Examining the Substance of Studio MX


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To all web designers out there, this article is for you! I guess you already heard about Studio MX (I think so!) – the ideal bundle for professional web designers, bringing together Dreamweaver MX for page design, Flash MX for animation and interactivity, and Fireworks MX for editing and optimizing graphics. With all these components, it certainly provides professional functionality for every aspect of web development.

I must say that the integration between the individual products is generally very good. It begins with the interface which uses common elements such as dockable, collapsible panels and a dynamic property inspector, so that you can switch comfortably between products. On a technical level, the key feature is roundtrip support. You can embed Fireworks graphics and Flash movies in Dreamweaver pages without losing any information, letting you later reopen an element in its original application with all its features intact. Also, in effect, the combination of Dreamweaver and ColdFusion provides an easy path into dynamic, Java-based web development.

Moreover, Flash MX also has potential as a rich client, with an interface driven by embedded JavaScript. Through a technology called Flash Remoting, Flash MX offers support for web services. The Studio MX bundle makes it relatively easy to set up ColdFusion to supply these services and for Flash to consume them. While it may seem strange to think of Flash as a rich client moving beyond the web page, it does make some sense when you consider that it is cross-platform and very widely deployed. In addition, ColdFusion itself can consume web services hosted on other platforms.

In addition, you can now take advantage of drag-and-drop visual tools and components, code libraries, and extensive code editing support for developing applications using HTML, XHTML, XML, ColdFusion, ASP, ASP. NET, JSP or PHP. Its integration with ColdFusion MX gives you a fast way to develop Internet applications that incorporate Macromedia Flash. Also, creating each element of the web production process such as developing graphics, laying out HTML pages, coding application logic, building rich user interfaces, and assembling complete solutions is really made easy in this all in one suite.

Indeed, Studio MX makes it easier to design and develop rich, interactive sites and Internet applications delivered across major platforms and devices with improvements to common tasks, a more consistent user interface, and deeper integration across the products. With it, you’re going to work in a familiar, customizable environment with consistent user interface elements, including color management, drawing tools, code editing, a common Property Inspector, and panel management, all making it easy to move between the applications.

Taking everything together, Studio MX is an essential development tool for every web designer.

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