Friday, December 02, 2011

Big Blue Button - open source web video conferencing


An open source web conferencing system developed primarily for distance education.



As of version 0.71a, 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 Asterisk or FreeSWITCH, and support for Microsoft Office documents using OpenOffice. 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 Linux 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.


Similar to Openmeetings, BigBlueButton uses red5, an open source implementation of Adobe's Flash Media Server, to support its real-time collaboration.
The BigBlueButton server can run within a cloud environment, such as Amazon EC2, but in version 0.70 there were problems with audio delays using the built-in VoIP in such environments. The core developers recently demonstrated improvements to the VoIP in the upcoming BigBlueButton 0.8.

No comments: