by September 12, 2002 0 comments

The latest release of Macromedia Dreamweaver is meant not only for building commercial websites, but also for Internet applications. This makes it suitable for both professional Web designers and developers. When you start the application, you are presented with three interface options–Designer, HomeSite Coder or version 4.0 (for people who are used to the old interface). The Designer interface is common across Macromedia Flash and Fireworks applications, which are a part of the new MX series. This makes it easier for users of one application to work on the others. 

This latest version is suitable for both professional Web designers and developers

Rs 19,950
Web designers and developers
Integration with ColdFusion 5 and Ultradev, new interface common for Macromedia Flash and Fireworks MX applications
Code references and hints, easy creation of data-driven applications for 
Macromedia, Mumbai. 

What’s new
The notable feature about this version is that it offers powerful and easy to use features for code manipulation for programmers. The Code section offers three options–Tag inspector, Snippets and Reference. Additionally, while you are writing the code, the application prompts you with hints as to what tag you might want to write. This is in a convenient drop-down box that pops up where you are writing and you can select the tag from it. The Snippets feature allows you to use a lot of pre-stored snippets of code like content tables, headers, navigation menus and form elements. Just select a snippet and choose ‘insert’ from the adjoining menu. You can even create and store your own snippets for code that you regularly use. The Reference panel offers quick reference on your code from well-known sources like Macromedia, O’Reilly and SiteSpring. 

Dreamweaver MX is a strong platform for the development of Web applications. It offers features from, and integration with, ColdFusion 5 and UltraDev for server-side application development. So you can create data-centric applications in ASP and JSP. You can include database queries onto Web pages for product and information searches. References for such application coding is also readily available

Similar interface
There is not much of a difference in the available interface components. Like the earlier version of Dreamweaver, this interface also presents floating toolbars. One is for design tools like text, tables, frames, links, etc, another is the ‘Properties inspector’ to edit the properties (like color and font) of individual elements. The third floating window offers tools for Design, Code, Application, Files and Answers. This window allows powerful functions at the click of the mouse. You can apply Styles, inspect code tags, use the dynamic data to perform functions and even look for answers to your questions from Macromedia’s Web resources. The toolbar at the top has a regular link for file management and previews. 

The Bottom Line: Macromedia Dream-weaver MX offers a powerful base for making server-side database driven and interactive websites. At Rs19,950, the new version is worth a buy for seasoned web professionals. 

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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