Adobe is going to be extremely useful in reducing the frequency of the core Commerce application upgrades in 2022. Therefore, keeping your Adobe Commerce development instance thoroughly updated is surely the key to maintaining a platform that has all the latest features, is secure, performant and reliable. Adobe has always enabled its users to run predictable, repeatable, and seamless upgrades. Over the past 18 months, the Adobe Commerce product team made several changes to the release process, encompassing a predictable lifecycle and release policy, as well as beta and pre-release programs. The entire upgrade process has also been simplified with the introduction of the quality patches, the upgrade compatibility tool, along with a new marketplace extension compliance policy.
Three patches are supposed to be provided instead of four from now until October 2022 – including two full patches and one security patch.
Full patch releases will comprise security, compliance, performance, and high priority bugs, so as to reduce the complexity of upgrades. New innovations will be helpful for independent services like Live Search or Product Recommendations, Amazon Sales Channel, etc.
- Full patches include updates to the core application only.
- These releases are infrequent and they include security, compliance and performance updates, along with high priority bugs.
- Update can be performed by the merchant
Security Patch Release
- Will include only security-related updates
- Exquisitely Designed for security compliance
- Update can be performed by the merchant
The Quality Patch tool will provide community contributions along with lower priority issues, which means merchants can choose the updates that are of importance to them, providing a greater agility for maintenance.
- Focuses primarily on new features
- These are delivered as independent service or module
- automatically updated.
PHP & End of Support dates
Adobe will be shifting EOS i.e. end of support dates to align with those of PHP which implies that whenever a PHP version will reach its end of life EOL, Adobe is expected to update Adobe Commerce code to maintain the PCI compliance. The lifecycle policy of Adobe Commerce has additionally been aligned with PHP EOL dates.
|Release||End of Software Support||Dependent PHP Version|
|Adobe Commerce 2.4.0-2.4.3||Nov 2022||PHP 7.4|
|Adobe Commerce 2.4.4-2.4.6||Nov 2024||PHP 8.1|
Release Calendar 2022
The Adobe Commerce release calendar is available at: https://devdocs.magento.com/release/.
Beta Program and the Quality Patch Tool
The beta program and the Quality Patch tool are available to fasten the delivery of significant updates for Adobe Commerce as well as Magento Open Source. It is expected that Adobe will be releasing the beta code starting in October 2021 for the Q1 2022 full patch release, until the 2.4.4 pre-release date just to help the partners prepare for upcoming improvements and the transition from PHP 7.4 to PHP 8.1. Merchants are also able to access the upgrade plan checklist, the upgrade compatibility tool and the upgrade best practices guide, to check for scheduling of updates and development.
Simplifying upgrades with Adobe Commerce
Upgrade Best Practices
Adobe Commerce is mostly popular for its flexibility and its ease of customization. It provides a great deal of extensibility points for the users to design and customize the UI, extend the API and several core services. Adobe commerce development further seamlessly integrates with third-party systems. To ensure an efficient upgrade, therefore it is crucial to make all these customizations in a proper way. Upgrade best practices guide is helpful in describing the following parameters in detail:
- The levers that are responsible for the complexity of an upgrade
- Calculations which are required to upgrade effort and cost
- Best practices for upgrade and coding standards
- Upgrade planning and strategies for execution
- Post-upgrade testing
Enhancements in the Upgrade compatibility tool
The upgrade compatibility tool is a command-line interface or CLI tool that analyzes all the customizations on a given Adobe Commerce instance and also identifies code that might need updating prior to an upgrade. The initial release had the upgrade compatibility tool validating compatibility for PHP and the GraphQL API. The new release is expected to expand the scope of coverage along with the following enhancements.
- core file modifications: With this release, there is a checkpoint for customers and partners to identify modifications to the core code and make out the impact of the modifications. This will further help you identify issues in the development process proactively, thereby preventing problems during the future upgrades and reducing TCO.
- Exporting the report to a JSON file: This was implemented after following feedback from the community. In this, the details of all identified issues are basically exported to a JSON file so that you can read, share, and manage the results without any need to run the tool again.
- Handle VBE validations in an improved way: VBEs or Vendor Bundled Extensions are not part of Adobe Commerce core code but these are tested and supported by Adobe. VBEs can now be validated using the same approach for core code which will help users to understand issues related to customizations and the core code/VBEs clearly.
- Error codes: Error codes help you identify, understand and solve issues during the course of an upgrade. Error and warning messages thus provide a better description and suggested solution.
You can also join #upgrade-compatibility-tool slack channel to get any kind of support from the Adobe product team and the community to help guide the future direction of this tool.
Marketplace Compatibility Policy for the Extensions
Adobe is implementing several measures to ensure the quality and compatibility of extensions available in the marketplace. A new compatibility policy has also been introduced that requires the vendors to confirm compatibility of extensions for any minor release within 90 days and patch release within 30 days of being available. Extensions not meeting these guidelines will further be delisted from the Marketplace as on expiration of the deadline. The Commerce Marketplace Extension Quality Program also validates submissions for the baseline functionality, code quality, absence of malware, and much more. This policy gives users confidence to use the extensions to meet their business needs.
Planning for future upgrades
With PHP 7.3 almost about to reach the end of support in December 2021, and Adobe Commerce 2.3 which is supposed to reach end of support in April 2022, it is important that the users update their environments as per the latest version of Adobe Commerce which will enable PCI compliance and access to ongoing security updates, support, along with new functionalities. As Marketplace extensions are a crucial part of upgrades, and can emerge to be a major blocker if it is not compatible with the target version, the new Marketplace compatibility policy ensures accelerated availability of extensions for the new releases of Adobe Commerce thereby making it easier for the users to upgrade. The latest Upgrade best practices guide and updates to the upgrade compatibility tool equip partners and customers with the assets that they need to plan for and simplify the entire upgrade process.
If you are still using these older versions of PHP and Adobe Commerce, as a renowned Magento website development company in India we suggest you get started on your upgrade plan.
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