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Magento 2 launches under new ownership

Magento is a popular Open Source eCommerce system written with PHP. The system originates to 2007 and as early as 2010 an announcement was made about a significant upgrade project. Now the project is finally at final stages and is set to be launched by end of year 2015. This coincides with the recent launch of the Magento Commerce company.

Magento was originally developed by Varien, a US based company with the first stable version launching in 2008. Three years later in 2011 the internet giant eBay aquired magento at a rumored price of US $180 Million.

In the latest move on November 2nd 2015 the company responsible for development of Magento was spun to an independent company with an investment from Permira Funds.

The company is known as Magento Commerce and will continue the development of a number of products for the eCommerce industry:

  • Magento Community Edition is a modular and free Open Source eCommerce platform. The functionality can be extended through the Magento Marketplace.
  • Magento Enterprise Edition is derived from the Community Edition and has the same software core, but is not free to download. The Enterprise Edition has additional features for customer support and marketing, essential for large scale eCommerce operations.
  • Magento Commerce Order Management is a set of products that connect the supply channels and, order fulfillment and inventory. It is can be used stand alone or integrated with the Enterprise Edition.
  • Magento Retail Commerce stretches the company's products to retail stores and aims to merge the online shop by allowing store employees to pick orders, print receipts and more.

Magento is being used by over 240,000 online merchants around the globe and claims to hold around thirty percent marketshare among the 30 most popular eCommerce systems. Even though nimble competitors like WooCommerce are challenging it in the lower end of the market.

The long road to Magento 2.0

Magento started development at the golden age of PHP5 and even the 1.x releases can be considered relatively modern with object-oriented programming and a model-view-controller architecture. Regardless of this the need for a larger rework of the system was necessary and was kicked off in 2010.

Like with many large scale software renewal projects the effort was larger than expected. The launch was originally set for Q4 2011, but that proved to be a challenge as the launch is now set to end of year 2015. This closely resembles the refactoring effort of modern CMSes like Typo3, eZ Publish and Drupal.

The new version, Magento 2, is currently in release candidate status. It will be a completely different beast, so migration from 1.x releases will not be trivial. Magento 1.x line will receive support for three years from the date that 2.0 is launched - this gives developers and businesses ample time to migrate.

Magento 2 is built with contemporary development technologies like PHP 5.5->, HTML 5, CSS 3, {less}, and Require.js. It uses a number of shared PHP components from Zend, Symfony and others. It will offer a number of technical improvements such as responsive base theme, improved default search functionality and theme inheritance.

During the development of Magento 2 there have been multiple reorganisations, personnel changes and the product has faced gaping holes in the security and has also been targeted by the Neutrino exploit kit. With this and the lagging launch of Magento 2, the morale of staff must have been hit.

But now with a reinvigorated corporate structure and development of the new version things are looking up. With over $50 Billion of gross revenue handled with Magento yearly, it's a gorilla in the world of eCommerce.

UPDATE: Magento 2 was launched on November 17th 2015

Learn more about Magento 2 from these resources:

Written by Jani Tarvainen on Saturday November 14, 2015
Permalink - Tags: magento, magento2, ecommerce, php

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