Best Practice for upgrading PHP On Production Systems

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http://serverfault.com – We Have two load balanced web servers running php 5.3. I've been asked by our dev team to upgrade php to 5.4 because they need certain functionality it will bring. The main issue is that 5.3 is the latest thats been built into the distros repository, so to upgrade using the package manager, Ill need to add another 3rd party repo. I dont have a problem with this per se, but Im concerned about using a package from a "non official" source. The other option is to compile php from source, but I guess this will prevent me from using the package manager to upgrade at any stage in the future? So I g (HowTos)