Drupal is one of the most advanced content management systems out there. It’s open source, and this is what makes it grow over a long period. The currents table version of Drupal is 8.6 which means that sooner or later Drupal 9 will be released.

The Drupal core development team are hard at work and hope to release Drupal by June 2020. With only one and a half year to go, it is the right time to discuss what to expect from the upcoming Drupal 9.

The dependency on Symfony

Before we move and discuss what Drupal 9 might have to offer, we first need the release dependency. With Drupal 8, a six-month release cycle has been adopted. However, the releases take place just one or two months before Symfony which is the framework that Drupal depends on. This means that the new features easily take 6-8 months to arrive on Drupal. To counter the issue, the Drupal minor releases are now pushed to June and December. This will enable them to push new features directly into the build.

Continuous development

Drupal 9 is not a complete rework of things that have been achieved until now. It is be based on Drupal 8 with more features. This means that Drupal 9 will offer backward-compatibility and major features will be pushed into the new releases. The experimental features will also see their inclusion in Drupal nine once it becomes stable.

Symfony support

Symphony support is crucial for long term success of Drupal. And, we can see either Symfony 4 or 5 in Drupal 9. The current Drupal 8 support Symfony 3. By providing the latest version, all the new features can be incorporated with any delay. For now, the team is working towards providing Symfony 4 for Drupal 9. However, there is an equal chance that Symfony 5 can be incorporated. It will help not only end users, but also developers as they can push new Symfony 5 updates without the need to do a huge amount of work.

Drupal 9 vs Drupal 8

So, you might be thinking what would be the major difference between the two versions? To be precise, you won’t be seeing too much change or difference as it is not a rework, but an upgrade release. However, you will see the two things happen in Drupal 9.

  1. The deprecated code will be removed before release.
  2. Dependencies version will be updated so that they can be supported.

The first update that needs to be made in Drupal 9 is Symfony 4 or 5. However, the team is also trying to figure out if Symfony 4 or 5 could be run on Drupal or not.

Drupal 9 features

If you are looking for significant updates or new features, then you might be disappointed. According to the Drupal 9 documentation, Drupal will only see slight changes when compared to the last minor release of Drupal 8.


As an end-user, it is always great to see updates and new features. But, you need to prepare yourself to ensure that you can ride with the new release. If you are not ready to update, don’t worry, as Drupal 8 will be supported until November 2021.