Adobe Builds Portfolio

In an interview with CRN, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen said the combination of the two companies' products will give partners a highly attractive portfolio of products and solutions.

"Probably the biggest win for us and for the channel is our ability to offer a solution that is more compelling and more interesting from a channel perspective than ever before," Chizen said.

While regulatory conditions prohibited Chizen from discussing specific solutions, obvious areas of synergy in the $3.4 billion stock deal, unveiled last Monday, include collaboration solutions that might be enabled by combining Adobe Acrobat and Macromedia Breeze. The deal also enables workflow applications that make use of the Adobe LiveCycle series with the Macromedia Flex tool for building media-rich Internet applications.

The purchase of Macromedia gives Adobe, San Jose, Calif., an opportunity to offer comprehensive cross-platform Web application development and design tools and technology, including San Francisco-based Macromedia's popular Flash animation tool.

Sponsored post

It will allow Adobe to expand its server-side offerings and extend into new markets such as mobile phones with Macromedia's Flash Lite technology, solution providers said. The purchase also gives Adobe additional protection against potential rivals, notably Microsoft, which in the past was considered a possible buyer for Macromedia. The Redmond, Wash., vendor long has been rumored to be developing a competitor to Adobe's Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) in the Longhorn Windows time frame, and is pushing its own digital rights management, Office publishing and animation development technologies to Web developers.

The marriage of the two leading design ISVs came as a surprise to many who view Adobe's Acrobat PDF and PhotoShop tools and Macromedia's Dreamweaver and Flex animation tools as best-of-breed offerings whose installed base will only expand as a result of the merger.

"I'm not sure if it makes Adobe any more of a target for Microsoft, but it makes Adobe a much stronger Web company," said Jason Wehling, vice president of technology at NetXposure, Portland, Ore.

Adobe's acquisition of Macromedia, he said, gives the company a better server story, since it gives Adobe access to Macromedia's Flash animation and older server-side technology known as Generator. Allaire, Adobe's previous acquisition, and its application servers ColdFusion and JRun also will enrich the server platform, Wehling said.

BARBARA DARROW and HEATHER CLANCY contributed to this story.