When development on Version 6.0 of WHMCS began, we set ourselves some very ambitious goals.
The most visible change is of course the new client area look, however it is so much more than just a new look. The aim was to create not only a great looking user experience, but also the most user friendly, cross browser and platform compatible, developer accessible client area offered by any web host billing platform.
And we're confident you'll love the results.
The real benefit of the new frontend will be seen through the power of how modules (and hooks) can shape the user experience, and once the beta period opens, we'll be opening up communication channels for developers to get in contact with us and discuss the best ways in which they can take advantage of that new functionality. We also have a few surprises up our sleeves so stay tuned for those. :)
But Version 6.0 is about much more than just a new frontend. This is a huge deal for us.
It marks the culmination of a year of hard work, with considerable behind the scenes investment in new technologies and new code, setting the stage for us to ramp up and continue delivering an ever improving quality of product to our users at an even more rapid pace. I will touch on just a few of these here.
Composer is just one of a number of really good advancements to come along for PHP development community in recent years. Created by Nils Adermann and Jordi Boggiano, Composer allows us to utilise components and libraries from other projects and frameworks, which allows us to significantly reduce development time, whilst ensuring we're using quality tried and tested code, as well as giving developers, who work with WHMCS, code and API's that they will likely be familiar with. So far we're using components from Symfony, Laravel and a number of other specific packages used throughout the PHP community for their stability and power.
Next on the list was future planning for the deprecation of PHP's original MySQL functions, and with that in mind, we made the decision to commit to using Models driven by an ORM. After much testing and debate internally, we settled on using the Laravel Eloquent ORM aka Illuminate Database. This makes interacting with the database much easier, and will hugely simplify working with the WHMCS backend database in add-ons, custom reports, and many other ways.
PHP Version requirements is another big issue. PHP is a modern enterprise language that has been consistently providing more advanced features, stability, and security to its developers, and we intend to take full advantage of it. For 6.0, we announced mid-way through last year that PHP 5.3 would be the minimum requirement to run WHMCS 6.0. We really wanted to make this 5.4, but we appreciate that a significant percentage of our users are still running on PHP 5.3 (and even 5.2 in some cases), and that sometimes there are factors that make upgrading PHP difficult. Moving forward however, our PHP support will be much more aligned to that of the official PHP project, so just a little heads up on that.
Last but not least, we've also made a lot of internal changes in the WHMCS labs and offices, both to our backend systems, internal organisation and workflow, our testing infrastructure, and more, including a significant increase in the coverage and permutations of our automated UI, API, and unit tests.
We've also committed heavily to investing further in the product, and with that in mind we're hiring - so if you're a super talented PHP developer, we want to hear from you.
As I started out by saying, Version 6.0 is not far away now. In the coming weeks, we'll be posting a series of blog articles that go into more detail about what to expect in Version 6.0 and with more in depth details about some of "under the hood" changes and technical aspects to come. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog and social media accounts. And if you aren't on our mailing list, subscribe here to be among the first to hear about it.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
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