5 Most Important Things That Happened at Magento Imagine 2014

Another year, another fantastic Magento Imagine conference in Las Vegas! Can you believe it’s already been one week since over 1,700 people from around the world came together for Magento’s largest global conference yet?! For those of you unfamiliar with the Magento Imagine conference, it’s 3 days of informative sessions, engaging keynotes and impactful networking with eCommerce professionals from around the world.

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If you weren’t able to attend, or want to relive the world-wind that was Imagine, we’ve got the recap for you! We’re excited to share what we think were the 5 most important things to happen at Magento Imagine 2014.

1. Magento CE 1.9 and EE 1.14 Released

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Mark Lavelle, VP Product and General Manager of Mid-Market & Magento at eBay, announced early in his keynote that Magento Community Edition (CE) 1.9 and Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) 1.14, are now available! These latest editions of Magento also comes with some pretty neat features for merchants, one of them being Magento’s new responsive theme framework.

EE 1.14 and CE 1.9 New Responsive Themes

The latest editions of Magento will drastically reduce the barriers to entry for responsive sites. Time will be cut in half to develop a site ready for desktop, table and mobile. In fact Magento, now thinks it will take less time to build a responsive theme in Magento 1.9 than it took to build a desktop-only theme in 1.8. Bold statement! We hope they are right!

Other Notable Features in the New Releases

  • Improved payment and financing options
  • Fresher Search results for customers
  • Faster indexing for merchants
  • Cross border price consistency
  • Improved quality and 50 other enhancements
  • – For a full breakdown of the new edition releases, check out Magento’s blog for more details.

    2. Magento2 Release Date

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    We’ve all been eagerly awaiting for Magento2, the next evolution of Magento. In order to take the platform to the next level, eBay has been listening closely to the Magento community (everyone from developers to solution partners, industry partners and merchants), and for the latest release they were asked to focus on:

    1. Making Magento easier to deploy, maintain and scale
    2. Make extension and applications easier to implement, test and maintain
    3. Make customizations easier to do and easier for clients to achieve upgrades.

    These are lofty goals for the code base, and require substantial architectural changes. Magento2 will be the most modern, flexible, scalable and open eCommerce platform in the world.

    The information above, is nothing new. We’ve been told it before, with promises for a release date “in the near future” or “soon”. Thus making Magento2 into a bit of an urban legend within the Magento community. But the next piece of information that Mark shared definitely took the audience by surprise:

    “Magento2 will be available in our hands this year. A packaged beta release will be available in December 2014”

    Magento2 Goals

    1. Modernize web technology stack
    2. Improve performance and scalability (in both CE and EE)
    3. Easy customizations, code will be more modular, enhanced APIs
    4. Separate business logic from presentation layout, reduce for need of cut, copy, and paste mode by 80%
    5. Cleaner installation and upgrades
    6. High code quality and improved testing framework

    Release Approach for Magento2:

  • They will be rolling things out in an agile release cadence
  • Agile process will allow them to have a much better delivery cadence
  • They are releasing to developers first, and will give them ample time to get up to speed
  • Smaller sets of new features on a regular basis, so merchants can utilize new features/functionality sooner
  • Key Dates:

  • Beta Release – December 2014
  • Release Candidate – March 2014
  • Magento2 will mark a turning point for how Magento works and will extend its place in the market!

    – Mark Lavelle

    Related Posts:
    Magento2: What’s Changing and Why
    In-depth Analysis of New Magento2 Development Updates

    3. Ben Marks named Official Magento Evangelist

    We were so very excited to hear that Ben Marks (@benmarks) has officially been named Magento’s Evangelist! A very well deserved role!

    For those of you unacquainted with Ben, he has been a huge driving force behind the Magento community. As the former Director of Development at Blue Acorn, and a Trainer at Magento, Ben is now focusing on the Magento community full time. He will evangelize Magento through interactions with the community including blog postings, interviews, in-person events, screencasts, videos, twitter, wiki articles, discussion forums, code samples, newsletters and webinars. He’ll also be working closely with the Magento Core Team to influence features and core functionality.

    We couldn’t be happier or more proud of Ben’s accomplishment. He has been an excellent ambassador to the Magento community and will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with this eCommerce platform and the people who support it globally.

    Congratulations Ben!!

    4. Roy Rubin’s Departure and the rise of Magento + eBay Enterprise

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    Although there was an official announcement made on April 30th on the Magento blog, Roy Rubin officially announced his departure from Magento on stage at Imagine 2014. While no specific details were given, Roy did mention that “[Magento] is in a great spot now for me to move on to my next adventure.”.

    With Roy’s departure, eBay enterprise + Magento are accelerating forward. But what’s the reason or fit? Mark explained it nicely:

    “The Magento community and eBay share a common purpose: lowering the barriers of entry to create a form commerce made for people, powered by technology, one that is open for everybody. This is connected commerce.”

    When you look more closely, Magento and eBay Enterprise seem like a natural fit. Magento lies at the heart of the commerce technologies for eBay. They strongly believe that merchants will need every single aspect of the digital and physical touch-points of their consumers. They need to do this to control their brand and differentiate from their competitors, so they can react to changes in their industry and the rapidly changing customer expectations. Now Magento can connect with eBay enterprises’s Omni-Channel platform. It’s the only cloud based system of its kind! This approach is utterly disruptive!

    Furthermore, Magento can now tap into 15 years of enterprise sales and marketing capabilities. It will help clarify their role in the ecosystem for product strategy, and ensure that they are consistency improving core commerce capabilities of the platform, as well as develop a basic and consistent ecosystem for Omni-Channel. They will lean more heavily on eBay capabilities for order management, payment, cloud computing etc because they feel they can bring real scale to the ecosystem. Magento + eBay Enterprise will also continue to rely on their partners proactively in a structured way to deliver capabilities to the mid-market.

    eBay acquiring Magento was an incredibly important component of eBay’s connected commerce strategy. Now with eBay Enterprise’s ecosystem at the disposal of Magento merchants, they have the unique insights and resources in order to successfully sell to the multi channel consumer.

    5. Magento now powers 30% of the Alexa Top 1M transacting websites

    Finally our last point comes from when Roy Rubin shared that Magento now powers more than 240,000 online stores, or roughly 30% of the Aleza Top 1M transacting websites! Each year, more merchants are leveraging Magento to transform their own businesses and more importantly their industries. Roy shared some success stories including: BoxPark, Jane Norman and Stella and Dot.

    Some other really exciting stats:

  • With 240,000 merchants using the Magento platform, that’s a 60% growth since Magento Imagine 2013
  • Almost 3,000 merchants use the Magento Enteprise (EE) Edition
  • There were 26+ billion transactions in commerce in 2014
  • There are 300+ partners within the Magento ecosystem: Technology and SI
  • There are 6,000+ 3rd party extension available for Magento
  • What did you think?

    What did you think of Magento Imagine 2014? Do you agree with our 5 choices above? We’d love to hear from you, and see what you thought of the conference! What did you enjoy the most? Which sessions really stood out for you, and best yet, what did you take away or learn most about from your time at Imagine?

    Leave your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below!

    Magento Imagine 2014 Photos!

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    We’ve also posted a bunch of pictures from Magento Imagine 2014 on our Facebook page. Check them out here!

    Magento Imagine 2015: April 20-22nd

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    We’re already looking forward to next year’s Magento Imagine which will be held within the Wynn Hotel April 20th – 22nd in Las Vegas. See you there?