With Magento 2.3.7, Adobe is releasing a rather unusual update because version 2.4.x is actually the most recent version that further development is focused on.
However, this update gives users and customers more time to prepare for certain technical changes. Our Magento development company in UK has prepared answers to popular questions about Magento migration for you. Have a nice read.
New technical base
It’s been almost a year since the launch of the new major Magento 2.4 update. This version brought many important and big changes. So it makes sense that there are no more updates for older distributions other than security updates. This is common and important in the digital industry, after all, despite security updates, older technologies are more susceptible to attack and offer users less resilience.
However, Adobe is taking a different approach with Magento 2.3.7 and is also releasing an update for the older distro available as of 11.05.21. The reason for this lies in the important underlying technology that all Magento or Adobe Commerce source code is based on: the PHP scripting language.
Platform Update: Move to PHP 7.4
Apart from the general technical updates for the platform, the most important thing that the entire release of Magento 2.3.7 revolves around is the new version of PHP 7.4. End of Life PHP 7.3 will go into effect in December 2021, putting Magento 2.3.x users in a difficult position as EOL will permanently compromise the functionality of all apps and extensions that run on PHP.
Of course, this is not an acceptable situation for professional merchants and store operators in the long run, which is why many are considering either upgrading to Magento 2.4 or even switching to a different store system. Both options involve efforts that some store operators may not be able to handle at the moment.
Adobe is aware of this dilemma and knows that updating to Magento 2.4 is not a small and simple project. For this reason, the software developer is meeting Magento 2.3.x users and customers by releasing Magento 2.3.7, which is fully compatible with PHP 7.4. This gives affected users time to prepare the update and still be able to work with the current version of PHP.
As part of this, support for PHP 7.1 and 7.2 will also be dropped, resulting in all older versions of PHP being banned from the Magento ecosystem. This move seems drastic, but it is only a logical consequence and also provides a higher level of security on the e-commerce platform.
In addition to PHP, other technologies used have also been updated to more current versions:
Version 2.3.7 is now compatible with Composer 2.x. Therefore, Adobe is also recommending that users upgrade to Composer 2.x as Composer 1.x is nearing its end of life as well. However, Magento 2.3.7 still supports Composer 1.x.
Redis 6.x is supported in the new version. However, compatibility with Redis 5.x remains in Magento 2.3.7.
More security updates
While, as mentioned, PHP 7.4 support is the core of the Magento 2.3.7 update, additional security improvements have also been included. Over 40 minor bug fixes include, for example, a brute-force protection mechanism for the reCAPTCHA service. This is necessary to protect online stores from card theft. As an additional security measure, the ability to copy data to the clipboard is disabled.
In addition, internal two-factor authentication TwoFactorAuth received a major upgrade from version 2.5 to 4.0.
Should I migrate to Magento 2.4?
Magento 2.3.x version with current PHP version – many store owners will probably wonder why they should consider upgrading to 2.4. Clearly, Adobe did a great service to users with the subsequent update to version 2.3.7. For example, Adobe has no influence on PHP update cycles, but can react accordingly and has done so very politely with Magento 2.3.7.
However, one thing cannot be left out: efforts to complete the e-commerce platform from PHP 7.3. The upgrade to 7.4 is definitely not small and should not be underestimated. In view of this, users are faced with a decision: first move to Magento 2.3.7 or move directly to Magento 2.4.x.
Because the latest version also requires PHP 7.4 and also offers the latest technology and many useful extensions compared to Magento 2.3.x. There are now also some tools to ease the transition, such as the Composer Root or Upgrade plugin.
Thus, the final decision depends on detailed requirements management and cost comparison.
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