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Evaluation of NetObjects' Fusion 4.0

The following is my evaluation of NetObjects Fusion as it pertains to a non-developer audience. First, I've listed some of the Pros and Cons that I noticed throughout the 30 day evaluation period. Next, I've included the buying guide from the Fusion web site store. Finally, I've ranked this product as it pertains to the intended audience.

Below are some of the more pertinent Pros and Cons I felt would assist in making the decision to purchase this product. They are not listed in any particular order.

Pros   Cons
  • Lots of layouts/styles to choose from and/or customize
  • All graphical interface
  • Quick publication to sites
  • Shows organization chart of site
  • Interfaces well with other components like Allaire's ColdFusion, HomeSite etc.
  • Supports Java and JavaScript to a point. Not completely intuitive and may require personal coding
  • Cross browser support in publishing
 
  • No real code programming control
  • Not easy to import our web pages w/o starting from scratch and starting a NetObjects Fusion file. Starting from importing, we would need to create links and content would be lost in the process.
  • Can't print or transfer organization of site to other media
  • Java and JavaScript need to be either handwritten or made with other components
  • Doesn't work through robot text files - restricts imports
  • Has a long learning curve
 
How to Buy Fusion
I retrieved the following from NetObjects' web site:

PRODUCT PLATFORM FULL/UPGRADE PRICE DELIVERY OPTION
NetObjects Fusion 4.0 Windows 95/98/NT FULL 299.95 Fed Ex/UPS/Download
NetObjects Fusion 4.0 Windows 95/98/NT UPGRADE* 99.95 Fed Ex/UPS
NetObjects Fusion 3.0 Macintosh FULL 199.00 Fed Ex/UPS/Download
NetObjects Fusion 3.0 Macintosh UPGRADE* 99.00 Fed Ex/UPS/Download
NetObjects Fusion Pro-Pack Windows 95/98/NT FULL 99.00 Fed Ex/UPS

I spoke with Kerry LeFrak about site wide licensing for educational institutions and she e-mailed me the following information:

NetObjects Price Quotation

Part Number Description Qty Unit Price Total Price
  Software      
FUSW300S-EX-030 NetObjects Fusion 30-99 units EDU 30 85.00 2,580.00
  Subscription      
SM4-FUSW-E-100 NetObjects Fusion Cross Platform subscription 30-99 units EDU 30 45.00 930.00
  The NetObjects Annual Subscription Program protects you against future upgrade costs. Eliminate researching the latest upgrades to your software applications, and the hassles of budget approvals required, to receive the newest versions of your authoring software. The NetObjects Annual Subscription Program automatically ships all enhancements to your NetObjects Software at no additional cost to you. The program runs for one (1) year from the date of purchase.      
 
TOTAL:
   
3,510.00
* Over 100 units of Fusion the price drops to $71.00 per copy with subscription priced at $26.00 per copy. I can extend an additional 20% discount off the cost of the software if purchased by 06/30/99.

Agreement Terms and Conditions
  • Price Quotation Expires June 30, 1999.
  • Product Description and Statement of Services start on page 2.
  • Payment Terms are Net 30.
  • Shipping charges, and state and local taxes will be added, if applicable.
  • Purchases may be made by P.O., or acceptance of this proposal with a valid signature and P.O. number
  • This offer is confidential and exclusive to Texas A&M University and is not valid with any other promotions.

Product Descriptions
NetObjects Fusion 4.0
The latest version of award-winning NetObjects Fusion delivers an open site-building environment that provides unparalleled flexibility and layout control along with robust site management and cross-browser support. The intuitive visual interface of NetObjects Fusion follows the same steps you take when developing a site, so you can build not just a bunch of pages but a cohesive unit. At every step, you'll find workspaces with drag-and-dock toolbars, pop-up menus, and more familiar features.

NetObjects Annual Subscription Program
Include the NetObjects Annual Subscription Program to each software purchase, and protect yourself against future upgrade costs. Eliminate researching the latest upgrades to your software applications, and the hassles of budget approvals required, to receive the newest versions of your authoring software. The NetObjects Annual Subscription Program automatically ships all enhancements to your NetObjects Software at no additional cost to you. The program runs for one (1) year from the date of purchase.
 
Intended Audience
For the reasons listed in the Cons section I believe that NetObjects Fusion would not be suitable for non-developers. My learning curve just for the basics was about 2 weeks, and I could not get every function to work properly. Also, for these reasons I would not recommend Fusion as an editing tool for the CIS web. It is based on the e-commerce premise and does not address the issue of importing existing sites very well. When this was tried, content was lost, style was changed, and links were not imported. Basically, in order for us to get the most out of Fusion we would have needed to begin with Fusion.
 
Contact Information
NetObjects
602 Galveston Drive
Redwood City, CA 94063
Tel 650-482-3200
Fax 650-562-0298

Kerry LeFrak
Corporate Sales Representative
Tel 650-482-3266
Fax 650-562-0298