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Release Notes: Learn 9.1 Oct 2014

Cumulative Update 1 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 was released on January 27, 2015. To learn more, see Cumulative Update 1 for Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 on Behind the Blackboard.

Preparing for the Learn 9.1 October 2014 Release

To generate excitement and drive adoption of the new features among your learning community, see the Communication and Adoption Toolkit.

In addition to the release notes and technical details in this section, use the following resources when updating from an earlier release to the current release:

If you are self-hosted and upgrading from a release prior to Release 9.1 April 2014, you must review the Installation and Upgrade section of help. The installation process requires an understanding of your environment and ports for a successful upgrade.

New Features and Updates

October 2014 New Features and Updates
Name Minimum Release Description
Analytics for Learn (A4L) Learn 9.1 October 2014 There have been a number of bug fixes and enhancements made.
Blackboard Store Learn 9.1 October 2014

Students can easily purchase required course materials at competitive prices via personalized shopping lists and quick access from within Blackboard Learn. Instructors can find, compare, and assign materials from the largest online catalog of commercial and open educational content.

Installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 prior to February 5, 2015 will see the Blackboard Store Building Block included and automatically available. However, installs using the Learn 9.1 October 2014 on or after February 5, 2015 will not see the Blackboard Store Building Block included. Those wanting to install the Blackboard Store Building Block should refer to the Blackboard Store details available here on Behind the Blackboard.

Calendar Learn 9.1 October 2014

Individual users now have more choice about how their calendars are formatted both in the Calendar tool and when making date selections. They can alter the first day of the week that starts the calendar view in month and week views.

Users can also now choose the Hijri Islamic lunar calendar.

There is now a course list filter in the calendar.

Content Editor Learn 9.1 October 2014 The Content Editor spell check option is now ON by default.
Language Packs Learn 9.1 October 2014 Translation change requests have been implemented to improve the quality and usability of the language packs for Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish, and Korean. Czech and Polish language packs have been added.
Outcomes Assessment
(in English only)
Learn 9.1 October 2014 and Outcomes Assessment Users can now access report options to create a printable view to save the visualized report as a PDF or XLS. There are also additional data fields available to provide further insight needed for in-depth data analysis for quantitative and qualitative assessment.
Video Everywhere Learn 9.1 October 2014 Blackboard Learn has integrated with OAuth 2.0. With this update users are able to seamlessly use several video features within Learn without authentication issues.

To learn how to install and activate building blocks, see Install Building Blocks.

Performance and Scalability

Installer Changes

This release includes changes in the installer that modified the services and configurations of Blackboard Learn:

  • Apache HTTP Server is no longer included in the installer (Linux/Solaris versions).
  • A web server, Apache HTTP Server (Linux/Solaris) or IIS (Windows) is no longer configured to be used by the Blackboard Learn application. ServiceController will no longer manage Apache HTTP Server and IIS.
  • The new installer prompts for a Apache Tomcat port (default: 8080/8443) and provides a warning, if a port below 1024 is selected.
  • TLS Choice is no longer an option that can be configured by administrators. All deployments now require TLS to be used for the entirety of the application. Note that the installer provides a self-signed certificate.


To learn more, see the User Roles and Privileges.


Portfolios B2: User directory search will now respect the privacy setting of the user. Portfolios can be shared with any user by entering the username. If the searcher does not know the username, he or she can search the User Directory. However, the search will return only users who have explicitly decided to make their profiles public.


Blackboard is committed to improving security features and resolving security vulnerabilities quickly and carefully. Such security vulnerability resolutions may lead to the release of a Security Advisory as well as any needed product update for our customers based on the context, severity and timing of confirmed vulnerabilities. Below we have outlined the security enhancements and security vulnerabilities resolved in this release.

Security Fixes

To learn more about specific security fixes for the October 2014 Release, see Security Fix Release Notes for October 2014 (in English only) on Behind the Blackboard.

SIS Framework

To learn more, see the Learn 9.1 April 2014 Release Notes.

Web Services, APIs, and Extension Development

To learn more, see the Learn 9.1 April 2014 Release Notes.

Resolved Issues

  • LRN-79155: A4L B2 is under-reporting instructor activity when the instructor initiates a student preview session. With the October release, all activity can be queried and viewed, including instructor activity.
  • LRN-81114: Database Locking problem in Analytics for Learn. With the October 2014 release, The background process waits for the extract request to finish executing.
  • LRN-81382: Learn Analytics extract status should be updated when task crashes. With the October 2014 release, the status of an aborted extract request is updated to reflect the failure when the application server starts up again.
  • Content scrolling. The style of the Page Content Area div was updated for full page scrolling. The banner and navigation bar no longer remain visible when scrolling down a page. Changes to override this style may negatively affect the way content appears in a browser window.

To learn more about additional Known Issues that were resolved, see the Known Issues page.

For Self-Hosted Environments

For self-hosted installations, be sure your server hardware and software will support this release.

Windows 2012R2 Support
Windows 2012R2 is supported for 9.1 October 2014 Release

To learn more, see the Learn 9.1 April 2014 release notes.

Upgrade Paths for Clients Already on Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1

Existing Blackboard Learn Release 9.1 clients can upgrade from the following versions to Blackboard Learn 9.1 October 2014 (Build: 9.1.201410.160373):

  • Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 SP 13 (Build: 9.1.130093.0)
  • Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1 SP 14 (Build: 9.1.140152.0)
  • Blackboard Learn, 9.1 April 2014 Release (Build: 9.1.201404.160205)

If you are a self-hosted client on a Blackboard Learn 9.1 release prior to 9.1 SP 13, you will need to upgrade to 9.1 SP 13 before you can upgrade to Learn 9.1 October 2014.

Upgrade Paths for Clients New to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1

If you are upgrading from one of the releases listed below, please read the Install and Upgrade topics to help you plan for this move. To learn more, see Install and Upgrade. There are planning, training, and communication materials available to make this upgrade as smooth as possible. Please reference next steps based on your current release. For those migrating from Blackboard Learn Release 9.0 or Blackboard Academic Suite Release 8.0, please ensure that you include migrating to a 64-bit environment in your upgrade plans. You must upgrade to a minimum release version that supports upgrading to Release 9.1 October 2014.

  • Blackboard Learn Release 9.0: You can upgrade to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, Service Pack 9 (Build: 9.1.90132.0) from Blackboard Learn, Release 9.0, Service Pack 7 (Build: 9.0.692.0). You can then upgrade from Release 9.1, Service Pack 9 to Service Pack 12 (Build: 9.1.120113.0). From Service Pack 12 you can then upgrade to Release 9.1, April 2014, then to October 2014.
  • Blackboard Academic Suite Release 8.0 or earlier: You can upgrade to Blackboard Learn, Release 9.1, Service Pack 9 (Build: 9.1.90132.0) from Release 8.0, Service Pack 7 Hotfix 2 (Build: 8.0.494.35) without needing to upgrade to Release 9.0 first. You can then upgrade from Release 9.1, Service Pack 9 to Service Pack 12. From Service Pack 12 you can then upgrade to Release 9.1, April 2014, then to October 2014.
  • Blackboard Learning System CE 8.0 and Vista 8.0 Licenses: You must be on SP 6 (Build: to effectively use course conversion capabilities.
  • Blackboard Learn, ANGEL Edition: You must be on any ANGEL 8.0 or ANGEL 7.4 release to effectively use course conversion capabilities.

If you are a self-hosted client, you are on a release that is earlier than Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP 6, and you also use Oracle, you can use a pre-upgrade utility to minimize your downtime during this upgrade. Please consult the 9.1 SP 6 Release Notes and the Readme for the Pre-Upgrade Utility for Oracle (in English only) for more information about this utility.

To learn more, see Install and Upgrade.

No Longer Supported

  • For Windows self-hosted environments only: Due to the discontinuation of mainline support from Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 and Windows SQL Server 2008, these technologies are no longer supported for Windows hosting. These environments should be upgraded to Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 prior to installing the October 2014 release of Blackboard Learn.


  • Nothing is deprecated in this release.