X.commerce Innovate Developers Conference Day 2 Highlights

Yesterday was all about X.commerce and the community at large, but today we focused solely on Magento.

During the first session, we got to hear from Dmitry Soroka about what the Magento 2 roadmap looks like. Magento is putting a lot of effort into making Magento 2 a real upgrade from Magento 1: making it faster, more scalable, more expandable, more flexible, and more awesome in general. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Backward Compatibility is broken – Normally developers love backward compatibility because it makes our lives easier: we don’t have to update code every time a new version comes out. However, this time around, Magento has decided to forgo it. This is actually a very good key decision. Now, they have the chance to fix some important architecture problems that would be much harder or impossible to solve while maintaining backward compatibility. This will result in extensions working better inside the system and minimize conflicts that are common in the current version of Magento.
  • Multiple DB support – Magento 2 will support Oracle, MySQL, MSSQL and PostgreSQL out of the box. In fact, Magento Enterprise 1.11 has this functionality already. Now, it will make it into the core of the community edition. For larger enterprise users, the ability to run Magento inside of their existing infrastructure can potentially save time and money by allowing Magento to speak to those databases directly instead of having to integrate with modules or other middleware.
  • Performance – They’ve already benchmarked a 20% performance increase over Magento 1. There is a lot of room to grow and it’s a big focus. It’s safe to say that Magento 2 will have a noticeable performance gain over Magento 1.
  • Developer Tools & Documentation – They’ve been able to redesign and update several core pieces of Magento as well as developer tools. Documentation is another big thing. They’ve already released documentation for Magento 2 on their Confluence Wiki and are working to make their processes, tools, and methods open & transparent. This is apparent in how they are approaching the testing for Magento 2. (See below!) This is a huge boon to us developers and will help us to continue to write quality code.
  • Theme & Design updates – It looks like they are planning on taking some of the design functionality that Magento Go offers and including it straight into Magento’s core. Making simple design modifications very accessible to store owners. They’re also making the advanced theme functionality better by removing a lot of the limitations that are placed on theme developers during the implementation process. This means that making smaller theme modifications are much easier to do and could make it worthwhile to do, for instance, seasonal designs while still keeping your primary theme untouched.

We’re excited about what Magento 2 has to offer and were elated to be able to download and begin to play with the Magento 2 code that was released today.

One of the key things that are driving the quality code coming from the core team are the tools that they use to test and validate what they are writing. We heard from Anton Makarenko (Sr. PHP Developer on the Core Team @ Magento) about the unit testing capabilities that are being added to Magento 2.

We won’t bore you with all of the technical details, but suffice it to say that they are taking great lengths to ensure that bugs don’t creep into Magento 2 during development and that the tools that they are using are going to be made available to the community for improvement and use. They’ve done a lot of the work solving the technical problems of testing Magento and are giving us the ability to do the same thing for our own extensions and code.

So when is Magento 2 coming out? Well, there is no official roadmap yet, but the word on the street is that in Q3 2012, we’ll see the first alpha release and some time in Q4 2012 will be the final release.

That about wraps it up! We had a wonderful time at the Innovate Developers Conference and look forward to coming back next year.

X.commerce Innovate Developers Conference Day 1 Recap

Good golly, what a day! So much ground was covered today. It would be really hard to talk about every single thing that happened today, but we’d like to share we you some cool & interesting highlights from the first day of the Innovate Developers Conference.

This conference is not just a Magento or a PayPal conference. We’ve got developers, vendors, and users from across the whole X.commerce sphere: eBay, PayPal, Magento, X.commerce, marketing, SEO… you name it. Truly a huge cross-section of individuals and companies. It has been amazing getting to meet with people from across the globe to share ideas and discuss all sorts of topics.

Of course, the main reason we came here is to learn about the newly released X.commerce platform and operating system.

Let us explain.

The X.commerce fabric is essentially a platform-independent intermediary that allows you to write one integration for your service/cart/application/etc and then allows you to provide that service or consume other services from anyone else who also talks to the fabric. Perhaps the easiest analogy is to languages. Right now, each cart/service/API speaks its own language. In order for your cart to “talk” to MailChimp (for instance), you must “teach” it to speak that the MailChimp “language” by writing a module for it to “translate”. With X.commerce, though, you let your service (say, MailChimp, again) to “speak” X.commerce and you teach your cart to “speak” X.commerce and the two will be able to talk to each other. Not just that, but any other cart that can “speak” X.commerce can also “speak” with MailChimp since it speaks X.commerce.

Another angle: let’s say you run a small business and you use Magento Go for your website. And, for the sake of the example, you use three services to help you: MailChimp (for E-mail), Kenshoo (for advertising), and Shopon (for social). You decide to go with Magento Enterprise. Instead of having to find 3 modules that implement each of these integrations separately, you can use the built-in X.commerce fabric that is a part of Magento Enterprise to talk to these services automatically. No extra time involved. They’ll just work. That’s the power of X.commerce.
It’s worthwhile to note that although Magento and GSI Commerce are both a part of the X.commerce Magento really stole the show! All but one of the demos of X.commerce were done on Magento Enterprise. Lots of Magento love today!

What else? We heard about Magento and X.commerce. The X.commerce team has learned a lot from the Magento team. There will be a version of the X.commerce fabric available for Magento when it becomes generally available. We heard about the growth of the industry and how eCommerce will be a 10 trillion (yes, trillion) dollar industry by 2013. Magento unveiled their revamped Magento Connect 2, which easily links Magento store owners with extensions. Magento U, Magento’s training unit, will now offer courses online. Finally, Magento 2 was announced to be released in 2012 and a certified module program (which certifies modules for Enterprise) was also talked about.

As we were leaving tonight, the X.commerce folks formed a human fabric. It went all the way from Moscone West to Moscone North. It was quite a sight!

Well, that about wraps it up for today. We’re pretty beat from all of the excitement. Check back tomorrow for more news and highlights from day 2.

Heading to the X.commerce Innovate Developer Conference

On Tuesday, a few of us llamas will be heading over to San Francisco to attend to the Innovate Developer’s Conference. We’re really excited to be a part of this conference for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, we’re enthusiastic about the potential the X.commerce platforms bring to the Magento and eCommerce communities. It is a very ambitious end-to-end, multi-channel platform that aims to make the constantly changing and evolving world of eCommerce easy to access. On top of that, it’s open source! We’ll be watching this story unfold and can’t wait to see the fruit: what makes it into Magento and what features and services will be born out of this platform that can help us more effectively serve our customers and make them more successful.

Secondly, we are glad to hear that Magento’s Developer Certification will enter beta at Innovate. As you may have heard, our own David Alger was one of many on their Certification Advisory Board. We can’t wait to take the test!

Thirdly, it will be great to meet and visit with our friends from Magento and the greater Magento community. It’s not very often that we get to spend any amount of time with so many others in the eCommerce industry.

We’ll be updating our blog as time allows while at Innovate. You can also always get the latest on Classy Llama activities on our Twitter. Check us out and hit that follow button.

Contact Us