software reviews

Zinc 2.5 by MDM

This is one fantastic piece of software for Flash designers and developers!

Zinc is a container creation program for Flash. Zinc has many features and options for the creation of Flash 8-based projectors. Zinc also has an expansive script library which can be used in Flash-based application development. Zinc also extends the functionality of Projector files using its own scripting language, {mdm} Script, which works with both PCs and Macs. With this powerful tool, you can produce applications for both Windows and Mac based PCs which can be deployed on the internet, or used locally.

Let's face it. Flash 8 is terrific. However, due to some security features and limited functionality is some areas, it just can't do everything you might need it to do. Enter, Zinc 2.5 from MDM.

The basic process is simple. You create your Flash presentation or application and produce a SWF. In Zinc, create a new project and import the SWF, plus any other files you need. Then, make other decisions based on the style of the interface that Zinc will create, how it will appear on the user's screen, plus other settings as needed. Build the Zinc project and you're done!

Some other great features of Zinc are that you can set trial options for the application you created. These options can be based on a time/date limit or by the number of uses. You can also set it up for trial and then to require a serial number supplied by you. For example, you can create your Flash application for a client and send the 100% working application. To protect yourself from fraud, add a trial limiter to it. If the client doesn't pay, the application expires and can't be ran again, unless they receive the serial number from you.

Another great feature of Zinc for developers is that you can create extensions from existing DLL files. You can access the entire range of functions for the DLL, once you have it registered. Set the parameters and Zinc will generate the code for inclusion in your Flash file. If you need more functionality for Flash, Zinc enables you to write custom DLLs and connect it with Zinc. With this advanced functionality, you can extend your application in almost any direction.

With all this advanced functionality that Zinc offers, you may be concerned with the amount of help that is available to developers; don't be. MDM has programmed Zinc with standard F1 help that includes:

  • Using Zinc 2.5
  • An Application Development Guide
  • Flex 2 and ActionScript 3 guides
  • Tutorials (plenty of them)
  • How to develop using the {mdm} script 2.0 API
  • A section on Troubleshooting

Along with these Help features, MDM supplies you with more samples and source code on their website, plus an MDM user forum that connects you to other Zinc developers.

For anyone who designs or develops Flash applications, I highly recommend this product. There's nothing else on the market that can compare.

Reviewed By: Loren Elks