With Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, developers can easily add communication and collaboration capabilities into their websites and rich Internet applications. The server enables the creation of a whole new generation of Internet communication solutions. With streaming media and live, human interactions integrated directly into existing websites, companies can offer innovative product marketing, stock information, online learning, and sales communications information within one integrated user experience. Designed as an open development platform, the server enables completely custom solutions and integrates easily with existing web and application server infrastructure. For more information on Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, go to www.macromedia.com/go/flashcom/.
"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. "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."
Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX combines powerful communication capabilities including streaming media, rich media messaging, and real-time collaboration. Streaming media features let developers integrate streaming video and audio with motion graphics in a customizable player environment for a new level of multimedia presentation on the Internet. With rich media messaging features such as multi-way, multi-user video and audio chats, developers can add engaging live, human interactions and instant messaging to their websites. The real-time collaboration features, including the powerful Shared Object technology, enable multiple users to share live white boards and other real-time data in the context of an application.
"The leading development companies are those who are placing strong emphasis on deep integration rather than disparate point solutions," said Rikki Kirzner, research director, IDC. "Bringing together capabilities such as streaming video, real-time messaging, and collaboration will usher in entirely new types of rich Internet applications that won't require users to keep launching different applications to accomplish their tasks, resulting in a better user experience."
On the client, the communication server takes advantage of 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. Macromedia Flash Player 6 has the fastest adoption rate of any player in Macromedia's history.
"Many companies talk about the future of the web; few create it," said Colin Moock, author, ActionScript: The Definitive Guide. "Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX is set to popularize real-time multi-user video, audio, and data communication. Get ready—your web browser is about to become a real-life sci-fi movie."
For development, the communication server includes new extensions to the Macromedia Flash MX authoring environment. The extensions include new authoring, scripting, and debugging capabilities as well as pre-built components for login, multi-way chat screens, white boards, and video conferencing. The development technology makes it straightforward and easy for the more than one million Macromedia Flash developers to build communication solutions.
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.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, which runs on Windows, is available today for immediate download from the Macromedia Online Store (www.macromedia.com/store/). Pricing is $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. Education and volume licensing is available.
Macromedia (www.macromedia.com) empowers millions of designers and developers to create effective user experiences across the widest array of platforms and devices. Through an open, integrated family of client, tool, and server technologies, Macromedia is driving a new generation of rich Internet applications that will radically improve the Internet experience.
BETA TESTERS RAVE OVER MACROMEDIA FLASH COMMUNICATION SERVER MX
The following beta testers praised the feature set and potential of Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX:
"Keeping our customers, prospects, partners, and employees informed is important to our business. Technology which utilizes Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX provides us an innovative, cost-effective way to deliver high-impact communication."
- David B. Puglia, senior vice president, global marketing, Aspect Communications Corp.
"As the Internet has changed the world, the streaming technology of Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX will undoubtedly change the face of communication. The ability to communicate audibly and visually in real time, client to client, and irrespective of boundaries, will have far reaching effects. It is really impossible to conceptualize all the possibilities. Interactive digital art, customer service applications, audiovisual chat rooms, distance learning applications, I see all these things and more. "
- aYo Binitie, creative director, DesignStreet
"We're very excited about Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX and the potential it means for our interactive work. Up until now, we've been building interfaces between people and computers. Now, using Macromedia Flash MX and Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, the exciting work begins as we begin to build connections directly between people. Using familiar tools, we will finally be able to build experiences between people that allow for real-time collaboration and foster true relationships."
- Josh Ulm, creative director, ioResearch Studios
"Media Temple is very excited about working with Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX. Seamless integration with the entire Macromedia MX product line empowers our design and development team to easily deploy advanced communication capabilities. The fact that it utilizes existing Macromedia Flash technology to accomplish its job will surely speed its acceptance in the market. This technology will quickly become the leader in the industry."
- Thomas Anthony, president/CEO, Media Temple
Multimedia Training Services
"When I first used Macromedia Flash Communication Sever MX, I was blown away with the new possibilities it opened for me both as a web user and a web developer. I was convinced that this was the next evolution of web technology. Now I am using it in conjunction with Macromedia Flash Remoting and ColdFusion Components and it has changed the way I develop web applications altogether. Collaboration is the key word for Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX. People now have the option to work on ideas, projects, and learning in remote locations and to enjoy the benefits of real-time collaboration. I see enormous potential for deployment in universities and corporate virtual private networks."
- Bryan Carey, managing director, Multimedia Training Services
"Until now, the development costs for real-time games, chat, and video conferencing have been too high for many of our client's budgets. Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX allows us to offer high quality, real-time communication services at a substantially lower cost. We already see excellent business opportunities in entertainment and especially business application markets."
- Fred Sharples, president, Orange Design
"Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX is a huge step forward when it comes to building multi-user applications. Features like Shared Objects make it easier to develop complex user interactions without spending weeks designing a complex architecture to go with it. This gives us more time to focus on the content and the design of the application itself. It's great technology -- clean, well-designed, and developer-friendly. Many of my clients are looking for innovative ways to build community. This development environment gives them a whole new set of features to consider."
- John Taylor, president, Periscope Productions
"When we conceived the Dream Domain (our company website) we knew there were many things that might not be possible, and that there were other things that definitely wouldn't be possible. For the first iteration, we pushed Macromedia Flash to its limits and created our own Java based multi-user server to allow real-time chat and messaging. Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX not only dramatically simplifies this process, but also allows us to add the functionality that we so wanted at the beginning but knew would be impossible within Macromedia Flash: real-time video conferencing. Thanks to Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, the Dream Domain is now representative of the vision that we conceived over a year ago."
- Victor Benday, CEO, Random Media
"With Macromedia Flash MX and Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, developers can create environments that go way beyond anything that they could develop previously. In the same way that Macromedia Flash 4 and 5 revolutionized the way we interacted with our computers, Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX will revolutionize the way people interact with each other online. This is more than video chat, it is a whole new way to quickly and easily develop user-to-user interaction."
- Chris Pelsor, interface developer, Snogboggin
twenty4help Knowledge Service AG
"Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX is the first and only collaboration backend server which incorporates all live contact channels in a single and unique, but yet very open and flexible system. What makes it even more powerful, from an end user's perspective, is that the Macromedia Flash Player 6 is the only client software needed to access all that functionality. Online collaboration has been a buzzword in the market for the past two or three years, but with all those proprietary solutions out there nobody could really solve the software issue. This solution will become twenty4help's standard solution for a new user experience. Ultimately this will allow us to leverage the web channel to provide exciting new customer care services."
- Ralf Rottmann, IT manager, twenty4help Knowledge Service AG
Wanadu Interactive, Inc.
"Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX dramatically enhances Wanadu's ability to leverage the ubiquity of Macromedia Flash Player to offer business communication solutions to enterprise customers. Users of Wanadu iConference will benefit tremendously from the sheer convenience and lower cost compared with other solutions in the market."
- Bhanu Sharma, vice president, products and strategy, Wanadu Inc.