Today we're proud to release the Alpha of vBulletin 5.1.0. It is available to all customers with a valid vBulletin 5 Connect license. Our goal with this version is to primarily focus on returning the Article publishing functionality of the vBulletin 4 Publishing Suite. To do this we needed to port the functionality and recreate it within the vBulletin 5 database structure and APIs. Along with this we wanted to make sure that your existing articles are imported in a way that makes sense to you and your users without needing a lot of reconfiguration from you to get started.
During the transition to vBulletin 5, a few changes have been made to the structure and functionality of the Article system. These include:
- Comments will no longer be stored in a hidden forum. With the node model, articles can each hold their own comments. The commenting system is the same used for other content types to allow for portability.
- Sections and Categories - These were confusing in vBulletin 4. In vBulletin 5, there will only be Categories. Each category is a channel in vBulletin 5 and can hold one or more article nodes. The main channel will be "Articles" and it will be on the same level as Forums, Blogs, Groups and Special. The Articles channel should not be deleted. Article categories are managed in the AdminCP either in under the CMS section or Channel Management.
- Tags are the primary method of multi-category organization. The vBulletin 5 CMS uses the standard vBulletin Tag system. Tags are not assigned to categories but can be used across categories. They function the same as tags in forum topics and blogs. They can be searched in the same system.
- Grids, Layouts and Widgets - These are replaced with Site Builder's functionality. The Site Administrator can use Site Builder to add pages, edit Article Categories and add widgets to the user's view. The Layout step has been eliminated. Grids are now Layouts. Widgets are called Modules. Page templates are previously stored page configurations.
- Author and Editor Usergroups – Two new usergroups have been added to handle article creation and publishing details. Most sites have a limited author pool. These groups allow you to develop a workflow to create and publish articles on your site. With the default permissions, Authors can create and save draft of articles. They will be able to edit their own articles before publishing over multiple sessions.
- Channel Navigation Module. This replaces the Section Navigation Widget in vBulletin 4.X. It can be placed on any page and allows you to choose the Top Level Channel to be used. This means you can use it for Article Categories, Forums, Blogs, and Group Categories. An example would be to place it in a Forum Category to get a quick navigation box to all of its children.
- Quick Setup functionality has been added to the Site Builder. This is intended for first time admins and walks them through a few steps to get up and running quickly. They can upload their site logo, create forums and invite friends via email from here. While not an exhaustive list of steps, it can help you get online faster.
- Outgoing RSS has been readded to the system. This allows people to subscribe to your site with their favorite RSS Reader or browser and get timely updates on new content. Functionality is similar to the functionality found in vBulletin 4.
- Post Comments are now controlled per usergroup so it can be restricted to staff members if you wish.
- Google Analytics is integrated. All you need to do is add your Analytics code to the option. This is found in the Admin CP under Settings -> Options -> Google Analytics.
- In Addition to the above features, over 275 issues have been fixed or resolved in the system.