Flash is now officially (news release) a Platform to deliver “the most effective experiences”:
To most people (non-Flash developers), Flash is about animation, online advertisements, and games. This is understandable, because most of them have not experienced (or are aware of) the other side of what Flash is capable of – enterprise-level Rich Internet Applications.
This new section of the Macromedia website provides an overview of what Flash is about, especially for different enterprise markets, such as Telecommunications, Financial Services, Education, Government, Businesses, eLearning, Web Conferencing, Mobile…etc.
One of the most informative piece is Kevin Lynch’s Overview of the Macromedia Flash Platform (PDF). It talks about future directions of Flash, the different solutions that Macromedia is providing, and some very exciting news about the upcoming Flash Player 8 (Maelstrom):
- New graphical expressiveness
- Improved performance of the Flash Player
- Better font readability
- Enhanced video
- New file upload and download
- Enhanced privacy control
- New IME context switching
These are great features for both designers and developers to create engaging experiences using the Flash Platform.
Another exciting news: Macromedia is joining the Eclipse Foundation to create a new development tool (based on Eclipse) to “unify the design, development, and debugging of RIAs” for Flex authoring. This move is aimed at more traditional application developers who are more comfortable with a code-oriented IDE.
As a developer, the diverse platform that Macromedia has created opens up many different opportunities. Even though the recent blooming of AJAX is exciting news for web application developers, it does not provide (at this time) an integrated multimedia experience that Flash is capable of.
This is also why as a long-time (omg, over 13 years already!) developer, Flash is the preferred delivery platform for most client projects.