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Announcement: Support, LTS and EOL for Umbraco CMS, Cloud and packages

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Written by Filip Bech

As we develop new features and fix bugs, we want it to be easy and predictable to update your Umbraco Installation to get all the benefits. Today we are announcing our new updated policy for support of Umbraco CMS and the consequences for Cloud and our standalone commercial packages - specifically Umbraco Forms and Umbraco Deploy. Going forward you can choose to stay on new Long Term Supported major-versions and don’t have to upgrade to still get patches and security fixes.

We want it to be safe and easy to use Umbraco CMS in Cloud and elsewhere. We are releasing small and frequent updates and additions on a fixed cadence every 6 weeks (minor releases) and make sure to fix bugs and release the bug fixes as soon as possible without waiting for feature releases. Going forward we will only include breaking changes in new major versions - which will be released twice per year. Read more on this process in these two recent blog posts:

 

Filip and Rune walk you through the new support, LTS and EOL policy.

We do understand that sometimes updating to new major or minor versions may not be an option - this could be due to a breaking change or simply due to the cost in time or money involved in an upgrade. That is why we are announcing that starting from the .NET core release (ETA August 2021), every fourth major version (so every 2 years) will be   Long-term support  (LTS) version. This will allow you to stay on a single supported version of Umbraco for a longer period of time, thereby minimizing the cost of upgrading. 

Introducing 2 phases for major releases

Specifically, we are defining two phases of support for our major releases: 

The “Support” phase
In this phase, we fix bugs, regressions and security issues. New projects can be created in Umbraco Cloud from this version. This phase is 9 months from the first release - and extended to 24 months for LTS-majors.

The “Security only” phase
After the “Support” phase, the release will go into a security-only phase. From here on we will only fix security issues. 

At the end of the security phase, the major is considered End Of Life (EOL), and we no longer recommend using it.

We only ever patch on the latest minor of a particular major. 

Starting from v. 10.x.
After some useful feedback from our community, we have decided to alter our previous proposal on resetting the version numbers for project Unicore. Instead, we will continue the existing versioning - meaning that the upcoming .NET core release will be 9.0.0 (ETA August 2021). 

As for the LTS, we will wait for one major release after a big upgrade like this. This means that the first LTS release on Umbraco CMS will be version 10 (ETA spring 2022). 

For those visual learners (like myself), it looks something like this:

Aligning with .NET LTS releases
Umbraco CMS LTS releases will be aligned with the LTS releases of Microsoft .NET. So you can have your entire platform supported for a longer period of time. 

  • Umbraco 9.0 will support .NET 5
  • Umbraco 10.0 will be LTS and  support .NET 6 LTS
  • The next LTS will be Umbraco 14.0 and will support .NET 8 LTS.

.NET releases are scheduled in November, giving us enough time to prepare support in the following major release of Umbraco (that happens in the spring).

Our recommendation

We recommend that you continually update and upgrade your Umbraco release. This will mean that each update will be simpler and quicker to perform and that you always have the latest features and fixes. 

If upgrading is not an option for your setup, we advise that you continually update as new minors and patches are released, so you stay secure and bug-free.

What about Umbraco 8 (and 7)
We will consider the latest minor releases to Umbraco 8 and Umbraco 7 as LTS. This has the following consequences. 

 

Released / ETA

Security phase start

EOL

Umbraco 7.15.x

July 2019

July 2021

Sept 2023*

Umbraco 8.16.x

Aug 2021

Aug 2023

Aug 2024

* to stay inline with our previous commitments for Umbraco 7, we have extended the security-phase for an extra 14 months.


What about Umbraco Cloud
By default all new projects on Umbraco Cloud are based on the latest version. Should you need to use a previous major, please be aware of the following:

It will no longer be possible to create new projects in Umbraco Cloud based on a major version that has entered the Security phase - this also goes for baseline children.

  • From July 2021 you can no longer create new sites nor create baseline children based on Umbraco 7
  • From August 2023 you can no longer create new sites nor create baseline children based on Umbraco 8

What about Umbraco Forms, Umbraco Deploy etc. 
We plan to align version numbers for Umbraco Forms and Deploy with the CMS. This will make it easy to know which versions are compatible with what. 

The corresponding versions of Forms and Deploy will be LTS. So your .NET, Umbraco CMS and HQ-packages are all supported for longer when you opt for the LTS-releases. 

This version-alignment will happen no later than the first LTS of Umbraco CMS

What about Courier
Since Courier is about to be replaced with Deploy On-premises (ETA March 2021), we will treat it like Umbraco 7 and 8. 

The latest minor for courier (3.1.0) was released in April 2017, meaning that it would already be EOL. We will extend the security phase for courier, so it lasts until March 2022 , after which it will be considered end of life. 

 

Released

Security phase start

EOL

Courier 3.1

April 2017

March 2021

March 2022


We will  stop selling new Courier licences this summer. Furthermore we will reach out to all recent customers to discuss an upgrade to Deploy On-premises. 

What about Uno and Heartcore
Umbraco Uno and Heartcore will automatically upgrade, so this announcement doesn’t change anything for those projects. 

What about deprecations
When we remove features these will be deprecated in advance when possible. The details are also described in the previous blogpost. 

What about training and certifications?

Naturally, the new release cadence for Major releases brings questions about training and certifications - both for you who’re currently certified as well as for you who are considering investing in training soon. 

Given the nature of the technical changes between Umbraco 8 to 9, we will offer bridging courses where necessary given the course topic and the level of changes you need to be aware of.

If you’re buying Umbraco 8 training courses today, March 4th, 2021, or onwards, you will automatically get access to the associated Umbraco 8 to 9 bridging courses when they’re available later this year.  This means you can go gain your needed Umbraco 8 knowledge now, and rest assured knowing you’ll be able to update the certification you are buying, to Umbraco 9 when the bridging courses are released.

The final details about which courses will have a bridging course option, as well as info about how we’ll handle certifications going forward, will be announced in a blog post in April. 

Look forward to a better, more stable and predictable Umbraco!

As Umbraco continues to evolve you can rest assured that you will stay up to date and secure even for projects after development has stopped. 

We continue to recommend that you are always on the newest version, but you can still stay on a safe and supported path if you only stick to LTS-versions. And with the coordinated alignment of LTS’s the central pieces (from Microsoft and Umbraco) will only have to be upgraded every 24 months. 

We continue to work hard at making Umbraco CMS and our products and offerings better, more stable and more predictable. If you find any of this unclear, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us clear things up for you and everybody else.

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