In a move similar to the creation of Microsoft’s developer network (MSDN), Macromedia Australia this week launched DevNet, a subscription service for its products, exclusive developer resources and online licence administration.

According to Macromedia’s Stephen Elop, executive vice president of worldwide field operations, “DevNet will allow customers to have subscription to all our products without wondering whether they can get the next current upgrade. They get the current version of the product.”

Available on an annual subscription basis, DevNet is offered at two levels; Professional and Essentials. Macromedia DevNet Professional is the premium subscription level that provides developers with single-user perpetual licenses to Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Contribute, Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Fireworks, Macromedia FreeHand, and fully-functional, development-only licenses of all Macromedia server products.

Also bundled in this subscription is an online portal to administer licences and limited technical support from Macromedia.

Macromedia DevNet Essentials is the lower-end offer that does not include Macromedia products, but provides early-bird access to the quarterly DevNet Resource Kits–three months before general availability.

Made available through information on its Web site, DevNet allows users to “keep up with the latest and greatest thoughts from Macromedia on products, and [grants] the ability to administer and maintain large numbers of licences”, said Elop, adding that the service is a “premier offer for our corporate customers”.

According to Elop, DevNet was launched because “our customers wanted more from us–they wanted a steady stream of value”.

“Our friends at Redmond do a very good job with MSDN in terms of an environment that surrounds the developer throughout the time of using a product. We also hear from our top customers that instead of having to go through the process of justifying upgrading their team, they can budget for the full year through a subscription.”

Elop denied that DevNet was based solely on Microsoft’s MSDN, explaining Macromedia had examined offerings by many vendors in the market.

“I wouldn’t say DevNet was based on it (MSDN). But we did look at it; we looked at what everyone was doing in this space. Microsoft in their program have been remarkably successful. A huge percentage of their interaction with the hardcore development community is done through MSDN. We saw that and we talked to our customers who wanted something similar.”

Macromedia DevNet Professional introductory pricing is AUD$3,151 with an upgrade offer for existing Macromedia Studio MX customers at $1,269. Annual renewal fees will be $2,100. Macromedia DevNet Essentials is available locally for $649.