February 7, 2020

Use PHP 7 or PHP 5? Get the Long-Term Support That You Need

Zend Server

There is a lot of buzz in the PHP 7 community about two major events: 

  • On December 1, 2019, the community stopped supporting for PHP 7.1, including security patches.  
  • On November 28, 2019, the new release of PHP 7 — PHP 7.4 — was released.   
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What’s New in PHP 7.4?

This newest PHP release delivers new capabilities that help:

  • Boost performance.
  • Improve the accuracy and clarity of code. 
  • Save developers time.
  • Make external libraries more accessible.

You can read about all the new capabilities here

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The Ramifications of PHP 7.1's End-of-Life 

PHP 7.1 is still widely used by global organizations for mission-critical systems, including web servers that support financial transactions. However, any website and web app written with this version will no longer receive support from the community. That includes fixes for minor bugs — but also security patches for critical and non-critical security issues. 

If you are using this end-of-life PHP version in production, you can still get free community support for your applications if you upgrade to 7.3 or 7.4. However, moving to a new PHP release requires careful planning and testing, especially for applications supporting heavily trafficked sites. If you haven’t started your migrations, your applications may soon be unprotected from security vulnerabilities.

So how does the community support model work, and how long will you get support if you migrate your applications to newer releases?

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The Community PHP Support Model

Every PHP version is supported by the community for three years. During the first two years, community support is comprehensive, including fixes for all reported bugs and security issues that are provided in scheduled point releases. However, during the third year, the community only provides support and fixes for critical security issues on an as-needed basis.  

Why? The community is made up of volunteers. They need to focus their efforts on maintaining the newer, more secure releases — and designing innovative capabilities for future releases. 

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Get Long-Term PHP Support from Zend

If you still run PHP 7.1 on production systems, you can get long-term support by adopting:

  • ZendPHP Enterprise. These certified PHP runtimes have added security — and are backed by long-term support.
  • Zend Server. This leading PHP application server includes ZendPHP Enterprise runtimes, long-term support, and comprehensive tools for monitoring, debugging, and more.

We support Zend-certified PHP 5.6 and 7.1 runtimes — in ZendPHP Enterprise and Zend Server — for five years from the original release date. This is two years longer than what you get from the PHP community. We also provide bug fixes and security updates for the full support duration.

Plus with Zend, support is always provided by our certified PHP experts instead of a community volunteer.

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Why Engage Zend for PHP Support?

Zend has continued to make significant contributions to the community by helping with the language’s evolution and providing additional PHP offerings, such as:

Want to learn more about your long-term PHP support options?


Additional Resources

This blog was originally published on November 26, 2019. This new version includes information about ZendPHP Enterprise.

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