What Happens to Drupal 7 After Drupal 9 is Released?

10Dec, 2019

Drupal 7 community support is provided until November 2021

A large number of sites might still be using Drupal 7 in 2020, so we have decided to extend community support of Drupal 7 until November 2021. In the past, after a new major version, support would only be kept for the prior major version (such as Drupal 6 becoming end-of-life shortly after the release of Drupal 8).

This means Drupal 7 will be supported for 1.5 years after the release of Drupal 9. Stable migration support is a requirement of Drupal 9, so you should be able to migrate your content. You should also test migrations to Drupal 8 first as Drupal 9 will not be that different.

Vendor Extended Support is provided until at least 2024

Following the end of community support, you will still be able to sign up with vendors providing extended support until at least 2024. This is similar to the Drupal 6 long term support program that is still being offered.

We are currently looking for vendors to sign up for the program.

Upgrading from Drupal 7 to 8 (and then 9)

There is no reason to wait for Drupal 9 to plan your upgrade. Drupal 9 will be identical to the final Drupal 8 release, but with deprecated code removed and third party dependencies updated. Upgrading to Drupal 8 now will make the eventual upgrade to Drupal 9 far easier. There are three key tools used when migrating a Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8:

  1. Drupal core provides the migrate module suite to execute data/content migrations from Drupal 7. This provides a good opportunity to build your site in the best way in Drupal 8 and import content to the right new places.
  2. The Drupal 7 version of the Upgrade Status module summarizes the Drupal 8 availability of the modules currently in use.
  3. The Drupal Module Upgrader is a command-line script that scans the source of a Drupal 7 module, flags any code that requires updating to Drupal 8, points off to any relevant API change notices, and (where possible) will actually attempt to convert the Drupal 7 code automatically to the Drupal 8 version. Drupal Module Upgrader has been updated to not use deprecated APIs in the generated code, making your path to Drupal 9 smoother.

To ensure your Drupal 8 update is also compatible with Drupal 9, use drupal-check in your development and/or continuous integration environment and pay attention to Drupal 9 incompatibilities in your custom code.

What are the new features of Drupal 9?

Drupal 9.0 will have the same features as the final minor release of Drupal 8 (other than those provided by updated dependencies). Similar to Drupal 8, Drupal 9.1, 9.2, etc. will add new backwards-compatible features to Drupal 9 every six months after Drupal 9.0. The key benefit of Drupal 9 over Drupal 8 is the platform will be supported with security fixes after November 2021. The standout feature of Drupal 9 is its ability to provide as easy an upgrade as feasible from Drupal 8.

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