PHP 7 user migrations are well underway

A survey by PHP vendor Zend finds that only 14 percent of users don't plan to move to version 7 of the server-side web development language

PHP users are slowly but surely migrating over to PHP 7, the upgrade to the server-side web development language that came out a year ago. But issues like incompatibility and IT user policy restrictions are stalling their progress.

A recent survey of nearly 1,300 PHP users taken by PHP tools producer Zend found that nearly 20 percent had already made the move, 21 percent were in progress, 15 percent planned to move in the next six months, and 17 percent planned to move in less than one year.

But 14 percent were putting off the migration for more than a year, and another 14 percent were not planning to move at all. Barriers to migration include incompatibility with custom code (nearly 31 percent), lack of support for third-party frameworks and libraries (17), lack of available extensions (11), IT policy restrictions (11), and customer requirements (10).

When respondents were asked about their security concerns related to PHP, they mentioned vulnerabilities in custom code (48 percent), open source or third-party components (30), infrastructure (12.2), and the PHP stack (6.5).

The survey also found, unsurprisingly, that about 93 percent of users were deploying PHP for web applications. It's also being used for services or APIs (63 percent), CMS software (48), internal business applications (46 percent), e-commerce (35 percent), and as a back end for mobile apps (34.35).

Respondents encountered few issues when deploying PHP applications into production, with 25 percent saying they almost never had problems and about 42 percent saying they had problems fewer than one-quarter of the time. About 9 percent said they had problems with almost every deployment or with more than half of deployments.

The survey asked about the problem resolution and maintenance vs. developing new functionalities equation, and it found imbalances in both directions. Slightly less than 35 percent of respondents said they spent three-quarters of their time on new functionality and the rest fixing problems, and almost 26 percent spent the vast majority of their time on new functionality. For about 25 percent, the breakdown was half and half.

Zend also inquired about the frequency of code deployments. Nearly 32 percent deploy several times a week, while 14 percent deploy several times per day. Slightly more than 21 percent deploy weekly, and 27 percent opt for one to three times a month for deployments. Just 6.26 percent deploy one to three times a year.

PHP 7 was unveiled to much fanfare, pledging lower memory usage and dramatic improvements in real-world performance. PHP 7.1 recently made its debut, also featuring speed and programming improvements. The survey was conducted from September 13 to October 1; results were released to InfoWorld yesterday. 

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