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The Drumbeat 2000 & Macromedia Saga

 

Exhibit 4 Macromedia responses that indicate that the decision to discontinue Drumbeat 2000 was made in early fall 1999

Re: LATEST DRUMBEAT & WINDOWS 2000 NEWS & More from MM

Date: Sat, 06 May 2000 11:16:14 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev, macromedia.drumbeat, macromedia.drumbeat.ecommerce

References:

           1

 

We are talking to Unify to get an idea of what they are going to do with

the Vision Studio and eWave Studio. Unify does have the right and

ability to produce a patch for their products. If there is a way for

them to make that patch available for NON-UNIFY DB users and if it

worked on the regular version of DB, there might be a way to make it

possible for Unify to distribute such a patch. It would though, be at

the discretion of Unify and would not be tested by or distributed by or

supported by Macromedia.

 

When the engineering assessment was made of the Win2k problems, the time

estimate was made by looking at the areas of the program that the

engineers would have to check to isolate any issues. They added in the

time it would take to QA the new builds, QA the patch, distribute the

patch, provide support for the patch and manage the release. That

estimate was balanced against the development cycle for UltraDev.

 

We stand by that estimate.

 

The actual time to produce a patch of course might have been more or

less than the estimate once the actual problems were isolated.

 

Since the decision was made based on that estimate, there was no

specific set of bugs or lines of code that we know needs to be fixed so

there is no information to release to anyone to make fixes either

internally at MM, to Unify or through a third party.

 

After acquiring Elemental the decision was made to discontinue DB. We

created a marketing plan and customer service plan reflecting that. We

set a date for discontinuing DB. We set a date to announce that we were

discontinuing Drumbeat and we set a date for announcing UltraDev and

shipping it. Pulling the resources to produce a fix or even research the

details of a fix after the initial time estimates were made, would have

put that schedule at risk and we were not and are not going to do that.

 

On the other hand if a bright programmer figures out a fix for DB and

distributes that here to the members of the newsgroup that is great and

we hope it is a good fix.

 

If Unify does produce a patch and that works on regular DB and we do

determine that they can distribute it to non-Unify users, then that is

great too. We are pursuing that, but according to the note Rick

published that might be in the September time frame or it might be

earlier.

 

In short, if you are using or looking at moving to Win2k, try the fix

that has been talked about. If any other options come up, then we'll

post them here.

Sun, 07 May 2000 18:50:16 -0700

rom: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

 

 

 

 

> if we find that UD is really a downgrade

> from DB, we can then voice our opinion not just loud and clear, but with

> EVIDENCE! and i doubt by then that MM will completely ignore us. either they

> will have to keep DB alive for longer than they planned or even completely

> revive it, or they would have to improve UD significantly to stand up to our

> demands. whatever happens, we must have the final release in hand to give MM

> the necessary feedback.

 

We will be working on UD for some time to come and you will see regular

upgrades and added functionality over time.

 

OTOH, there is no set of circumstances which will force Macromedia to

revive DB in any way. The product has been retired and the resources

have been folded into UltraDev and other projects in Macromedia. There

is no marketing team, no QA team, no engineering team and after December

31 no support team. The only way to get DB after that will be through

Unify and that comes with some strings like needing to buy their server.

From:

Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3

 

 

 

 

Bian Hogue wrote:

[snip]

> The requirements should have been to port all of DB functionality into

> UD, in the _first_ pass. The coding requirement are already known.[snip]

> That was

> not the original intent. So if MM started this back last fall (like

> September), and will ship in June, that seems like 9 months.

 

You are correct on the time estimate, but, respectfully, you make the

assumption that we had a requirement of having all the DB functionality

in UD and that is not the case. Our mandate was to use the technology

from Elemental to create a product to integrate web design and dynamic

content in an application that we could upgrade and develop further than

we could Drumbeat. We did that and the results are excellent. In the

future we will continue to develop UltraDev but it will always be it's

own application, not a feature for feature duplicate of Drumbeat.

 

I am not trying to be harsh here, but you need to manage your

expectations. When the 30-day evaluation version is ready, I urge you to

take a look and see if it fits your needs. If it doesn't then you need

to look at other options. Waiting for a future version of UltraDev that

might not take you any nearer to Drumbeat would be a bad decision.

 

> So I _hope_ that Peter's assessment is wrong. However, it appears that

> you do agree with his assessment.

 

It is a very valid set of opinions and underlines that we are creating a

different application than DB. An app based on an advanced extensibility

architecture and absolute control of your code, not wizard driven site

creation.

Subject: Re: I don't quite understand the fuss

Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 15:39:51 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

 

 

 

 

Adam Frank wrote:

>

> Matt,

>

> Is this the best you can do for us? Protect us from bad language?

 

You are welcome to post anything here you like related to the products.

We discourage unprofessional language.

 

> What about

> our lost investment in time and money? Recently you wrote me and said that

> you "understood my points but that doesn't make me right." For heaven sakes

> man, look what so many people are writing about MM in this forum. "Deceptive

> practices", "False advertising"... Can all these people be wrong?

 

There are some people here that agree with you and some that do not. I

do understand your points, glad you are making them, but I do not agree

and neither does Macromedia. There was nothing deceptive and no false

advertising.

 

> Do you

> REALLY believe the corporate "yes man" responses we are getting are going to

> improve your companies reputation or repair the trust that MM has so badly

> damaged?

 

No, they are not going to make you feel any better about Macromedia. I

don't expect them to. I am telling you the truth though and I do

"REALLY" believe that we are doing the right thing.

 

If you have questions I can answer, I will. Otherwise all I can do is

repeat the same information in the FAQ.

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:12:46 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Garrett wrote:

>

> At least in my

> issues of PCWeek, Interactive Week, and WebTechniques Drumbeat was not even

> mentioned in the mm family of products across the bottom of the page. And

> this was months before the UD announcement.

 

Which was 5 months after the decision to discontinue Drumbeat.

 

Building software is not a process of building something cool and

marketing the heck out of it. It only works that way in the Mickey Roony

movies. We had a long history to look at with Elemental and have 11

years of our own experience to look at. Also many of us come from other

companies and can draw from that. We have many people from Apple, Adobe,

Microsoft, Borland... I was even at Ashton Tate... (want to talk

discontinued products???)

 

Anyway, point is we know what we can sell and will sell before we start

marketing at all. Those predictions are sometimes not perfect but they

are never off by THAT much.. Cool products don't always win and there

was no way Drumbeat was going to succeed in it's incarnation. Now that

technology is being incorporated in Dreamweaver as UltraDev and that is

going to be a big success.

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:24:06 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph Scavitto wrote:

[snip]

> Also the statment "mm did NOT market it as it marketed its other

> products" from Marc I agree with.

 

Of course. We had decided to discontinue the product at that point so

why should we have spent money on marketing when we could use that money

for UD development. Again, the Dreamweaver Family of products is the

ONLY focus in the group.

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 11:24:55 -0400

From: "Tom Muck" <@basic-drumbeat.com>

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7

 

 

 

 

Matt Brown wrote in message <38FF1E6E.6B9977F7@macromedia.com>...

><snip>

>

>Which was 5 months after the decision to discontinue Drumbeat.

>

 

 

Yes!  And this is exactly when you should have informed the buyers of

Drumbeat, and also when the supposed "Drumbeat wishlist" that was advertised

by CS people right up until a few days before the announcement of UltraDev

should have been discontinued.  Write to a wishlist for a dead product???

That makes a lot of sense.

 

Five months is a long time to spend working on a product that has no future.

That could have been time and money spent using a product that has a future,

whether it's Dreamweaver or something else.  I could have been fluent in a

product that has a future instead of one that's dead in the water.

 

Tom

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 08:30:18 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Muck wrote:

> Write to a wishlist for a dead product???

> That makes a lot of sense.

 

Those wishlist items were filtered for suggestions to add to UltraDev.

That was an important source of development information for the UD team

 

> Five months is a long time to spend working on a product that has no future.

> That could have been time and money spent using a product that has a future,

> whether it's Dreamweaver or something else.  I could have been fluent in a

> product that has a future instead of one that's dead in the water.

 

Five months is also a long time to get value out of a product. You have

sites up and built with the product that you might not have without it.

We are not going to broadcast what we are going to do months in advance

of doing it. We are a business and telling our competitors what we are

doing is not that smart. They don't see fit to tell us of course.

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 13:56:04 -0500

From: "Marc Garrett" <@starpower.net>

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7

 

 

 

 

Matt,

 

I'm sorry I throw out my back issues of some of those magazines because, if

I recall correctly, the ads in question began running November 1999.

Counting back five months seems to put you guys squarely in the camp of

buying Drumbeat knowing that you would kill it off.

 

Regards,

 

Marc Garrett

Subject: Re: If Drumbeat never existed.....

Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 12:41:21 -0700

From: Matt Brown <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

References: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Garrett wrote:

>

> Matt,

>

> I'm sorry I throw out my back issues of some of those magazines because, if

> I recall correctly, the ads in question began running November 1999.

> Counting back five months seems to put you guys squarely in the camp of

> buying Drumbeat knowing that you would kill it off.

 

When we do an add for one app doesn't have much to do with when we run

an add for another app. We knew soon enough after we acquired Elemental

that we would not continuing development or marketing that spending any

advertising budget would have been a bad decision.

>> Forum: macromedia.drumbeat
>> Thread: Drumbeat 2000 and Windows 2000 .... now what Macromedia? 
>> Message 1 of 5

Subject:
Re: Drumbeat 2000 and Windows 2000 .... now what Macromedia?
Date:
02/17/2000
Author:
wayne lambright <@pch1.com>


<< previous next >> 

Well put ray.

I did get an email for a Macro Media guy, he was complementing my www.usedporsche.com site. here is what he said about a future release of Drumbeat
2001.

******************************
Your site is looking really great. I hope it's a success, as I know you've put a lot of work into it. I'm proud to have been able to help a bit. I'm with
Macromedia now as a QA engineer, so I'm able to learn a lot more and am involved with a brilliant team. Look out for a killer new product some time later in
the year.... It'll definitely be a notch up from Drumbeat. 

Subject: Open Letter from Macromedia Part I

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 17:51:17 -0700

From: Beth Davis <@macromedia.com>

Organization: Macromedia

Newsgroups: macromedia.ultradev

 

In response to the letter from Rick Curtis,

 

Thank you for taking the time to write to us on your concerns as a

Drumbeat customer about UltraDev.

 

I, along with many of us at Macromedia, have been personally reading the

newsgroups and we are taking the concerns presented by you and the other

Drumbeat customers very seriously. For the past several months, many

teams at Macromedia have been working with Drumbeat customers and with

third parties to develop documentation, training materials, extensions

and functionality for UltraDev to ensure an easy and successful

transition from Drumbeat to UltraDev. From the very beginning, UltraDev

was conceived with the Drumbeat developer in mind. Specifically, we are

working to:

 

* Combine the best of the visual design environment and Roundtrip HTML

in Dreamweaver and the server-scripting environment of Drumbeat to give

you a powerful, robust product that will help you quickly build Web

sites that connect to databases.

* Help developers make the transition to a new environment by offering

specific documentation to help Drumbeat users convert sites and working

habits to the new product including a special section of the UltraDev

Users Guide dedicated to applying your Drumbeat experience to the new

design environment.

* Provide a free 3-hour online training workshop to help you get up to

speed quickly and at your convenience.

* Develop a Macromedia authorized training program for even more

in-depth training.

* Provide a Dreamweaver UltraDev training video.

* Offer a discounted upgrade price of only $99 for all Drumbeat

customers and a free upgrade to UltraDev for Drumbeat customers who

purchased after April 3, 2000.

* Address the concerns presented by Drumbeat 2000 ecommerce customers by

announcing our plans to provide important ecommerce extensions to

UltraDev as free downloads that will be available immediately after

Drumbeat is released. The first of these is a shopping cart extension

described below.

* Work directly with partners in the various areas of ecommerce to

develop a wide range of e-commerce options that can be downloaded from

the Macromedia Exchange.

* Offer integration with products like Macromedia Fireworks, Flash and

Director.

* Deliver on the commitment to support additional application servers

and databases beyond the ASP, and JSP for IBM WebSphere that Drumbeat

supported. 

 

The product development evolution

One of the biggest questions on the minds of the Drumbeat community is

why Macromedia decided to develop UltraDev on top of Dreamweaver rather

than continue to develop Drumbeat.

 

During the talks before Macromedia and Elemental agreed to the

acquisition, we found that the both companies shared a common goal of

enabling developers to quickly build web sites that connect to

databases.  The development team at Elemental had already identified

customer requirements to deliver a product with great table editing, an

open architecture with which it was easy to integrate, and offered

developers access to the code, known as Roundtrip HTML(tm). The Drumbeat

architecture, based on a proprietary file format, could not support

access to the code, easy extensibility and preserve the underlying HTML

in a visual design environment.  In order to successfully compete in the

future, Elemental determined they would have to completely re-write the

Drumbeat engine, a project that alone would take several man-years of

engineering.

 

After Elemental and Macromedia joined, the Drumbeat product team started

defining the product that would be the next generation of Drumbeat.  We

met with Drumbeat customers, Dreamweaver customers, and other web

application developers who were either hand-coding their applications or

using a proprietary tool from Microsoft of Allaire.  Those developers

all had the same requirements:

* Complete access to the source code and the ability for developers to

add hand-coded scripts.  For many customers, a product that didn't offer

access to and preservation of the code would not be acceptable.

* An easily extensible architecture that can be customized from one

customer project to the next, and

* An architecture that could be easily extended to support different

application servers.  In order for a web application development

solution to succeed, it must be possible for customers and partners to

add server models.  Drumbeat provided great support for ASP, but other

application servers were growing in popularity.

 

At that point, realizing that the Drumbeat architecture could not

support the basic customer needs, the Drumbeat team made a decision to

extend the Dreamweaver platform with the application server

functionality found in Drumbeat versus continuing to develop on the

Drumbeat code base.  In the words of Julie Thompson who has been with

Drumbeat since the first version of the product, " All of us from

Elemental have always wanted to make Drumbeat a more flexible design

environment like Dreamweaver and once we joined Macromedia we finally

had that chance."

 

The new product does not attempt to create a feature for feature match

of Drumbeat.  Rather we have picked the strengths of both Dreamweaver

and Drumbeat to create a product that best meets the needs of

professional developers.  In particular, UltraDev will offer things

Drumbeat developers can uniquely appreciate:

* Support for ASP, vendor-neutral JSP and ColdFusion in one single

product (no need to buy separate versions)

* A Mac OS version

* The ability to easily add server scripts and server-side behaviors to

a web site

* A visual design environment to create pages that display, navigate and

update database data

* Easy connection to any ODBC, JDBC or ADO relational database

* Support for flow based HTML

* Textbook server scripts.  No more include files to uploaded to the

server

* Roundtrip HTML(tm), and a full copy of HomeSite (Windows) or

integrated BBEdit Eval (Mac)

* A fully-documented, easy to use JavaScript API for extending the

product

* An extensions exchange, where customers can easily download and share

extensions to the product

* A menu system that can be completely customized using XML

 

Ongoing product support for Drumbeat 2000

Since acquiring Elemental Software, and throughout our roll out of

UltraDev, Macromedia has tried to support the Drumbeat developer

community.  We have created active support resources and newsgroups,

training materials, Drumbeat showcases in the customer gallery and all

the traditional Macromedia product support vehicles.  In fact, many

Drumbeat customers consulted and advised Macromedia as we were

developing this new product, either directly, or through the feature

wish-lists.

 

Moving forward, developers can continue to use Drumbeat to maintain

existing sites or even create new ones after Macromedia ships UltraDev.

Existing Drumbeat customers can expect continued technical support from

Macromedia through the end of the year 2000.  The Drumbeat newsgroup and

other Drumbeat support resources will be actively maintained.

 

Support for Windows 2000

More than a year after Elemental and Macromedia completed development

and shipped Drumbeat 2000, Microsoft released a new version of Windows,

Windows 2000.  Once Macromedia had a chance to work with Windows 2000,

we uncovered conflicts between Drumbeat 2000 and Windows 2000.

Technical investigation showed that resolving the conflict would take a

team of engineers several months to complete, creating a difficult

decision for us. To support Windows 2000 would have dramatically

impacted our ability to create a new and vastly better product for our

users. We believe the development community will be better served with

the engineering team working to make the next generation application

development platform as good as it can be, so the team is ensuring

UltraDev will be compatible with Windows 2000, and at this time we do

not have plans to re-engineer Drumbeat to provide Windows 2000 support.

 

Ecommerce

While we do not have plans to ship a separate ecommerce edition of

UltraDev, we expect that many customers will use UltraDev to create

thriving ecommerce applications.  In particular, Macromedia is working

with Drumbeat developers to create a shopping cart extension that will

be available for free within a month of the UltraDev product release.

The shopping cart will support ASP, JSP and ColdFusion servers, and will

allow developers to add shopping cart functionality to their sites.  It

will allow customers to adjust quantities and add and subtract items

from the shopping cart and pass shopping cart information to a database

or other back end system.   In addition we will be working with partners

in the various areas of ecommerce to come up with a number of options

for developers to choose from.  With Drumbeat, developers were limited

to UPS and CyberCash for order processing.  By working with partners we

plan to open up a much greater variety of options for shipping, order

processing, credit card validation, and other ecommerce functionality

that will work for our developers all over the world.

 

What should Drumbeat developers do until UltraDev ships in June?

Until UltraDev is available, we suggest you continue to work with

Drumbeat. When UltraDev ships, there will be a free 30-day evaluation

version available so customers can decide how the new product meets

their needs.  Considering that UltraDev answers the top requests from

Drumbeat customers, we expect than many developers will find the

transition manageable and rewarding.  Since the same engineers that

created Drumbeat created UltraDev, we think you will find it is truly

the next generation of Drumbeat.  It will include all the robust

application development features that you are looking for, plus the

control of Roundtrip HTML(tm) and the flexibility of a JavaScript based

API for customization.

 

Macromedia communication

It is our desire to create great products that support web developer's

needs in the long term, and Macromedia has had to make some difficult

decisions that affect the lives and businesses of our customers in doing

this. We need to communicate that information in the best possible way

to our developers, and we apologize that we didn't provide enough

detailed information to help you and Drumbeat customers effectively

assess how that announcement would affect your business.  We are

increasing our effort to help give Drumbeat customers the information

they need.  We plan to make more information available prior to the

shipment of UltraDev, including posting a new web site with screen

shots, a feature tour and all the details on pricing and upgrade

information within a month.  In the meanwhile, we will continue to

participate actively in the newsgroup and address your questions there

as best we can.  Thank you for your continued patience and support.

 

Best regards,

Beth Davis

VP of Product Marketing