Do you want to keep track of Magento news but have no time for surfing the web?

We’ve taken care of this.

From this time on you can find the most important news of Magento 2 in one place (psss, you’re here already!).

Starting from Magento 2 beta and spilling over to Magento 2.3 version release peppered with useful hints and tips – all this and much more info is gathered in one place. So, if you missed something important and couldn’t find it later, we’re happy to help you with this.

Stay tuned to get a greater understanding of e-commerce trends [will be updated].

Agenda:
Fresh updates on Magento 2.3 release
What you should know about Magento 2.2.3 release
What’s new in Magento 2.2.2
What merchants should know about Magento 2.2 release
Magento 2.2 is there! Amasty extensions compatibility news
Magento 2.2 release: what Amasty expects
Magento 2 updates: summer 2015
Magento 2 Merchant Beta release: what you should know

Fresh updates on Magento 2.3 release

 Date: 09.14.2018

April 2018, at the Imagine 2018 conference in Las Vegas, Magento announced that the new 2.3 version is to be released at the end of this year. The range of features varies from minor enhancements, like a more convenient export/import, to major updates, like CMS page builder or PWA studio. We will try to slice and dice all the scattered ideas that you have probably gathered around the web.

Magento keeps improving security and this time provides tools for control over caching and user verification.

 

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication for the Admin panel will include three methods:

  • Google Authenticator,
  • Duo Security,
  • and Authy.

The second authentication stage can be configured to ask users to verify their login by means of SMS, Phone Call, Access Token, or One Touch.

Google reCAPTCHA

One more security enhancement is the introduction of the Google reCAPTCHA service with its inbuilt mechanism for detecting malicious and SPAM-related activity. The reCAPTCHA tool will help merchants keep key pages secure from bots:

  • Admin and User Login Pages;
  • Registration Page;
  • Contact Form;
  • Forgot Password Page.

Cache Management ACL

Magento 2.3 will also take on board a more advanced cache permissions module, which will let admins define the users that can both view and manage ‘Cache Types’. Magento has several cache types as ill-timed cache flush can damage the web store performance. Still, as the number of users grows a cache flushing policy is not enough to protect the web store from unintentional insider threats. Cache management now gets a more accurate approach and that is access restrictions.

So as not to wait for the Magento 2.3 release date you can access security functionality with Google Invisible reCAPTCHA for Magento 2 and 1. The module is designed with user convenience in mind so reCaptcha test appears only in cases of suspicious requests.

Five enhancements below will improve a Magento web store stability and efficiency, as well as speed up data processing.

 

#1. PHP 7.2 support and libsodium

Magento 2.3 drops the support for PHP 7.0 and turns to PHP 7.2. This change will bring many advantages, such as higher security, better performance, and the access to the latest PHP features for developers (nullable types, class constant visibility, and others). With no mcrypt in PHP 7.2, the libsodium module will now be used for encryption.

The end of support of PHP 7.0 complicates the process of upgrading from Magento 2.1 to Magento 2.3. Magento 2.1 does not support PHP 7.1 so merchants will need to switch the PHP version in the middle of the upgrade. Read more about this on Magento DevBlog.

#2. Asynchronous API

Magento 2.3 also will bring to the table Asynchronous API (RabbitMQ), which will allow making requests without waiting for the response from the server. To check the progress of requests by ID, users will have a separate status reporting API at their disposal. If necessary, Magento will be able to include several entities in API requests and perform them in a queue, which will make memory usage more efficient.

This feature is mainly to the advantage of big websites that integrate with third-party systems, such as ERP or CRM. With no Asynchronous API in place, bulk operations took quite a lot of time. The Magento system could be overloaded, several requests could fail and require repeat actions. Now, such things as customer, order, or inventory data import will no longer be a problem.

 

#3. Message Queue

One more feature for asynchronous communication between Magento and third-party systems, Message queue will be extended from Magento Commerce to the Magento 2.3 version. This innovation is based on RabbitMQ and allows reducing loads on web servers with help of a message broker. This way Magento will be able to communicate with third-party systems, like ERP or CRM, more intensively and respond to requests faster.

For more information about RabbitMQ, consult Magento documentation.

#4. GraphQL

GraphQL is a data query language for using APIs, an alternative to REST and SOAP. GraphQL allows retrieving exactly the needed data from the server (without processing a bigger amount of returned data) and chaining requests. Such ability will minimize API requests, speed up frontend, and allow independent backend and frontend development – which is crucial for Magento PWA performance. The latest release will bring such functionality of the GraphQL API as:

  • mutations to support checkout, payments;
  • storefront GraphQL API for checkout, orders, my account;
  • improvements in the GraphQL framework.

Read more about GraphQL here.

#5. Declarative Database Schema

The support for Declarative Schema will enable developers to define in XML the structure of a database and the ways it should change. Magento in its turn will convert the XML schema files into SQL statements and will execute them. Such innovation allows for the rollback of database changes, as well as tests and validations against the schema definition files.

Magento documentation describes the work of this enhancement in detail.

The Magento 2.3 version will bring several powerful tools to simplify web store development, those are PWA Studio and Page builder.

 

PWA

Progressive Web Apps are gaining momentum as they are quick, adaptable, and reliable. Thanks to data caching and a more flexible connection between the backend and the frontend, PWAs offer multiple benefits, such as offline operation and accessibility via any device that has a browser. In fact, they are as good as native apps, except they have limited access to the device capabilities.

Magento 2.3. will include a PWA Studio, a new kit for building online stores with app-like experiences.

To get more information, read official Magento notes here.

In brief, the PWA studio will give developers aсcess to more intuitive tools and the community of specialists, which will simplify building powerful apps. For customers, this will mean a more engaging experience on any device with no time spent on an app installation.

For more information about the advantages of Magento PWAs, read our themed post.

Page Builder

Magento 2.3 included a robust Page Builder, formerly Blue Foot CMS, into the upcoming 2.3 version. The new tool will let non-technical users design and customize dynamic CMS pages with responsive capabilities. Page Builder will simplify tweaking the layout of any Magento page, from product descriptions to blog articles. To name a few of its characteristics:

  • drag-and-drop layout management;
  • ready components and content blocks (tabs, accordions, headings, media, etc.);
  • template-based page designing;
  • product promotional sections on any page;
  • integration with static blocks and third-party content (like YouTube and Vimeo videos).

This video provides more details and shows how the Page Builder works.

Finally, the new version will include two must-haves that were often provided by paid extensions; now, Magento users will enjoy them out-of-the-box.

 

#1. ElasticSearch

Just like Message Queue, ElasticSearch v5. will soon be extended to Magento Open Source as a default search engine. Out-of-the-box access to a powerful search experience and attribute filtering will call into question the need for any related extensions. Only the modules that offer extra capabilities, like this Elastic Search, will still be able to bring value to users.

#2. Multi-Source Inventory

MSI will let merchants link multiple inventory sources (stock locations) to one or several Magento websites.

Magento 2.3 introduced 3 new components:

  • A Source represents a place where products are physically located (e.g. Warehouse 1)
  • A stock groups multiple sources and is linked to a channel (e.g. stock for Europe)
  • A channel is your website (e.g. your US website, Europe website)

So, all sales via one website are deducted from the sources that are part of a relevant stock.

A global approach to managing inventory and distribution channels will allow merchants to deliver seamless customer experience across devices, channels, and locations. Before, this was possible only with the help of paid add-ons and with core limitations as there was no separation of ‘stock’ and ‘salable quantity. Now MSI will be available after upgrading and will also allow managing backorders or pre-orders from several sources.

MSI will match products to the Inventory Sources in an optimal way by applying one of the strategies, such as First by priority, Cheapest, or Warehouse utilization. On checkout, Shipping Methods will be offered with respect to the chosen sources.

For further reading on the Magento 2.3 MSI check this article.

Though default MSI capabilities include the functionality that previously merchants had to purchase, there is still room for enhancement. We will return to this in detail below.

As an active community member, the Amasty team brings their expertise to the new Magento 2.3 version. In particular, we take part in the development of Multi-Source Inventory to help every platform user benefit from this crucial functionality for free.

Also, we are designing an enhancement module – Advanced MSI for Magento 2 (2.3). With still a lot of work ahead, let’s slightly lift the veil from the add-on features.

Advanced MSI will provide a bunch of smart Source selection algorithms. These algorithms use all available info to calculate from which sources an order can be delivered in the most efficient way. For example, the module will complement Magento 2.3 with such selection strategies as:

  • Product Stock Availability that will simplify the distribution of the shipping value among stocks. Magento will check product availability in different sources (stocks), sort them by products quantity, and then suggest one source that fits the search parametres. So, if it is possible, the extension will find one optimal stock to ship all ordered items.
  • Nearest that will identify the closest source (stock) to the customer using the Google Map API.
  • Aggregative, which will unite and orchestrate the performance of all enabled algorithms. For example, we apply the Product Stock Availability algorithm to identify the sources, each of which has all ordered items. As a result, we get several optimal options to choose from. At the second step, we enable the Nearest algorithm to pick one best option both economically and geographically. At the third step, we acknowledge the priority of stocks. The Aggregative algorithm allows enabling all three algorithms above and perform them one-by-one to achieve better results. So, in our example, the extension will suggest the stock which can be used to ship all items at once, which is the closest one to the customer, and which has the highest priority value.

Advanced MSI for Magento 2 will also include more features that we will keep in secret for now.

What you should know about Magento 2.2.3 release

Date: 03.24.2018

Here’s a quick run-through of the new things that were added to this platform update.

As you may know, Magento 1 security issues were addressed via security patches. Magento 2 doesn’t release the patches, instead the updates are coming with a new version of the platform.

This release is all about security. Magento says that 35 security enhancements were added to 2.2.3 version.

Enhancements that help close cross-site request forgery (CSRF), unauthorized data leaks, and authenticated Admin user remote code execution vulnerabilities were implemented into the release. 

You can see the list of enhancements here. Basically, you don’t have to do anything special about it – just install the freshest version to make your Magento 2 store safer.

  • Elasticsearch 5.x support appeared in Magento 2.2.3.

Elasticsearch is a distributed, JSON-based search and analytics engine designed for horizontal scalability, maximum reliability, and easy management.

Elasticsearch 5.x, if compared to 2.x versions, received an impressive number of updates and new features, but they are mostly behind-the-scenes, such as 25-80% indexing performance improvements, security improvements and some developer rocket science. See more about new stuff in Elasticsearch 5.x here.

  • Changes to Magento Admin to support recent USPS shipping changes were applied.

On February 23, 2018, USPS removed APIs supporting the creation of shipping labels without postage. Thus, the functionality was removed from the admin area. In Magento 2.2.3, you cannot create and print shipping labels that do not have postage applied. If you still need this functionality, Magento suggests having a look at Magento Shipping software or exploring shipping extensions on Magento Marketplace. Here’s what USPS tells us about why they’re removing the option from Web Tools APIs:

In order to provide the very best API offering, we need to periodically update our processes. The removal of the No Postage option will allow the Postal Service to provide better service for domestic and international shipping labels that are being printed through Web Tools APIs without compromising customer experience and revenue assurance.

Source

  • New control layers for cache management tasks managed through the Magento Admin were implemented.

Now the platform has finer permissions for cache management tasks such as flushing cache storage, flushing the Magento cache, and refreshing cache types.

Same changes are present in the Magento Commerce 2.2.3 version. For more information, read official Magento release notes here.

What’s new in Magento 2.2.2

 Date: 12.15.2017

December 12 is the release date of the fresh new Magento 2.2.2. We’re excited to see the update of Magento 2.2 so soon – so let’s see which new features were included into this release! All the features listed were implemented both in the Open Source and in the Commerce versions. You can download Magento 2.2.2 Open Source here.

The new feature provides access to order, product, and customer reports from the Magento 2.2.2 Admin (see Advanced Reporting for more information). Advanced reporting functionality is provided through integration with the Magento Business Intelligence (MBI).

To use this, you will need three things:

  1. A  real domain name.
  2. HTTPS with a valid certificate.
  3. Successful subscription to the Advanced reporting.

With the option you gain access to 20 reports and 3 dashboards about your store performance. Reports are updated daily and can be configured to show data for several different date ranges. Advanced Reporting is accessed via a link in the Magento Admin panel where the reports are delivered via a SaaS interface.

This new feature provides integrated advanced multi-carrier shipping and fulfillment. See more information about this option in the official Magento press release and on the official Temando page.

The new Instant Purchase option uses previously stored payment credentials and shipping information without going through full checkout process.

A returning, logged in customer with a saved and supported payment method will see the Instant Purchase button displayed on the Product Detail page. When customers click this button, the system places the order using the default shipping, billing address, and stored payment method. When the order is placed, a confirmation message appears in the notification area.

Read more about it in the official user guide.

Instant purchase in Magento 2.2.2

  • From the Magento Admin area, you can change the Instant Purchase button text that appears on the product detail page.
  • Instant Purchase includes support for all payment solutions using Braintree Vault, including Braintree Credit Card, Braintree PayPal, and PayPal Payflow Pro.

Now Magento 2.2.2 release includes the dotmailer marketing automation option. Looks like that you need to subscribe to dotmailer to use this option to its full. For Magento integration, the dotmailer prices go from $350, and a 14 day trial is available.

The Magento Functional Testing Framework (MTFT) is the new open-source, cross-platform testing solution. MFTF is aimed to replace the Functional Testing Framework.

This is another step to making Magento 2 development better, we’ve already seen the rising importance of testing throughout M2 evolving, and the new testing framework allows to:

  • facilitate functional testing;
  • minimize efforts with regression testing;
  • minimize efforts to support extensions and customizations of tests via XML merging.

Now, as always, the list of fixes is huge, but that we’d like to point out there’s a small but very important fix we personally missed a lot. You can now use the Enter key (in addition to a mouse click) to search tables in the Admin. Previously, we’ve created a small extension that fixed it – and you can still use it for versions previous to Magento 2.2.2.

Other additions include:

  • Support for the Indian Rupee (INR) to PayPal Express Checkout. 
  • New functionality for the command-line interface (more dev stuff). Interactivity was added to the admin:user:create command, as well as the ability to handle CLI setup interactively (with prompts).

What merchants should know about Magento 2.2 release

 Date: 11.04.2017

The long-awaited Magento 2.2 release happened in September of 2017. During the latest couple of months, it went from RC (Release Candidate) to General Availability – it means that this version is now approved and recommended for use on live websites. It has an impressive list of new features, fixes and updates, and you can see them all in the official Magento release notes. To save your time, today we’re doing a quick run-through of the important things about the new release – especially for merchants.

PHP 5.6 support is out

Now PHP 5.6 is not supported for Magento 2.2. If you want to use this version, reconfigure your servers for PHP 7.1 use. And it’s not a bad thing – PHP 5.6 is dropping out of the web naturally, thanks to the new exciting opportunities of PHP 7.

No disabling module output

The ability to disable module output has been removed from the admin area. If you disabled module output from Admin in a previous release, you must manually configure these settings. If you want to have the ability to disable the extension, learn how to do it here, or you can ask your developer to do this for you.

Magento Social

This release of Magento includes the first third-party extension – Magento Social. This extension establishes a connection between your store and your corporate Facebook account and creates a page with products from your catalog. When shoppers click a product, they are redirected to the corresponding product page in your Magento store. You can read more about the extension and download it for free here. Also, you can read instructions and see more screenshots here.

Magento Social also allows you to create compelling and optimized advertisements in real-time. You can also automatically populate ads with product images and descriptions.

Significant speed improvements

This release includes substantial improvements to Magento caching, image processing, and re-indexing, which basically means that your store will run much faster in general.

All the previously mentioned good things from Magento Open Source are going into the Commerce and the Cloud edition, obviously.

B2B features

Magento made some huge work when it comes to supplying the B2B sector with a load of features designed to support the processes, which are way more complicated than B2C ones. You can see the list of the features, supported with videos and explanations, here. And this is a quick breakdown of the cool stuff Magento B2B package includes:

  • Workflow for quote management and price negotiations
  • Support of roles and organization structures
  • B2B ordering functionality – entering SKUs, uploading CSV files, or choosing items from pre-set requisition lists
  • B2B custom catalogs and pricing
  • Mobile experience
  • Inventory management
  • Enhanced API and other tools for better integration opportunities

Signifyd order protection

Compatibility with this anti-fraud service is built into the new edition. Once you sign up and pay for the services of Signifyd, you’re ready to go, as the integration is already done for you. Basically, Signifyd checks each and every order on your store in a couple of seconds and detects any fraudulent purchases right away. To know more about this process. feel free to check this article.

As Magento says,  this version combines Magento Commerce, Cloud infrastructure hosting, with a few differences and added features including Git integration and key environments for development, staging, and live production sites.

Now, the Cloud version also falls into two categories – Starter and Pro (Plan comparison). The main difference is that Pro includes the B2B module and some other business features aimed at larger stores.

Magento 2.2 is there! Amasty extensions compatibility news

 Date: 09.27.2017

We’re happy to inform you that the long-awaited 2.2 version of Magento is available! There hasn’t been an official press release yet, but you can download the package now.

Here’s what Magento itself says about the new version:

We are pleased to present Magento Open Source 2.2.0 GA. This release includes hundreds of functional fixes plus a wealth of new features: a bundled extension, upgraded technology stack, performance gains from improvements in indexing, cart, and cache operation, and significant enhancements in platform security and developer experience. And check out the many community contributions! See Magento Open Source 2.2.0 Release Notes for more information.

Amasty extensions compatibility with Magento 2.2

As official Magento partners, we were privileged to have early access to Magento 2.2. In summer, we started to test and update our 70+ Magento 2 extensions so they become compatible with the new platform release.

Right now we are happy to say that the majority of Amasty extensions has been tested and updated to work with M2.2. Our main goal was to start the preparation in advance so we can provide our customers with M2.2 compatible extensions as early as possible.

Magento 2.2 release: what Amasty expects

 Date: 12.14.2016

Magento 2 has just celebrated its first birthday. From its very beginning, we at Amasty started developing Magento 2 extensions, and now we have 57 tools available at our store. That’s almost five products a month on average! We don’t know if Magento will continue releasing 2.1.X versions or will jump to Magento 2.2 version soon – but looks like after the New Year we have a chance to see a new version. It’s not a surprise that for now Magento 2 is still in the phase of active improvement – I think that almost everyone who works with Magento 2 can say the same. We already know Magento 2 as good as we know Magento 1, and today we’re sharing our thoughts on what we expect from Magento 2.2: not just fixed bugs, but some improvements which will be of use both for the merchants and for the developers.

Alexey from AmastyAlexey, Certified Magento developer

I do think that the Disable Output setting should be removed. It often confuses the customers, because they don’t see the difference with just disabling extensions, and it is causing a lot of issues. The number of support tickets we’re receiving on that issue is enormous.

What is more, I’ve seen a lot of confusion when it comes to changes in the production mode. Maybe it’ll be better to show a notification in the admin panel or at least an additional field to display the current mode. Very often the customers are making changes in the production mode and then don’t understand why they can’t see the changes on the website, or the site just shuts down.

Sometimes I really need a setting for disabling automatic logging out for cases when you log in under the same user, but in another browser. Now the automatic logging out is very inconvenient when you’re developing and testing the extension in several browsers, and I wish I could turn it off for a period of time.

And last, but not least – I’d really like to see more public methods in Magento 2.2, because it would give us more opportunities when it comes to changing their functionality.

Pavel from AmastyPavel, Magento developer

Sometimes, when you dig deep into the code while building a complex extension, you can see things that are not quite perfect and are likely to be in the stage of development. For example, this functionality is not exactly what we see in the Magento 2.1 code.

That’s why I really expect that with the Magento 2.2 release we will see a clearer picture of where the code will be heading to in the nearest future. Also, it would be great to have the docs that are closer to the reality, and more examples from the github would be of great help to us, Magento 2 developers. The current github examples were updated a year ago, and only one of them was updated 6 months ago. A lot has changed in Magento 2 since then!

Stas from AmastyStas, Certified Magento developer

Here’s the case I would like to see as solved in the new versions.

  1. Single-Store Mode is off, I’m going to change something on the website level, for example, disable the module output
  2. Turn Single-Store Mode off
  3. And we’re getting an unexpected result: the site’s behavior looks like output is off, but the advanced page will look like it’s on. The same applies to the other settings as well.

So, if Single-Store Mode is on, the platform should ignore the other settings.

As I know, currently we can add a condition to layout only using ifconfig, which is often insufficient. I think that it would be of great help to have something like ifclass=”Amasty/Model/Helper/SomeClass”, where the execute function could run any logic you want, returning true or false, and then the part of the layout with the ifclass could be added or removed depending on the result. Maybe this isn’t the best option when it comes to speed, but it’s just an idea of fixing the inconvenience.

A script for generating install data from a database table would be very effective when transferring extensions from Magento 1 to Magento 2 or when building Magento 2 extensions from scratch.

In general, here’s what I’m expecting from Magento 2.2:

  1. It would be great if the backward compatibility stays when going from Magento 2.2 to 2.3, and during similar upgrading.
  2. The current official documentation helps a lot, but I often see it could be more relevant and detailed, more of a CookBook.
  3. If the official Magento 2 guidelines say you shouldn’t use deprecated functions, then Magento 2 shouldn’t use them as well =) Being serious, I understand that it will be done in baby steps, because the platform is very complex and is heavily with each release.
  4. Of course, the speed is the area when there’s room for improvements.
Leonid from AmastyLeonid, Magento developer

I’m really waiting for the possibility of adding the additional fields to checkout.

As for the PHP backend, everything looks great. We can add our own layoutProcessor, where we have the complete tree of checkout page elements, which are set from layout.xml and are loaded from the database. And we can be good with just checkout_index_index.xml as we have lots of settings for the checkout page elements.

But when it comes to saving, I’m often facing troubles. Each field has settings from JS when it comes to saving, and the only loophole I found is to use customAttributes for addresses. It’s strange to see such a great number of options and variants in the backend, and only restrictions from the JS side.

As with Magento 2 we’re getting certain code standards to follow, still some Magento 2 extensions are not quite following them.

Sometimes I find the code a little bit too hard to understand, and more detailed comments would really help. For example, EntityManager is a very useful thing, but it’s challenging to actually understand how it works – and I imagine how hard it is for developers which are not as experienced as the most of Amasty team members are.

Despite all this, I really like Magento 2 and eagerly waiting to see the new things than might come in Magento 2.2 release.

Eugene from AmastyEugene, Certified Magento developer

In xml configuration, we can’t set validation classes for parameters with xsi:type=”text” (well, as for all the other, too). The only option available is required=”true”.

Something like this would be beneficial while creating, say, some widget options. I do hope this will be fixed in Magento 2.2.
<parameter name=”image_width” xsi:type=”text” visible=”true” validate=”validate-number” required=”true”>
<label translate=”true”>Image Width</label>
</parameter>

 

Magento 2 updates: summer 2015

 Date: 28.09.2015

As many of you went to vacation this summer, we decided to make a very quick roll-up of some important Magento news and links you might have missed.

Magento 2 Security Challenge

Find a vulnerability in Magento 2 and receive a prize from $100 to $5,000, plus you could boast of your discoveries after Magento 2 is released. Jokes aside, it’s a wonderful opportunity to work on a new and untypical project and contribute to the Magento community as well. And test your skills, too!

Magento 2 Merchant Beta release was introduced in July

Magento 2 Merchant Beta release - what you should know

A great piece of news which makes us one step closer to the full Magento 2 release. The link will get you to our Magento 2 blog article explaining some basic facts about the Beta release.

Magento 2 branches, composer packages and sample data

An essential post if you want to dig your hands into Magento 2 for the first time. Also, check out Max Yekaterynenko blog – he works in Magento product development.

Magento 2 Merchant Beta release: what you should know

 Date: 17.07.2015

Some exciting news for the Magento community! Magento 2 Merchant Beta was released. The next step for Magento 2 platform will be General Availability release, which is planned to happen until the end of 2015. We put an outline of things you should know about Merchant Beta release.

  • Magento 2 Merchant Beta is very close to what you will see in GA release later. It concerns both the look-&-feel and the functionality of the platform.
  • Magento team says that both editions also have significant performance improvements, achieved by updates for server-side (out of box Varnish 4, full page caching, and support for HHVM3.6) and client-side (static content caching in browser, image compression, use of jQuery, and RequireJS for better management of JavaScript and bundling to reduce file download counts) architecture.
  • The Magento Enterprise Edition codebase includes comprehensive scalability enhancements to the database, order management, checkout, catalog, and more. Improvements include asynchronous grid fulfillment, standalone database for checkout, compatibility with MySQL cluster, more concurrent admins for order, and product management and complete separation of store sub-systems.
  • Magento team is engaged with a group of merchants and partners to test the Merchant Beta codebase via real-world implementations, so the GA release is all over ready and tested inside out.
  • Magento team has conducted a webinar on the release, and the recordings will be available within a couple of days. We will update the post if anything new comes up! Until then you can see what the community members are talking about on Twitter. Stay tuned.

P.S. The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.0.0 Beta 1. This is the third pre-release of the new PHP 7 major series.

Magento 2 release: facts and rumors

 Date: 12.12.2014

Magento 2 is, probably, one of the most discussed topics in the Magento community. It is clear that the market and the technology are ready, and, what is more, are willing to embrace the completely new version of the famous e-commerce platform. Today we share the points we already know about the future of Magento 2.

Magento 2 was announced in 2010. The plans were to release it by the end of 2011, but now we have 2014 shutting its doors, and finally you can register for the Magento 2 Dev Beta webinar, while alpha version is available on github. It’ve been a long wait, some members of the community are not exactly happy with the things going all, but now it seems we have light at the end of the tunnel.

As Allan MacGregor once said on Twitter, Magento 2 is worth waiting. Although the new version of the e-commerce platform will definitely change the landscape, and both business owners and developers will spend time on transitioning, this release is a huge step ahead, which could strengthen Magento’s market share. The reasons of such a delay weren’t confirmed by any Magento or eBay employees, but these are the thoughts floating in the community:

  • in 2011, Magento was acquired by eBay. It is very possible than many time and effort were spent on reogranization.
  • Some people, including top management guys, left the company, which also might have brought some confusion into company’s processes.
  • Consolidating the 3 development centers in Urkaine also took time and effort
  • this is probably one of the most unpopular opinions, but the rumors where that the scope for Magento 2 was too broad to catch up with the other platforms.
Embarrassing that it took this long? Perhaps. My *assumption* is that bringing Magento, Inc. into the eBay fold took a bit of effort and time, the X.commerce platform took a lot of effort away, and eBay have redoubled effort to get M2 to market. It would have been nice to let the community and users of Magento know this, but that’s only possible in retrospect. With all this time left “open”, nothing has emerged to “disrupt” the Magento ecosystem, indicating to me that custom, powerful, OPEN ecommerce is still a hard problem which Magento 2 is likely to solve even better than Magento 1. Read more
elena Leonova at Meet Magento Belarus 2014

Elena Leonova, Magento Product Manager, is speaking about Magento 2 on Meet Magento Belarus 2014 in Minsk

Now let’s move to the things we already know about Magento 2.

Modern technologies

Magento 2 will be using PHP 5.4 and 5.5, HTML 5, CSS 3 and {less}, moves from prototype.js to jQuery. Also, the new release will support modern coding standards. Require.js will also help loading pages faster.

 

Performance and scalability
  • Full page cache will be available out of the box, as well as Varnish and Redis support. Refactored indexers won’t block processes any more as they’ll work in the background.
  • Improved indexers.  New indexers cover the same functionality as previous enterprise versions, but have been revised to deliver faster query performance and more efficient updates.
  • Multiple admin users.  Core improvements in the admin site allow for more admin users to create and update products while reducing data conflicts. Note: If you haven’t planned to migrate to Magento 2 in the near future, then you can try out our Magento actions history extension. It will help you organize more efficient work of multiple admin users.
Customization

In general, Magento team is working to simplify the process of customization:

  • God class “Mage::” is eliminated
  • Modular code and customization. Magento 2 modular code reduces cross-module dependencies, allowing developers to make narrow, targeted changes without impacting other areas of code.
  • Improved search.  Magento 2 includes a modularized search interface and layered navigation so it is easier to customize search functions. You can enable/disable search, even delete it from the code, or switch to 3d party search interfaces.
  • XML validation.  Magento 2 XML validation proactively checks that XML code follows specific rules and structures. This makes it easier for developers to configure XML, as their IDE (Integrated Development Environment) will alert them to valid options and prevent errors that would have otherwise involved significant debugging. This allows developers to predict outcomes and ensure that the extensions work appropriately.
  • Multilevel theme inheritance. Now themes are easier to inherit and to customize.
  • Magento 2 will be responsive out of the box. The blank theme will be using all the modern technologies listed above. What is more, you don’t have to customize the core template to make the shop responsive.
External integration

With Magento 2, integrations with external systems are simplified via enhanced APIs. The new APIs are also more efficient, making it possible to return all the data associated with a business object (such as customer, order, etc.) in one call.  And ‘integration-style’ APIs can create-update-delete-retrieve data based on fields common to Magento and external systems in one call, which is a more efficient way to integrate with external systems.

Installation and uprgades

According to Elena Leonova, Product Manager in Magento, the team is also working to simplify the process of installation and upgrades. Magento 2 includes updated information on versioning policies and compatibility of upgrades with current versions.

What is more, Magento 2 features a standalone installer that supports speedier installations of a new Magento instance by proactively checking for pre-requisites before starting the installation process.

Voting for Magento 2 at Meet Magento Belarus

Magento team at eBay values feedback from the community. Meet Magento Belarus visitors could vote for features in Magento 2

Code quality and testing

With the new and improved Magento Testing Framework, developers will be able to automate functional testing of the developed functionality enabling frequent releases and higher product quality.

Magento 2 roadmap and release approach

Here’s the slide from Elena Leonova’s Meet Magento Belarus presentation showing the roadmap for Magento 2:

Magento 2 roadmap

In short: after the release of the stable version the Magento team is going to update the platform every 3 months.

Magento UI library

To cut the long story short, here’s Sergey Ivashchenko presentation from Meet Magento Belarus, where he explained the essence of Magento UI library.

Will Magento 2 be divided into Community and Enterprise versions?

Yes, it will be.

Will shop owners be able to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2 automatically?

Most probably no. The thing is that Magento 2 architecture is so different from the previous version that there’ll be no sense in such migration. However, the Magento team is going to provide shop owners with some tools to simplify the process of transition. This task is in process of solving as in most cases the data is customized and cannot be automatically transferred to a new store.

Any information for the killer features aimed at users?

This information will be available later, as now the main task is to release a stable 2.0 version. However, further updates after the merchant release will be focused on functionality for Enterprise users.

How long Magento 1 version is going to be supported?

The Magento team is planning to support Magento 1 for 3 years from the moment of the Magento 2 release.

Will there be an automatic transition for extensions from Magento 1 to Magento 2?

As the Magento 2 project is still in the refactoring stage, it’s really hard to say. The team really wants to provide extensions developers with the tools for transitioning, but more detailed information will be available later. Still, you can read Magento 2 documentation and try to edit your extensions even now. For now extensions are non-transferrable to Magento 2, and any extensions or code customizations will need to be reconfigured in Magento 2.

Here are some quotes from Alan Kent, VP of Search Engine Engineering at eBay.

On development processes:
Internally Magento is using development practices similar to the Scale Agile Framework. This is an approach to get multiple Agile teams working together on long term projects. Sprints are grouped into larger deliverables called Potentially Shippable Increments (PSIs) – we call them milestones because we ship code every week to the public GitHub.
On Magento 2 Dev Beta:
By end of 2014 the proposed major platform changes will all in place. This includes upgrading the tech stack (newer versions of PHP, Apache, MySQL and so forth). It also includes more modern coding style, new theme inheritance infrastructure, Composer support, introduction of service contracts, better refactoring of HTML, CSS, and JS assets, and lots more besides.
On porting extensions:
Port early if you want to provide feedback and potentially get the platform changed to meet your needs. Dev Beta is the recommended time for this. That is, end of this year. Dev RC is when the platform should be pretty stable. That is, end of Q1 next year. Port later if you want maximum stability of platform under you. Wait until GA to start porting if you want absolute stability. You may be behind your competitors getting to market on 2.0 (so I do not recommend this), but if you want a super stable platform with zero risk of rework then GA is for you.

P.S. We updated our terms on Magento 2 support and Magento 2 extensions: https://amasty.com/terms.html
«Magento 2 will be a completely different solution in terms of architecture. Due to this extensions for Magento 2 will need to be developed from scratch and will be treated as completely new extensions.»

Wrap-Up

That’s it for today.

Share your opinion and feel free to pose questions in the comments below at any time convenient.

Stay tuned for the latest news from the world of Magento!