Looking back: A year of Magento 2

| By: Sasha Butkovich

In November 2015, Magento unveiled the latest version of its popular Enterprise Edition platform, Magento 2.0. As an early adopter and a member of the Beta Program for the release, Corra was on the ground floor, launching one of the first Magento 2 sites for our client, Alcatel.

Now almost a year later, we’re taking a look back at Magento 2. What have we discovered over the past year? What is the impact of the platform? And, importantly, what is our assessment of the platform?

Discovery

The Corra team was in on the ground floor as a part of the Magento 2 Beta Program with Alcatel. The international telecommunications company came to Corra and Magento to replatform their US, North America, Latin America and Asian sites. The first hurdle for our development team was to get up to speed on everything Magento 2, which involved onsite training and learning the new CDN configurations. Corra worked closely with the Magento team throughout this discovery process, launching a new Alcatel ecommerce experience that we are proud to showcase.

After the beta code went live, Corra worked closely with Magento to get Alcatel onto the generally available (GA) Magento 2 code. Since it was still in the early days of the new platform, this upgrade was a manual process. However, this allowed Corra to see what the upgrade path looked like and gain experience for future customers.

Corra’s next Magento 2 launch was for Faith Connexion, a Parisian luxury fashion brand. This was a unique project for our team on many fronts, in particular that we launched both a beautiful visual design upgrade and a platform upgrade to Magento 2.1 Enterprise Cloud Edition in just 3 months. Given the level of design work involved, and the fact that it was one of the first Magento Cloud launches, this project marked an exciting accomplishment for our team.

Ultimately, the Corra team’s role on both of these projects was to identify potential issues as they arose, and help Magento solve them. Corra worked closely with the Magento team to achieve the launch timeframe, and Magento released patches to implement into the live environment. The discovery process was highly collaborative, and allowed both Corra and Magento to learn and improve upon the platform.

Impact

Since our first launch, Corra has worked on 12 more Magento 2 projects. Many were straightforward and encountered no issues. Others were complex projects that allowed us to identify bugs for Magento to work on. Their developers worked closely with ours to solve these issues for our clients. As early doctors of the platform, Corra was able to give all our findings to Magento for them to make improvements to the platform.

“One of the keys to success in working with Corra was their strong commitment from their development teams to collaborate on all of the challenges, not limited to technical issues but also workflow process, time zone differentials, and the drive to exceed the merchant’s expectations,” said Monico Mallari, Head of Global Customer Support at Magento. “During the collaborative process, Corra had provided Magento with recommendations to enhance the platform and to add features to the product.”

Corra viewed the impact of Magento 2 from two perspectives, the technical standpoint and the business standpoint. First, our developers and system architects felt the new platform had many significant performance improvements over Magento 1. It is easier to work with, shortening the development effort and allowing us to have faster time to market on projects. There was a major code refactoring, providing framework improvements and easier ability to customize and add extensions. Magento 2 also supports PHP 7, which is twice as fast as what Magento 1 versions could support.

On the business side, our business analysts and product owners felt there were several changes that allowed for higher efficiency for admin teams and improved customer experiences on the front-end. The back-end UX has been totally overhauled, with new features like the ability to use the admin on a touchscreen tablet. The checkout process was also improved and is now fully customizable, allowing our team to create custom experiences on a client-by-client basis. Lastly, the improvements to the Magento marketplace are outstanding, providing a trustworthy place to find reliable, vetted extensions to suit clients’ needs.

Assessment

So, what does it all mean? At the end of the day, our teams on both the technical side and the business side believe that Magento 2 is a better platform. All the improvements made add up to a better experience in terms of performance, ease of use, efficiency, and customer experience.

“One of the takeaways from Magento’s perspective is that working with Corra in the past year has given Magento greater insight as to how to better enable their partners for greater success with the merchants,” said Mallari. “Corra has been an excellent partner! We have a greater alignment with their technical resources and there continues to be strong communication between our leadership.”

Questions about Magento 2? Email us at hello@corra.com!

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Sasha Butkovich is Communication Marketing Manager at Corraa New York, Los Angeles and London based digital commerce agency creating unified commerce experiences for fashion, lifestyle and beauty. Corra’s ecommerce strategy, design and technology professionals are trusted by retailers of all sizes to implement and support the Magento Enterprise and hybris platforms.

Header image via Magento’s blog

Corra is a digital agency creating transformative commerce experiences for fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. With headquarters in New York, Los Angeles and London, Corra provides strategically led creative and technology solutions to a growing global market.