Macromedia Announces Studio MX 2004, With Upgrades To Dreamweaver, Fireworks, & Flash

Welcome to 2004, or at least the 2004 world of Macromediais Studio MX product. The company announced a major upgrade to Studio MX yesterday. Studio MX is Macromediais suite of design and layout tools, Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash, Fireworks, ColdFusion, and Freehand. Dreamweaver MX 2004, Flash MX 2004, and Fireworks MX 2004 are all updated, while ColdFusion and Freehand are both shipping in the suite with their current versions. Note that ColdFusion, a product purchased by Macromedia, is still Windows-only. The new suite includes new interoperability features across all three updated apps, and a host of other new features. From Macromedia:

Macromedia today announced Macromedia Studio MX 2004, which includes major new releases of its industry-leading tools, Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. Studio MX 2004 provides an integrated workflow for designing and developing the full spectrum of Web sites and Internet applications. Studio MX, released in 2002, became the best-selling product in the companyis history, and this 2004 version delivers even deeper cross-product integration. For advanced developers delivering rich Internet applications, Studio MX 2004 will also be available with Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 (also announced today; see separate release)

Studio MX 2004 delivers substantial new releases of its leading professional tools. Dreamweaver MX 2004 simplifies web site and application development, offering enhanced Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) support, cross- browser validation, built-in graphics editing, and updated support for ASP.NET, PHP, and ColdFusion server technologies. Flash MX 2004 makes it easier than ever to create rich interactive content with new timeline effects, easy import of Adobe Illustrator and PDF content, and CSS support. Fireworks MX 2004 delivers a broad array of new design tools and effects. FreeHand MX, released in February, delivers new productivity tools and panels, and improved Mac OS X performance.

For a complete solution for building web applications delivered using HTML and Flash elements, developers can purchase Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional. Flash MX Professional 2004 is a new product that enables developers to organize and build applications using a forms-based development metaphor as an alternative to the traditional timeline interface. Using Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional, developers can easily design Flash and HTML web forms, add components, integrate with data, and build in application logic and navigation.

The MX 2004 applications all use the same intuitive, customizable workspace to streamline design and development tasks. The products have consistent user interfaces, including start pages, panel management, document tabs, coding metaphors, and Property Inspectors to enable developers to work more efficiently across multiple products. The products all leverage Unicode support to use, render, and save any font and encoding supported by the operating system, including double-byte character sets.

Studio MX 2004 also includes the MX Elements, a series of interface building blocks with a new generation of embedded, interactive design patterns. These HTML and Flash elements will make it faster for customers to build effective interfaces by bringing together a range of technologies including components, templates, style sheets, and behaviors.

Studio MX 2004 includes Dreamweaver MX 2004, Fireworks MX 2004, Flash MX 2004, FreeHand MX, and a developer edition of ColdFusion MX 6.1 (Windows only). Studio MX 2004 with Flash Professional will also be available. Studio MX is "Designed for Windows XP" and "Built for Mac OS X."

You can find more information on Studio MX 2004 at Macromediais Web site. The new version is priced at US$899, and the company is offering upgrades starting at US$399. Educational pricing is set at US$249. Studio MX is set to ship in September.

For information on the standalone versions of each app, see the links below: