Time to Upgrade to Drupal 8!

Submitted by Liz Dietrich on 04/04/2017 - 05:36:pm

If you’ve been on the fence on whether to upgrade to Drupal 8, we’re excited to tell you that the time has finally come! After 17 months, Drupal 8 has reached maturity and is ready for production use. From advancements in functionality to progressive stability implementations, Drupal has even more forward-looking announcements you don’t want to miss.

Drupal 8 has reached maturity

Drupal 8 has been out for over a year now, and it’s more than ready for use in production, including enterprise use cases. Since it’s release, the community has been experimenting, and optimising Drupal’s modules and core functionality for widespread use. It’s tools have dramatically increased in effectiveness and Drupal 8 is now operating a completely stable and advanced system.

If you are wondering if you should upgrade, the time is definitely now. Drupal 6 is officially now more than a year past its end of life; modules are no longer supported and security updates have ceased. Even Drupal 7 is falling further behind on technology, as all new development is being done against Drupal 8; some have already begun to notice glitches and bugs in functionality aren’t being resolved as quickly in Drupal 7 modules.

Drupal 8 offers substantial advancements in both security and speed, and all but forces developers to use best practices. Drupal has truly evolved to fit its role in the digital community and is modernizing for future growth.

Upgrades made easy forever

We have known since Drupal 8’s 2015 end of year release that this was going to be something big. This year wasn’t short on monumental announcements; Drupal has kicked off 2017 by offering even more forward-looking changes. Now more than ever is your opportunity to move to an advanced and stable system built with growth in mind.

What it used to be...

Many of us have experienced the previous pain of Drupal’s major releases being quite dramatic shifts under the hood. From lengthy release cycles and hundreds of module rewrites, Drupal’s upgrades have been known to be costly and inconvenient.

The upgrade path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 was a huge improvement to previous releases, with migration capabilities baked into core. But the methodologies adopted in Drupal 8, setting us up for Drupal 9 and beyond shows that Drupal has taken it’s role as an enterprise development framework serious.  We have been waiting for an upgrade path that provides as much flexibility as the user interface we’ve come to know, and it’s finally here!

So what are these key changes that are so exciting? Here’s the short list, we’ll break it down further below:
  • Timed and scheduled releases
  • Experimental modules shipped in core 
  • Continuous Innovation

Timed and scheduled releases

Rather than waiting years for new features, users now gain access to functionality advances every 6 months. These minor releases actually have an additional series of beta prerelease candidates and testing, to ensure the highest possible quality by the time this technology gets to you.

This means that you know exactly when to expect changes and can implement updates much as you would during your standard site maintenance - convenient, right?

Experimental modules shipped in core

In addition to Drupal’s timed and tested scheduled releases, users have the option to include experimental alpha-stability modules in their core package. This allows Drupal to implement new functionality, gather feedback, and render faster on a modules’ path to stability.

These experimental and usability improvements place an emphasis on contributions from the community and allow Drupal to advance faster than it ever has before.

Continuous Innovation

The most exciting release of the year, is Drupal’s new continuous innovation model. Rather than removing the old systems, the release of new features will be paired with backward compatible changes. Consequently custom code and modules will continue to work as Drupal advances.

Module maintainers will be encouraged to update to newer systems continuously overtime; and since Drupal 9.0 will look identical to Drupal 8 minus previously depreciated APIs, you will already be up to date on all of Drupal’s latest advancements by the time it comes out.

Say goodbye to costly and expensive system changes! You now have the capability to consistently upgrade throughout the life of your product.

What does this mean for you?

  • Stability for your investment
  • More forward progress with less expense
  • Continuous improvement vs. major rebuilds
  • Sustainable value

So what do all of these changes mean for you? Well, for one, Drupal upgrades just got a whole lot simpler. Major rebuilds are now replaced with continuous advancements and subsequent upgrades are similar in nature. Now that Drupal is innovating at a much faster and continuous pace, you have the ability to seamlessly keep up with your technology.

Drupal is truly fostering innovation and breaking the mold by placing so many features in the hands of the users, while encouraging developers contribute to Drupal’s core functionality. Your technology is now advancing with the growth of your business providing convenience and stability for your investment.

This more forward progress is happening now and actually saves time and money in the long run. This means that your last big upgrade has a long-lasting and sustainable value. As Drupal continues to make significant usability improvements at a more frequent and predictable rate, you won’t ever have to worry about falling behind on your technology again.