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Flash Communication Server MX

Flash Communication Server MX

The release of the Flash Communication Server MX today has finally unraveled the real use and power of the Flash 6 player and Flash MX.

JULY 2002 by Jarle Dahl Bergersen Macromedia has released the Flash Communcation Server MX, a server that you have seen the contures of already if you ever look at the Macromedia Executive presentation. But Macromedia's Flash Communication Server MX delivers more than just video streaming, it also actives some features of the Flash 6 player that might have boggled some minds up till now - like the webcam and microphone features.

Macromedia highlights the new Flash Communication Server MX this way, quote: "The first server to unite communications and applications. The new server integrates support for streaming media, multi-way video, audio, and text messaging, and real-time collaboration into a single solution."

In their press release today, Jonathan Gay, vice president of engineering, Macromedia says this about the Flash Communication Server MX:

"Combining streaming, messaging, and real-time communication capabilities into a single server that uses Macromedia Flash Player 6 as the client will forever change communications on the Internet. With the release of Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, we are empowering developers to transform the Internet from a world of text and data into a space filled with live human interactions."

So what can we deduct from the marketing hype? Well, from the first hand look that we have gotten to this new server technology, the server is really living up to the hype. But the server is just technology, what must come now is good examples of using the new capabilities of this server technology. And we are sure Macromedia is just around the corner with some good examples, as well as many talented Flash developers that was part of the Flash Communication Server MX beta.

The server is available for download today for the Windows platform (Linux and Sun versions are scheduled to be released later), the server starts up at US $499 for a personal edition with max 1 MBit/s throughput and max 10 simultanious connections. The professional server allows for maxium 10 Mbit/s and 500 simultanious connections and cost US $4500.

If you need to add more connections and bandwidth you can do so by adding Capacity Pack to the Professional Edition of the Flash Communication Server. The packs increases the capacity of the Professional Edition by an extra 10 Mbit a second and an extra 500 simultaneous users. You can purchase multiple Capacity packs to further increase the capacity of the Professional Edition server for $4000 each. In the information we have recived from Macromedia they list capasity packs all the way up to 50 Mbit/s and 2500 simulatnious connections - and the cost would be US $18,000. This seems pretty impressive, but we have serious doubts that a single Windows server would be able to server up that amount of bandwidth and connections, especially based on the less feature rich communication servers already available for talking with Flash 5.

As we have become used to with the MX-family of products coming out with great resources made available from Macromedia, so does the Flash Communication Server MX, Macromedia have many interesting resources available today:

Last, but not least - a trial version of the Flash Communcation Server MX has been made available for downloaded from so that you can start playing with the technology today.


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