We're continually striving to improve Blackboard Connect 5 for your higher education and government communication needs. 

Check out these release notes to review the latest changes.

Blackboard has discontinued support of the data integration tool SIS Central as of July 31, 2020.

Some Blackboard clients use SIS Central to integrate student data from PowerSchool into the Blackboard Connect mass notification system. Blackboard has chosen to discontinue SIS Central to consolidate data integration services and provide customers with better support. This change only affects Blackboard Connect clients who use the SIS Central integration.

Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions or concerns.

Release 5.22.36 available 08 Feb 2023

  • Security enhancements

Please email support at [email protected] or call 866-360-2155 for questions.

Version History

Release Date Release notes

Jan 2023

Release 5.22.35

Minor enhancements

  • We’ve increased the segment duration for audio messages from 2.5 minutes to 5 minutes for text to speech.

Bug fixes:

  • We’ll stop SMS for contacts that opted out but continued to receive them. 

  • When IPAWs users send NWEM (Non-weather emergency messages), the unsupported event types will be unavailable to select.

Oct 2022

Release 5.22.34

  • Feature enhancement
    • We've added two new languages to select in Connect. However, translation isn’t available for these languages.
      • Chuukese
      • Marshallese
  • Bug fixes
  • Maintenance updates

Sep 2022

Release 5.22.33


  • We've upgraded the .NET framework for all Connect projects to achieve the framework benchmarks.

Aug 2022


This release had one bug fix

We've fixed an error in Outreach where users got a 500 error while saving a draft email with a subject line and no body text. Now, users can save draft messages without hassle.

Jul 2022

Release 5.22.32

We fixed the following issues in this release:

  • We completed the Sinch URL migration for seamless international SMS delivery.
  • We fixed an issue with refresh groups not updating through the curl script.
  • We fixed the permission denied issue when clicking on subscriptions.
  • We fixed a text format issue in sent messages.
  • We fixed an issue in clicking the only contact in a filter.

Jun 2022

Release 5.22.31

Blackboard Connect will undergo maintenance at 6 AM EST on Jun 14, 2022, and there won't be downtime during the maintenance.

We are upgrading email attachment-related services. You can access email attachment links created before Jun 14, 2022, only until Oct 30, 2022. Please download your copies of individual attachments before Oct 30, 2022.

Follow the instructions here to download the email attachment links. 

Links created after Jun 14, 2022, won't be affected by this upgrade and will remain available for three years. 

May 2022

Release 5.22.30

This release includes some minor updates:

  • We fixed an IPAWS alerts resulting in error for a client.
  • Enhanced the functionality for SFTP file name change.

Mar 2022

Release 5.22.29

  • We've made the following changes conforming to the FEMA guidelines:
    • We have set the Call getMessageList at 2 minutes to get the list of received alerts.
    • We have modified the getMessage method to avoid frequent calls.
  • Changes to the caller-ID description:
    • We have updated the caller-id description for phone call notifications to show the caller-id description instead of the site description.

Feb 2022

Release 5.22.28

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an application vulnerability to privilege escalation. A new user who completes their profile can escalate the privileges to gain full access to manage users, settings, etc.

  • Fixed the slow processing voice batches.

  • Fixed the broken links that hackers could potentially use.

Dec 2021

Release 5.22.26

This release includes:

  • Sinch URL update
  • Resolved issues

Sinch URL update

  • Replace the Sybase URL with Sinch URL.

  • Upgraded the project BCISmsService framework from 4.5.X to 4.7.2.

  • Verified the feasibility to upgrade shimmer websites to .net version 4.7 and above.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a bug found during the FOD scan.

Oct 2021

Release 5.22.25

This release includes:

  • Text to speech service upgrade.
  • Resolved issues

Text to speech upgrade

Upgraded the Connect text to speech service from Microsoft Translation service to Azure Cognitive services in the backend. This does not affect the end-user experience. 

  • Migrate the Text To Speech service to Azure Cognitive.

  • Azure cognitive cloud configuration for TTS.

  • Add logging for TTS service.

  • TSS voice translation is available only in English.

Bug fixes

We have resolved the following issues in this release:

  • Fixed an issue where a CMAM mandatory message field missed validation.

  • Fixed an issue where repetitive error messages appeared for a common error.

  • Fixed an issue where the allowed character length in message block was invalid.

  • Fixed an issue where the text entered in a new line appended with the previous line.

  • Twilio flow changes for Record A Message & Survey.

  • Fixed the VBScript for AutoImport and AutoNotification execution.

Sep 2021

Release 5.22.24

This release includes bug fixes.

•    Fixed an issue where users got a 500 error when they authorise Twitter.
•    Fixed IPAWS: WEA error.
•    Fixed an issue where there was distortion in recordings from IVR.
•    Fixed an issue where the “Cannot use the past five passwords” criteria in the security profile setup email was invalid.
•    Fixed an issue where WEA missed mandatory field validation.
•    Fixed an issue where error code description wasn’t correctly formed.
•    Fixed an issue where the IPAWS event codes duplicate.
•    Fixed an issue where urgency, severity, and certainty fields display for NWEM alerts.
•    Fixed an issue where users see the sender name based on the last selected COG.
•    Fixed an issue where validation was not performed when clicking top page next button.
•    Fixed an issue where users saw the category field displayed for created NWEM alerts.
•    Fixed an issue where the alert expiration time is not similar across the headlines and description fields.
•    Fixed an issue by removing the Google play link as Connect is unavailable on Google Play.
•    Fixed an issue by converting the IVR audio with flex-fields to 64kbps to avoid static sound upon receiving.

July 2021

Release 5.22.22

This release includes bug fixes.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) - Replaced the XO Communications IVR within Connect with Twilio IVR service. This will allow us to continue using the dial-in service for sending messages out of Connect.

Dial-In Card Bug Fix - Fixed the 500 internal server error when user sends the dial-In card mail.

Portal Bug Fix Portal - Fixed the permission denied error when users edit portal user profile.

NOAA Bug Fix NOAA - Tornado warning. Alert did not go out for Georgia Tech.

IPAWS Bug Fix - Fixed the IPAWS error 622 when sending JITC test messages.

May 2021

Release 5.22.21

What's New


  • Updated IPAWS functionality to support IPAWS transition to the cloud.

December 2020

Release 5.22.18

What's New

SMS Optimization

  • We’ve been working behind the scenes to fine tune our SMS workflow to ensure your SMS messages make it to their recipients in less time. 
  • We’ve also updated our status codes in our delivery results to more accurately reflect SMS message statuses. 
    • SMS messages sent to landlines or devices unable to receive SMS will now be categorized as “Landline/Unreachable Destination”.


  • Security Enhancements to ensure system stability and integrity.

Client Feedback

September 2020 Release 5.22.17


IPAWS WEA 3.11 (Wireless Emergency Alerts)

  • Connect now supports sending WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) NWEM (Non-Weather Emergency Messages) alerts at the same time.
    • Prior to this release, WEA and NWEM alerts were unable to be sent at the same time causing users to duplicate efforts.
  • Improved error code handling ensures Blackboard is able to preemptively troubleshoot any integration issues before they can impact you.

Bug Fixes

  • The IPAWS message sender field has been capped at 11 characters and is now read only. This change resolves an error that could occur if too many characters or special characters were entered.
  • The total number of contacts is now accurately represented when multiple types of recipients are chosen while sending a message.
August 2020 Release 5.22.16

This release includes updates and new functionality.


Blackboard Connect now has the ability to send out WEA 3.0 compatible messaging through our IPAWS (Integrated Public Alert and Warning System) integration with FEMA.

  • This update will allow Blackboard Connect to utilize several new WEA functionalities such as:
    • Increase the maximum character count from 90 to 360
    • Add support for Spanish-language WEA
    • Add two new alert categories in addition to Presidential, AMBER, and Imminent Threat
      • Public Safety Message: Less severe in nature than Imminent Threat
      • WEA Test Message: Opt-in message to support state and local WEA testing
    • Enhanced geo-targeting that reaches 100% of the targeted area with no more than 1/10th of a mile overshoot
  • IPAWS: COG Profile update to ensure compliance to 3.11 integration
June 2020 Release 5.22.15

This release includes integration updates and bug fixes.


  • Updated PowerSchool Integration to PowerQueries API to continue integration with PowerSchool SIS

Bug Fixes

  • Optimized a product query that sometimes caused latency in sending large batches of SMS messages, to ensure they complete quickly and don't impact messaging
  • The link within the email to create a security profile when clicked would send new users back to the login screen preventing them from setting up their security profile. We fixed this. 
May 2020 Release 5.22.14

This release includes additional logging and bug fixes.


  • Additional logging for NOAA integration was added to assist in troubleshooting

Bug Fixes

  • Updated outdated Blackboard addresses in reports
  • When using an & in email subject line Connect will no longer add "amp" to it
  • When opening the manage Opt-outs page we eliminated an occasional issue where a 500 error was returned 
April 2020 Release 5.22.13

This release includes bug fixes.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue in IPAWS code that prevented new Certificates from being uploaded
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Maps from attaching to emails
  • Fixed an issue preventing emails with + characters
  • Fixed an issue with Tracker Reporting getting an error when trying to access reports in tracker
February 2019 Release 5.22.7

This release includes fixes to an issue and an update to OpenMarket API.


  • We've updated Deact report API to point to new OpenMarket API.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where editing words flagged by email editor spellcheck causes apostrophes to convert to HTML tag '
January 2019 Release 5.22.6

This release includes fixes to a few issues and updates to Singlewire API.


  • Added support for Singlewire REST API so messages can be played on a loop for a specific time period.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the CAP message advanced editor was broken.
  • Fixed an issue where REST API calls didn't allow for underscores in email addresses.
  • Fixed an issue where accented characters were being converted to other characters.
December 2018 Release 5.22.5

This release includes fixes to a few issues and updates to GDPR and Privacy Policy.


  • Created the ability to add a custom localized privacy policy within the product.
  • Updated Connect/My Connect to Blackboard's latest Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed an issue with an automated process that prevented Site Usage reports from generating results.
  • Fixed an issue where selecting the Group drop down option within Recipients would sporadically give a 500 error message when clicked.
October 2018 Release 5.22.4

This release includes fixes to several issues and updates to IPAWS and Twitter. 


  • IPAWS: Updated our TLS to version 1.2 to meet IPAWS requirements for continued integration.
  • Twitter: Updated Twitter token to fix an issue where Twitter authentications weren't working due to an expired callback URL.

Bug fixes

The following issues have been fixed in this release.

  • Fixed an issue where email addresses can't end with five or more letters.
  • Fixed an issue where translate all opens voice boxes even though text-to-speech (TTS) translation is selected.
  • Fixed an issue where accented characters are being converted to other characters.
  • Fixed an issue where Connect Users with Data Manager Role aren't able to export delivery details.
  • Fixed an issue where translate all creates Text-to-Speech boxes for languages that don't have the option for Text-to-Speech.
  • Fixed an issue when adding four email attachments and the error doesn't state the reason.
  • Fixed an issue where email editor strips the href=mailto attribute from email scripts.
  • Fixed an issue of being unable to save Edit Site screen.
  • Fixed an issue of being unable to Access the Edit External Vendors' screen.
  • Fixed an issue where expired RSS posts remain on the RSS feed.

June 2018 Release 5.22

This release includes fixes to several issues and upgrades to weather alert and Facebook. 


  • NOAA upgrade: Upgraded NOAA Weather Alert service to support CAP v1.2.
  • Facebook upgrade: Updated code to use newer API version.

Bug Fixes:

  • Export of contacts fro the UI will show some addresses in the address2 field when they aren't supposed to.
  • Latitude/Longitude Columns are missing for Address2 in contact export.
June 2017 Release 5.21 This release includes a completely redesigned Login page, providing a clean, simple login process. Connect 5 not only has a new interface, but the internal system performance has been improved to make the system more efficient. This release also includes an enhancement for the text/SMS feature. The system will display a visible warning when the text is over the character limit.
March 2017 Release 5.20 This release includes internal system performance updates to make the system more efficient. The release also includes to requested enhancement to improve overall user experience.
  • Manage Opt-Out Tab: Allow users to opt back in for direct contacts when administrator opts them out from the UI. Fixed the total contact points opted out count discrepancies, and added Name column to ExportAllContactPoints report.
  • Contact API: You can now use the Language Mapper to map language codes to import languages via the API.
  • Fixed all the following issues:
    • Numbers listed as deactivated but unsearchable because contact has moved within district.
    • Manage Opt-Out looked no different when SMS phone becomes opted-out.
    • Unique records were being reported as duplicates.
    • Duplicate send dates were allowed for same message with different language.
    • Filtering users showed users that were not supposed to be listed in groups.
    • User titles appear as numbers in tracker and exports but not in the interface.
    • Blank emails were sent when using a template.
    • RSS notifications had an expiration date before the delivery date.
    • Spanish translation for cents was incorrect.
    • Portal user set to receive emergency message appeared with not modes in contact delivery details.
    • Items for RSS feeds did not appear in the RSS widget.
    • Posting a URL in Twitter caused message to fail.
February 2017 Release iOS Sender App version 1.28) This release fixed all the remaining iOS bugs and HTML email issues.
  • Fixed app layout when switching from portrait to landscape orientation.
  • Fixed issue where user received a Login Failed message when the device was set to a non-US time zone.
  • Fixed an issue where the username and password was empty even after user selected the Remember me option.
  • Fixed an issue where permissions did not transfer over to the app correctly when a user had only emergency-type permissions in the Connect interface.
  • Fixed the issue where the Saved Message template within the app did not fully load.
  • Fixed an issue with the template displaying the HTML code for email content.
December 2016 Release (5.19) This release improves the deactivation process and increases the SMS throughput, plus includes other enhancements to improve overall user experience.

Deactivation Updates

  • You now have the ability to view deactivated numbers and re-activate them on the Contacts page for individual contacts.
  • Enhancements have been made to deactivation processing.
  • There is a new report of Deactivated Numbers with contact information in the Reports tab.

SMS Improvements

  • Increased SMS capacity/speed from 1,000 SMS/sec to 1,500 SMS/sec.

TTS Improvements

  • Filter out asterisk (*) sign from text-to-speech messages (for NOAA Alerts).

Contact API Improvements

  • Ability to import latitude and longitude values for geographical addresses through Contact APIs.

User Interface Improvements

  • Removed fourth and fifth attempts from displaying on the UI.
  • Removed attendance subscription from Higher Ed and Government/Corporate accounts.

Discontinuation of XO Connect Page

  • Rerouted XO Connect Login page to Connect 5 Login page.
September 2016 Release (5.18.1) This release included the following additions to our TCPA product changes and an additional enhancement widely requested from our customers.

TCPA Enhancements

  • Removed opt-out footer from Emergency SMS: Removed the SMS opt-out footer for Emergency messages as emergency calls are exempt from TCPA.
  • Deactivated phone status for teachers: When a phone number for a teacher is deactivated, Connect will now display Deactivated as opposed to Opted-Out.

General Enhancements

  • Survey recording for answering machines: You can now separate recordings for messages that go to recipients' answering machines.
August 2016 Release (5.18)

This release included product enhancements related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s July 2015 ruling. Visit the TCPA Resource Center for links to webinars, TCPA documents, and more information.

Also included are other enhancements to improve overall user experience.

TCPA Enhancements

  • Phone opt-out footers are included at the end of Outreach, Survey, and Connect for Teachers messages.
    • Touch-tone opt-out is available for Live Answer deliveries.
    • Opt-out hotline (855-502-7867) is available for Answering Machine deliveries.
  • SMS opt-out footers are included at the end of all SMS messages.
  • SMS message content is increased to 300 characters maximum (single-byte characters).
  • SMS Welcome messages will no longer be sent when new mobile numbers are loaded in K-12, but will continue to be sent for Higher Ed and Government/Corporation.
  • Opt-in status is now tracked for Direct Contacts.
  • Phone numbers that are in mobile carrier deactivation files are deactivated in Connect through an automated system process:
    • Deactivated numbers will still receive Emergency and Attendance phone and SMS messages.
    • Deactivated numbers will be included in the Export All Contact Points report in Manage Opt-Outs, and in other delivery and message history reports.
  • Manage Opt-Outs now includes settings to allow Emergency and/or Attendance messages to still be delivered while opted out of Outreach and Survey messages.
  • Warning text on Review Your Message and Create Template pages for Emergency messages.

General Enhancements

  • Summary Results email now contains an Email Survey link for users to provide feedback.
  • Email notifications are sent to users who subscribe, when attendance files are received.
  • Confirmation Welcome SMS message and SMS auto-replies available in French.
  • Additional French-Canadian translations available on MyConnect Portal.
  • Shorten SMS system auto-replies to 136 characters or less to support Community Engagement Solution.
  • Improve system performance to mitigate issues with Connect users not being able to log in.

Connect for Teachers Enhancements

  • Connect for Teachers messages include the opt-out footer at the end of each message:
    • Touch-tone opt-out is available for Live Answer deliveries.
    • Opt-out hotline (855-502-7867) is available for Answering Machine deliveries.
  • Connect for Teachers will no longer have the system option to hide the Opt-out tab.