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Macromedia aims line at training

The software company unveils a new product line geared toward the online corporate training market.

Macromedia today unveiled a new product line geared toward the online corporate training market.

Macromedia's Attain Enterprise Learning system, composed of adapted versions of the company's development tools, is designed for the creation and management of Web-based training programs.

"People are making the transition from classroom learning environments to using technology to reach a broader audience," said Rix Kramlich, senior product manager for Attain. "We are rolling out a new architecture, an integrated system with both authoring and management tools."

Macromedia has long had a learning division, but the company's higher-profile businesses have focused on authoring software for the Web, including its Flash and Shockwave animation products. "This gets us out of the box software market and into the enterprise software market," Kramlich said.

Attain includes tailored versions of Macromedia's Dreamweaver, an HTML authoring tool; Authorware 5, a newly upgraded authoring tool for more interactive and visual content; and Pathware 3, an administration, management, and tracking system.

Macromedia designed the Attain system so that programmers of varying degrees of experience can use it. Users create their learning programs with what Macromedia calls "Knowledge Objects," or predesigned components, to be combined and edited.

The suite is designed to produce learning programs that can be deployed over standard 28.8-kbps modems, according to Macromedia.

The components, available now for download from the Macromedia site, are sold separately. Dreamweaver Attain costs $799, and current Dreamweaver users can get an upgrade for $499. Authorware Attain costs $2,699, or $649 for the upgrade. Pathware 3 pricing starts at $35,000 and varies according to the number of users and other factors.

The three components are available for use with Microsoft's Windows operating system. Macromedia declined to comment on whether it plans to provide support for other platforms.