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Magento 2 is finally here, but is it still relevant?

by Ecommerce News. About Software with tags . 10,366 views.

It took several years, but the developer beta of Magento 2 has finally been released. It will still take another year before merchants are generally able to use the new ecommerce software. So we asked ourselves if Magento isn’t too late with its next edition. Will Magento 2 still be relevant when it’s open to the public?

Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in Europe. Although it originally was launched by a California based company called Varien, and was later sold to the American company eBay, the open source software formula is popular worldwide and many ecommerce development companies in Europe are solely specialized in building online stores with Magento.

It was back in 2010 when Yoav Kutner, Magento’s co-founder and then CTO, said during a Magento keynote that “finally, the platform is mature enough where it’s requiring a new version”. Magento 2 was officially announced. Among the goals for this new version were improving the product quality (unit tests, automated UI tests, etc), improving the product performance and scalability (load tests, data scaling, media scaling), improving the product security, 100% coverage of Web Services API and improving multiple languages support.

Magento 2 took some time to get an official release
But things changed. In 2011, eBay acquired Magento; first by buying 49% stake in the company and several months layer by acquiring the whole company. Co-founders Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner remained the Magento leaders, but after less than one year, Yoav left the company. On Quora he explained his decision, but soon he deleted this. What he said however, may have had something to do with why Magento 2 took some serious time to get an official release.

Quote from Yoav Kutner about Magento

Is it related? Who knows. Official publications are never released but it’s a fact that Magento 2 had quite a delay! But now it’s 2015 and finally Magento 2 is about to see the daylight. On the official Magento website it says what eBay wants to achieve with this totally new release: update the technology stack, simplify external integrations, improve performance and scalability, streamline the customization process, enable easier installations and upgrades and deliver better quality, testing resources and documentation. “Magento 2 is the next-generation ecommerce platform designed to give developers a more powerful toolset to create innovative solutions that accelerate merchant growth.”

‘Magento 2 nothing more than a rewrite with jQuery’
But can Magento really be the next-generation platform with a more powerful toolset? One year ago, Danny Decker, partner of interactive agency Harlo Interactive, wrote: “I have tested Magento 2.0 dev60 and it is nothing more than a rewrite with jQuery. Magento 2 offers the same feature set as Magento 1. You’ll just need to pay a developer to migrate all your 1.x extensions to 2.x, since there is no upgrade path.” According to him Magento 2 does great things for developers, but “it does nothing to advance the merchants’ needs. Magento is missing the most important suite of marketing and sales automation tools.”

Although the extension issue seems to be solved, he might still have a point. Magento once was an established ecommerce software player, but while it was busy working on a total new version, this market matured and new players appeared and now offer almost the same features as Magento 1. Some ecommerce software companies seem to be even more ready for the future, as they have implemented social and mobile features seamlessly in their software.

Magento didn’t become this popular by just being another platform. It’s open source character, the wide range of possibilities and the immense user and development base make sure that Magento is the best, or at least be among the best, ecommerce platforms out there in 2015. With high-end clients like Nike, Christian Louboutin, Harper’s Bazaar and OfficeMax it’s secure to have another great year. But it happens to be in the online retail business and in this sector the future is far from certain. Delays are killing and fresh startups are always around the corner. Will Magento 2 be the next step in ecommerce, or is another great powerhouse slowly losing its wings and will the late launch of the sequel make room for other or even new players to gain market share?

Magento schedule

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Comments

  • Paul

    i do agree that magento2 is not ready yet and that we have to prepare for that move. But – same with any other products – major chances are not that easy. So that’s the reason for pointing “2” to the versions. I just want this soft to be same supported as 1.x – maybe even better. Apart from many movies when 2nd part is not that good as 1st – i hope that wouldn’t be the case here

  • Robi

    Does anyone know a possible stable release date?

  • As you probably know Magento 2 is released. The question in the title is repeated at the end, still in need for some vision on the future of Magento. The market now:
    – Magento is facing a growing competition in B2C
    – Magento is looking towards B2B, but competition is simply better, offering a more complete solution
    – Content Marketing, customer experience management,…: Magento is not ready
    – Omni-channel, multi-channel: despite strong api and connectors all depends what is already present in the company

    My feeling about the upgrade is a technology update, while I was expecting much more adapted to the market needs and economic reality. Magento is an enterprise solution, but not the strongest proposition.

    In regard to open, the vision is changed from starting point, the essence of Magento to need to maintain a community. In terms of commercial strategy, enterprise is the focus with a limited number of partners in each country. I don’t think we can keep defending the need for big budgets for a community edition that’s not supported by Magento.

    • Muaad Lamen

      Hi Yvo,

      Some fantastic points here. You mention “growing competition in B2C” and that the “competition is simply better” in B2B. Can you please name the alternative competitors whom you feel are outperforming Magento in each of these categories?

      Thanks!

      • Hi Muaad,

        I will answer this question in terms of what are the building blocks of a B2B commerce solution.
        Is this quote and order management?
        If yes, stay with Magento.
        But beware, I see a lot of companies decomposing Magento and building a new solution on top of it. This is mostly not a wise investment.
        B2B is also focusing more and more on the customer with content marketing, personalisation, integration,… and therefore I would look at:
        PHP: Pimcore & OrcoCommerce (founders of Magento)
        Rails: Spreecommerce
        .NET and Java: SiteCore & Hybris
        A bit special, but from Belgium: Odoo ERP (http://www.odoo.com) (Python)

        But of course, let’s start with the real business needs and see how we can make up a strategy before we start selecting a platform. I would like to help as a freelance digital commerce expert.

        • Random question @yvo_alen:disqus – have you used Odoo with Magento before?

          • Hi Francis,

            First of all, Odoo is an ERP solution with an integrated e-commerce solution. Not as flexibele, scalable and for sure with not the same functional specs as Magento, but a fine offer for lots of cases and very easy to set up.
            And yes we have integrated Odoo with Magento before with the understanding that Odoo is not capable of supporting for example all product features of Magento.

          • Renato Doe

            Everywhere I go I find u on the internet bro

  • Jenna Compton

    We’re curious to see how quickly merchants switch over from previous version to Magento 2 as it seems there will be quite a bit of development from scratch required.

    I think the most unfortunate part about the release is the timing. There are many new platforms offering more efficient and robust solutions now, so if Magento 2 had been released a bit earlier perhaps it would be more attractive.

    We published a guide of the pros and cons here: http://bluestout.com/blog/magento-is-dead-the-pros-cons-of-magento-2/

  • Magento 2.0 has become a hot topic now. In our company we are currently working on several new eCommerce projects based on Magento 2.0. We noticed that the technological progress compared with the previous release is so huge that quick and easy store migration is not possible.

    We published an article that explains if it’s really worth to migrate and how to make it: http://divante.co/blog/upgrade-magento-1-x-magento-2-0/