How do you stay ahead of your competition? Easy - Be relevant. Address your audience’s pain points. Repeat. With the adoption of the continuous innovation model, Drupal is doing that and more. Drupal 8.7 was released on May 1st following the 6 months release cycle for Drupal 8. We saw huge improvements in Drupal 8.6 which was a big release. With 8.7, it just got better - With more stable modules ready to be used on productions and other interesting out-of-the-box features.
What's new in Drupal 8.7.0
Drupal 8.7 release is a big step which makes it more modernized, competitive, and user-friendly. Drupal is now truly API first, accessible, easy to use for editors and uses the latest PHP. The new features in Drupal 8.7 makes it easier for marketers to manage and update content effectively.
JSON:API lands in Drupal core
Drupal 8 ships with the JSON:API module which takes forward the API first game. API first initiative is one of the most anticipated features that the Drupal community is working towards. With API first, Drupal will do what it does best - Manage content,and talk to different integrations to deliver content over HTTP APIs. JSON:API is the first module which is added to the core as a stable module without going through an experimental phase.
JSON:API is a contributed module which is meant to deliver high performing API endpoints to expose content using JSON:API specifications. With JSON:API module, to expose any entity from your Drupal 8 site you just need to enable the module and JSON:API that will do the job for you. With its flexibility, the payload can be modified as needed by using just parameters. There's a lot more to that, which can be a topic of another blog post.
Layout Builder is now stable
Layout builder is one of top modules and I was really looking forward to it. In Drupal 8.7 it finally got a stable release and Layout builder now ships with massive improvements. In the current state, I will recommend Layout builder to replace a bunch of layout building modules like Panels, Panelizer, Display suite and another one of my top modules “Paragraphs”.
What’s new in Layout Builder? Well, not only you can have layouts for fieldable entities but now we can have unstructured data as well on our layouts. This means, we can now attach various block types in your Drupal site and create one time block instances.
Here is a short video to demo the powerful Layout Builder from Driesnote in Drupalcon Seattle.
Umami goes Multilingual
The evaluation and demo installation profile, Umami Food Magazine, has a lot of improvement in Drupal 8.7. Umami is an out-of-the-box initiative which demonstrates the power of Drupal 8 out of the box. In 8.7, Umami is now more accessible, has multilingual features, a new welcome tour and uses the new Layout Builder module on Recipe pages to demonstrate the capabilities of the module. It now includes a Spanish version and more languages are being added as you read this.
A new Shiny look for Media Library
Even though still in experimental phase, the Media library gets a fresh look. Built on top of the stable Media module, the Media library allows usage of reusable Media in your Drupal site. These Media can vary from Images, Videos, Files, Documents and even Remote videos. These media assets will have their own identity with a set of attributes and meta information attached to them. This makes search and reusability extremely beneficial for marketers to quickly search and attach media for their contents. Apart from that, it’s easy to use with it’s drag and drop functionality, inline media creation and flexible grid and table views.
Here is a short video to demo for the new things in Media from the Driesnote in Drupalcon Seattle.
Other Notable Updates in Drupal 8.7:
Support for PHP 7.3 and drop of PHP 5.6 support
PHP 7.3 was released in December 2018 and comes with numerous improvements and new features. Also with this release new Drupal sites can only be installed on PHP 7.0.8 or later. Installing Drupal on older versions results in a requirement error.
Support for automatic entity updates has been removed
In Drupal 8.7, automatic entity updates were removed which allowed to a site to update the existing schema of an entity type and its fields storage definitions to the latest (in-code) definitions. It was done to remove data integrity issues since it’s hard to anticipate side effects and critical bugs when executed.
Revisionable Taxonomy terms and Menu items
Taxonomy terms and Menu items are now revisionable which makes them eligible for the editorial workflow like Contents and Blocks.