We are pleased to announce the availability of Openfire 3.5.0 RC1 off of the beta downloads page, along with Openfire Enterprise 3.5.0 RC1 off of the beta plugins page. The official release is slated for late March or early April, depending on when the official release date of Clearspace 2.0 is. There are a number of new features and bug fixes in this release. A couple of the highlights are as follows:
New Security Features
3.5.0 includes two new improvements to the overall security of Openfire. One is a new lock out manager, which allows administrators to lock out (disable) accounts, thereby preventing them from logging in. This can be for a period of time, or "forever". Another new security feature is a new auditor for actions performed in the admin console. This will allow you to keep track of what has changed in your server's configuration, and who performed the change.
For more information, see: Big Brother In 3.5.0
3.5.0 includes the ability to connect without sending an available presence. This provides an easy means for being "invisible" to other XMPP users, and visible specifically to those you intend on speaking to. This support needs to be built into clients or programs that you might be using to be of direct use, but the capabilities are now available!
For more information, see: Playing Casper in 3.5.0
Clearspace Integration Improvements
Clearspace 2.0 and Openfire 3.5.0 can now work together harmoniously to share users, groups, vcards, presence, and various other functionality. Not only that, but Clearspace and Openfire will configure their integration in a semi-automatic mode, where you provide a minimal configuration of Openfire and Clearspace and they take care of the rest! You will see a new option during initial setup where you can choose Clearspace integration that will lead you through the steps. Please note that Clearspace 2.0 or higher is required for this integration to function properly!
For more information, see: Clearspace 2.0 Public Beta
A number of improvements have been made to the overall performance of Openfire in 3.5.0. An important index was added to one of the database tables that improves roster loading speed by a large degree. The networking framework used for external component connections has also been replaced with MINA, drastically improving the performance of external component connections.
Fixed Double-Byte Character Problems
3.5.0 includes fixes for double-byte characters not being handled correctly. This should solve a number of problems with messages that include chinese characters, or other double-byte character encodings.
SparkWeb 3.5.0 includes a number of reliability improvements, especially with http binding, and also improved support for MUC functionality, such as moderation controls (kick/ban/etc).
New Admin Console Look and Feel
3.5.0 sports a brand new look and feel for it's administrative console. Those who have used Clearspace before will be familiar with it, as it's mirrored in concept and general look after Clearspace's administrative console. The new menu layout is much less cluttered than before, and should involve a lot less scrolling down the page to find what you want. Warning: Due to changes in the CSS files, and browsers wanting to hold onto CSS files for dear life in their caches, you will likely need to hit shift-reload on your browser when visiting the new admin console.
You can view the full changelog here.
You can view the updated documentation (javadocs et al) here.
Plugin updates required for Openfire 3.5.0 are available on the betaplugins page.
The specific plugins that need to be updated are:
Happy testing and please let us know of any issues you run into by posting in the Openfire support forum!
-The Openfire Team