Sugar now supports PHP 5.6 in Sugar 7.7.1

Matthew Marum —  July 25, 2016

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.

 

 

Matthew Marum

Posts

Matt is the Director of Developer Advocacy for SugarCRM. Previously he was an Engineer on Sugar 7 and a Solutions Architect for the OEM program. He is also an avid trail runner, Boston Marathon qualifier and a karaoke aficionado.

6 responses to Sugar now supports PHP 5.6 in Sugar 7.7.1

  1. 
    Shijin Krishna July 25, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Cool!

  2. 

    Great news, we also got greatly improved performances and lower response time using php5.6 and the extension opcache activated.

  3. 
    Kevin Sockalingum February 13, 2017 at 11:46 am

    This is cool… but having added in the Zend opcache function into the php.ini file, I now experience some issues when trying to save/move new panels within Studio.

    @ Matt have you experienced this before?

    • 

      Hi Kevin,

      Try setting the revalidate frequency to 0 and see if that helps.

      http://php.net/manual/en/opcache.configuration.php#ini.opcache.revalidate-freq

      I’ve seen problems like this because studio metadata is being cached and not being replaced properly in the opcache. Setting the revalidate frequency to 0 will force PHP to check if the referenced PHP file (or metadata in this case) has changed on each request.

      You could also try just restarting the web server after you make a Studio change to see if that helps too. That will forcibly clear the opcache.

  4. 

    Hi Matt just to round this off…. as we upgrade our sites from WinCache & php 5.4 to Zend cache and PHP 5.6, Can you please confirm the optomim config.php settings for the site…. I have the following:

    ‘external_cache_disabled’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_apc’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_memcache’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_memcached’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_redis’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_smash’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_wincache’ => true,
    ‘external_cache_disabled_zend’ => false,