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Drupal Version 9.4

Drupal has released its most recent version, 9.4. So, what’s new?

Sarah Farroukh
Sarah Farroukh

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Drupal 9 has been installed live over 100,000 times; owing to their custom of releasing updates continuously, the owners released an updated version, Drupal 9.4, on June 15, 2022. The official website shows it is a minor version of Drupal 9 and ready to use on the production sites. In this article, I will review the new features introduced in the latest Drupal 9.4. Stay tuned!

The updated version witnessed many changes, including,

  • Dynamic determination of the Minimum PHP version
  • Manage Permissions tab

And a few new elements are also added. Let’sLet’s take a look at them:

  • The administrative theme has changed from Seven to Claro
  • The default frontend theme has changed from Bartik to Olivero
  • API has also witnessed changes

In addition to the above, libraries and a few functions have been deprecated.

Should You Upgrade to Drupal 9.4?

To avail of the most up-to-date integrations and enhanced user experience, it is recommended to upgrade at the earliest. Moreover, security support for Drupal 9.2.x will come to an end after the release of 9.4. You must upgrade to version 9.3, at least. Additionally, there are functionalities and new improvements.

Before You Upgrade

The upgrade is highly recommended, and some minimum requirements must be checked before you get into the upgradation pool.

  • The PHP version that you are using currently serves the least requirements.

So, what are those requirements?

You need to have Drupal 7.4, at least. But I would sincerely recommend version 8.1.

And do you know how they define the minimum version? There is a method based on the release cycle of Drupal and PHP versions, the \Drupal\Core\PhpRequirements::minimumSupportedPhp(), and the minimum required version is stipulated using the same only.

  • .htaccess file

The custom settings must proceed into the new section if;

  • Your application used PHP7^ before
  • You want the upgradation process to PHP8^
  • You have conversions to htaccess

The 9.4 version will warn if the database connection does not support the JSON format. For Drupal 10, a connection supporting JSON is a prerequisite.

Note: make sure to contact Drupal support in case of any query.

What Are The Vital Changes Launched in Drupal 9.4?

Undoubtedly, the Drupal 9.4 version has witnessed a lot of new functionalities. There may be thousands of reasons to upgrade to the latest version, but you must know the most crucial ones matching your requirements.

  • Claro – The official default theme for the Drupal 9.4 version

Claro is a proud portion of the Admin UI and JavaScript Modernisation drive. It is an approachable, distinct, and coherent theme. If you compare it with Bartik, a frontend theme, it protrudes due to highly impactful solutions for the users and novelty. Another value-added advantage is its accessibility.

Claro has a striking contrast and a clear disparity, and its visual indications are enchanting yet powerful.

  • Olivero – A breakthrough step toward Drupal’s advancement

Olivero, a default frontend theme, comes with one of the most outstanding graphic designs, and it is, of course, different from the old typical Bartik theme due to complete support for the fresh Drupal functionalities, including,

  1. Layout Builder
  2. Embedded Media
  3. Multi-level Navigation

Olivero is highly compatible with your currently used Drupal website. The best part is it allows you to easy-to-access websites due to its adherence to ADA compliance.

Administrators are allowed to configure permissions for vocabularies and types of content. In the previous versions, the sitewide Roles and Permissions tab is dedicated to this task. It includes the standard tabs for editing, field management, and content display. A complete list of defined permissions is added in this particular tab, and all of them are associated with the kind of content that we are presently editing.

You can add the following keys for the tab to be visible;

  1. links.entity-permissions-form.
  2. Handlers.route_provider.permission
  • Advanced Security Updates

An amazing newly added feature! Now, you can apply the composer dependency security updates avoiding the requirement to depend upon the Drupal core for composer updates. The patch level updates are applied by Drupal/core-recommended for composer dependencies.

  • Newfangled Standards of Coding

For the validation of JavaScript, Drupal has been using ESLint. There are no changes to the tool, but Drupal core is utilising a different configuration, eslint-config-airbnb-base, in place of eslint-config-airbnb.
In case developers are using ESLint of the JSX or React code, they must ensure to add eslint-config-airbnb to their dependencies. But why?

Because the currently used base version doesn’t include library rules.

Deprecated Modules in Drupal 9.4

  1. Aggregator module
  2. Colour Module
  3. Quick Edit Module
  4. Hypermedia Application Module or HAL

All the modules mentioned above are marked deprecated and will be removed in Drupal version 10. In addition to that, the Forum module, SimpleTest stubs, and Entity Reference are also marked as deprecated.

What if you still want to use the deprecated modules? Contrib Module is the ultimate solution for all deprecated modules. Simply install the contrib version, and you’re good to go.

How to tackle the deprecated functions? The Upgrade Status contrib module lists all the deprecated functions used in custom modules and contrib, and themes, too. IDE is the alternative solution. It enlists all the deprecated functions.

Additional Read: How much does a Drupal website development cost?

Deprecated Libraries in Drupal 9.4 Version

  • Backbone and Underscore

The former was used to build a series of functions, while the latter created interactive user interfaces. Drupal core and libraries, including drupal.filter.filter_html.admin and drupal.editor.admin do not use them anymore. If you have themes and modules using these libraries, you must re-write them.

  • Modernizr.touchevents

This was used to check if the touchevents are supported by the currently used devices. Now, it is being replaced using the exact logic, and if you use the functions used by modernizr.touchevents, you must pass over this reliance. This is crucial to regulate the actions of the website.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

A few database drivers have been shifted to their self-modules, including,

  1. PostgreSQL
  2. MySQL
  3. SQLite

PHP 7.4 is supported by Drupal 9.4, but the recommended version is still PHP 8.1.
There is an installed warning feature in Drupal 9 for Percona, My SQL, and MariaDB databases in case the database connection is not supporting JSON.
CKEditor 4 will be replaced by CKEditor 5, and CKEditor has its end-of-life (EOL) IN 2023. Testing would be a prerequisite for becoming compatible with Drupal version 10.

Wrap Up

Till December 2022, Drupal 9.3.x have access to security support. Both 8.9.x and 9.2.x are no longer subject to security support. Already excelling in SEO, the new version is based on the latest modern standards, which makes Drupal 9.4 a step forward in accessibility, security, and maintainability. A scheduled minor update is released, adding to the functionalities and new features, and it doesn’t break the backward compatibility for public APIs.

Need help with Drupal development solutions? Book a 30-minute free consultation with us!

Sarah Farroukh
Sarah Farroukh
Content Writer
Sarah is a content writer with over two years of experience. She is passionate about writing about tech and helping brands to achieve success online. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys experimenting with new recipes, reading both fiction and non-fiction books, and staying connected on various social media platforms.
Sarah Farroukh
Sarah Farroukh
Sarah is a content writer with over two years of experience. She is passionate about writing about tech and helping brands to achieve success online. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys experimenting with new recipes, reading both fiction and non-fiction books, and staying connected on various social media platforms.

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