If you are a merchant using Prestashop, you should pay attention to the changes ongoing on at Prestashop because they will have a huge impact on your business in a very short term.
Prestashop has long been a script using a home grown framework. What does it mean? Along with the development of e-commerce features, Prestashop has to write many components to deal other aspects of software development. It covers authentication and security, web services, emailing, template engine, database interface, modularity, internationalisation and localization, logging… Prestashop team has decided to adopt an existing PHP framework to leverage on the vibrant and dynamic community out there. In that category there are few candidates and the competition is very hard. We can quote cakephp, Zend, Laravel and many others. And the winner is Symfony.
Prestashop 1.7 – revamp backend
Prestashop became so complex that the changes will be deployed step by step. The first area the developers have looked at is the admin area. The product page will be restructured and consolidated. The number of tabs will be reduced to 6 rather than 12 today. The module list will be updated as well. Today, the update mechanism looks poor as all the updates available are just listed above the list and pushing them into your actual shop might introduced few incompatibility issues depending on your store version. The whole experience could be improved though. It also probably means even more integration with Prestashop marketplace: I will not be surprised if they don’t make their own modules together with their partners’ modules more visible. They could also introduce more restrictions on module like the best SEO Module for Prestashop that are not sold on Prestashop addons. Wait and see.
You may have come across Prestashop issues dealing with Smarty –the current Prestashop template engine. Out Smarty, welcome Twig – symphony’s template engine. For the time being both engines will work alongside of each other.
Prestashop 1.7 – backoffice – product page – combinations management tab
Prestashop 1.7 – backoffice – product page – basis settings tab
Prestashop 1.7 – new starter theme
Prestashop will introduce a starter theme. It is straightforward concept. It will be a foundation theme that will be free of any CSS frameworks. Then theme developers will be free to choose their preferred libraries. It could be CSS Foundation, or Semantic UI. However, Bootstrap will remain the choice for the default theme and it will be powered by Bootstrap 4 that is currently under development as well. Hopefully, new generation of user friendly themes will emerge for Prestashop 1.7.
Migration to Prestashop 1.7 – is it possible?
Prestashop 1.7 is a fresh start with good resolutions? Any way! It will NOT be possible to migrate from Prestashop 1.6 to Prestashop 1.7 for many reasons. Let’s start with the easiest. A new theme starter will be introduced. It will break the backward compatibility. It has an immediate consequence. Prestashop modules written for Prestashop 1.6 and that contribute to the frontend will not work. It applies to modules targeting the product page as well.
Prestashop 1.7 release date
There was no release date set yet for the first stable version of Prestashop 1.7. Prestashop went through a series of beta versions and 3 release candidates. Then suddenly the “stable” version of Prestashop 188.8.131.52 came out on November 7th 2016.
Note: Version transition has never been one of the strenght of Prestashop. Prestashop 1.4.x, 1.5.x and 1.6x were all disasters in term of reliability and came out with too many bugs. In the Prestashop forum, the very first testers are already reporting many defects. It will take few intermediate versions for this to get stable.
Are our modules already compatible with Prestashop 1.7
Yes, fortunately our modules are well writing and follow Prestashop coding recommendations. At this stage our item Prestashop SEO Module is already compatible with Prestashop 1.7 with no changes. We will make all the required tests and changes to comply with Prestashop 1.7 in the following weeks.
NOTE : A more recent post related to Prestashop 1.7 is avaialable at https://www.onasus.com/prestashop-1-7-release-incremental-version/
[Update] Modified on 11/11/2016 to include the release date of the latest Prestashop 1.7 version