The end of Magento 1 and the future of e-commerce platforms

By 24 June 2019 News

An incredible expansion

Since the first version of the platform in 2008, Magento has become in few years one of the most widespread e-commerce engines in the world on the top of the market. It powers 1.2% of the Internet with 1.5 billion sites. (Source: W3Techs)

Its expansion is constantly increasing in a very impressive way. The number of Magento sites doubled between March 2017 and August 2018. (Source: BuildWith)

There is now a quarter of a million active e-shops. And yet, to date, only 11,000 Magento merchant sites have migrated to version 2. (Source: Magento IT Solutions, Magento.com)

Magento originally announced the end of support on November 18, 2018, exactly 3 years after the Magento 2 release. But in September 2018, its leaders chose to postpone this date to June 2020.

No more support means that these platforms will no longer have security updates, no bug fixes and no more. Essential information for the strategy and security of hundreds of thousands of companies.

Migrating to Magento 2?

Adobe, the new owner of Magento, is taking many actions to encourage merchants to migrate to Magento 2. The migration is therefore not natural.

The code of the two versions is radically different and therefore requires a total redevelopment….to offer the same things functionally.

E-merchants who have studied the issue wonder if they wouldn’t be better off changing solutions solutions completely given the amount of investment required.

If Magento was the queen solution in recent years, the situation has changed with the appearance of many competing solutions that have serious arguments.

The future of e-commerce platforms

At the same time, the web has also evolved and adapts to the multitude of services that a site can use. Gone are the days of monoliths, now it’s time for micro-services!

All these services, sometimes offered in SaaS, communicate with each other through their APIs, facilitating their interconnection as well as their evolution and even replacement. So much more convenient than flat file synchronizations!

Separating the back (business) from the front (visitor site) has many virtues:

  • assembling, removing, replacing third-party services is greatly facilitated
  • involve specialized profiles on each part
  • the theme (Front, visitors part) is uncorrelated to any business solution and is then much more flexible in terms of ergonomics, and can also be updated and replaced like any other independent brick

Thus, e-commerce engines called “headless”, i.e. which do not include the visitor theme part but a simple API, have appeared, such as Moltin or Spryker. Other solutions propose a theme but are still headless: Sylius, BigCommerce, Shopify…and Magento 2.

On this “Front” part, javascript frameworks such as Angular, React or VueJS provide concrete answers to this new way of architecting its services. On the one hand they are perfectly adapted to interact with APIs, on the other hand they provide a navigation speed never before achieved. Finally, they adapt to new mobile uses and are compatible with the PWA (Progressive Web App) standard set up by Google. They are therefore the ideal response to this micro-service architecture.

Magento 1 can be integrated into this new deal

Front-Commerce is a front-end solution that connects to Magento 1 or 2 via its API to generate web pages itself and interact directly with visitors.

Magento 1 is not not headless, so we have developed an extension that allows it to expose a complete REST API, and therefore makes it headless.

We deliver a central connector (middleware) that enables to aggregate the different APIs (including Magento’s) to serve the theme (front) in a format optimized for integration: GraphQL. It is the core of the micro services architecture.

Our “blank” theme, which will used as the basis for all our projects, is developed in React, allowing incredible browsing speed, total freedom of layout and PWA compatibility.

Front-Commerce therefore places an “old” Magento 1 store in a most innovative and sustainable architecture for years to come. We thus maintain a business part that works very well, with its specific developments and its interface on which everyone is trained, while offering a state-of-the-art front-end, optimized for mobile and efficient.

Then, the e-merchant is free to start migrating some complex functionalities to detached micro services, until he only has a “simple” e-commerce engine that can easily be replaced by another one when the time comes.

Finally, migrating to a new e-commerce solution supported by Front-Commerce (Magento 2, or another) will not require any change on the theme: revolutionary!

Conclusion

Occitech, a Toulouse-based company created in 2006, has designed and developed an e-commerce solution that is unique in the world for its functional scope and maturity.

Proven in complex, high-traffic boutiques, Front-Commerce is ready to revolutionize your store today.  Designed with a strong focus on quality, including best practices (Design System, unit tests) and documentation provided, it is approved by several e-commerce experts and front-end best practices.

Its technical and commercial consultants offer their expertise to answer your questions