Macromedia’s ColdFusion Looks Beyond the Web

Macromedia released a new version of its
ColdFusion Web application today as it continues to spread its wings
beyond the PC.

ColdFusion MX 7 (previously code-named Blackstone) has been
re-architected with Java J2EE 1.4 and introduces interactions with
mobile phones using short message service (SMS) text messaging as well as standard Web-based instant messaging clients.

“With our event gateway SMS text messaging, everybody can have
interactive experience because most cell phones today support SMS,” Dave Gruber, senior product manager for ColdFusion told
internetnews.com. “Let’s say I’m driving to the airport and my
flight gets canceled. The best response these days sends a call out to
my mobile phone. With our SMS feature support; I can now get an
interactive experience in rebooking that flight from my phone.”

Gruber said the addition of SMS also improves two-way interactions with machines, such as enabling a bank to offer customers the ability to
query balances, or check large transactions, including the transfer of funds or stop payment on a check, with an SMS over a current edition cell
phone.

“The added Instant messaging capability even allows developers to
create machine to machine transactions,” Gruber said.

The software now lets developers structure new printable Web content,
in either Flash Paper or PDF formats and offers structured business reporting in
Microsoft Excel format with graphics, sub totals and formats similar to
some third party business reporting products that Macromedia had relied
on in the past. The company also said ColdFusion MX 7 supplies a new
Enterprise Manager that lets IT administrators create multiple
application instances.

Gruber said ColdFusion MX 7 also supports all the same APIs as
previous versions and ties into all security authentications: LDAP
servers, Microsoft security services, and Java security
services. However, Gruber said developers would need to build in their
own security protocols for basic authentication and beyond.

For some time, Macromedia has been looking at extending its
bread-and-butter Flash software to enhance the mobile environments.
Samsung and T-Mobile have already announced partnerships to include
Flash Lite 1.1 in their respective handsets. Macromedia has also
diversified its traditional Web developer business with Flex and Breeze,
for online meetings, rapid training, and front-end applications.

But as Jeff Whatcott, vice president of product management at
Macromedia, told internetnews.com, the company’s strategy has
always been adapting to the evolution of the digital world and
delivering better experiences on every digital interface.

“In the first generation of the networked world, the Web browser was
the universal window into the digital world,” Whatcott said.

“The second
generation of the networked world is much more diverse, with a variety
of networked applications like browsing, IM, RSS , online meetings,
training, and enterprise applications being accessed via an incredibly
diverse array of devices including phones, PDAs, cars, and more. The
Web has become only one window into the digital world. With products
like ColdFusion MX 7 and our mobile product line, we are providing
technology that helps people build great experiences for new kinds of
devices.”

ColdFusion runs as either a standalone application server or on top
of J2EE application servers, including Macromedia JRun, IBM’s WebSphere,
and BEA’s WebLogic. The platform’s open architecture allows it to deliver
applications on Windows, UNIX, and Linux platforms, the company said.

The software comes in two editions. The Standard Edition includes two
CPUs for $1,299 except for event gateways. The Enterprise Edition includes two CPUs for $5,999. Upgrading from previous
versions runs $2,999 for the Enterprise and $649 for Standard.
Switching from Standard to Enterprise costs $5,350. A localized
version for Japanese is expected to ship later this year.

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