3 New Features for Magento

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The internet is synonymous with two things — shopping and something that rhymes with “corn.” Today I’m going to focus on shopping.

Magento 2 has been out for over a year now. If you’re not familiar with the Magento platform, it is a powerful, open-source (read: free) e-commerce solution that offers users an impressive suite of features to help their business in a highly competitive online market. As of today, the current version number is 2.1.3. There have been significant improvements to the codebase since it first released November 2015. Let’s take a look at just a few of those, in no particular order.

Content staging (Available from Magento 2.1.0)

Content Staging is probably my favorite addition to Magento 2. Released with the 2.1 update and available exclusively to the Enterprise Edition, Content Staging allows store owners to group updates together and release them on a schedule. You can stage assets from Products, Categories, Catalog Price Rules, Cart Price Rules, CMS Pages, and CMS Blocks and set them on a schedule. You can also preview what the changes will look like once active on the site as well as share a link so other team members can weigh in on the changes. With this new feature, you could have a seasonal page that contains products you can dynamically change through the Content Staging feature.

Message queues (Available from Magento 2.0.0)

If you’ve used Magento or Magento 2, you know firsthand that a lot is going on under the hood. Events are firing, CRUD (create-read-update-delete) operations are happening, transactional emails are sent out. The Magento platform demands a lot from its hardware. Message Queues are a way to alleviate some of the strain from the system by taking tasks, called jobs, and queuing them in a system to run at a later time. Magento offers baked-in support for a standalone messaging queue called RabbitMQ (Enterprise Edition only) and basic message queuing using MySQL tables and cronjobs. Some examples of this include sending transactional emails, logging data, or if you’ve got some business logic that needs to run after a customer completes an order.

Marketplaces and system updates

Most clients we’ve worked with in the past eschewed the Magento Connect feature — which allowed them to download and install extensions without needing a programmer — of Magento 1.x altogether. It was unreliable at best and the marketplace had no code quality check in place. This made not only updating Magento itself, but the many extensions a store owner had, a long and tedious process. With Magento 2, store owners can connect their Magento account to their store and pull in purchased extensions from the now-curated Marketplace. Store owners can even update each Magento core module itself from the admin panel. This process includes backing up the codebase and database, in the event something happens during upgrade.

These features are just a few of the many improvements in Magento 2. It’s still early days, but the platform has really come a long way since it launched and we at FortyFour are excited to help clients achieve their goals using Magento 2.

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