I am very happy and excited to see tools like SWMX  coming out. This one in particular looks very promising for allowing developers to extend the capabilities of Flash to interact with the underlying OS, applications and peripherals. Tools like Flash Studio Pro  and SWMX  are going to make for some very interesting apps in 2003. I only wish that feature rich tools with advanced frameworks and functionality like this were around about 2 years ago. It would have surely reduced the time it took for me to build the custom ATM  and CoinCounting container applications  that give Flash the ability to be used as a GUI and talk to the OS, peripherals and devices connected to them on those two projects. I feel that other than the use of Flash on wireless devices such as smartphones and PDA’s, that this is where some of the most innovative uses of Flash are going to be popping up from over the next year. Expect to see more advanced kiosks and standalone applications being built with these tools once folks begin to see how empowered they will be. I feel with these type of tools available to developers that we will see even better examples of Rich Internet Applications .
This topics brings to light many questions regarding the licensing of the Flash Player/OCX/DLL. as its obviously needed at some point in order for your projects or installers created with these tools to work. What are your thoughts on how Macromedia should handle the licensing of the Flash player for these situations? Is this an issue? Should Macromedia allow developers to distribute the player or DLL with their app for a fee? Should it be a one time fee? What kind of licensing model would most developers look for in this scenario? Should the end user continue to be responsible for having the correct Flash player for your project? Should it be a special version just for this purpose? Should it contain extra features for binding to a specific developers apps, similar to signed ActiveX controls? These are all things we should be thinking about as tools like this become more widespread in their usage and deployment. One good place to look is in the Macromedia Shockwave and Flash Player Licensing . Would love to hear feedback on this topic in particular.
UPDATE: Make sure you read the comments that go along with this entry where some points I raised are more clearly laid out.