Ares 5.0 Release Notes

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Important Update Information  

Released: August 10th, 2020


As promised on the Ares Roadmap, here are the main features/enhancements of Ares 5.0:

There are several bug fixes and several underlying component updates to continue supporting external systems in this release.      

Considerations Before You Update         

Review Ares 5.0 FAQ   

For frequently asked questions and additional information regarding the 5.0 features and fixes, please see the Ares 5.0 FAQ. For all other questions, please contact support at

Updating During Normal Working Hours    

Please consider running updates and installations during standard support hours 8 am - 5 pm eastern time (business days: Monday - Friday) so that help is readily available if any issues are encountered.

Updating Procedures      

Before you begin updating, please review the Hardware and Software Requirements for Version 5.0. For specific instructions on updating, see Updating Ares to Version 5.0: For Server Admins and Updating Ares to Version 5.0: Updating the Client.

New Folder Locations

  • Addons: User-specific documents folder (e.g., C:\Users\{username}\Documents).
  • DBC File (recommendation): 
    • Per-Machine: Under C:\Program Files (x86)\Ares (NOTE - you'll need to run SQL Alias Manager as an administrator to do this), or under C:\Users\Public.
    • Per-User: Under the Documents\Ares folder (will not be accessible to other users). 
  • Print Templates:
    • Per-User custom print templates: %AppData%\Local\Apps\Ares\Client\Print\.

Ares 5.0 Features & Fixes    

Addons | Ares API | Courses | Course & User Loads | Password & Security | Print TemplatesSupport for Multiple Course Instructors | Staff Client | SQL Alias Manager | System Manager | LTI | Web Interface | Web Service



Addons are no longer installed by default. If you are using addons and do not currently have the Atlas Helpers Library installed, you may need to download the file and install it to your MyDocuments\Ares\Addons\Atlas directory. Some addons, such as VuFind or Amazon Book Searches, are dependent on other addons to run properly and the helper library contains helper methods for use with user addons. For details and example scenarios that explain how the update impacts previously existing addons, see How Default Addons are Affected by the Ares 5.0 Update


The per-user install requires additional steps for backing-up and reinstalling addons due to required changes to the updater that allow for per-user installs. For instructions, see Updating Ares to Version 5.0: Updating the Client. Note: Installing the client per user will not install the 3 of 9 barcode font. The font can be downloaded and installed.

Ares API    


Added an Ares API to Lookup, update, and create items, users, courses, loan periods, sites, and enrollment by a configurable identifier. For more information, see Ares API.


Added the new CustKey ClientUploadMethod option of API to handle uploading and downloading files within the Ares Client via the API. The process works similarly to FTP or FileShare. For more information and configuration instructions, see Uploading Electronic Files to the Web.


Added the new MaxUploadSize Customization Key to determine the max file permitted for uploads, in MB. Default value: 150MB.



Fixed an issue where instructors would see the option to create duplicate courses via the web if the course validation table was displayed on the pages. Bug# 5995 & 4920

Course & User Loads


Improved error messages for data imports by including the following details in the log files and reporting grid for any course or user data loads:

  • The row number for the first row that contains errors.
  • Any row(s) with an invalid number of columns. 

This should make identifying where the error occurred during the importing process easier to troubleshoot.  


The Validation User data for course & user loads have been removed from the database script for new installs. Existing installs will not be affected.


Courses created through the Ares Course Load process can now have zero instructors or multiple instructors assigned.

 Password & Security


After the Ares v5.0 update, all web users will be required to reset their password upon the first login after the update. There is a default complexity requirement of eight characters with at least one letter, & one number. This does not affect RemoteAuth users and there is no way to disable the automatic password change. For more information, see Changing a User's Password.


A checkbox was added to the change password dialog on the Client user form, allowing staff to force a password reset for web users. 


The SLLoginFailed status line CustKey has been added to appear if a user attempts to login with an invalid username and password. The default verbiage is set to "Login failed. Please check your username and password before trying again."

The CustKeys SLUsernameNotInDatabase and SLPasswordIncorrect have been removed and replaced with the new SLLoginFailed key to increase user security and account protection.  
New The WebPasswordHashingIterations and StaffPasswordHashingIterations CustKeys have been added to set the number of hash iterations (default value: 156,000 iterations) when storing a password. All passwords will now utilize the Password-Based Key Derivation Function 2 (PBKDF2) hashing strategies. 

Added staff password expiration and the capability to set default dates for expiration.

If the user's last password change exceeds the StaffPasswordExpirationDays, the user will be redirected to the change password form upon login to the Ares Client. 


Added capability to enable user password expiration and set default dates for expiration.

If UserPasswordExpirationEnabled is 'Yes' and the user's last password change exceeds the value in UserPasswordExpirationDays, the user will be redirected to the change password form upon login.


Added the ability to enforce staff password complexity requirements through the StaffPasswordComplexity CustKey. Staff administrators have the option to override password requirements when creating new staff accounts with an initial password. The complexity requirement is enforced when a staff user changes their own password and, optionally, when changing another staff user's password. The complexity requirements are not enforced when changing a user password.

The default requirement is: (^(?=.*\d)(?=.*[a-z])(?=.*[A-Z]).{8,}$).

New Added database changes to support the new password security measures. These changes include a new column, StaffPasswordId, in the Staff table, and a new StaffPassword table. For more information, see Ares Database Tables.
New In the Staff Manager, when changing the password for a different staff user, a checkbox will display that will force that staff user to change their password the next time they log in.
New  A dialog has been added to the Ares Server installer that allows the server administrator to specify the database user account credentials used to access the Ares database (e.g., the account credentials that can be specified in SAM). For more information, see Ares 5.0 Server Installer Database Configuration.
 Changed The auto-completion feature has been disabled on all password fields in the default pages. This prevents the fields from storing and pre-populating secure information, such as passwords.
Changed If a user's password is expired or if the Force Password Reset box in the Client is checked, staff will still be able to use the Logon to Web button in the Client without triggering a password reset. A password reset will still be required when the user attempts to login to the web normally.

Print Templates


If Ares 5.0 is installed on a per-user basis, the default Ares print templates will need to be moved to the new location so users can utilize custom print templates. New default location: %AppData%\Local\Apps\Ares\Client\Print\. 

Support for Multiple Course Instructors

For more information about how to configure and use multiple instructors, see Multiple Instructors


Three new email template tags have been added to populate email addresses in the 'To:' or 'CC:' fields of an email based on the instructor and proxy user privileges for the course. These tags include Course.InstructorsEmail, Course.FullProxiesEmail, and Course.CourseProxiesEmail.


Support for User tags in Item-type email templates has been removed, as it is no longer possible to link an item to a specific individual when courses may have more than one individual as an instructor. The default email templates have been updated accordingly for new installs. Current installs upgrading to v5.0 will need to update their existing Item email templates


To support courses with several instructors and/or proxies, the size limit on the EmailTo, EmailFrom, EmailCC, and EmailBCC fields in the EmailCopies table has been increased to navchar(Max). Prior to implementing support for multiple instructors, these fields were limited to 500 characters.    

 Changed A new Courses without Instructors line has been added to the System Information panel on the main form to show the current number of courses with no instructor assigned.  
 Changed Updated the web pages to handle the new InstructorDisplayName field in the Courses table. If there is no value in the instructor field, a <#COURSE name="Instructor"> tag will use the auto-generated value in the InstructorDisplayName field. 
 Changed A new Instructors and Full Proxies sub-tab has been added to the Course Users tab of the Course form.
Changed The CourseSearch page will now display a text field search option for new installs. Existing installs will include both the text search and a drop-down option featuring all instructors listed in the CouseUsers table.

New logic has been added for instructor and full proxy roles:

  • Users who are currently a proxy for a course can also be added as an instructor. 
  • Users who are both an instructor and a full proxy for another instructor will be considered an instructor for the course. If they are removed as an instructor, they will still remain as a full proxy (unless the instructor they are a proxy for is removed as well).

When cloning a course, the course creator can select any or all of the original course's instructors and proxies to be copied over. Additional users can be added to the Course detail form.   


New logic has been added for the CourseInstructor parameter:

  1. When loading the CourseInstructor(s) on the page, the display name will be populated with with the value of the Course.Instructor field. If the Course.Instructor field is left blank, the new Course.InstructorDisplayName parameter will display.
  2. When submitting course-related forms, the CourseInstructor parameter will be ignored.

For more details, see Multiple Instructors.

Staff Client


The Ares Client will now automatically check to see if a newer version of the Client is available and prompt the user the update, which will download and execute the required installer. For more information, see Ares Auto Updater. Please note this feature is installed as part of the v5.0 update and earlier versions will not prompt to update to v5.0.


Updated the underlying components to support the new Office 2016 Colorful skin. 


For new installations of Ares, the ClientUploadMethod CustKey will have a default value of API and an entry will be entered in the APIConfig table during installation for use within the Client. Current installations will need to configure the API client upload method.


Added support to allow cloning items to multiple courses at the same time.


Fixed a bug that allowed users with a username of Instructor to see and modify instructor tags for a course. Bug# 4450

SQL Alias Manager


Version 1.3 of the Atlas SQL Alias Manager has been released. For details, see Atlas SQL Alias Manager.

System Manager


The Ares System Manager will now check for web request items that need additional CCC processing, including requests in a canceled state (either Item Cancelled by Instructor or Item Cancelled by Staff) that have an active copyright order within the last sixty days. Any items that meet these criteria will have their corresponding CCC order cancelled.



Two new web session types have been added and implemented in for LTI and 'Login as User' sessions that let the DLL know it should not enforce password hashing and expiration requirements released in v5.0: 

  • UserSurrogate
  • InstructorSurrogate 

Fixed an issue that would cause the ShowLTIParams to incorrectly display the content key values. Bug# 4405

Web Interface 


Free-text items and message board posts are now converted from HTML using the Html To Markdown Conversion Utility and saved in the Markdown format.


Fixed an issue that would hide the 'LoanPeriod' and 'PickupLocation' fields on the Reserve Item Request Form. Handling was added for hiding the loan period upon the web page load, rather than on a field change for the 'PickupLocation' field. Bug# 4606


Fixed an issue that would prevent special characters from displaying properly when used in the headerText or footerText attributes of tables by encoding the HTML entities. For example, the error would cause an &nbsp; to appear as &nbsp; instead of adding a non-breaking space. Bug# 3584


Fixed a bug which made it possible to save a Username web alert without having to specify a username. Bug# 4743

Web Service


Modified the course search logic to include courses with no assigned instructors in the search results.


Fixed an issue that would remove the Username entry in a new item's first history tracking entry for items that are cloned from another course on the web. Bug# 4558 


Fixed an issue where custom routing rules were not being applied when cloning an item on the web. Added handling for custom routing rules to be applied to the duplicate item even if the original item has a final routing status (e.g., Request Finished). Bug# 5910 & 4559

Fixed  Fixed an issue where an instructor would be redirected to a blank page after applying a shared list to a course. In addition, some items from the list were being added with an incorrect status. Bug# 7059
Fixed Fixed an issue where applying a shared list to a course on the web would only add the first item in the list and then log an error in the Ares DLL. Bug# 5666

Ares 5.0.x Point Release Notes

09 September 2020 (5.0.1) Server Release

Fixed Fixed an issue where cloning items in the web would cause the original item to be incorrectly routed to the status of "Item Submitted via Cloned Course". Bug# 8255
Fixed Removed the timeout constraint on the installer and we modified the SQL command so that it will not repeat itself on subsequent runs. This allows the SQL command used to set the new InstructorDisplayName field to the Courses table enough time to set the initial value for large datasets. Bug#8600

28 September 2020 (5.0.2) Server Release

The 5.0.2 Server download link replaces the server updater for both the 5.0.0 and 5.0.1 server point release.


Fixed an issue where creating courses via the Course and User Load batch processing would not account for multiple instructors when creating the dictionaries of validation records to add. Bug# 8588

25 January 2021 (5.0.2) Client Release 

Fixed an issue where instructor tags added within the web would not appear in the Client's Item grids. Bug# 8609
Fixed an issue where Ares assumed when creating an item, its processing location would also be the default pickup location. If the pickup location was not the same as the processing location, it would produce an error. The new behavior is as follows:
  • When creating an item for a course, the item's default pickup location will default to the course's default pickup location.
  • When creating a shared list item, the DefaultPickupLocation customization key will be used as the default pickup location.
  • When associating a shared list with a course, the new items created will have the same pickup locations they were assigned in the shared list. 
Fixed an issue where removing a user as an instructor's full proxy would remove all of that user's enrollments.
Note: if the user was previously enrolled as a user and then made a proxy when they are removed as a proxy, they will have to be enrolled in the course again. Bug# 9992
Fixed an issue that prevented a course from being cloned if it didn't have any instructors. Bug# 10054

18 March 2021 (5.0.3) Client Installer Release


The Ares Client Installer will now display a prompt asking the user to choose between per-user or per-machine installation, instead of installing Ares per-user by default.

The installer will also cache this information along with the selected installation path, so that future installers (versions greater than 5.0.3) will be able to automatically default to the previously selected options.

03 January 2022 (5.0.3) Web DLL Release

A new version of the Ares Web DLL (v5.0.3) is now available to implement an important security fix.

Update Procedure

Please follow the steps below to implement the DLL fix:

  1. Download the v5.0.3 Web DLL from the Ares Downloads page.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file. 
  3. Stop the IIS service.
  4. Navigate to the DLL installation folder on your Ares Server (default path C:\Ares\Web\DLL\).
  5. Delete the older version of the Ares.dll file.
  6. Copy the new DLL file you unzipped in step 2 to this folder.
  7. Restart the IIS service.

Web DLL Changes (v5.0.3)

Fixed Fixed a potential security vulnerability found during a web application scan.

01 March 2022 Server and Client (5.0.3) Release

Several Ares 5.0 server components and client applications have been updated to address a potential security vulnerability found in their external log4net component.

Please coordinate with your IT department to update the Ares Server (if self-hosted) and client applications as soon as possible to ensure that all components are secure.

Update Procedure (These steps can be performed in any order)

  1. To install the latest Ares 5.0 server components, please download and run the Ares Server Installer file (available here) if self-hosted. Atlas-hosted sites will be contacted by Atlas via email regarding their server update. 

    Note: Self-hosted Ares sites may encounter an issue that causes the Ares Web Service to respond with Internal Service Errors for all requests after the server update. For information on resolving this issue, please see Resolving Web Service Errors After the March 2022 Ares 5.0 Server Update.
  2. Follow the Client Automatic Update prompts within the Ares Client, or download and run the 5.0.4 Client Installer from the Ares Downloads page to install the new client applications (Note: The 5.0.4 Client Installer will install v5.0.3 of the Ares Client).

Server Component Updates

The Ares Server update includes the following new component versions:

  • System Manager v5.0.3.0
  • Web DLL v5.0.4.0
  • Web Service v5.0.2.0
Fixed Updated the log4net component used in each Ares component to the latest secure version (v2.0.14). 

Client Application Updates

Performing the Ares Client update process will install the following new application versions:

  • Ares Client v5.0.3.0
  • Ares Customization Manager v5.0.3.0
  • Ares Staff Manager v5.0.2.0
Fixed Updated the log4net component used in each application to the latest secure version (v2.0.14). 


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