28th November marks the first major release for Magento in almost a year with them releasing version 2.3. This version focuses on packing more features into Magento out of the box, whilst also bringing Magento up to date with performance and security enhancements. Here's what we can expect to see:
New Features Include:
- Elasticsearch for all!
- Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)
- Improved Security Features
- PHP 7.2 Support
- Import/Export Enhancements
- Asynchronous API
- Page Builder
Elasticsearch for all!
Elasticsearch is an extremely popular search indexing tool which has been available for Magento Commerce customers for a while, allowing them to utilise more complex search queries and faster result responses to better sell their products.
With the growing popularity of Elasticsearch, Magento has opted to provide this support to everyone, including Open Source Magento stores. Elasticsearch can make your search results faster and has much less overhead than the usual MySQL search.
Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)
The Magento Community Engineering team has been working hard on the introduction of multi-source inventory management – allowing merchants to manage the movement of stock from multiple sources and the reservation of stock amounts for other purposes such as retail stock.
Alongside this also comes a more advanced stock allocation system, which should enable the ability for stock to be properly ring-fenced at the point of order placement. This should help merchants prevent over-ordering.
“Magento 2.3 has major focus on providing new features that'll pack more punch out-of-the-box. More integral features means less reliance on extensions. With less extensions comes stability.” Sam Butler-Thompson, Lead Deverloper (Back-End)
Improved Security Features
Magento has packed in more security features for merchants to feel safe when selling their products online. Firstly, is the integration of Google reCAPTCHA out-of-the-box, allowing customers to prove they aren’t robots.
The second addition is Two-Factor Authentication on the Magento back-office. When enabled, back-office agents can confirm their identity using an app such as Google Authenticator. This allows merchants to be rest assured that only they can access their Magento admin panel.
PHP 7.2 Support
The latest release of PHP provides, amongst other things, a noticeable boost in performance to applications that use it. We’ve seen response time increases of approximately ~10% with internal tests – so it’s great news to hear that Magento has baked support for the next major PHP release into 2.3.
Note: Patches for 2.1.x and 2.2.x too which provide PHP 7.2 support will also be released, plus an official SUPEE patch for Magento 1 providing PHP 7.x support.
“Magento 2.3 provides new features to allow developers to integrate, extend and run Magento stores with stability and ease.” Siggi Sveinsson, Senior Front-End Developer
Improvements in the data import and export tools of Magento should provide faster and more flexible tools to enable easier data management within your store.
The introduction of Asynchronous API into Magento’s already powerful API tools will also allow developers to produce integrations that can make requests to process large data without having to wait on the result. This is ideal for merchants that rely on integrations that require the management of a lot of data (such as stock of catalogue information), because it enables the integrations to be leaner and less resource-intrusive on a Magento system.
Earlier in the year, Magento purchased Blue Foot CMS – formerly a powerful CMS extension for the Magento platform. Version 2.3 marks the introduction of that functionality out-of-the-box, now called Magento Page Builder. This will provide out-of-the-box tools to easily and quickly produce stunning CMS and home pages with a reduced need to develop bespoke widgets.
Note: Page Builder is still in development – and will not be fully introduced till later in the year (Q1 2019). You can sign up for the Page Builder preview now if you wish to give it a go ahead of time.
Overall, the 2.3 release of Magento has more focus on enhancing and provide more features, enabling merchants to do more without the need to install add-ons. With the reduction of extension requirements alongside other performance improvements this version provides, merchants can take advantage of a more robust, more stable, and more flexible Magento store.