|Stable release||0.81 / November 8, 2013|
|Type||Collaborative software, Web conferencing|
BigBlueButton supports multiple audio and video sharing, presentations with extended whiteboard capabilities - such as a pointer, zooming and drawing - public and private chat, desktop sharing, integrated VoIP using FreeSWITCH, and support for presentation of PDF documents and Microsoft Office documents. Moreover, users may enter the conference in one of two roles: viewer or moderator.
As a viewer, a user may join the voice conference, share their webcam, raise their hand, and chat with others. As a moderator, a user may mute/unmute others, eject any user from the session, and make any user the current presenter. The presenter may upload slides and control the presentation.
Although its components are open source, the BigBlueButton client depends on a browser plugin for the Adobe Flash platform. The BigBlueButton server runs on Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit and can be installed either from source code or from Ubuntu packages. BigBlueButton is also downloadable as a Virtual Machine (VM) that runs within VMware Player on PC and Unix computers and within VMWare Fusion on Macs. The BigBlueButton server can also run within a cloud environment, such as Amazon EC2, by installing it on an Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit instance.
In 2007 the project was started at Carleton University by the Technology Innovation Management program. The first version was written by Richard Alam (it was initially called the Blindside project) under the supervision of Tony Bailetti.
In 2009 Richard Alam, Denis Zgonjanin, and Fred Dixon uploaded the BigBlueButton source code to Google Code and formed Blindside Networks, a company pursuing the traditional open source business model of providing paid support and services to the BigBlueButton community.
In 2010 the core developers added a whiteboard for annotating the uploaded presentation. Jeremy Thomerson added an application programming interface (API) which the BigBlueButton community subsequently used to integrate with Sakai, Wordpress, Moodle 1.9, Moodle 2.0, Joomla, Redmine, Drupal, Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware, Foswiki, and LAMS. Google accepted BigBlueButton into the 2010 Google Summer of Code program. To encourage contributions from others, the core developers moved the source code from Google Code to GitHub. The project indicated its intent to create an independent not-for-profit BigBlueButton Foundation to oversee future development.
In 2011 the core developers announced they were adding record and playback capabilities to BigBlueButton 0.80.
In 2012 BigBlueButton 0.80 was released. Work is underway on version 0.81, which will add record and playback of all activities in the presentation area along with all webcams.
The BigBlueButton name comes from the initial concept that starting a web conference should be as simple as pressing a metaphorical big blue button.
Third party integrations
- DoceboLMS (Saas/Cloud Learning Management System)
- Drupal (Content Management system)
- Wordpress (Content Management system)
- Instructure Canvas (Learning Management System)
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