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With the upcoming release of v9 Umbraco also announced the end-of-life for v8 back in March:
Umbraco 8 EOL: August 2024
In my opinion an EOL of less than 3 years is pretty short (too short?) especially since there's no easy upgrade path for v8 to v9? I'm sure like me a lot you have recently launched one or more v8 projects. And now I have to tell my clients that they will have to make a serious investment again in less than 3 years to upgrade their website to the most recent Umbraco version (probably v14 or v15). If an upgrade is even possible considering that some packages/dependencies might still not be available for the .NET Core version of Umbraco then. Sure, upgrading a relatively straight forward website from v8 to .NET Core won't be such a big deal, but with most projects there's a ton of bespoke functionality involved: custom datatypes, custom backoffice extensions, etc..
Of course Umbraco already announced the EOL roughly 6 months ago. But since v9 wasn't available we still had to build on v8. Asking clients to wait for the v9 release may have been an option for projects that started 1-2 months ago, but not for projects that started in March-July.
I'd really like to hear other people's opinions on this matter.
How long would you realistically expect Umbraco HQ to support v8?
As far as I can tell, Umbraco's Long-term Support (LTS) and End-of-Life (EOL) strategy is aligned with Microsoft policies. Which makes sense.
However, I can understand the frustration, I started a new client website 2 months ago, due to be launched in October. The decision to use v8 came down to skillset and speed of development, (e.g. I know .NET Fx better than .NET Core, and couldn't afford to hit any snags with a v9 alpha/beta - project delivery was paramount).
In terms of my client's understanding about v8's EOL, I suspect that hasn't fully sunk in yet - again as project launch/delivery was more important that long-term support. They'll cross that bridge when they get to it. Which either means, an upgrade path (not trivial, but very possible/achievable), or a rebuild (eek!). Either option is a bitter pill to swallow.
That said, this particular client of mine last had their website rebuilt 3 years ago.
As for packages support, all I can say is there has been much much more effort in this area than there was for previous major releases, that goes for both v6 to v7 and v7 to v8. I'd expect to see the majority of packages available for v9 (in some form or another).
Thanks for the comment.
Package dependencies aside, the more bespoke features a v8 project has the more time/money it will cost to port these features to v9. So basically clients are forced to invest twice in the same features in a relatively short timespan.
I'd say 5 years would be more acceptable for most clients. And I'm not talking about getting new features, or bugfixes even. Just patches for critical security issues (if any) so that people can safely continue to use v8.
Please note that I don't mind the LTS/EOL strategy for v9 onward provided that major upgrades on the .NET Core version of Umbraco would be comparable to minor upgrades on v8. At least that's what Umbraco has been saying.
Although I am also curious to hear how package developers will be dealing with this new release strategy. Will they be focusing on the LTS versions or will they be making their packages compatible with each short-lived major version in between as well?
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one dealing with these questions. So I hope to get some ideas and opinions from other Umbraco developers.
Hi, I'm Filip, I'm the PM for Umbraco CMS.
Thank you for your inputs... Just a note to say I'm listening in here, and taking mental notes!
I know migrating to 9+ and .NET 5+ can be a big task. Our decision about the 2+1 years of LTS is made to go above and beyond what microsoft does (for .NET LTSs they do only 2 years), and because we hope projects expected to run longer than 3 years, would be projects where migrations would make sense. Of cause we can never set a date that will satisfy everybody...
To clarify one thing mentioned.. the august-date is an outdated example, to illustrate the point that it will be 2+1 years after the initial release of the last minor. More likely it will be late 2021 og even Q1 of 22... At least that buys you a couple of more months... (we are working on changing the dates to make it super clear)...
Hi Filip, thanks for chiming in. Again, I don't mind the new LTS/EOL strategy assuming there's a relatively easy upgrade path between major releases of Umbraco 9 and up. My main concerns with the EOL of Umbraco 8 are purely based on the fact that in most cases it'll be a lot of work and cost a lot of money to upgrade to .NET Core.
Since Umbraco is shifting from .NET Framework to .NET Core and LTS releases will be aligned with .NET Core's LTS schedule I believe it would make more sense to align the EOL of Umbraco 8 with the EOL of .NET Framework 4.8. This would make the discussion with clients about the "forced" upgrade to .NET Core a lot easier, simply because Microsoft is forcing us and Umbraco is just following along.
I believe that as of now the EOL of .NET Framework 4.8 is linked to the EOL of the current OS (Windows 10) which is October 14, 2025. Provided that Windows 11 will not be shipped with .NET Framework 4.8, because that would extend the EOL with X years.
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