Macromedia eases Web updates

Away from Macromedia's developer conference in Florida this week, details have leaked out about a new product aimed at making Web updates easier

Macromedia will be adding to its Web design software portfolio with Contribute, a utility created to enable Web site updates by non-IT staff.

A beta version of the application was demonstrated to Web designers at a Macromedia seminar in the Novotel in Hammersmith earlier on Wednesday.

"Webmasters and IT departments are flooded with work. They spend a lot of their time changing prices, product names or publishing a press release, which interrupts them while working on large projects," said John Harris, technical sales manager at Macromedia.

Contribute is distinct from Macromedia's Web design tool DreamWeaver; it has the look and feel of a browser, but passwords can be entered and stored in the application to give users editing abilities that are defined by the Webmaster. Users can open a Web page and choose the particular piece of information that needs to be updated. Depending on their predefined access rights, they will be able to update specific information on their corporate Web sites.

"These users don't want to be Web designers, they just need to change a small amount of information -- like a price or product name. They won't see any code or anything complicated. They will not be able to change a logo or anything else the Webmaster has not 'unlocked'," added Harris.

Once changes have been made, they can either be published immediately, or emailed to the Webmaster or a colleague for final clearance.

Contribute also contains a feature to quickly "roll back" to previous versions of the Web page in case incorrect information has been published by accident.

Macromedia refused to comment on a final release date.

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