Coming in the wake of JavaTM Pet Store demo software and .NET Pet
Shop from Microsoft, Macromedia has just released Pet Market 1.2, which
demonstrates how Macromedia's family of development products can give
developers using JavaTM 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EETM)
technology another great option for quick development of sites that
Jon Byous describes Pet Market 1.2 as "a complete platform for
developing and deploying Rich Internet Applications," saying that
Macromedia intends it to be used to provide "more engaging user
interfaces, two-way communications and high-performance business
applications that can be delivered with existing network and enterprise
infrastructure via the widely deployed Macromedia Flash Player."
The Pet Market development team produced ColdFusion MX, a Web
application development and deployment platform with an easy-to-learn
scripting language, CFML, that is essentially a J2EE
specification-compliant application server in disguise. The richness of
the platform and its ease of use make this attribute all but irrelevant
to developers, however.
Now Macromedia has released ColdFusion MX for the J2EE platform. Sites
already using J2EE technology-compliant application servers -- including
SunTM Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) Application Server (formerly
known as iPlanetTM Application Server) -- add the simplicity of
CFML to existing infrastructure. Developers who use client-side
Macromedia Flash MX in combination with server-side ColdFusion MX can
build reusable object components with extended capabilities.
According to Jeremy Allaire, Macromedia's chief technology officer,
"...the Macromedia Flash Player could help transform static and
cumbersome user interfaces into rich, engaging and interactive
applications. More importantly, it could help put into place a more
clearly defined presentation layer or client-tier in the Internet
Macromedia has included the Verity K2 full-text search and indexing
engine with ColdFusion MX to provide a scalable cross-platform search
engine that can find products by descriptions, as well as customer
reviews and feature articles.
Allaire points out that the Pet Market development team, with no
previous experience in using ColdFusion, completed the back-end of the
application in two weeks. The server-side scripting capabilities of
ColdFusion MX, added to a J2EE infrastructure, can give development
teams plenty of time to concentrate on front-end user experience while
still exploiting the strengths of the J2EE platform.
Byous cites the shopping cart interface, which Macromedia collapsed
into a single cohesive experience rather than the customary sluggish
series of screens, as a notable reusable feature. "If you're developing
a multi-step, multi-page forms-based application," he continues,
"Macromedia's Pet Market demo may be able to help save you some time
and provide added functionality." Byous predicts that similar shopping
carts will soon proliferate on e-commerce sites and that ColdFusion MX
will lead to yet other forms-based applications such as Web-based sales
force automation and customer service.
For a look at similar sample applications, including a car dealer
extranet, an address book, online record store, mortgage calculator and
a product configurator, go to the Macromedia Web site.
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