On May 22nd and 23rd the Meet Magento Association welcomed us to the yearly Meet Magento DE. We gladly followed the invitation to take part in this 11th edition of the event in Leipzig to meet our friends, business partners and industry experts among the more than 800 attendees. Next to the conference itself, there were many more events in Leipzig during these days. Read the highlights of this year’s mad Magento days in Leipzig from my personal perspective.

Hackathon & Contribution Days

Following the previous years’ tradition, On the weekend right before the Meet Magento there was a hackathon. Perfectly organised and orchestrated by Claudia Teubner approx. 60 participants spent the weekend in a former cotton spinnery which is nowadays a startup incubator.

Next to the hackathon, a Contribution Day took place. This official Magento event, organised by the Meet Magento Association and Magento, connects the Magento Community Engineering Team around Max Yekaterynenko with the community, so they can work together on projects. Therefore we had two separated flipcharts to gather topics for two days of coding.

In my perspective, it’s a great advantage to have Magento employees at a hackathon. I witnessed several teams that got crucial instant feedback: either their planned feature was already done or the missing bug fix was already in development. Even for my work on translations it was a big help to have any ambiguous string to explained by Senior Technical Product Manager Mark Brinton himself.

Magento 2 Multi Node Inventory

With the project Multi Node Inventory (MNI) Magento is about to find a new of collaboration. This feature was previously planned to be available only in Magento 2 Enterprise Edition, but now it is set to become part of Community Edition. And it will be developed by the community itself. Starting in Leipzig, Max and his team will travel the world with stops at various Contribution Days where any interested developer can join them and work on this feature.

What is Magento MNI all about?

Multi Node Inventory is the term for inventory that is distributed over several locations. In the world of omnichannel, where customers buy goods via websites, brick-and-mortar stores, pop up stores and any other kind of imaginable points of sale (POS), it is almost a given that you have different locations for your inventory. A single, general “is in stock” is no longer sufficient when your product is in stock of your store but should not be available for online customers. Entry Multi Node Inventory.
Multi node is different to multi stock. Nodes are connections where different stock information (multi stock) for each sales channel can be aggregated.
An example: A merchant has 3 sun glasses in its store in Germany, 7 in its English brick-and-mortar store, 10 more in its central warehouse in Germany. The German web shop has both the central warehouse’s stock and the brick-and-mortar store’s inventory to offer, an aggregated stock of 13 items, while the English shop has solely access to the inventory in store.
This is certainly no feature for a mom and pop store. That’s why it’s even more surprising that this feature will be part of Magento 2 Community Edition. While Magento spent the last months establishing the advantages of Enterprise Edition, they now put more support on Community Edition, which hereby receives an asset that might just be an ace up its sleeve compared to its competition of other software companies.

Contributors welcome

In the next months we will see how fast the community and Magento’s Community Engineering Team can implement this feature. Anyway, it’s a great sign to see some of the contributors still working on it after they have returned to their homes.
If you are interested to be part of this, either during a contribution day or at home, you find more information about the project in a separate Magento Multi Node Inventory Repository.

Meet Magento Association Partner Day

A completely different event compared to the Hackathon was the Meet Magento Association Partner Day. On Sunday this one day event established the right atmopshere to talk to other merchants and agencies. In addition, there were some lively discussions about the most pressing topics of the Magento ecosystem:

  • How does the migration to Magento 2 work?
  • Which features will be available in Magento 2?
  • What will happen to Magento 1?

What will happen to Magento 1? (updated)

This seemed to be the most important question of all. At this point in time the time and date of the publication of this post it’s it was clear that the official support of Magento 1.x versions ends on November 18, 2018. Whether another organisation will take over Magento’s role and offer security updates is talked about in several places. If we were in England now, the bookmakers would certainly open their books and accept your bets on which group will take this task upon itself. It’s certain that right now it’s not certain.
Update
Only a few hours after I published this post, Magento has posted an official announcement that there is no set End of Life anymore. The details of this notice have been analysed by Andreas von Studnitz, who also gave a contextualisation of Magento’s change of direction.

We are in Germany where the great enthusiasm of American people and their willingness to try out new technology is regarded rather critically. The community seems to be torn. Some have waited a long time until they made their first steps with Magento 2. And others have not yet worked with Magento 2 at all. Many big agencies and we at integer_net too have already finished Magento 2 based projects. Still, we can’t wait to see what the next version 2.2 will have in store which will probably be released in September 2017.

MageRun

To clear our heads and get some fresh air we had a MageRun on Monday. On the conference’s first morning about a dozen attendees joined us for a run in Leipzig’s beautiful parks – before they had any coffee! During these busy events these morning runs often are the only possibility to see the pretty sights of the city.

Meet Magento DE

Meet Magento in Leipzig – that’s always a reunion, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. This year I really took notes in order not to forget any of the great people I met.
The more conferences I go to, the more I spent time on the “hallway track”. There is no official definition of this term which makes so much sense. The hallway track has no planned agenda. It’s made of spontaneous meetings on the hallways, at the buffet, the coffee machine or in one of the rooms before or after a talk. The real conversations, lively discussions and honest product presentations happen on the hallway track.
Dear speakers, I’m awefully sorry! But at this Meet Magento were so many attendees around that the rows were already filled. I did attend some talks, mainly the keynotes.

Announcements regarding Magento 2

In his keynote, Paul Boisvert, Head of Product Management at Magento, presented the upcoming features of Magento 2:

  • B2B
  • Social
  • Business Intelligence

These features have already been announced at Imagine in April in Las Vegas. The keyword B2B represents different feature, which are relevant for B2B online stores: create orders, role management for customer accounts, individual pricing lists, and more will probably be made available in Magento 2.3 in Magento Enterprise Edition with no additional fee.
Social was introduced as a connection of your Magento store with Facebook’s shop feature. Product data will be transferred automatically and Social Media Advertising will be made a lot easier, which can be a great advantage for retargeting.
The Business Intelligence features will be available in two options: the Essential variant has reduced features while the Pro version comes with a full feature set. Both are not meant to be a substitution of Google Analytics, but as a cloud-based supplement. Relevant data not just for data scientists but for any store manager.
It’s not yet clear when this feature will be available.

Announcements of Magento events

The Meet Magento Association (MMA), represented by Thomas Goletz and Annamaria Müller, added some more news:

  • Developer Paradise 2017 in France
  • Developer Paradises in South America and Singapore planned
  • MMA offices will be opened across the globe, available to rent

Contributions by integer_net

Of course I have also attended the talks by my colleagues Sandro, who talked about Magento 2 frontend development, and Fabian, who mapped his journey to Test Automation.

And then there was my own talk about content marketing on the second day. My conclusion: It’s somewhat harder to talk in front of your local audience compared to events abroad. On the other hand, it’s a lot more exciting to see full ranks and many familiar faces here.

Remarkable bits & pieces

Next to a very German translation of the idiom “Kleinvieh macht auch Mist” (it was far off “every little helps”) to English there were some more quotes during these days that were either very entertaining or that stuck with me for other reasons. One of these is this quote by Paul Boisvert:

I don’t want security to be the reason for merchants to move to Magento 2.

A very precious gem to us at integer_net is this slide by Magento CEO Mark Lavelle. According to it, 30% of the top contributors in the German Magento community are in our office.

Closing words

Even six days and nights in Leipzig passed by really fast. There are so many people that I would love to talk to longer. Thank you to the Meet Magento Association for organising the event, especially Anna. And many thanks to Claudia for creating the awesome hackathon! I’m sure we will see each other again next year!

Sonja Riesterer

Sonja Riesterer ist bei integer_net für alle Marketing-Themen zuständig. Ganz besonders liegt ihr dabei die Organisation von Events am Herzen. Als Magento Certified Solution Specialist und Magento Master 2017 bietet sie auch Magento-Anwenderschulungen an.

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