JavaBB Review

(August 4, 2006 00:08)
Last Version 0.9 (April 10, 2009). Released under GPL License.
Resources Website JavaBB Website Download Download...
Price Free.
Jump To:

What is JavaBB?

JavaBB is a Java/JEE software, originally developed for the purpose of Universo Online (UOL) and its Games Forum, which was, at that time, the 7th biggest world wide web forum.

The phpBB look is clearly held, as the first goal of JavaBB was to be as efficient as this popular software, but using a different technology.

Review Updates:

  • January 17, 2010: Update the review with the 0.9 version.
  • April 1, 2008: Apply 0.86 version modifications.

JavaBB is recommended for Medium 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
How Forum Data are Stored.
  • MySQL
  • Postgresql
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
Operating Systems
Systems Supporting this Software.
  • GNU/LinuxGNU/Linux
  • Microsoft WindowsMicrosoft Windows
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.
Languages supported by JavaBB.
Supported Languages:
Portuguese (Brazilian) Chinese (Simplified)
German Spanish
English (British) English (American)
Chinese (Traditional)

JavaBB could be translated into other languages by translating the file. Please do not forget to send your work to the main JavaBB developer, to share it with the whole community!

JavaBB uses the famous Hibernate framework to create an object mapping of database entities. This is a good start helping JavaBB developers to improve easily the current model and add new features. It is also based on Velocity, Spring and the Lucene content indexer, that are all one of the most powerful technologies in the Java world.

Compatibility with Smartphones
Compatible SmartPhones
Compatible Cellphone Brands and Manufacturers.
Application Distribution / Type
How it is distributed / App Store Availability

Forum Threads & Posts

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

The Related Topics is really helpful to discover topics that could be related to the current one, and could, of course, help users that navigate into the forum to find what they look for.

User Profiles & Options

Some details about JavaBB 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.
Export private messages
Private Messages can be Downloaded by Users.
Payment Subscriptions
Paying Membership Subscription.
User Profiles
User Profile
User Information and Settings.
Pictures of Members, Useful to Easily Identify their Posts.
Signatures Added at the Bottom of Each Message.
Tags and Labels Identifying the Members, based on specific criteria (Total Posts Count, Credits, Moderation Level...)

Users could bookmark and watch topics, that is really useful to track changes.

Moderation & Users Management

Moderation & Threads Management
Moderation No.
Moderator per section No
Global Moderator No
Move Threads
Move Threads from Topics
Shadow Topics
When a thread is moved, the previous position is kept in order to inform users of this modification.
Close/Lock Threads
Close/Lock Problematic Threads
Users Management
User Groups
Organize and define groups of users, and apply different actions and settings on them.
Common Groups: Guests, Members, Moderators, Administrators,...
User Registration No.
Limit Features For New Users
Features are limited if a user has created a small number of posts.
Guest Posting Yes
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.
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.
User Banishment No

Administration & Support

Database Management
Backup Database
Backup forum datas that you could store somewhere else.
Prune Database
Remove old and unused datas from your forum.
Restore Database
Restore a backup of your database if the previous install crashed.
Administration Tools
Statistics about posts count, users, traffic...
Yes Error/Notice Log Viewer
Forum Logs could be consulted.
Tasks Scheduler
Maintenance tasks are regularly launched and could be scheduled.
No Mass Mailing
Send an email (newsletters, advertisements, information,...) to all users.
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.
Forum Migration
Convert an existing forum to JavaBB.

Security & Spam Protection

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

Customization & Social Networks

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

JavaBB uses PhpBB 2 buttons images, that could help people not confident with forum software to have a similar appearance in the communities they participate.

W3C Norms & Accessibility

Norms & Accessibility
HTML 4.0.
HTML 4.0
Click to see if it respects HTML norms.
CSS Stylesheets
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.
Conformance to A level.
UTF-8 Support
Default encoding used to support all locales and countries.
Conformance to W3C Norms
Does JavaBB correctly follow (X)HTML and CSS norms?

Like the forum software that JavaBB is inspired on, PhpBB 2 (to not call it), the used layout is based on HTML table tags, that is not, as you may know, the best way to customize the forum using CSS.

Unique Features

Key points and major differences that make JavaBB unique:

  • The only Java forum software that looks like PhpBB 2. This is ideal when your architecture only relies on JEE, and that you would like to have a forum that is similar to the most known bulletin board software.

Final Words


JavaBB is currently a well finished software. Even if the features list is not really impressive, it however provides the most important and classic services expected by a forum software, this time brought by the Java world.

JavaBB could be found as running in a production environment at the
JavaFree forum, so it proves that even if JavaBB is really simple, it already works well and is really sufficient for webmasters who need a classic forum software, made for a pure JEE environment.

To conclude, the Hibernate/Spring-based architecture will probably help to develop new features and even could be a good base to integrate it inside an existing JEE product.

Additional Resources:

Found a Mistake? Tell us »
Post a Comment

Comments (1)

Is a new release planned ?

Is a new release planned ?

  Top Top