UltraDev 4.0: Win9X/ME/NT4/2K

The Good Builds database-driven Web pages in the Dreamweaver interface; dynamic data in design environment; new Live Objects automation; well-integrated code editor.

The Bad Server Behaviors and Data Bindings poorly integrated into interface; Server Behaviors and Live Objects offer duplicate functionality.

The Bottom Line UltraDev has many great features, but some rough edges from the previous version still need polishing.

Editors' Rating
8.0 Overall

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Review

UltraDev 4.0: Win9X/ME/NT4/2K

Advertising often promises more than it delivers, so we weren't surprised to see Macromedia push UltraDev from version 1.0 to 4.0 with minimal enhancement. Macromedia claims that the version jump will keep its main Web building product line--Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and UltraDev--on a similar development track. The theory makes sense, and UltraDev 4.0 does offer a ton of great new features, but most are merely Dreamweaver's new tools in a different package. Only UltraDev's new extensibility additions and Live Objects are unique. Advertising often promises more than it delivers, so we weren't surprised to see Macromedia push UltraDev from version 1.0 to 4.0 with minimal enhancement. Macromedia claims that the version jump will keep its main Web building product line--Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and UltraDev--on a similar development track. The theory makes sense, and UltraDev 4.0 does offer a ton of great new features, but most are merely Dreamweaver's new tools in a different package. Only UltraDev's new extensibility additions and Live Objects are unique.

On Dreamweaver's coattails
UltraDev is basically just Dreamweaver enhanced to draw on databases for Web content. For that reason, any Dreamweaver upgrades get passed on to UltraDev. These upgrades include Dreamweaver's new code editor, which UltraDev users will find extremely useful. The editor's convenient split-window view displays page layout and the associated code simultaneously and even color-codes HTML, JavaScript, ASP, and CFML for easy editing. Such easy-to-see ASP and CFML code makes tweaking easier and even helps visual developers learn some coding skills.

A couple of other features are nice for visual Web page development but aren't as relevant to building dynamic pages. UltraDev's Fireworks integration, which lets you jump between applications smoothly, makes graphic editing easier. Plus, the Flash Buttons object lets you quickly insert animated buttons, although it hasn't been integrated with the UltraDev Server Behaviors for navigating between records. (It's not difficult, however, to manually assign a Behavior to a Flash button.) UltraDev's Server Behaviors themselves are standard scripts that you can add to a page; they do things such as building database record navigation or determining how many records each page displays.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Adobe
  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC
  • OS Family Windows
  • Version 4.0
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