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vBulletin Connect 5.6.0 Alpha 2 is now available for testing.

<h1>vBulletin 5.6.0 Changes and Updates</h1>
<p>A preview release of vBulletin 5.6.0 is now available for download. Preview releases are for testing purposes only and are not for use on production servers.</p>
<h2>Front End Changes</h2>
<h3>Login Refactor</h3>
<p>The mechanics behind user login have changed. The system no longer utilizes a separate page loaded within an iFrame tag. The updated functionality uses AJAX and Javascript to login instead of an HTML form submission.</p>
<p>If you use the login template in a module, you need to update the template display module to use the login_main template.</p>
<h3>Event Highlights</h3>
<p>Site Administrators can define Event Highlights. These allow you to display events on the calendars with a different background color in order to categorize events. Event Highlights work similarly to Topic Prefixes and are selected when a new event is created or edited.</p>
<h3>Member List</h3>
<p>A search form has been added to the Member List module. This will allow individuals to search the member list by username.</p>
<p>In addition to this, the following changes have been made:</p>
<li>IPv6 display has been improved.</li>
<li>The Private Message column has been removed.</li>
<li>Private Message/vBulletin Messenger link is now consistent with other locations in the software.</li>
<h2>Back End / AdminCP Changes</h2>
<h3>Password Strength</h3>
<p>Site administrators can now adjust password strength requirements. Several options to control this has been added to the AdminCP. There are options to require capital letters, numbers, special characters and a minimum length. In addition, the administrator can specify words that cannot be used in passwords. You will be able to find these under <code>Settings -&gt; Options -&gt; User Registration Options</code>.</p>
<h3>Node Tools - Close</h3>
<p>A new tool has been added to Node Tools in the AdminCP. Similar to the Move and Prune tools, there are a variety of options to search for topics and close them. This will allow administators to manage their communities in a more efficient manner.</p>
<h3>Style Variable Editor</h3>
<p>Variable inheritance has been improved while in debug mode. Now custom values will override the inherited value.</p>
<h3>Database Conversion Tools</h3>
<p>Several issues with involving HTML Entities and converting a database to UTF8MB4 have been resolved. These issues could result in malformed data during conversion.</p>
<h3>Sphinx Search</h3>
<p>Sphinx Search only supports &quot;latin and cyrillic&quot; (English, Russian) characters by default. If the forum is on utf8mb4 and it expected that searchable content will have characters outside of the default (e.g. German, Korean, Arabic) Sphinx must be told to treat this data as characters instead of delimiters. This is done by setting the &quot;charset_table&quot; option within the vbulletin-sphinx.php file when generating the index. We have provided character sets in the /do_not_upload/sphinxsearchfiles directory. These files will need to be accessible to Sphinx through the configuration file. More details are outlined in the /vbulletin-sphinx.php file.</p>
<h3>File Structure</h3>
<li>The /images and /css directories have been consolidated and merged. Unnecessary image files have been deleted from the download package.</li>
<li>Unused images in the /core/images directory have been deleted from the download package.</li>
<p>These deleted files will be listed by the suspect file diagnostic tool when running the upgrade scripts and when used within the AdminCP.</p>
<h3>PHP Compatibility</h3>
<p>Additional fixes have been applied to the code for better support with PHP 7.4.0.</p>
<h2>Additional Information</h2>
<h3>Install / Upgrade</h3>
<li><a href="">Installation Instructions</a></li>
<li><a href="">Upgrade Instructions</a></li>
<h3>File Cleanup</h3>
<p>After upgrading your vBulletin system, you should delete any possible obsolete files. You can obtain more information on why this is needed and instructions on how to do this in this <a href=""><strong>topic</strong></a> in the vBulletin 5 Installs &amp; Upgrades forum.</p>
<h3>System Requirements</h3>
<p>Note: The minimum required version of PHP has been increased to 7.2.0.</p>
<h4>Minimum System Requirements</h4>
<li>PHP Version: 7.2.0</li>
<li>MySQL Version: 5.6.10</li>
<li>MariaDB Version: 10.0.0</li>
<h4>Recommended System Requirements</h4>
<li>PHP Version: 7.4 or higher</li>
<li>MySQL Version: 8.0 or higher</li>
<li>MariaDB Version: 10.3+</li>
<p>For more information see <a href="">vBulletin Connect System Requirements</a>.</p>
<h3>Current Version Support Schedule</h3>
<li>Active Version - 5.5.6</li>
<li>Security Patch - 5.5.5</li>
<li>Security Patch - 5.5.4</li>
<li>No Patch Release - 5.5.3 or earlier.</li>
<p>If you have any questions about these changes you may discuss them <a href="">here</a>.:</p>
<p>If you find an issue with the software or wish to place a feature request please visit our <a href="">tracker</a>.</p>
<p>In order to receive support for your vBulletin Product please visit our <a href="">community forums</a>.</p>

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