9 minutes to read

Shopware 5 – how it continues

Shopware 5 – how it continues

To the German article

We, at Shopware, are asked again and again what will happen to Shopware 5, will there be version 5.8 and when will Shopware 6 finally have the same range of functions as Shopware 5. Of course, we know that you need to plan reliably and that is why we want to address these questions here.   

How about Shopware 5? 

Shopware 5 has been around since the 27th of April 2015 and is to be supported until July 2024. That will be a total of nine years – quite a considerable period of time in the software business. 

Until the summer of next year, there will be further bug fixes and improvements. After that, until July 2024, we will still provide security patches but there will be no more new features (and therefore no associated breaking changes). This will mean there will be no version 5.8.

Speaking of bugs: Since Shopware 5 was released, we have closed ~ 90 % of all reported bugs. Even if a bug report ends up in the backlog, it doesn't mean that it will be forgotten. For developers, a backlog is always a collection point for incoming issues, so that they can be pre-sorted, prioritized and, in the best case, worked off in a coordinated manner.  

Savefive takes over Shopware 5 support 

As we announced at Shopware Community Day 2022, safefive will take over further (commercial) support in terms of security fixes and legal compliance for the Shopware 5 project from July 2024 onwards. This will allow us, as a software manufacturer, to fully concentrate on the further development of the Shopware 6 platform. For more information, we would like to refer you to the current shopcast.fm: shopcast.fm episode 30 - SafeFive, the future for Shopware 5? (although it is in German only, sorry).

Your future with Shopware 6

At this point you might question why Shopware 6 even exists. Why is it a completely new approach and redeveloped from scratch?

On the one hand, the refactoring of a monolithic platform (as Shopware 5 is), would have been much more time-consuming, error-prone and thus significantly more expensive for all parties involved than a completely new development of the software platform from scratch.

Therefore, we made the decision to build Shopware 6 on a more modern basis, (i.e. no longer monolithic with all functionalities already built into the software). Instead, we wanted to focus on modularity, so that standard functionality can be overwritten or extended at any time by existing plug-ins or apps. In addition, we wanted it to be possible to use one's own custom extensions in the project. This is exactly how a modern shopping cart system should be organized architecturally nowadays.

In addition, we have implemented an API (standardized programming interface) for both the storefront and the admin, so that any software (regardless of its basis) can dock directly onto Shopware. With this, we want to establish a solid basis for the steady expansion of the ecosystem.

About the use of features

On the other hand, it is well documented that almost all users only use a relatively small proportion of the platform, and this limited use of features should not be underestimated. Nevertheless, in monolithic platforms this code debt is constantly dragged along in the core and has to be maintained. This, of course, hinders innovative development and prevents progress, and is not in anyone’s interest – not in ours (the manufacturer's), nor in that of the implementing agencies or in the end users (Online merchants).


Shopware 6: Less is more

Shopware 6 was designed to be both supremely flexible and maintainable, with a core that is as lean as possible. This is very much in line with modern software architecture's best principles. There is now also strict semantic versioning (breaking changes will only be made in major versions between version 6.4 and version 6.5, for example) and this minimizes any maintenance overhead.

The consistent use of Symfony not only means that we do not have to constantly reinvent the wheel through the stringent use of the framework and the existing components, but also, lowers the barriers to entry into Shopware for developers. Those that know Symfony (perhaps the most widely adopted of PHP frameworks) find understanding Shopware is relatively easy, especially in comparison with other PHP systems that do not use a framework or use a highly customized or not widely adopted framework.

In other words, developers only need to know Symfony to become comfortable with Shopware quickly; no deeper knowledge is necessary. There is, as always, a "steep learning curve" for those that did not know Symfony before, as is the case for adopting any new framework. This is definitely about "professionalization"; there are now strict best practices in extending Shopware 6 and tinkering with the code is no longer so easy. Your development staff may have to be trained differently than was the case with Shopware 5.

Our conclusion 

Let's not fool ourselves: Shopware 6 will do nothing other than help you sell your products in the best possible way, as was the case with Shopware 5. However, with Shopware 6 you can expect a future-proof software architecture, stability, flexibility, and an increase in diversity through a wide ecosystem from which you can choose a vast range of extensions and services. Adapting to the local conditions (e.g. legal compliance) and security fixes, (most notably after 2024 for Shopware 5 users) are naturally part of this.

Shopware 5 is still a fantastic software platform. However, in 2 years' time, it will have reached an age when we can no longer justify its continued use with a clear conscience. With any platform, there has to be the ability for further development and innovation, and at some point, one must retire outdated software.

Together with you – we would like to take the next step!

We know that the change from Shopware 5 to Shopware 6 will mean pain, that new ways of thinking are needed and that employees will have to be trained differently. Of course, all of this relates to effort, but we, and the community, are at your side. We would like to take the next step with you and continue to discuss challenges, enhance functionality and ensure security together.

For specific questions, please use the forum, just as before; developers might also exchange information via Stackoverflow.

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