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Macromedia joins J2EE big league

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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Macromedia Inc joins the Java big league today, with the expected launch of its runtime environment and scripting language for IBM's WebSphere and Sun ONE Application Server.

San Francisco, California-based Macromedia will launch ColdFusion MX, optimized to IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application servers.

Macromedia also plans to leverage these companies' size and resources through joint sales or marketing deals. IBM will resell ColdFusion MX while Sun undertakes co-marketing. Macromedia will also announce a version of ColdFusion MX for its JRun J2EE application server.

Macromedia believes support for IBM and Sun will help it pull-off a double whammy, serving both its own interests and those of J2EE vendors. The company said integration with J2EE application servers means ColdFusion MX will now be considered by enterprise Java customers who previously wouldn't consider the product. Macromedia competes against scripting languages like Perl and CGI.

The company also believes it is helping expand the Java community. Macromedia claims approximately 300,000 ColdFusion programmers, who it can now bring to Java platform. Estimates of the number of Java programmers vary from between 1.5 to three million individuals worldwide.

ColdFusion MX senior product manager Phil Costa said: "This brings a huge developer population to the J2EE platform. This [also] helps us sell our tools and services into customers who wouldn't otherwise consider Macromedia."

Underpinning this strategy is the fact Macromedia programmers do not need to spend time and money learning complex Java programming skills. "It's a high-risk policy to retrain staff in Java because of the cost and time," he said.

Support for WebSphere and Sun ONE Application Server means Macromedia's own application server is effectively being sidelined. WebSphere is the joint market leader - with BEA Systems Inc's WebLogic - while Sun is preparing a new push around its own product.

IBM and Sun customers can now install a ColdFusion application on either platform, without JRun. Costa said this means organizations can consolidate application servers.

Macromedia also plans a version of ColdFusion MX for San Jose, California-based BEA's application server by the end of this year. Costa was unwilling to comment on product details.

© ComputerWire

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