The long-awaited Magento version 2.3 has been released today, on November 29th.
We are going to outline the most significant changes in the following feature list:
- Progressive Web App (PWA)
- GraphQL support
- Declarative DB Schema
- Asynchronous and Bulk Web API
- Elasticsearch Updates (Moved to Magento Open Source)
- Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)
- WYSIWYG Upgrade
- Page Builder
- Cache-Management ACL
- Google reCAPTCHA and Two Factor Authentication/a>
- Complete PHP 7.2 Support
Let’s have a closer look on them.
Progressive Web App (PWA)
In 2019 traffic from mobile devices purport to amount 90% of the world’s organic internet traffic, with about 30% of customers making purchases online. Magento 2.3 has devised a better way for online merchants to keep customers’ attention – with a progressive web app, customers will be able to save your online store as an app to their mobile devices.
Moreover, PWAs are accessible via URLs, indexed by search engines, allocate little disk space on mobile devices, send app-like push notifications, and at the same time are able to work offline.
PWAs are built on React.js framework which serves to process and present data, and communicate with backend independently via Magento 2 REST API. Such approach to Ecommerce architecture building was called “headless” as it allows to separate frontend and backend for quicker integrations, easier troubleshooting and experimentation, and nuanced personalization.
To create next-generation Magento 2 stores using PWA methodology, Magento have created an off-peg solution: Magento PWA Studio – an open-source development tool that’s currently available in beta-version, documentation can be found here.
Core features of PWA Studio are:
- Tools for content and local preference personalization
- One app, one code base and one deployment for building and management of omnichannel interaction with the customers
- Brand new intuitive commerce themes with improved UX
- A robust module-based architecture with wider opportunities for extension resellers
- Well-thought-out developer tools for prototyping, debugging, feedback, and amplified productivity
- Updates independent from Magento core
GraphQL is an API query language that forms the basis of PWA data retrieval and can significantly speed up the frontend experience. It allows to cut down the number of responses (as the subset of attributes being returned to the requestor about an entity is limited) and the number of requests by chaining them. This will result in even more performant progressive web apps providing a more delightful user experience.
At the moment Magento platform supports REST and SOAP API requests that use service contracts. So, to support the GraphQL the core team had to develop an entire new layer that interfaces directly to the Query API. Further down the road it may lead to redefining the checkout, payment and my account processes logic.
Declarative DB Schema
Currently, to alter a database in Magento, developers have to create a series of SQL scripts, such as InstallData,InstallSchema, UpgradeData,UpgradeSchema, Recurring and Uninstall scripts.
The Magento 2.3 platform will support declarative database schema which allows defining database structures and changes using XML language instead of developing numerousscripts. The platform will be able to convert XML schema into SQL statements and perform them.
This means no-headache Magento platform and extension installations and upgrades. But do not worry – if you are using SQL scripts, they will be still supported.
Asynchronous and Bulk Web API
Asynchronous and bulk web APIs will process API calls without waiting for the whole call queue to be processed. Using this approach greatly reduces the response time from the APIs while processing such API calls as bulk product integration, or customer import. This functionality will be available in both Magento 2.3 Commerce and OpenSource editions.
Elasticsearch Updates (Moved to Magento Open Source)
From now on Elasticsearch will be available not only in Magento Commerce, but in also in the OpenSource edition out of the box, and it is going to be a default Magento search engine in the near future. It empowers search abilities on site by numerous attributes bringing about a seamless user experience.
Multi Source Inventory (MSI)
The addition of an MSI feature to the Magento core will allow merchants to natively manage inventory from different sources: warehouses, stores, distribution or drop shipping centers.
This will help to optimize product tracking and shipping regardless of customer location, devices, and preferred channel of communication. Given the customer shipping address, multi-source inventory features should define the closest stock location to reduce the delivery time and cost, and automatically recalculate the number of products remaining in multiple stocks.
So, even if the warehouse closest to the customer runs low on the required product, it will show the number of available products in other warehouses, or send a low stock notification to them. Payload from stock locations will be transferred to 3rd-party systems via API.
If you have only one source of inventory, you also can leverage the multi-source inventory order reservation system that monitors stock data along with imports and exports, improving checkout performance and, as a repercussion, conversion rates.
The WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE has been upgraded to version 4 in Magento 2.3. Now widgets, variables, and media gallery are implemented as plugins and easy to customize.
Native Page Builder will be available in Magento 2.3 commerce edition or as a paid extension 6-8 weeks after release. It will enable less tech-savvy merchants to create content, along with product and catalog pages using drag-and-drop interface. Based on popularBluefoot CMS and page module technology, Page Builder will include the following functionality:
- Flexible and responsive grid system
- In-line text editing and drag-in images
- Reusable blocks targeted to customer segment
- Posts scheduling
- Storefront content preview
- Quick launch of content updates
- User guide and tutorials
Cache-Management Access Control List
Another improvement is a granular cache management ACL. Starting from Magento 2.3 administrators get more control of user-related system cache issues. They are allowed to assign user roles for cache viewing and management. This comes in really handy when there’s a team of users dealing with Magento system cache on a regular basis.
Google reCAPTCHA and Two Factor Authentication
A built-in Google reCAPTCHA service will protect the contact and login forms on Magento 2.3 stores from malefactors via advanced risk analysis engines designed to detect any spam or hack-related activity on a page.
As an extra security layer, Magento 2.3 adds two-factor authentication to protect the admin panel from malicious access attempts.
Complete PHP 7.2 Support
PHP 7.0 is already running outdated, so the Magento 2.3 platform will support at first PHP 7.1, and later with the help of the patch, it will move to PHP 7.2. This may cause some issues if you’re going to upgrade your store from Magento 2.1 (not supporting PHP 7.1) to Magento 2.3. To avoid issues with version compatibility you need to switch the PHP version during the upgrade. If you’re not sure how to address this issue, contact us and we will gladly assist.