While no official timeline has been published, Magento’s point releases have been fairly predictable–and, it’s about that time. We hope to see Magento 2.3 out before the end of 2018.
The 2.3 features are a nice package of enterprise features that will continue to allow Magento to push up-stream. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.
Magento Page Builder
Magento acquired Bluefoot in December 2016 and will now offer the tool as a part of the Magento core. Adapted from Bluefoot CMS, Magento Page Builder is an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder. As an aside, this was offered as a free add-on for the previous Commerce version—it’s available now.
The benefit? Pages that used to require a developer to implement can how be launched by anyone. Marketers can use Magento Page Builder to create beautiful, custom landing pages on the fly. As one experienced with previous Magento CMS capabilities, this will be a huge improvement. Watch for our full posting on this subject in this space, including insight on migrating existing Page Builder efforts into 2.3.
Progressive Web App (PWA) Studio
Mobile commerce continues to grow and will contribute to half of overall retail sales growth by 2022 according to Forrester. Originally proposed by Google in 2015, Progressive Web Apps takes the latest technologies to combine the best of mobile apps and the best of traditional web. This allows for push notifications, fast load times, offline use, and easier deployment and maintenance.
PWA Studio is a suite of tools, standards, and top-quality components for building and sharing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs will be the future of the internet.
What is Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) you ask? MSI will give websites the ability to tap into separate warehouses for fulfillment (i.e., multiple sources for inventory). Additionally, it incorporates a reservation system during the ordering process. Instead of simply decrementing inventory, this reservation system eliminates re-indexing and performance issues during peak order times by allowing for asynchronous inventory deductions.
This functionality highlights the importance of the Magento community, as community members, with Magento oversight, developed this feature!
Amazon Third-Party Sales Channel
The Amazon Third-Party Sales Channel lets your organization quickly integrate its store with Amazon so it can take advantage of the Fulfillment By Amazon program. While selling on Amazon certainly has its own pros and cons, that’s a subject for another article. In short, this feature makes it easy to explore a new sales channel for your brand. Can we guess that native eBay support comes next?
GraphQL allows Magento more efficiency in requesting information over an API. In the past, whenever the system requested information via API it would receive all attributes for that particular data element in return, and then the information needed would be pulled from those results. With GraphQL, the system would pull only the information it actually needs. Check out the GraphQL discussion on the Magento Forums for a more in-depth article and discussions.
Cache Management ACL
Sometimes called cache permissions, Magento ACL (Access Control List) lets you control which admin panel users are allowed to flush the Magento cache. Flushing of the cache is expensive in terms of server performance and customer experience. Granting this permission will help ensure cache is not abused.
Elasticsearch is an extremely valuable asset of Magento Commerce, not only driving overall site search, but also faceted search. Magento 2.3 promises to take this search functionality to the next level.
First, the latest update incorporates Elasticsearch as an option to Magento Open Source users. This is a move toward elevating Elasticsearch to Magento’s default search engine in the future. Second, Magento 2.3 will support the latest version of Elasticsearch (Elasticsearch v5), which improves performance and administrative user friendliness.
Two Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) will improve security by enabling the option of using two-factor authentication for your admin accounts. While extensions have been available for this feature for some time, it’s nice to see Magento’s security model expanding.
Magento 2.3 will provide support for Declarative Schema, allowing developers to define database structures and changes via XML. The platform would then convert the XML schema files into SQL statements and perform those actions. Most importantly, one can roll back database changes and perform tests and validations against the schema definition files. Additional details available for review here: A Declarative Approach for Database Schema Upgrades.
Asynchronous Web APIs
Traditional APIs send out a call and wait for a response from that endpoint before proceeding. The Magento Asynchronous Web API will provide the ability to make a request (or bulk requests) without waiting for a response from the server. This will have many technical benefits, including improved performance and responsiveness. In addition, a status reporting API will be available to check on the progress of the requests.
Message Queues solve another common frustration: database lockups. These lockups occur when multiple processes are run simultaneously. In Magento, the Message Queue Framework (MQF) prevents these logjams by creating queues of tasks to be executed. This feature has already been released with RabbitMQ as the message broker for Magento Commerce; Magento 2.3 will extend support to Magento Open Source.
PHP 7.2 brings new development features; as well as, an increase in performance and security. Security meaning: the inclusion of libsodium replacing the deprecated mcrypt for encryption, decryption, password hashing, etc.
With an eye on the future, Magento 2.4 is next. It seems that many features previously rumored to be a part of 2.4 will be implemented in Magento 2.3. As for Magento 2.4, we should get the following improvements:
Expanded API Coverage