Closure Report

Project Summary

The University's central CMS EdWeb is built on Drupal and PHP. The pervious version of PHP 7.2 reached end of life on 30th November 2020. 

This project has successfully delivered the upgrade of EdWeb to PHP v7.4.

The project started with an appraisal to determine whether it was possible to upgrade from v7.2 to v7.4 (missing v7.3). v7.4 is to remain in mainstream support until November 2021 and security support until November 2022, one year longer than v7.3. This would negate the need for a further upgrade project in the following year. The review noted that with minor changes, the codebase supported this move to v7.4.

During the upgrade there were a few points to take into consideration along the way:

  • The regular releases of the Drupal core security updates needed to be planned in, so the upgrade through the environments all contained the same release.
  • The code changes needed to work on v7.2 and v7.4, this was so we could deploy the code change to all environments with PHP v7.2, then upgrade each to v7.4. Should rollback be required then we know it was tested and works on PHP v7.2
  • INF143 Database upgrade project was a dependency. WPS005 was planned to upgrade after INF143 went LIVE, however INF143 load testing in TEST was 2 to 3 weeks behind, WPS005 was prioritised to go LIVE in December 2020 ahead of INF143
  • The planned deployment of EdWeb v8.16.0 on the 21/01/2021 allowed two issues raised after the WPS005 deployment to LIVE to be resolved under WPS005: one issue was a pre-existing environment issue, whilst the other was a result of INF143. This was carried out successfully

Deployment to LIVE was successfully completed on 03/12/2020. TRAIN was completed on 17/12/2021.

The two issues raised after deployment to LIVE were addressed in January and rolled out with the EdWeb deployment on 21/01/2021.

Objectives and Deliverables

All objectives and deliverables were achieved.

There was no scope change in the project.

Objective/Deliverable Ref




O1 To establish the PHP version to upgrade to      
D1.1 Appraisal carried out to verify which version we can upgrade to, and if the codebase supports that version (Completed) Must DevTech/Production Management/Software Dev Yes


To ensure that EdWeb continues to run on a supported PHP version.




D2. 1

Upgrade PHP across all environments DEV, TEST, STAGING, TRAIN and LIVE to version 7.4 as identified in the appraisal.


DevTech/Production Management/Software Dev



To ensure that EdWeb is functional after the upgrade   




Resolve any issues that are a direct result of the upgrade


DevTech/Production Management/Software Dev/WAC




Analysis of Resource Usage:

Staff Usage Estimate: 33 days

Staff Usage Actual: 28 days

Resource Variance: -15 %


Explanation for Variance

The project completed 15% under budget. The graph below show the estimated effort at the start of the project vs actual effort.


Key Learning Points

Issue Key Learning Point
Although this project was a PHP upgrade, there are a number of other factors to take into consideration when doing this upgrade

Notes for future projects:

  • Drupal core security updates  are released regularly and need to be added to the environments when they come out. This could mean re-visiting environments, and having a cut-off date for including these updates as we approach go-live.
  • Code changes may be required for future PHP upgrades.
  • EdWeb upgrade is a rolling monthly deployment which needs to be taken into account, therefore future projects should be included in the regular EdWeb weekly catchup meetings.
The PHP upgrade to the environments overlapped with the INF143 database upgrade. This stalled WPS005 until a resolution was agreed with which project should be prioritised
  • Take into account and avoid if possible other simultaneous infrastructure upgrades if possible.

Outstanding Issues

There are no outstanding issues.


Image icon estimatedvsactual2.png20.76 KB

Project Info

Annual EdWeb Upgrade
ISG - Web and Portal Services Programme
Management Office
Project Manager
Chris Konczak
Project Sponsor
Bruce Darby
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority