PHP 7.0 Support Is Now Available For Azure App Service

Back in November, Microsoft had announced the availability of PHP 7 on App Service in an experimental capacity. Along with this announcement users will also be able to leverage PHP 7 (x86) on App Service using site extension. Within a few weeks, a second site extension was released with went on to deliver PHP 7 (x64 support on App Service. Over 600 downloads was combined between the two site extensions.
PHP 7.0 is now generally available
Starting today, you will see PHP 7.0 (7.0.5 at time of writing) available as an option in the portal under Web App, Settings, Application Settings, PHP version.
Another significant landmark with this release is that for the first time, Microsoft is supporting both x86 and x64 builds of PHP in App Service.
How do I choose between 32-bit and 64-bit PHP on App Service
In Azure App Service, Microsoft has used the platform selector in the portal in order to determine the “Bitness” of the underlying Web Worker process along with the PHP Runtime. This means that if you want to enable 64-bit PHP 7, it will be necessary for you to follow the following steps from the General settings section of the Application Settings blade:
  • • Select 7.0 from the PHP version drop-down list box
  • • Toggle the platform selector to 64-bit
  • • Click Save to apply the changes
Supportability differences between PHP 5.x & PHP 7.0
There are a few differences between supports in PHP on App Service which you should know in order to call out so as to avoid confusion.
64-bit platform support will not be enabled in PHP 5.x
Microsoft is support 64-bit version of PHP 7.0 on Azure App Service; however the company will not be enabling 64-bit version support for PHP 5.x on the platform. This is mainly due to 64-bit versions of PHP5.x are marked as experimental.
Microsoft SQL Server and Azure SQL DB support for PHP 7.0
Microsoft Driver for PHP for SQL Server (php_sqlsrv) is now available in preview and comes with the support for PHP 7 (x86 and x64). The SQL Server team is at the moment working on the driver and will come with a GA release in the upcoming months.
Retirement of PHP 5.4
Since September 3, 2015, PHP 5.4 has been marked as unsupported by The PHP Group. This means that there will no longer be any updates available to that particular version, which goes on to include security fixes. In order to avoid the potential for security issues which is arising on Azure App Service, Microsoft will be working on retiring the support of PHP 5.4.
Migrating from PHP 5.4
As Microsoft is working towards retiring support for PHP 5.4, the company strongly recommends users to upgrade in order to support version of PHP. The company’s plan is to update the default version of PHP to PHP 5.6 as PHP 5.5 will soon be unsupported too. This will impact users who have not explicitly set their version of PHP in the Portal.
Bring your own PHP 5.4

It will also be possible to remain on PHP 5.4 by using the ‘bring your own runtime’ feature in Web Apps.
The company concluded by saying,
“We are happy to bring support for PHP 7.0 and the next generation of PHP applications to Azure App Service.”

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