Re: get rid of Manufacturer
Attributes in X-Cart 5 are like a mix of the following XC4 features: extra fields, options and variants.
By default an attribute is a "plain extra field" (in terms of XC4). You can make it an option that a customer has to choose when adding the product to cart. And you can turn a group of selected options into product variants.
Unfortunately, there is no way to search products by attributes in the back-end yet.