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The Road to D8: What will be available and when?

John Bickar
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

​For over seven years, Drupal 7 (D7) has been University IT’s primary web framework for Stanford Sites, growing more robust and complex with every new website and customized build.

To continue receiving security updates and community support, the Drupal service must be advanced to the latest version, Drupal 8 (D8) by late 2021. That sets an aggressive timeline for my Stanford Web Services (SWS) colleagues and I to have the D8 platform released, so that D7 websites can move to the latest version. Imagine building a whole new Drupal framework in one year, while considering the many unique website needs Stanford Sites users have cultivated over the past seven. That’s the challenge we are tackling.

With D8, we can offer a scalable platform to create beautiful, secure, functional, accessible, and easily-managed websites. Our goal for February 2020 is to provide site owners and content editors with a simplified, easy-to-use authoring experience. As we continue to build out the platform, we’ll release more power tools to enhance the site builder experience. My point: February 2020 is just the launchpad; it will only continue to get better from there!  

Release schedule

So what does releasing D8 for Stanford Sites look like? It looks like a whole lot of building and testing, followed by a series of iterative feature and version releases, along with regular security patches and upgrades, in true Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) fashion. 

To help wrap your mind around our road to D8 (and retirement of D7 support), follow along the release schedule infographic below.


Infographic showing the release schedule for Stanford Sites on Drupal 8

Stanford Sites on Drupal 8

release schedule

Initial Release February 2020

Content editors can create a simple Stanford-branded website with basic text, images, and video content. A subset of features and functionality are available:

  • Stanford single sign-on (SSO)
  • Accessible
  • Mobile-responsive layout
  • Stanford theme
  • Easy-to-use authoring tools
  • User guide

monthly feature releases spring 2020

Content editors can create and build a Stanford-branded site of ~50 to 100 pages with additional content features. Additional content features and tools are rolled out:

  • News
  • events
  • event series
  • people
  • CAPx
  • flexible theming tools

New version releases 2021 and beyond

Site building power tools are rolled out. Future versions and Drupal 9 are automatic upgrades.

D7 Community support ends November 2021

The Drupal community no longer provides security updates when new vulnerabilities are discovered on Drupal 7 (D7).

D7 commercial support ends November 2024

Acquia Cloud platform’s extended support for Drupal 7 ends November 2024.

Stay tuned for more D8 updates

The D8 team will post more updates to our Drupal Project page and to this blog in the coming months on topics, including:

  • D8 pilot retrospective
  • What you can do now
  • Tips on how to prepare for the move to D8 
  • February 2020 release features and functionality
  • How to test your website for compliance with Stanford’s online accessibility policy

Questions or comments? Continue the conversation on the Drupal Slack channel in the Stanford Communities of Practice workspace.