Macromedia Flash, which is now called Adobe Flash, is a multimedia tool that is used to generate documents for the Adobe Engagement Platform. Some of the documents that can be generated by Flash are movies, games, or web programs. The Flash Player is now being offered by Adobe Systems, and it is compatible with most web browsers. Flash can support graphics that are vector and raster based, and it is also comprised of a scripting language that is called ActionScript. In addition to this, both video and audio can be streamed. Flash can be defined as being both a IDE and virtual machine, and when people use the term, they are often referring to either the files, player, or the actual environment.
Flash was first showcased in 1996. Since its initial introduction, it has become a powerful tool that is used to create animation and other interactive content for the internet. Any product that can support Flash can offer users a whole new level of interactivity. Designers frequently use Flash to create advertisements, videos for web pages, and internet programs. The Flash file is often referred to as being a movie, and uses the .swf file format. It can be an object that is present on a web page, or a user can watch a presentation in the Flash player. Contrary to popular belief, Flash was not originally created by Macromedia. Instead, they acquired a tool called FutureSplash in 1996, and changed the name to Flash.
The second version of Flash was released in 1997, and offered support for stereo quality sound and the use of bitmaps. When Flash was first introduced, it was not integrated in the dominant web browsers. Those who wanted to use it had to go to the Macromedia homepage. However, this all changed by the year 2000, and the most popular web browsers now all offer default support for Flash. It was even bundled with Windows XP. The creation of Macromedia Generator started a division between content and design within Flash documents. However, Macromedia Generator fell out of favor by 2002 when tools such as ColdFusion were introduced. The combinations of Flash with XML has led to a number of advances in interactivity.