Adobe has unveiled Flash Catalyst CS5, a new professional design tool that lets users create Web application interfaces and design interactivity without writing code.
Together with Flash Professional CS5 and Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst enhances collaboration between designers and developers.
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“Adobe is committed to driving innovation on the Web by providing the best tools to designers and developers,” said John Loiacono, senior vice president and general manager of Creative Solutions at Adobe. “By bringing together the reach of the Flash Platform runtimes with the power of the Flash Platform tools integrated in Creative Suite 5, designers and developers can collaborate more effectively, reducing the time required to deliver the compelling applications and content that users now expect on the Web and mobile devices.”
Flash Catalyst’s main focus is on the components used to create interactive content—the buttons, scroll bars, sliders, text fields, and checkboxes that let users interact with a product or service.
The program features a designer-friendly set of interface design features that will look familiar to users of Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Professional, and Fireworks. It lets you build interactive designs using concepts like pages and states, resembling traditional print or Web design projects.
With Flash Catalyst CS5, designers can add interactive Flash content to Web sites and applications by transforming Photoshop and Illustrator artwork or Fireworks files into functional content and user interfaces. Flash Catalyst also allows editing of structured pieces of an interactive project in Photoshop or Illustrator, and allows finished projects to be published as SWF files. Project files can be imported into Flash Builder where developers can add functionality and integrate them with servers and services.
Flash Catalyst projects can be published as SWF or AIR files for viewing on the desktop or online, or for playback in the upcoming Flash Player 10.1.
(Image Caption: The Heads Up Display in Flash Catalyst CS5 helps you transform static artwork into interactive designs without writing code.)
Flash Catalyst CS5 is $399. It is also available in the Design Premium, Web Premium, and Production Premium editions and the Master Collection.
Flash Builder 4
Also new to the Creative Suite is Flash Builder 4 Standard (previously called Flex Builder), an Eclipse-based development tool that helps developers build cross-platform rich Internet applications (RIAs). It facilitates coding, debugging, and visual design for user interfaces.
With Flash Builder 4, developers can better collaborate with Catalyst designers to build applications with specific interactions. This gives designers greater control over the creative aspects of a project, while allowing developers to focus on core application logic.