On April 11 – 13, 2016, the official Magento conference “Magento Imagine” took place in Las Vegas. As one among 2,500 attendees I was present. Returning from the event, there is a myriad of impressions, inspiration and information in my luggage. The most interesting facts, mainly about the future development of Magento, I summarize here.
Magento Enterprise Cloud Edition
Cloud Edition was the first keynote’s highlight. It’s an extension to Magento 2 Enterprise Edition, which makes it possible to use Amazon AWS and thereby achieve variable scaling. Magento offers all necessary services to enable setting up a project in few steps. In contrast to SaaS solutions, the store manager or the agency in charge have all possibilities they have with a “normal” Magento project. Individual adjustments are not limited.
This services is announced to start May 1, 2016. Final pricing has not yet been published – since Cloud Edition is based on Magento 2 Enterprise Edition, it’s likely to be a bit more expensive, calculated based on sales figures.
For big Magento stores, this is certainly an interesting option to transfer an online store to scalable cloud hosting without the need of great internal know-how. In the course of this year, an additional version for small and medium-sized online stores will be offered.
Magento’s head of product management, Paul Boisvert, announced the new Magento version 2.1 during the third and last keynote. This release is planned for June, 2016, while (unofficial) information initially talked about a release in April 2016. The core features will be:
Staging & Preview
These features will make it possible to get a preview of content in Magento before publishing them for visitors. These include CMS pages, categories and products. Changes shall be automatically published. The staging functionality will only be part of Enterprise Edition to further distinguish Magento Enterprise Edition from Community Edition.
The improved search functionality will replace the existing Solr integration – again, only Magento Enterprise Edition includes this feature. In contrast to Magento’s default product search, which is based on MySQL, this search will be considerably faster and provide better search results with regard to quality and relevance. A fuzzy search will probably be part of the new release, too. Other additional features, such as multiple selection of filter options, loading category pages via Elasticsearch or extended search suggestions, won’t be included for the time being.
Improved Payment Integration
Another addition to Magento 2.1 will be an improved payment interface. PayPal and Braintree (which also belongs to PayPal) were explicitly named here. Further details have not yet been published, but it’s interesting to see that PayPal is still an important partner for Magento, even after the separation from ebay and Magento. You could also see their investment as the main sponsor at Imagine.
Prospect of Magento 2
Paul Boisvert gave an additional prospect of coming features of Magento. He focused mainly on version 2.2, which is anticipated to be released early next year.
This release will mainly provide B2B features, such as individual prices per customer, order workflows and quote requests. In addition, 2.3 is announced to come with an improved CMS functionality. Both are highly requested feature sets, so Magento will take a big step forward with these releases. Later releases are planned to offer improved promotions and reports.
Magento Imagine 2017
Another announcement of this third keynote was the time and place of the next Imagine conference:
April 3 – 5, 2017
again at Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
Author: Andreas von Studnitz
Andreas von Studnitz is a Magento developer and one of the Managing Directors at integer_net. His main areas of interest are backend development, Magento consulting and giving developer trainings. He is a Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer Plus and holds several other Magento certifications for both Magento 1 and Magento 2. Andreas was selected as a Magento Master in 2019 and 2020.