LiveMotion 2.0, the newest version of Adobe's interactive-content development solution, has been announced.

Like GoLive 6.0, this version supports database-driven content, and has also been developed with Adobe's strategic focus on Network Publishing. This means the solution can be used to develop animated interactive-content.

It offers a selection of tools for interactive-content creation. LiveMotion 2.0 supports Flash (SWF) and QuickTime, has a number of scriptable (ActionScript) features, and has both vector and raster tools.

Flash praise LiveMotion is seen as Adobe's answer to Macromedia's Flash technology. Adobe's Peder Engrob, European business development manager for Web publishing, praised Macromedia's work so far. "We have some very good colleagues at Macromedia who've done a great job of distributing Flash. I don't see that people will give up Flash - certainly not at the high end. We hope that designers will incorporate LiveMotion into their workflows," he said.

LiveMotion's object-based timeline has been improved. It has After Effects controls and shortcuts, and developers can use the tool kit to animate an object's attributes, such as position, shape or opacity. Time stretching, movie clip scrubbing, and hide, shy and lock controls can all be applied here.

ActionScript also lets developers create interactive solutions for Web sites. Such solutions can include chat rooms and online games.

Automation The application offers support for JavaScript-based automation scripts with a selection of integrated authoring tools. This means developers can create scripts to automate repetitive tasks. Designers can use such scripts through Live Tabs, which are customized user interfaces created within LiveMotion. Such scripts can then be shared between designers; Adobe has a number of them available for download from its Xchange Web site.

The application's preview tool has also seen some improvement - users can check how well scripts and animations will perform with the integrated preview tool from inside the scripting environment. If a problem's found, LiveMotion will automatically launch a debugging tool to isolate and repair errors.

Like all Adobe's current products, the application integrates with Adobe's other creative applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and GoLive. The application will also create content for CD-ROM, or even business demos.

This application costs 110 Euros (about £66 at time of writing, though Adobe's not released UK pricing on this product yet), and ships in the first quarter this year.