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MMBase is an open-source content management system (CMS) with portal functionality, originally created by the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO. MMBase, which is particularly suited for multimedia environments, is based on the concept of presenting objects on different channels. The system is highly platform-independent and has adopted standards such as Java™, XML (Extensible Markup Language), J2EE™ (Java™ 2 Enterprise Edition) and JDBC™. Initially used only by public broadcasters, MMBase has been adopted by a growing number of organizations. This paper presents the history of MMBase, introduces its community of users, and discusses its architecture, focusing on the innovative technical process underlying MMBase and its organizational structure. We identify and discuss three challenges facing the user community: the need to motivate and organize both users and developers to contribute to the development of MMBase, the need to make the software modular, and the need for more and better documentation of the MMBase core and its component packages.
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