Adobe MAX 2008 - Day 2 - Keynote highlights
Day 2 here at Adobe MAX. I'm sitting here in the audience for the second Keynote, blogging live from the event. Ben Forta, Director of Platform Evangelism for Adobe, will be giving a talk titled "Design, Develop, Deploy." This session is meant to cover workflow between designers, developers and systems engineers in the creation of Rich Internet Applications.
Here are some highlights from the Keynote
Catalyst is the coolest thing I've seen at MAX so far. This piece of software, which was code-named Thermo at the last MAX, is an amazing design tool for Flex UI designers to build skins for Flex applications. It allows for integration between many of the other CS4 design products like Photoshop and Illustrator. This is seriously going to change the way designers are able to work with developers to build rich and beautiful Flex apps.
Alchemy C++ Convertor
Neat little tool. Alchemy allows a developer C++ libraries and covert them into compiled AS3 code. The libraries can then be used to add functionality to Flash apps that before was nearly impossible, or would have taken re-inventing the wheel to manually convert the library functions to AS. Some of the demos that were shown included:
- MD5, SHA1, and SHA2 Encryption
- RAW Photo format conversion
- A port of the Doom Video game running in Flash player!
- The original Mario Brothers Nintendo game running as an emulation in Flash Player
Cold Fusion IDE - Code-name: Bolt
I'm not a ColdFusion developer myself, but CF developers should be happy about this. Finally a real deal ColdFusion IDE based on Eclipse. It integrates right into the same Eclipse engine as Flex Builder. The version we saw was a preview release, so it's not ready for Prime Time. One cool feature is an ORM Generator. This little feature will allow a developer to take a data source and generate ORM objects for interacting with the database.
Flex Builder 4 - Code-name: Gumbo
Some cool new features coming in Flex Builder 4. Data Management components have been made super simple to create. You can now use a wizard to setup bindings with backend services to pull data into a data grid, setup CRUD methods, and do in place editing.
As mentioned above, Catalyst will be able to integrate with FB4 in a very big way. Developer will be able to import FXP files into Flex that will allow you to take the UI that was designed, and just start plugging away at functionality. Very cool.
Another cool one is the Network Monitoring tool. This is kind of like Firebug built right into FB4. You can monitor the data that is traveling between the server and the client as well as detect where bottlenecks are occurring.
And for those who build faceless, internal enterprise apps, you no longer need a designer. FB4 comes with several skins that can be applied across the app to give your once default, lame looking tool some pizzaz.
Indexing Flash Content for SEO
Adobe has really gone to town on this one. They claim to have "solved the Flash index problem." They have done this by working with Google to create two apps that work hand in hand to index dynamic Flash content. One component is a virtual user that works with another component which is a special Flash player. These two tools talk to each other and send data and events back and forth to generate indexable text based off of the Flash Display Object list.
Dynamic Streaming and Flash Media Server 3.5
FMS 3.5 will be bringing some new capabilities to this powerful streaming media server. These new features include an improved, and seamless transition between multi-bitrate streaming as well as server side DVR like capabilities.
Flash Player to Flash Player Communication
This might be the second coolest thing that I saw during the keynote. Flash Player will soon (if not already) have the ability to talk to other Flash Players without needing a web server to handle the networking. They did not go into this in detail, so my feeling is we'll be hearing more about this as time goes on.
The keynote was a powerful experience. Adobe did a really god job putting this together and making it an entertaining and informative session.
Stay tuned for more from Adobe MAX 2008, which will wrap up tomorrow.