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Silverstripe CMS Major Release Policy and update on CMS 5

Earlier this year, we announced a consultation on a formal Major Release Policy for Silverstripe CMS which has now been published. Here’s an overview of the new policy, including an update on Silverstripe CMS 5.

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Earlier this year, we announced a consultation on a formal Major Release Policy for Silverstripe CMS. Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment and make suggestions on the RFC. Your feedback has helped us validate our assumptions and lead us to make some adjustments.

This Major Release Policy has now been confirmed and published. We encourage everyone to take the time to read the new Major Release policy.

Major release policy highlights

Our aim is to deliver regular major releases at predefined intervals with a clear support timeline. The key objective of this new policy is to allow Silverstripe CMS project owners to plan major upgrades ahead of time.

New Silverstripe CMS major releases will be tagged in odd years (e.g. 2023, 2025, 2027, etc). At any given time, only two major release lines will officially be supported.

During the first two years of a major release, it will be in a period of active development. This means that the release will receive new features, bug patches, and security fixes.

This will be followed by a bug and security fixes phase for one year. No new features will be released for that major version from that point on. Finally, there will be a security fixes only phase that will last for one year before the release line goes end-of-life.

What this means for release management

The tentative release date for Silverstripe CMS 5 is set for April 2023. We’re planning to ship a beta version in early 2023.

Silverstripe CMS 4 will be fully supported until April 2024. It will be in limited support until April 2025. This means you will have two full years to upgrade before Silverstripe CMS 4 goes end-of-life, at which point we will be releasing Silverstripe CMS 6.

A full roadmap will continue to be published on our website.

CMS Timeline

This timeline is indicative only.

The plan for Silverstripe CMS 5

Silverstripe CMS 5 will be an iteration on CMS 4, rather than a revolution. There’s only about four months left before we’re due to tag the Silverstripe CMS 5 beta. Most of that time will be allocated to stabilising activities such as upgrading dependencies, paying down technical debt, and fixing issues we couldn’t solve without breaking APIs.

In practice, this means that there will not be many substantial changes between Silverstripe CMS 4 and Silverstripe CMS 5. This will simplify the upgrade process for your Silverstripe CMS projects. It will also give us a clean slate to build new features and capabilities going forward, with minimal maintenance pain.

Keep up-to-date with progress on Silverstripe CMS 5

We’re still building up our backlog for Silverstripe CMS 5. However, we do have  development branches set up for core modules and we expect to tag at least one alpha release before the end of 2022.

You can create a Silverstripe CMS 5 project right now if you want. You won’t see many changes at this early stage.

composer create-project silverstripe/installer:5.x-dev cms5

Read the CMS Squad Sprint announcements on the Silverstripe CMS Forum to keep up with the Silverstripe CMS 5 progress. We post updates every two weeks or so.

About the author
Maxime Rainville

Maxime was the CMS Squad Team Lead at Silverstripe. The CMS Squad is the team inside Silverstripe that looks after Silverstripe CMS day-to-day.

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