The completion of the human genome project has initiated, as well as provided the basis for, the collection and study of all sequence variation between individuals. Direct access to up-to-date information on sequence variation is currently provided most efficiently through web-based, gene-centered, locus-specific databases (LSDBs). We have developed the Leiden Open (source) Variation Database (LOVD) software approaching the "LSDB-in-a-Box" idea for the easy creation and maintenance of a fully web-based gene sequence variation database. LOVD is platform-independent and uses PHP and MySQL open source software only. The basic gene-centered and modular design of the database follows the recommendations of the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) and focuses on the collection and display of DNA sequence variations. With minimal effort, the LOVD platform is extendable with clinical data. The open set-up should both facilitate and promote functional extension with scripts written by the community. The LOVD software is freely available from the Leiden Muscular Dystrophy pages (www.DMD.nl/LOVD/). To promote the use of LOVD, we currently offer curators the possibility to set up an LSDB on our Leiden server.