Macromedia adds SOAP to Linux Flash Player

Macromedia has improved the performance and security of its Flash player for Linux, and added support for the Web services protocol SOAP

Macromedia added support for Web services protocol SOAP to its Flash player for Linux on Thursday.

Macromedia claims its Flash player is installed on 98 percent of Internet-connected desktops, as well as a growing number of handheld devices. Flash provides a graphical user interface that can be embedded within Web sites and used to link with databases. When used properly this can make online shopping sites much quicker and easier to use than sites with plain HTML interfaces.

Linux is thought to be used in around 5 percent of desktop systems and its popularity is growing quickly. Jeff Whatcott, vice president of product management at Macromedia, said he wants to ensure that Flash can be used by Internet users regardless of which operating system they use.

"Macromedia wants to make sure Linux users can experience the proven effectiveness of Flash technology on their platform of choice," said Whatcott.

Macromedia developed Flash 7 with the help of engineers from Sun Microsystems, which has heavily promoting its Java Desktop System as a viable alternative to Microsoft's Windows.

According to Macromedia, the latest Flash player offers increased performance and security as well as supporting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). This Web services protocol allows independent applications to exchange messages in real time, which helps companies integrate their applications and improve overall efficiency.

Chris Peterson, a consultant at software developer MediaSuite Communications, said the updated Flash player's flexibility makes it easier to create applications that help large companies reduce costs when migrating to a new system.

"Our company has built a rich Internet application using Flash Player on Linux that delivers a point-of-sale system for more than 700 sales staff members that retains the look and feel of their previous system, which reduced training costs," Peterson said.