Why Magento 2 has great potential: trends after Imagine 2016

Magento is unique in the ecommerce business due to its worldwide ecosystem of merchants, enterprise customers, developer community, digital agencies, solution partners and extension providers.

Magento released its groundbreaking ecommerce software in 2008 which quickly gained popularity by virtue of its unrivalled features, standard technology stack of Linux-Apache-Mysql,  robust and high standard code design, open source licensing, connectivity modularity and its extension marketplace.

The business model from the beginning was to gain revenue from the Enterprise Edition of the software, built on top of the open source Community Edition and enhanced by performance improvements like full page cache and better indexing, supplemented by a set of additional features such as customer segmentation, store credits, gift cards or category access permissions.

 

The challenges ahead of Magento and the answers to them

 

To keep growing and get new momentum as a leading ecommerce platform of the world, Magento has to embrace the newest technologies and deliver value to all of the parties of its enthusiastic and devoted ecosystem. It has to contribute to the community of developers and offer enticing, valuable features to its enterprise clients in order to stay ahead of its competitors in the market. 

 

Challenge: cutting edge technologies, performance and extensibility

Answer: Magento 2

Magento 2: a complete refactor of the software with essentially the same feature set, so far addressed mainly three areas: technological renewal, enhanced modularity both in the backend and frontend, and improved performance.

 

magento trends magento2 performance extensibility

 

Challenge: new features and continuous improvement

For many merchants tried and tested online stores are already running successfully under Magento 1, better performance is not yet a strong enough motivation to strive to switch to Magento 2 quickly, which is, in fact not merely a new version of the software, but a completely new platform. To distinguish Magento 2 from Magento 1.

 

Answer: new features with special focus on Enterprise EditionMagento’s strategy for the next couple of quarters is to arm Magento 2 with a number of new features in a way that they add real distinguished enterprise value for enterprise customers.

 

magento trends magento2 new features

 

Magento 2.1:

In-context checkout with PCI compliance in partnership with PayPal and Braintree.

 

Enterprise Edition:

Staging and preview including products, categories, content, promotions, pricing and themes, view updates by date and campaign and manage changes with a comprehensive timeline and automatically put updates into production.

 

Enterprise Edition:

New site search based on Elasticsearch:  improved search quality, better buyer experience with background re-indexing and horizontal scaling, get started with 33 languages out-of-the-box.

Magento praises Elasticsearch as a flexible technology that can be used for real-time reporting, personalization and performance optimization, so it seems that the architects at Magento have plans to use Elasticsearch more extensively in the future, and it would not be a surprise if Elasticsearch was announced as a strategic partner as well in the near future. We at AionHill are already using Elasticsearch in a similar way and realized its potentials.

 

Magento 2.2:

This release will mainly focus on Enterprise Edition B2B features: account management with permissions, custom catalogs and pricing, quoting and repeat ordering.

 

Magento 2.3 and later releases:

Enhanced content management system, new promotion types, expanded reports & analytics.

 

 

[bctt tweet=”Magento’s strategy is to arm Magento 2 with new features that provide enterprise customers real value.” username=”aionhill”]

 

 

Challenge: new level of quality of 3rd party extensions

Magento connect, the official extension marketplace for Magento 1 has been a huge success, with around 8,000 extensions on offer. Magento has not been actively taking part in the evaluation of the extensions, the main indicator of quality being the customer ratings. 

 

Answer: Magento Marketplace

On Imagine 2016, Magento has announced Magento Marketplace, its new extension shop where merchants can directly buy modules checked and verified by Magento. In addition to quality assurance, Magento also strives to fight against plagiarism, serving both the interests of vendors and merchants. Magento also promises to re-invest the revenue from the Marketplace extension shop into the same process.

 

magento trends magento2 3rd party extensions

 

Challenge: the cloud

Nowadays, a big portion of CE and EE Magento 1 sites is already in the cloud. Some of the obvious benefits of cloud services are quick setup time, flexibility and scalability, transparent and predictable costs, full remote management capabilities. Cloud services essentially provide all the features of on-premise hosting, with the added benefits of virtualization.

 

Virtualization is a key factor in web development today.

It is present on the developers’ machines, in staging environments, continous integration and deployment processes, all the way to fault tolerant and scalable live environments.

Through virtualization, backed by proper devops and automation practices, the uniformity of environments can be guaranteed throughout the whole infrastructure, even in very complex cases where the environment is actually a cluster of different server software solutions running on different operating systems.

Containerization, the cutting edge technology of virtualization today, takes it one step further by introducing the lightweight, easily droppable, spawnable and re-spawnable containers, where the code and all the dependencies needed to run it, can be built into a single, version controllable unit and an environment is made of an orchestrated collection of these units.

 

magento trends magento2 cloud

 

Answer: Magento Enterprise Cloud

Magento Enterprise Cloud

Magento Enterprise Cloud, announced at Imagine 2016, is a full stack Continuous Delivery and Cloud Hosting platform, offered as a service (Paas) for Magento Enterprise Edition. Magento Enterprise Cloud is an exciting new all-inclusive, turn-key cloud hosting and devops offering for the big enterprise customers – but the innovative approach, the technologies bundled together and the high standard are also inspiring for other players in the industry and for the whole Magento community.

To create it, Magento has teamed up with several services, all leaders of their respective fields.

  • Deployment and devops are handled by Platform.sh, an ingenious continuous delivery platform. It is backed by a fully automated containerization technology with its own API and web interface, offering Git branch based on-demand staging environments with hot copying of the live database and zero downtime deployments.
  • Hosting is powered by  Amazon Web Services, the No. 1 global cloud service provider, bringing with it its advanced technologies, such as Aurora DB for building fault tolerant, fail safe and scalable infrastructure.
  • Monitoring and profiling are done by New Relic and Blackfire.io respectively; giving maintainers thorough insight into the workings of their shop.
  • Finally, static content is served from Fastly’s Varnish based content delivery network.

 

We at AionHill already use a similar, full featured Git-based Continuous Integration, Continuous  Delivery system and cloud hosting solution, developed and constantly improved by our dedicated devops team. Our platform utilizes some of the same services as Magento Enterprise Cloud, such as AWS and New Relic, however it uses AWS’s CDN instead of Fastly, and our own solutions to deployment and profiling.

We dedicate special attention to agile test-driven development and continuous integration even for Magento 1. This puts us in a position where we can fully appreciate the values of the Magento Enterprise Cloud, which at the same time is a huge validation to our own efforts.

With Magento Enterprise Cloud, Magento and its partners offer an ecommerce solution to merchants where a flexible open-source based system is run on top of a high performance, scalable, fault tolerant cloud platform, which also supports best practices of software development.

All these features and innovations are expected to land Magento Enterprise a strong position on the market, where the main competitors are offering less flexible multi-tenant cloud services.

[bctt tweet=”Magento has good strategies on all fronts and there is a huge potential in the latest innovations.” username=”aionhill”]

 

The Greatest Challenge: Turn it all into a new success story

There is a lot to come in the following few months and the secret of the success of Magento 2 and the strategy around it most probably lie in feeling the pulse of the community, giving real values to it and benefitting from the overall progress and prosperity.

AionHill is dedicated to this process and we are striving to contribute to it by serving our clients faithfully.

 

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