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If an organization is currently heavily invested into customizations built for CiviCRM 4.6 LTS, is it possible for them to continue using the LTS version of CiviCRM when PHP 5.6 EOL? (31 Dec 2018) and an upgrade to PHP 7+ is necessary?

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This kind of question is hard to answer for an open source project like CiviCRM :-) There is no 'owner' of the product that can tell you this. Nor is there a group of paid developers that will be able to continue supporting this. Considering that I think it is an impossible question to answer, and the wrong one to ask at this point in time. It would have to be one of the considerations when starting with heavy customization.

Having said that, I have worked in closed source situations where this kind of thing was promised by sales manager but never materialised :-). "No we will continue to support this version as long as you want to use it" and then a year later "we really urge you to upgrade as we will no longer support this version".

As an individual and member of the CiviCRM community I would not be interested in keeping a 4.6 version alive in combination with PHP 7. It would probably mean changing the 4.6 to a new PHP 7 compliant subversion, and then keeping it alive. That would leave me hardly any space for making a living. But that is solely as an individual with none of the organizations I work with facing this problem. It is only my personal opinion, it does not mean it is not possible or will never happen.

If there is a large group interested in doing this however you might be able to fund it. Or find partners that are willing to take this on. So I would really urge others to answer your question too!

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  • Thanks for your comment. So if a developer made extensions for CiviCRM 4.6 LTS and PHP 5.6 while CiviCRM 4.7 and PHP7 were out, and advised clients to stay on 4.6 knowing the impending doom, do you think the customer should pay for the upgrades? Obviously, there are lots of financial models out there. – Zachary Mar 6 '18 at 16:52
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    I have no idea :-). Personally I always explain to any organization that there are real downsided to customization. And this is one of them. They tend to ignore the warnings :-). I assume you have not paid any licenses for CivICRM? And did not complain about that? – ErikH - CiviCooP Mar 7 '18 at 8:37
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When PHP 5.6 reaches it end of life. It means basicly that no further updates are coming from the official php group. But it means you can still keep php 5.6 on your server it does not stop from working.

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  • Correct me if I am wrong, but it also means there are no security updates? – Zachary Mar 6 '18 at 16:51
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    Yes it means there are no security updates. Unless the wider php community takes this role over from the php group. Which I dont think will happen. But the changes are more likely to happen than that a smaller comuunity as civicrm makes 4.6 compatible with php 7. – Jaap Jansma - CiviCooP Mar 6 '18 at 17:02
  • All of the CiviCRM sites that I manage run with Drupal 7.x. While Drupal 7 core should be compatible with PHP 7.1 now, one has to check modules individually. And every Drupal site I manage has tons of modules. For me, at least, it makes the OP question moot; I'm going to have to keep running PHP 5.6 past EOL because it is way too much work to get Drupal 7 contrib modules working on PHP 7.1. Am I missing something? – Shai Jul 16 '18 at 20:35
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Skvare was considering supporting 4.6 on php 7. See this link

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