages Macromedia Flash Player 6 to receive and transmit video, audio and data. Macromedia Flash Player automatically recognizes installed microphones and standard USB or FireWire Webcams, and lets end users grant or deny access before anything is broadcast, the company said.

For developers, the communication server includes new extensions to the Macromedia Flash MX authoring environment, including new authoring, scripting and debugging capabilities as well as pre-built components for log-in, multiway chat screens, whiteboards and videoconferencing, Ryce said.

Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX works with other Macromedia MX products, including Macromedia Studio MX for development and Macromedia ColdFusion MX for deployment. In addition, the new server can integrate with Java and Microsoft .Net application servers and other Web infrastructure.

Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX runs on Window and is priced at $499 for the Personal Edition and starts at $4,500 for the Professional Edition. The Professional Edition includes a one-year software subscription. Content and applications for the server can be authored using Macromedia Flash MX on either the Macintosh or Windows platforms.

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