Macromedia unveiled Macromedia Flex. Flex expands the Macromedia MX product family to address the requirements of enterprise IT departments seeking to deliver end user experiences that combine the responsiveness and richness of desktop software with the broad reach of the web. Previously code named “Royale,” Flex offers a standards-based, declarative programming methodology and server runtime services for delivering user interfaces with the Macromedia Flash client. The Flex beta program is now accepting applications, in preparation for release in the first half of 2004. Flex developers define user interfaces using an XML-based language that the Flex server renders into intelligent client applications running in the Flash Player. The Flex application framework combines a programming syntax; an extensible class library of building blocks for creating applications; and runtime services for data connectivity, deployment, and experience management. The initial Flex release will run on top of J2EE application servers and a .NET version is planned for future releases. Flex is based on XML, ECMAScript, SOAP web services, and the Macromedia Flash (SWF) file format. Macromedia Flex is expected to ship in the first half of 2004. The Flex server will be licensed as an enterprise server software product. Free licenses are planned for evaluation and single user workstation development. Additional information on Brady, Partridge, pricing, licensing, and configurations will be available at a later date. www.macromedia.com/go/flex/

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