Overview of the new features of Drupal 8.7

17 May 2019
The first release candidate of Drupal 8 was issued at the end of 2015. A lot has happened in the last three and a half years: Drupal 7 modules have been ported, the Drupal 8 core stabilized, and the already-ported Drupal 8 modules further developed. At the moment, over 200,000 sites are using Drupal 8 (this number includes only sites using the “Update Status” module which enables statistics to be uploaded).

Drupal version 8.7 was released at the start of May. This article gives you a quick overview of the new features it contains.

First of all, here are a few things to consider before you move to version 8.7:

  • PHP 5.5 and PHP 5.6 will no longer be supported in this version.
  • Theming support for IE9 has been dropped.
  • The “entity_update_backup” configuration setting has been introduced. This backs up entity data after update operations. You can disable this functionality by setting the parameter to FALSE: this setting deletes the backup tables at the end of the update process.
  • Menu items and taxonomy terms are now revisionable.


Stable version of the Layout Builder module

This new version of Drupal marks the release of the first stable version of the Layout Builder module.


Layout Builder is used to change how content is presented. For instance, you can add sections to display the content using different arrangements and create different displays of the same content type to suit different requirements.

The user interface is similar to that for the page builders in systems like WordPress and Wix.

The combination of this user interface and Drupal’s content-management functionality makes Layout Builder a very powerful site creation tool.

To use the functionality in the Layout Builder module, you simply go to the configuration for a content type and activate the functionality.


Layout Builder can be used in different ways: to create a page format for each type of content (e.g. article, page, news etc.), or to create a different format for each piece of content.



You can choose a different arrangement and number of columns for each section.

But is Layout Builder really a likely successor to modules like Paragraphs or Display Suite?

First stable version of the JSON:API module

The JSON:API module is an integral part of the Drupal core. You can use it without any configuration to create an API server implementing the JSON:API specifications.

You can also use this module to generate json output that can be used by Android/IOS applications or by front-end frameworks such as React or Angular.


Updates to the base themes Stable and Classy

This version of Drupal includes minor modifications to the Stable and Classy themes.

However, if other custom themes have extended the behaviour of these two base themes, you should check the information in the following two notes:


- https://www.drupal.org/node/2935209

- https://www.drupal.org/node/3018097



In order to comply with the GDPR in the Drupal Core, the Comment module no longer tracks IP addresses. You can administer this functionality via the parameter comment.settings.log_ip_addresses which can be populated from the “settings.php” file.

$settings[‘comment.settings.log_ip_addresses’] = FALSE;



This update, like any other respectable update, contains improvements and new functionalities and provides backward compatibility. Nevertheless it may require updates to contributed and custom modules. It is therefore essential to check the notes for this release before assessing the possible impact on an existing site.


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