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June 30th, 2000

Dreamweaver UltraDev

Contact And Other Information
Manufacturer: Macromedia
Product Home Page: Dreamweaver UltraDev
Description: Internet Application Development Tool
Address: Macromedia, Inc.
600 Townsend Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Price: US$299 Retail
Telephone: 415.252.2000
Fax: 415.626.0554
Requirements: OS 8.6 or later
48 MB of available RAM
30 MB of available disk space
Color monitor capable of 800x600 resolution
CD-ROM drive

[First Look]
Macromedia's Dreamweaver UltrDev Takes Web Application Development A Step Farther
Dreamweaver UltraDev
by Bill Troop


Database capability is the newest must-have feature for Web sites. Technologies like structured query language (SQL) and active server pages (ASP) allow you to write pages which can change dynamically, on the fly, depending on the results of user queries. This dynamic technology is what is driving today's e-commerce sites. The problem, until now, was that you had to be a competent programmer to blend static HTML and the existing database technologies. There have been some early generation tools to help generate database code, like Macromedia Drumbeat and Microsoft Visual InterDev, but Macromedia's new Dreamweaver UltraDev is the first integrated environment to bring it all together.

What's Is It?

The main new thing UltraDev adds to Dreamweaver 3.0 is the ability to create complex database-driven Web applications without having to write any code. UltraDev supports all the leading server technologies, such as Sun Microsystems JavaServer Pages (JSP), Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASP), and Allaire ColdFusion Markup Language (CFML).

Who Is It For?

Yet Macromedia recognizes that there is a highly important core of web programmers out there who believe that the best code is handwritten code. For these developers, UltraDev provides site and code management features, but doesn't tamper with your hand-crafted code. This program really means to be all things to all developers -- from first-time users, to the most advanced programmers. Does it succeed? Remarkably well, in our opinion. First time users will definitely have a learning curve. Not a steep one, but a learning curve just the same. After all, building a data-driven project like an e-commerce site is an intrinsically complex task. The miracle is that Dreamweaver UltraDev gives newcomers the tools to accomplish it. UltraDev should also prove to be a godsend for small businesses that need to maintain complex sites which were initially written by professional programmers.

A Brief Look At Using It

Considering the size of its feature set, we were very impressed with UltraDev. Many consider Dreamweaver to produce the cleanest code of any HTML generator. The new database capabilities are well-integrated and are extensible, so we should expect to see many independent add-ons in the near future. We were also extremely pleased with UltraDev's stability. Stability has been a problem with Adobe GoLive, the other web development tool we enjoy working with. We also noted excellent compatibility between Mac and Windows versions.


Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev is available for both Macintosh and Windows platforms for an estimated street price of $599. Registered Dreamweaver 3 customers can purchase Dreamweaver UltraDev for $299. To download a free 30-day trial version of Dreamweaver UltraDev. In addition, according to Macromedia, "Dreamweaver UltraDev represents the next-generation of Macromedia Drumbeat 2000. Customers who purchased Macromedia Drumbeat after April 5, 2000 are entitled to a free upgrade. Registered Drumbeat users can upgrade to Dreamweaver UltraDev for $99. Standard Macromedia support will be available to Drumbeat customers through January 1, 2001. Special online training and documentation will also be available to Drumbeat customers as they migrate to Dreamweaver UltraDev."

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