This year’s Imagine was a hotly anticipated event as it was the first to be held since the acquisition by Adobe in May 2018 and we all had burning questions around the roadmap and future direction of Magento as part of the Adobe universe. Overall, there was a large focus placed onto customer experience and how the platform would evolve to meet changing consumer expectations around personalisation, service and technologies such as AI & VR. Gary Spector, VP of Commerce Sales & Customer Success called on the attendees to spend the conference connecting with one another in a spirit of openness and innovation “to continue challenging each other, pushing each other to innovate even more, and to keep this community thriving”.
Another new concept introduced at the conference was “experience-driven commerce” which would be made possible by laying marketing, data, content and commerce over the end to end customer experience and the ability to manage all of these elements within the Adobe Experience Cloud Platform.
The most commented topic of the conference for sure, PWA Studio is getting more mature and rapidly moving towards a full framework for a better front-end experience in Magento. One of the key capabilities still not present in the headless dev toolbox was the compatibility with a payment service, now covered with the first integration with Braintree. This means that developers and agencies can now advance with their React implementations, counting with a widely known payment provider to start with.
The launch of two new features was very well received by SMB store owners – Google Shopping ads Channel & Amazon Sales Channel. These extensions, now available for free, allow a seamless integration with the Google Merchant Center (Shopping) and Amazon Marketplace, meaning that a Magento catalogue can be synchronised with the two internet giants in real time, without the need of external tools.
The new version of the WYSIWYG/drag-and-drop editor will be also available for the OpenSource version of the platform in a near future; no date was confirmed, but most developers speculate that it should happen no later than first half of 2020. That is good news for everyone, as a wider utilisation will lead to a faster evolution of the tool, which is now getting compatible with PWA Studio as well. Additionally, the new Bluefoot data migration tool was officially announced, allowing stores using the old version of the editor to migrate their contents to PageBuilder. This is important because moving data from hundreds of pages could be a big blocker to an upgrade. No more!
Another plugin made immediately available during Imagine 2019, allows the integration with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target. The module was heavily supported by the development community and has the objective to be the entry from small and medium M2 businesses into the Adobe suite of solutions.
Magento Commerce Cloud Hosting & Tiered Architecture
In order to enable growth and scalability on Magento, Steve Kerbsbach, Sr Director of Magento Cloud Operations announced that there were two notable changes to be implemented before the end of the year. Firstly, Azure will be offered in addition to AWS hosting to offer customers more options and secondly, the development of two-tier architecture that will allow customers to scale horizontally on the front end, and vertically on the back end. Essentially both these features will allow for a smoother customer experience, even when they are under considerable load from traffic.
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