Sugar now supports PHP 5.6 in Sugar 7.7.1

Sugar and older versions of PHP

The latest version of PHP that Sugar 6.5 supported was PHP 5.3 which was released back in 2009. That is a long time ago folks. A sizable portion of the Sugar Developer community was in grade school back when PHP 5.3 was cool.

While we like to keep Sugar on the cutting edge, we have not been able to keep up to date with the latest PHP release. We have needed to maintain an upgrade path in each new Sugar release for customers still on Sugar 6.5. That is, up until now.

PHP Support matrix

As of Sugar 7.7.1 release:

Sugar version Supported PHP versions
 6.5.x  5.2  5.3
 7.6.x  5.3  5.4
 7.7.0  5.3  5.4  5.5
 7.7.1  5.3  5.4  5.5  5.6

We do not plan on supporting 4 different versions of PHP forever, so you can expect to see support for older versions of PHP, such as PHP 5.3, to be dropped in upcoming Sugar releases.

For the complete and up-to-date reference of supported PHP versions, please view our Supported Platforms documentation.

Read on to learn more about why you should upgrade.

Benefits of PHP 5.6

Fact is, there are a ton of benefits of running Sugar on PHP 5.6 instead of earlier PHP versions. Anyone running Sugar On-Site should be evaluating how soon they can upgrade.

Improved Performance

Our performance team has estimated about a 30% improvement in performance in our test environment after upgrading from PHP 5.4 to PHP 5.6.

I don't know anybody who does not like their software fast.

Zend OPcache built-in

Who loves installing and configuring APC , Zend OPcache, or WinCache in order to get accelerated PHP?  Nobody.

With PHP 5.6, Zend OPcache is not only built-in, it is enabled by default.  It is also demonstrably faster than the alternatives.  Also worth mentioning for Windows users is that WinCache is now deprecated in favor of the built-in OPcache.

Here are some suggested settings for using Zend OPcache with Sugar instances from the Performance team. These settings are a good starting point then you can optimize based on your individual instance's needs.

Just add the following to your php.ini file.

; Suggested OPcache settings for Sugar

opcache.max_accelerated_files = 10000

opcache.memory_consumption = 256

opcache.fast_shutdown = 1

opcache.interned_strings_buffer = 16

Ultimately, utilizing the built-in PHP accelerator helps reduces the amount of work necessary to deploy and maintain a Sugar supported stack with accelerated PHP.

Long Term Support until the end of 2018

The community support windows for older versions of PHP have been expiring. But Long Term Support for PHP 5.6 ends in December 2018. So PHP 5.6 in production environments is a safe bet for the long haul.