Magento 2 Developer Beta – What You Need to Know

magento-2 Magento recently released its first look at Magento 2 to the developer community. Magento 2 is a completely different product from Magento 1. From much of the code being re-written, to new features and new requirements, it’s not simply a version with some improved functionality.

I’ll go over a few items to be aware of with regards to this new version…

What do merchants need to know about Magento 2 right now?

First, do not expect to be running V2 any time soon. The official roadmap has these dates in mind for Magento 2:

  • Developer Beta – December 2014
  • Developer Release Candidate (RC) – End of Quarter 1, 2015
  • Merchant Beta – Quarter 3, 2015
  • General Availability (GA) – Quarter 4, 2015

Magento is trying very hard to stick to these dates, and from what I’ve seen, they are serious about releasing according to this schedule. However, even if Magento 2 is released officially in late 4th quarter of 2015, I would recommend waiting until early 2016 for those first major show-stopping bugs to be fixed before considering it.

Right now, the developer beta is just that, a version that developers (and hosts like us) can test out, report bugs, etc… The current beta does not even support any payment methods, just in case a merchant wanted to use it on a live site.

Magento is embracing the community

One area where Magento has done a 180 is in interacting with the community for Magento 2. They took all the lines of code (1.5 million plus) and made them publicly available on GitHub, an open source site for collaboration.

Magento is asking for developers to help improve the code, the features, and the documentation, allowing anyone on GitHub to submit issues, code fixes, etc… They are responsive to questions, and are genuinely interested in feedback.

In fact, I was able to submit a bugfix (called a Pull Request on GtitHub) that was accepted into the next version! So team LexiConn is a small part of the success of Magento 2.  :)

Still much work to do for V2

We’ve been beta testing version 2 for a few weeks now. There are some nice new features, the admin panel is re-arranged to make more sense, and the code has been brought up to date with the latest technologies (CSS3, jQuery, HTML5, LESS) and requires more modern versions of PHP (5.5 or higher) and MySQL (5.6 or higher).

A Full Page Cache has been built into Magento 2, and it has built-in support for Varnish caching as well.

Apart from the features, there are still bugs to work out, Magento is still changing things around, and performance has a long way to go to be snappy out of the box.

Not a seamless upgrade

Right now, it does not appear there will be a seamless upgrade path from Magento 1 to Magento 2. With so many things being changed, all themes/templates would have to be re-done, all plugins would have to be re-written, and the database changes are quite extensive as well.

Sure, you could export your data and import it into a new Magento 2 store, but the likelihood of a simple one button approach to upgrading is quite low.

Just something to keep in mind into 2016 and beyond.

Magento 1 isn’t going away

As I mentioned, Magento 2 likely won’t be ready for bug free live sites until sometime in 2016. Themes and plugins will have to be re-written to work in Magento 2, so realistically late 2016 or early 2017 is more likely the “critical mass” date.

Magento 1 is and will continue to be a viable solution for most merchants. It is not something you have to worry about, or start making urgent plans to go to Magento 2.

LexiConn will be ready for Magento 2

We’ll be keeping a close eye on the development of Magento 2. We’ve been active in reporting bugs, submitting code fixes, and helping shape the future of the next release.

We’re also testing things performance wise, as there is a bit more complexity in Magento 2 in terms of getting pages to load quickly. When Magento 2 is officially released, we’ll have a hosting environment that is ready to take advantage of all that Magento 2 has to offer!


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