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.

Effective June 30, 2019, Blackboard will discontinue support of the data integration tool SIS Central.

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.

What does this change mean for SIS Central users?

Data integration isn't going away, and nothing is changing in the immediate future. Blackboard will share other ways to integrate data with the Connect mass notification solution early this year. This change is part of our commitment to bring clients the best products and integrations. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager with any questions or concerns.

Does this impact Blackboard Mass Notification clients?

No. This change only impacts Blackboard Connect clients if they use the SIS Central integration.


February 2019 Release (5.22.7)

Release date: 19 February 2019

Welcome to your upgraded Connect 5 mass notification product! This release includes fixes to an issue and an update to OpenMarket API.

Updates

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

Bug Fixes

The following issue has been fixed in this release.

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

What's New in Review

Release Date What Was New
January 2019 Release 5.22.6

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

Upgrades

  • 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.

Upgrades

  • 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. 

Upgrades

  • 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. 

Upgrades:

  • 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.