Available for download: release candidate for the upcoming Revive Adserver v5.1.0

Revive Adserver logoWe are pleased to announce the availability of the first release candidate of the upcoming version 5.1.0 of the Revive Adserver software. The new v5.1.0 contains more than a dozen improvements and enhancements. It also contains a security improvement related to the click tracking functionality. Since this new version includes many changes and enhancements, including some breaking changes, we feel it is appropriate to first publish it as a Release Candidate. This will enable users, administrators, plugin developers, hosting providers, and consultants to put the new version to the test in all sorts of scenarios and environments. If everything goes according to plan, we expect to release the final v5.1.0 two weeks from today, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Here is a list of new features, improvements, and enhancements in Revive Adserver v5.1.0-RC1:

  • We redesigned the email sent to users when a password reset request is made.
  • We added an agency status, allowing the system administrator to suspend or deactivate accounts, optionally showing custom messages during delivery for such accounts. No blank impressions will be logged in such cases.
  • We added optional custom messages during delivery when a non-existent zone is requested. Requests nor blank impressions will be logged.
  • We replaced the Flash-based video player for video ad previews with the HTML5 video tag that’s built into modern browsers.
  • We added a new account level permission to delete items.
  • We removed the open redirect functionality in the click tracking script, by deprecating the existing ck.php script and making it ignore the oadest parameter, so that it only redirects to the destination saved with the banner itself. At the same time, a new “signed” click tracking delivery script as been added, cl.php: it uses regular query string parameters and HMAC SHA256 signature to ensure the destination URL is not tampered with.

There are also several bug fixes and code improvements in Revive Adserver v5.1.0-RC1:

  • Removed usage of the *et_magic_quotes_gpc() deprecated functions.
  • Optimized ad selection context build algorithm.
  • Improved compatibility of Asychronous JS invocation with single page applications, by using the srcdoc attribute when possible.
  • Updated subdivisions for South Africa, following ISO-3166-2: change of subdivision code from ZA-GT to ZA-GP, ZA-NL to ZA-KZN.
  • Added missing delivery script settings for async tags.

Important: this release candidate and the actual v5.1.0 release later, has a number of Non-Backwards Compatible Changes:

  • Delivery rules including South African subdivisions Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal will require manual adjusting.
  • Click tracking via ck.php is deprecated and the behavior of some ad render internal functions (_adRenderBuildClickUrl, _adRenderBuildParams) has changed accordingly. The “{clickurlparams}” magic macro has been removed.
  • Removed 3rd Party click tracking plugin, as the system is not compatible with the new signed click tracking functionality.
  • Deprecated PHP execution inside banners by removing the setting from the admin UI. The (risky) functionality itself will be still working if enabled in the configuration file, but will be removed in a future release.
  • Removed support for Flash banners and the fl.js delivery file that is now unnecessary.
  • Removed Flash-based graphs and supporting libraries in the video ads plugin reports.
  • The new manager permission is disabled by default, which means that non-admin managers won’t be able to delete items, unless an admin grants them the permission.
  • The VAST output was still using the obsolete video/x-mp4 as content type, which has now been updated to video/mp4.

Full release notes for v5.1.0-RC1 can be found on our Github page.

Release candidate: for testing purposes

We would like to invite community members to install this release candidate on a staging server, or update their existing staging installations to this release candidate. Any feedback would be highly appreciated. Please report anything unusual you find in this release candidate, either by adding a comment to the existing issues tagged for this release, or by opening a new issue on our Github pages. Please make sure to first check if the issue you’re about to report has already been reported by another community member.

If no blocking issues are found and reported, we plan to release the final v5.1.0 two weeks from today, on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Download, install and upgrade

Revive Adserver v5.1.0-RC1 is available for download now.

Please keep in mind that this is a release candidate, and as such it can result in issues. If you don’t feel confident about testing release candidate software, we recommend that you wait until the final v5.1.0 is available. This will be announced here on the blog, on our Twitter account, and to the subscribers to our mailing list.

Once downloaded, please refer to the instructions for Installations of Revive Adserver or for Updating Revive Adserver. Make sure that the server(s) being used meet(s) the minimum technical requirements.

Community contributions

The continued development of Revive Adserver is being sponsored by community members, either financially or in the form of code contributions. We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received. If you would like to contribute to our project, please consider becoming a patron on Patreon.com.

Another way to contribute to our project, is by using the Revive Adserver Hosted edition.