Macromedia Aims to Make Web Publishing Less Complex

Wednesday Mar 23rd 2005 by Michael Singer

The graphics software and services company updates its Web Publishing System with RSS to accommodate a rise in non-specialist intranet and extranet publishers.

Macromedia is flavoring its next-generation Web publishing platform with a heavy dose of blog-friendly software.

The San Francisco-based Web graphics software maker said the latest update to its Web Publishing System update, which it announced today, includes Really Simple Syndication (RSS) activity feeds and management tools. The enhancements are designed to let larger numbers of non-technical staff post information to a company's intranet, extranet, wiki tool or public Web site.

"In the enterprise space — creating an architecture and infrastructure of publishing rights can be complex when everyone is looking to publish to the Web at the same time," Craig Barberich, a senior product manager with Macromedia, said. "This release helps simplify the process."

Barberich said the platform could be configured to serve either a centralized administrator or provide the ability to distribute through individual departments. Managers can assign certain tasks to employees while maintaining control. The publishing tool then alerts administrators to any Web site changes courtesy of an e-mail or RSS reader.

Building on last year's release, the revised version includes Macromedia Contribute, now in version 3.1, Macromedia Contribute Publishing Services release 1.1, and FlashPaper 2.

Other new features, including an enhanced LDAP and Active Directory connectivity interface, expanded Web services and service-oriented architecture (SOA) functions, better embedded linking with Macromedia Breeze objects, staging-to-live deployment, and streamlined document publishing. For example, the publishing platform works more seamlessly Microsoft Office applications, Barberich said.

On the e-commerce front, Web services integration includes connectors with eBay and Affinity, a company that offers Web hosting and marketing services.

Currently, Macromedia boasts more than 360,000 users and 250 companies using the publishing tool. Barberich said the goal is to have Contribute on everyone's desktop, and added that it's the fastest growing product in Macromedia's history.

Pricing for new users is still the same at $229 for a single seat. A 10-pack of seats runs for $2,990 but includes an additional year of maintenance.

Current users of the Web publisher can download the free update in English. Volume discounts and government and education licensing are also available.

Dan Muse contributed to this report.

Article originally appeared on Internetnews.com.

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