February 10, 2003--Macromedia announced today a software subscription service that will give developers access to a broad range of Macromedia products for development and testing purposes, including licenses for both client-side and server-side tools, exclusive access to online tutorials and technical resources, extensions, utilities, and early access to product updates. Called DevNet Subscriptions, the service operates similar to existing developer subscription services from other vendors, such as Microsoft's MSDN subscription program and IBM's Developer Toolbox.
Macromedia's DevNet offers two subscription levels: Professional and Essentials.
The Professional subscription includes full, single user-license versions of all products in Macromedia's Studio MX Suite (Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Freehand) as well as the Contribute content management product. It also includes development-only license versions for Macromedia's server products: ColdFusion, JRun, Flash Remoting, and the Flash Communication Server.
Subscribers will also get the once-per-quarter Developer Resource Kit (DRK), a CD of new product extensions, components, and exclusive technical resources. The price of the Professional subscription is $1,499 per year, per developer ($999 for annual renewal).
The Essentials subscription includes only the DRKs (one per quarter) at a cost of $299 per year, per developer. The Essential subscription does not include any software licenses.
The success of Macromedia's DRKs was one reason the company decided to look into a subscription services for its customers, according to Tom Hale, Macromedia's vice president of designer and developer relations. The company began selling the DRKs at a flat fee of $99 each two quarters ago. "People started asking us, 'can I get this in a subscription?'" said Hale, who added that the company has sold 12,000 of the CDs since the first one became available in September 2002.
To support the new DevNet initiative, Macromedia will tap into its online developer resource center, called DesDev. DesDev will change its name to match that of DevNet and will become a portal that supports DevNet subscribers. Hale said that some resources and discussion groups would remain freely available to the public while others would be cordoned off for DevNet subscribers.
"Our strategy will be to add value to the subscription program," he said. DesDev currently publishes nearly 100 articles per quarter.
Studio MX Plus
In a related announcement, the company said that it has splintered the Studio MX product suite, offering an enhanced version of Studio MX, called Studio MX Plus, which includes the company's latest product, Contribute, in addition to the four products already included in Studio: Freehand, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. Studio MX Plus will cost $899, or you can upgrade from Studio MX for $199.
Finally, the company also announced the official MX version of Freehand. Freehand is one of the last products, and the last product in the Studio MX Suite, to be upgraded to the MX designation. According to a company press release, enhancements to Freehand in the MX version include user interface changes, new productivity tools and panels, better integration with Flash MX, and better performance on Mac OS X.
The announcements come less than a week after company CTO Jeremy Allaire, whose name has been at the forefront of Web development since the early 1990s, said he had resigned as CTO to take a job at an investment company.