MVN Forum Review

(April 23, 2009 23:30)
Last Version 1.2.1 GA (November 20, 2008). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website MVN Forum Website Download Download...
Company MVN.
Price Open Source Edition: Free - Enterprise Edition: $1,499.
Jump To:
  • warning: Illegal string offset 'value' in /var/www/www.forum-software.org/sites/default/modules/fsr/fsr.module on line 1215.
  • warning: Illegal string offset 'value' in /var/www/www.forum-software.org/sites/default/modules/fsr/fsr.module on line 1215.

What is MVN Forum?

MVNForum is an open source bulletin board which uses the Java/J2EE technology. To be more accurate, it relies on JSP 1.2 and Servlet 2.3 norms.

In addition to its free edition (released under the LGPL), the MVNForum Enterprise Edition is an advanced version of MVNForum. It basically includes a additional set of features like polls, Email gateway, hierarchy categories, statistics, event log Management and so on... If you read a feature you really need and you are looking for a free software, then MVN Forum will most probably not match your needs. If not, have a look to our review!

MVN Forum is recommended for Small Community.

(and supports smaller communities perfectly as well.)

Server & Client Requirements

Server Requirements
Programming Language
Required Architecture and Versions.
  • Java 1.4 - J2EE
  • Java 6 - JEE
Web Servers
How the forum is delivered to users.
  • Apache Tomcat
  • JBoss
  • JoNas
  • Geronimo
  • WebSphere
  • Weblogic
Databases
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • SQLite
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • Firebird
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • Apple Mac OSApple Mac OS
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
Browser & Client Requirements
Compatible Browsers
List of Compatible Browsers.
Mozilla FirefoxMozilla FirefoxInternet ExplorerInternet Explorer
Google ChromeGoogle ChromeOperaOpera
Apple SafariApple SafariKonquerorKonqueror
Mozilla SeaMonkeyMozilla SeaMonkey
Required Plugins/Technologies
Additional or Basic Requirements from Client Side.
Javascript.
Localization
Languages supported by MVN Forum.
Yes.
No.

23 languages supported.

MVN Forum uses JDBC connection, and is compliant with major database systems, including the HDBSQL memory-based database.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
No.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability
No.

Forum Threads & Posts

Forum Threads / Topics
Forum Style Flat Forum Organization
  • Forum Categories
Thread Icons Yes Topic Tags -
Hot Topics - Unread Topics Yes
Hidden Topics No Sticky Threads Yes
Related Threads - Detect Duplicate Threads No
Announcements -
Posting Messages / Answers
Message Editing Form
How to Post Messages.
  • Plain Text
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Formatting Buttons
  • Preview Button
Post Editing Format
Supported Markup Language (HTML, Wiki, BBCode,...).
  • Plain
  • BBCode
Spell Checker
Checks typos on posts and topics.
-
Image Attachment
How Images can be Attached and Displayed in Message Posts.
No.
Embedded Videos
Videos and Media Websites Supported in Message Posts.
No.
Posting Features
Quick Reply Box Yes Smileys Yes
Attachments Yes Syntax Highlighting Yes
Message Rating
No Message Quoting Yes

Additional & Technical Features

Additional Forum Features
Poll Creation Plugin
Private Messages
Users Can Communicate using an Internal Messaging System.
Yes
Instant Messaging
Discuss with Visitors and Members in a Chat Window.
No
Calendar
Topic, Member Birthdays, Events are available from the perspective of a calendar.
No
Online Users List
Connected User List (Often Found in the Forum Footer).
Yes
Members List
Search and Consult the List of Members.
Yes
Technical Features
Bundled Software
Additional Software Available with the Forum.
  • CMS
  • Pictures Album Manager
RSS/Atom Syndication
Posts and Threads Exported to Feeds Aggregators Syndicate.
  • R
  • A
Friendly URLs
URLs are clear and contain information about the topic (title, message,...). Highly recommended for SEO purposes.
Yes
Post by Email
Post Directly From your Email Box.
-
Remote Control
Remote Control from External Software/Websites.
No.
Cache System
Cache pages to optimize bandwidth and load times.
Yes
Template Engine
It is easier to theme a forum using a known template engine (more docs & examples,...).
No.

Polls and Forum Sub-sections are only available on Enterprise Edition.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about MVN Forum features regarding members.
Member Options & Features
Bookmark Threads
User Profiles Keep a List of Followed Posts and Topics.
-
Email Notifications
Receive Emails When New Messages are Posted in Followed Threads.
Yes
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
No
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
No
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Yes
Avatars
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Yes
Signature
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Yes
Ranks
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)
No

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
Moderator per section Yes
Global Moderator Yes
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Yes
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
No
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Yes
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
Yes
User Registration No.
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
-
Guest Posting No
Multiple Administrators Yes
Send Warnings to Users
Inform users by email or PM that they infringe the board rules, and could be excluded for such behavior.
No
Forum/Section Restricted Access
ACL could be use to determine if a user or a group of users can access (in read only, post message) to some sections and topics.
Yes
User Banishment Yes

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
No
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
No
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
No
Administration Tools
Statistics
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Yes
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
Yes
Installation & Upgrading
Installation Method
How this forum software could be installed.
Manual Installation
Upgrading Method
How this forum software could be upgraded.
Manual Upgrading
Updates Notifications
The Admin Panel informs you when a new version is released.
Yes
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to MVN Forum.
-.

Security & Spam Protection

Security & Spam Protection
CAPTCHA
Captcha protects your forum against spam bots.
e.g., Syndicate
Yes
Abnormal Behavior Detection
Detect users or request strange behaviors, and try to process proactive actions.
-
Words Filtering
Offensing Words are automatically replaced.
Yes
User Blacklist
Prevent specific user accounts to register (based on email address, name,...) and disable potentially harmful members.
Yes
IP Blocking
Prevent access to spam robots and other scripts that could attempt DDOS or Brute Force attacks on your forum.
Yes

Vulnerabilities Advisories Criticality

Secunia Criticality

Secunia Advisories severity affecting MVN Forum.

Vulnerabilities Impact

Secunia Impact

Secunia Advisories impact affecting MVN Forum.

Customization & Social Networks

Customization
Plugins
Add new features to your forum installation.
No.
Themes
Modify the style of your forum easily.
Patch.
Custom BBCodes No Smiley Packs No
Custom
Thread Icons
No Additional User Profile Fields
Ask more about your members with custom fields.
Yes
Integration with Applications, Social Networks, Intranet...
Social Networks
Users can share information from their social network account...
No.
CMS / Blog Bridges
Integration with existing Web publishing tools.
No.
User Accounts Integration
Do users be able to log in with their corporate, Google, Facebook,... accounts?
No.
Content Aggregation
Forum allows to integrate news and content from other website, using an aggregation protocol (RSS, RDF, Atom,...).
No.

Statistics Support are only basic for the free and open source edition.

There is no available themes by default, but you will have to edit yourself the CSS stylesheet to modify the forum software accordingly to your layout and appearance.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML / XHTML Markup
XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
XHTML 1.0 Transitional
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
CSS 1.
CSS 1
Click to see if it respects CSS norms.
Accessibility (WAI)
Web Accessibility ensures that the forum is usable by people of all abilities and disabilities.
No accessibility.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Yes
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does MVN Forum correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?
No.

Final Words


Good.

MVN Forum is a really surprising and good forum software. It could easily be compared to others JEE alternatives like JForum, in terms of supported features and robustness.

Of course, the need for retyping the administration password for each administration tasks is really boring, but MVN Forum is generally well developed and smart.

However, if the missing features (polls, sub-forums, advanced statistics) of the open source version of MVN Forum are important for you, you will have to switch to the expensive Enterprise Edition.

Additional Resources:

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