Macromedia MX Developer Resource Kit

spotlight_drk.gif Macromedia has released a very interesting kit today, the Macromedia MX Developer Resource Kit (DRK)

The DRK is a CD containing articles, contents,

resources and components for Flash, Dreamweaver and ColdFusion Developers. And it sells for $99 U.S. dollars.

It contains the following Flash Related content:

Datagrid Component

Media Player Components

Flash UI Component Set 3

– Loading Box

– Advanced Messages Box

– Prompt Box

– Tool Tip

– Tool Tip Light

Flash Email Services Library

Flash ActionScript library that uses Flash Remoting to easily send and retrieve email from Flash. Includes a sample email application, ColdFusion Components as well as complete API documentation.

Flash Stock Services Library

Flash ActionScript library that uses

Flash Remoting to easily retrieve historical stock information from Flash. Includes sample stock charting application, ColdFusion Component,as well as complete API documentation.

Component Skinning Article

Article that describes how to skin components

In addition to the original content above, the following content will also be included on the cd:

– Complete Archive of the Designer and Developer Center

– Features Components from the Macromedia Exchange.

– Flash Communication Server Components

– Flash Remoting Components

There are also some application demos included on the CD, as well as content specific to Dreamweaver MX.

Macromedia says that one of the main things they are trying to do with the DRK is create a market for this type of content, especially components.

It should open up for higher quality Flash components, and a more commercial marketplace for the Flash components – and in that way provide a new revenue stream for Flash ActionScript coders.

If you wonder why Macromedia decided to charge for the CD, instead of releasing it for free – there are several reason why they decided to charge for it.

1. They want there to be a market for this kind of content, providing a potential revenue source for Flash developers. If they would have released the components for free, they would probably have taken away that ability for Flash developers.

2. They have invested a lot in the components. The datagrid component alone is reported to have been in development for 3 months.

Personally I think its good that Macromedia has decided to charge. $99 shouldn’t be a huge amount for any serious Flash developer, and considering the time it will save most of us coding our own components it will be worth its money many times around on the very first project it is used.

The only thing I would have liked to see happen, is that Macromedia make the DRK available for sale through the community sites, allowing the community to make some money selling the CD.

16 comments

  1. so it has become truth: we all shall pay for some components which i’m sure somebody already did or will do in the next weeks… mother were are you going ???

  2. are they going to release the datagrid component online for free as well?

    For months they have been saying it will be out soon and the implication was always that it would be free!

  3. I can see the point about creating a market for this type of product, but it feels like some of this stuff is really pretty fundamental. For instance I would say that the tutorial on skinnning components should definitely be provided for free. In effect what they’re doing is including a feature in their product with no documentation and then selling you the documentation later.

  4. “I would say that the tutorial on skinnning components should definitely be provided for free. In effect what they’re doing is….”

    I’ve been on extended vacation and haven’t checked the disc yet, but I think that “skinning components” material has already been available on the Macromedia Designer & Developer Center for awhile:

    http://www.macromedia.com/desdev/tip/013.html

    http://www.macromedia.com/support/flash/applications/creating_forms/creating_forms12.html

    (Google Is My Friend 8)

    I think the idea behind these Developer Kits is to make it easy to have all your resources collected in one place, instantly available. Some people won’t find this worth $99, some will, but the important thing is that you have a choice either way.

    Regards,

    John Dowdell

    Macromedia Support

  5. I don’t get it. What is the problem with Macromedia covering their expenses for a resource such as this one? It would have been nice if they made the CDs available as a subscription service (seeing as there will be a quarterly release of DRKs), and I would also have felt good if Macromedia showed some love and made available a affiliate program for selling the DRKs, but I really think its fair that they charge for the content they make available through the DRKs. After all its extra software and components making development easier, not vital parts to the MX products as such.

  6. >are they going to release the datagrid component online for free as well?

    the datagrid component is and will only be avaliable via the Developer Resource Kit.

    the same applies to the Flash UI Components Set 3, and the sample applications (plus a few other things).

    hope that helps…

    mike chambers

    mesh@macromedia.com

  7. Sounds promising Mike :-) *crossing fingers and toes* would be great if Macromedia makes an affiliate program available for the community sites :-)

  8. I dont mind paying for components and resource kits, but Im kinda annoyed about MM not telling us that the datagrid component was not going to be free. This important fact should have been mentioned when it was demoed at FF and when it was mentioned as ‘coming soon’ on various MM blogs.

  9. I’ve ordered the Resource Kit. The only thing I’m irritated by is that there’s not an option to download it. Even if it’s 500mb for a download, at least offer the option – those of us with a fast connection to the net could be working with it by now instead of waiting by the postbox for 10 days (estimated delivery time to the UK).

    Jamie.

  10. I do think it’s a good idea to have the kit for sale like this, but I would like to see Macromedia release the components on the website, since certain UI components are important in building usable and well-formed web applications, and would go a great way to creating a design consistency the same way the original components did. Keeping these components from developers might hurt more than help.

    (I agree with David – I seem to remember presenters insisting that we would be able to download the dataGrid component at Flashforward…)

    That said, perhaps it would also be good business for MM to release some of the components individually for a smaller fee – ie. the UI set for $30, rather than having to pay for a whole Desdev kit, just to give people some options.

  11. It’s not impossible to introduce additional individual product lines, but there’s a big startup cost to launch each one. What’s your guess about how many people would not want a whole CD of stuff for $99, but would instead prefer a single component at $30?

    tx,

    jd/mm

  12. If you were offering it as a download or activation key (a la “Quicktime Pro”), maybe tied to a Macromedia user ID, I think a lot of people would bite – giving a developer the option to get just what they need when they need it is a much more attractive solution than having to buy a CD with a bunch of content I might never need just for a single component set (not to mention the shipping issues everyone seems to be complaining about).

    If I could see the component in action, then have a one-click purchase option to download the component, I would probably be more likely to make that purchase than if I had to wait a few days for my order to be processed.

    As has also been pointed out on some of the other boards, when I develop in Visual Basic or Javascript et. al, I don’t have to pay for a pop-up alert box or scroll bars, etc. So naturally people will be upset about the idea of having to pay for these options in Flash, since Macromedia is trying to position Flash as a major web application development tool, then withholding easy access to common-sense usability components like tooltips from developers.

    So any steps to give the developers more options (besides “develop it yourself”, which will increase the number of disparate solutions and hurt the public face of Flash applications) would be a goodwill gesture to the development community.

  13. “If I could see the component in action…”

    Check Mike’s site.

    “[want to download parts]”

    Different idea… DesDev material is on the site already… CD is a “carry with you always available” thing. For “want to buy only datagrid”, Mike said it’s under consideration, but I know from experience that additional product lines each cost money to set up… overall demand may not recoup that cost.

    For what it’s worth, I appreciate greatly the folks who have bought the Developer CD already… higher than expectations. It really helps show the rest of the company that there’s a demand for articles, tutorials, examples, and components. Thanks!

    jd/mm

  14. august 09, 2003

    dear macromedia MX

    Iam astudent of Indonesia and I really want to study much about flash and i have problem with my money, from bottom my heart may you give me some free cd macomedia flash

    for your kindly i say you thank you very much

    sincerely,

    sose r v

    ————–

    adress : pondok modern gontor PONOROGO, JAWA-TIMUR , INDONESIA 63472

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