Since we are so excited about Magento 2 and there has been a lot of talk around it this spring with the release of the Developer Release Candidate version in March, Vaimo has also been busy with trying out the new Magento version. We figured, that who better to tell you about our thoughts and plans about Magento 2 than Vaimo’s co-founder and CTO, Staffan Palopää. Staffan has been working with Magento since it first came out in 2008 and knows the Magento ecosystem like the back of his hand. We have asked for his opinion on what Magento 2 will mean for Vaimo and our clients, how Vaimo goes about securing the performance and scalability of our projects on Magento 2 (M2) and much more.
What would you say has been the goal for Magento when developing M2, have they succeeded with this project?
Magento’s goal was to basically swap out the engine of the platform and improve the architecture in order to stand stronger in the future as a platform. They have updated the technology inside Magento to streamline the customisation process, simplify the process for external integrations, improve scalability and performance as well as make the installation and upgrade process easier in the future. I think its great that Magento has worked so hard to improve its complex infrastructure. Back in 2008 they built the platform on the best components and tools available at the time. Now a lot of things have changed, we have seen new ideas and concepts like TDD (Test Driven Development) and Magento is now embracing a lot of the current best practices in development. Obviously this new “engine” will face some bumps on the road but it was definitely the right approach to build Magento 2, instead of falling for the temptation to take the easy way and just keep adding more features on the existing platform without upgrading the technology.
What are in your view some of the new technical improvements and features of Magento 2.0 compared to Magento 1.0 that you find really impressing?
Firstly, Magento 2 doesn't provide many new features from a user’s perspective, but rather offers the same base features as current Magento Enterprise, however from a developer’s perspective a lot has changed. Both core and custom modules are more decoupled in the code which makes them less dependent on each other and easier to improve without creating unwanted side effects. Service layers will make it possible to factor out parts of the application into micro services. There will also be build in support for test driven development. It seems like the full page cache will be shipped with the new Magento Community version. Frontend is updated with newer technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery.
3) Vaimo was recently awarded with the Imagine 2015 Excellence Award in Growth for Konga.com - How does Vaimo ensure the performance & scalability of its clients sites on Magento? What impact will M2 have on those aspects of the Magento webshop?
Vaimo has been working with Magento since 2008 which means we’ve had a lot of experience tweaking the platform to get everything out of it. We achieve the scalability and performance by optimising the use of the Magento full page cache together with CDN and media server infrastructure as well as minification and compression. We provide our own hosting service and SLA-s which means we know exactly how each application works and tweak the servers to match clients needs. With Magento 2 it’s too early to say how those aspects are going to change. We will start seeing most of the benefits from the new technologies when we get into developing and delivering the new projects. To read more about how Vaimo works to ensure Magento’s performance and scalability, take a look at the white paper - Work process and Technologies for Magento performance based on our implementation of the Flight Club eCommerce site.
How will the current modules/extensions for Magento work after the new M2 is released, both in Magento Connect and Vaimo’s own modules?
All current extension for Magento 1 will have to be rebuild for Magento 2. As far as I know there is no longer any automated way to upgrade the code. There were attempts to build tools for converting modules but I think those tools have been discontinued. Most Magento developers know that the Magento Connect modules are notoriously shifting in quality and many times clashing with each other when rewriting the same classes. With Magento 2 you can, as a developer, avoid getting into the situation where your module might clash with others, this will be a great improvement.
What would you say is the most controversial thing about the new look and feel of Magento 2 after it’s released?
The new Magento admin UI. Some people like it but personally I don’t think it’s better. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I start using it regularly. To me it seems like the filters are harder to see and it feels like it’s taking a bit more space and leaves me scrolling more to see all the data. However some say this change is driven by merchant user experience. I guess we will see when real users get their hands on it and start delivering orders with its help.
For a developer, how big do you think is the learning curve for current Magento developers learning the new technology?
I think it will be challenging but fun in the beginning. The new architecture is more powerful but it’s also more advanced to operate. In the long run I believe that the productivity will go up significantly but initially it will be slower. However, I can already see the developers getting excited about getting their hands on Magento 2 and getting practical experience with all the new technologies and capabilities. I think it will be an exciting “fresh start”, but for developers already knowing Magento it will still be a huge advantage to know Magento 1 when getting into Magento 2.
Vaimo is a company with one of the highest number of Magento certified developers and solution specialists in the world. What happens when M2 comes along?
My guess is that Magento will upgrade the developers certifications to Magento 2 as soon as it’s released. And Vaimo employees will be in the race taking the new certifications when they become available!
When will Vaimo start new projects on Magento 2?
Vaimo will start a pilot project after the summer, some of our clients are really looking forward to the new cutting edge technology, they want to be the first on Magento 2. Their attitude is - lets be ahead of the competition! If it breaks then lets fix it. Other clients want to wait to see the result of the first pilots.
How long will Vaimo support the eCommerce solutions on the older version of Magento?
As long as we have clients on Magento 1. It’s difficult to give a timeframe as we first need to see the launch of Magento 2. There will be some hurdles to cross after the launch as with any new software version. As soon as we start seeing that our clients solutions are getting stable on Magento 2, then we will determine the way forward.
What should Vaimo’s existing and new clients do if they want to take advantage of Magento 2 as soon as it launches?
Our current clients can always contact their key account manager at Vaimo who can help them estimate the time and cost of upgrading their sites to Magento 2. All new clients can contact our offices in UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Ukraine and South Africa for further information on Magento and Magento 2. You can also read our recent blog post from Imagine Commerce Conference 2015 for more information on Magento 2 and Magento in general and follow below sites recommended by Magento on Magento 2:
Magento Forums: http://community.magento.com/
Developer Hub: http://www.magento.com/developers/magento2