Drupal is one of the very few CMSes that has stayed relevant for 15+ years. – Dries
Drupal is one of the most popular CMS in the market, having 4.6% of the market share as well as used by more than 964K websites. The reason behind this success is its performance, simplicity, and organized approach. Drupal has everything scheduled and planned, starting from patch releases to the end of life of a version.
Drupal has released the entire schedule on its website, making it easier and managed for the developers to prepare themselves to adapt to the change. Drupal releases the updates and versions in cycles, to provide ease in switching or upgrading.
For instance, Drupal dedicates the first Wednesdays of every month to the bug fixes for Drupal 7.x, 8.9.x, and Drupal 9.0.x, and the third Wednesdays for the security releases for the same version. The schedule of the upcoming releases and EOL is also ready and announced-
|Cycle||Week of||Scheduled Action|
|Current development cycle||23 March 2020||9.1.x development started.|
|19 October 2020||The release of Drupal 9.1.0-alpha1and 9.2.x will be opened for development.|
|2 November 2020||The release of Drupal 9.1.0-beta1.|
|16 November 2020||The release of Drupal 9.1.0-rc1.|
|2 December 2020||The release of Drupal 9.1.0. End of security support for 8.8.x.|
|Next development cycle||5 April 2021||The release of 9.2.0-alpha1 and 9.3.x opened for development.|
|3 May 2021||The release of 9.2.0-beta1.|
|17 May 2021||The release of 9.2.0-rc1.|
|2 June 2021||The release of 9.2.0. (8.9.x and 9.1.x security support continue through November 2021.)|
|End of Life||28 November 2022||Extending Drupal 7’s End-of-Life.|
|November 2021||Drupal 8 End of Life.|
As per the schedule, the time is here and Drupal has made the announcement for Drupal 9.1.0 alpha 1 release, which is scheduled in the week of 19 October 2020. The objective of the alpha phase is to start the preparation of the future release, including the upcoming novel features and API additions in the version.
Until Drupal 7, the up-gradation to the higher version was a complex and time taking process. From Drupal 8, the upgrades were made smoother like never before, releasing new features every 6 months, instead of releasing the entire version at once. Releasing the version in parts made it easier and smoother for the developer to download the new features and upgrade.
For this, Drupal starts the preparation for the next release from the previous versions, making minor changes in it and checking its backward compatibility. Finally, when the patches are found compatible, it does the security fixes and removes the deprecated branches from it. For instance, most of the preparations for Drupal 9 were done in Drupal 8 itself.
Drupal 9.1.x will be entering its alpha phase and available for testing. Along with this release, Drupal 9.2.x will also be opened for development, followed by the release of Drupal 9.1.x beta version in the week of November 2, 2020.
Once 9.2.x is created, the new features and API additions will no longer be added to the Drupal 9.1.x branch, instead, it will be added to Drupal 9.2.x. Henceforth, as per the process followed by Drupal, after branching Drupal 9.2.x, the experimental modules will be removed from the 9.1.x codebase.
The final release of Drupal 9.1.0 is scheduled for December 2nd, 2020. Along with this, Drupal has also announced to provide security releases for Drupal 8.8.x until the week of December 2, 2020, and for Drupal 8.9.x until November 2021.
Drupal is known for its momentous features like reliability, flexibility, scalability, robustness, and simplicity. Being introduced in 2000, Drupal has come a long way, having 9 versions in its pocket. Drupal gained a lot of popularity in a very short period, and it is already on the way to release its latest minor version very soon, after which it will be ending support for the previous version.
Hence, it’s high time, if you are still using Drupal 8, you should prepare yourself to upgrade to Drupal 9. If you need assistance in the process, Hire a Drupal Expert, who will upgrade your website ultra smoothly. So, stay tuned for the latest Drupal updates.