With the release of Shopware 5, our software took a major technological leap – towards the better, of course. Not long from now we will release the next big thing: Shopware 5.1, which means even more technological advancements. A few of these techie highlights include:
In previous version of Shopware, the core was the central linchpin for any and all logistics. With Shopware 5.1, we have aggregated these to individual functional units which are all linked to a central switch. This makes Shopware all the more flexible and extensible.
Up until now, programmers were reliant on ExtJS in order to develop extensions. Now it is possible to use other frameworks, such as jQuery, AngularJS or Ember.js. A special interface guarantees the interoperability.
From now on, the MySQL database – the database Shopware uses for storing, accessing and processing information – is supplemented by the very powerful Elasticsearch. Use of Elasticsearch leads to a further increase in performance, especially for large product quantities.
Update from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7
Shopware is one of the first PHP based shop systems – coming November 2015, Shopware will be compatible with PHP 7; an integration that comes with even greater performance in various areas, such as the generation of themes.
To better illuminate the exciting upgrade to PHP 7, we pulled our Director of Research & Development, Sebastian Klöpper, away from the depths of research & development for a short interview:
Shopware: Shopware currently uses PHP 5.6 – when can we cut the ribbon and upgrade to PHP 7?
Sebastian Klöpper: We are currently looking at November 2015.
SW: What are the advantages of this upgrade?
Klöpper: The most significant advantage is an increase in performance. Our developers have already seen speed double in some areas when compared with PHP 5.6. Recent tests confirm this increase. For example, PHP 7 warms up the theme cache in only 2 seconds. PHP 5.6 required 5 seconds to perform the same task. Tests in other areas came back with a 25-30% increase in performance.
Another advantage for the shop owner is security. Older versions of PHP no longer provide security updates. Support for PHP 5.3 has been discontinued for over a year; PHP 5.4 for over a month. We currently support 5.4, however this will discontinue with the release of Shopware 5.2.
SW: What does the update process look like?
Klöpper: When requested by the shop owner, it is relatively easy make the update to PHP 7. As soon as the hosting provider supports PHP 7, the changeover is quick and easy due to entry in the php.ini. However for safety, we recommend always executing any update first in a test environment. Some hosting providers also offer activation via an .htaccess entry so that each directory can quickly activate the respective PHP version.
SW: Should plugin developers be informed of any important changes?
Klöpper: Not really. Plugin developers only have to make changes in exceptional cases. From a technical side, it’s important that Shopware is currently compatible with PHP 5.4. When creating new plugins, we have to pay attention that the plugin is compatible with both PHP 5.4 and PHP 7.
SW: How does it look with the ionCube loader?
Klöpper: ionCube must also be available so that you can use encrypted plugins and the Commercial version. After the release of PHP 7, ionCube announced it will provide a new version of the loader. However, due to complexity of development, no official release date has been announced.
As soon as PHP 7 and the new ionCube loader become available, we will send notifications through every known channel. Generally, your hosting provider can also provide you with comprehensive information.