How was 2021 from a Magento OpenSource perspective? 09 Feb 2021 (Version 2.4.2), 11 May 2021 (Version 2.4.2-p1), 10 Aug 2021 (Version 2.4.3) and 12 Oct 2021 (Version 2.4.3-p1) where released in 2021. So we had four releases in 2021. Is that enough? When you read through the release notes you will always find a sentence like this: This release includes over 35 security fixes and platform security improvements. All security fixes have been backported to Magento 2.4.1-p1 and Magento 2.3.6-p1. You will find it in every release note. Sounds like the year 2021 was only about security fixes? If you look in the details of every release they are really really huge releases.
When I remove all the changes that are for solving some issues/fixes then I can say Adobe (Magento) was working on this parts of the platform in 2021:
- PWA Studio
- Adobe Stock Integration
- Page Builder
- New Media Gallery in Admin
- Performance enhancements & Platform enhancements
And this are only the things I collected from the OpenSource Version.
If we check the commerce version you will get this stuff also:
- Interactive In-Product Guidance
- AWS (S3, ElastiCache, ElasticSearch, Rabbit MQ)
When this features where the highest priority in 2021 for Magento ... what do you think will the future look like? Let's look into the crystal ball. For sure one target is to sell more Adobe Commerce licenses and maybe hosted Cloud installations. Another target would be to sell or push other software solutions from the Adobe Experience Cloud.
Adobe is investing a lot of time and money in PWA Studio. Combine this effort with the effort to GraphQL and you can imagine a good competitor to shopify. But at which costs? There will be more default e-commerce shops, maybe with some nice config to change some colors and logos but all on the same infrastructure (AWS) and more less same codebase. So the self-hosted Magento OpenSource shop with a luma theme is not the Adobe target group at the moment. The Luma theme is not official deprecated, but the magento community replaced it with Hyvä already (at least when you do not wanna go PWA and wanna have good Lighthouse Scores for Google).
If you check what other vendors are doing like Akeneo, Shopware and commercetools then you will realize that these vendors, do not only wanna sell licences, they wanna build an eco-system. They wanna have regular income with SaaS, Hosting/Cloud and also additional software products (Apps). To be fair this can be good for the retailers. Because they get everything from one vendor and hopefuly this vendor knows his products the best and can configure it and support it the best way. Did you worked with the Adobe Commerce Cloud? Did you used shopify and installed every App from the marketplace?
I just wanna say: There is also a downside to this progress from self-hosted to SaaS/Cloud. If you have an incident on your system make sure you already saved the support hotline in your smartphone. Your partner or agency maybe has not the full-control over the envoirment and maybe can not help. So they will also wait and call the support. If you as a retailer have many orders and a lot of traffic you for sure should ask about SLA's. I could also imagine that agencies will lose a lot of knowledge when they have no unique products.
Magento or Adobe OpenSource are on a way to transform from OpenSource to SaaS (Jira is also a good example for that process). Agencies need to transform also. They can go "all in" at one system and selling all the things the vendor has to offer to be the prefered partner for these system. They can create own products or Apps for the cloud system. They can transform to do more consulting from an objective view.
But can they still only rely on Magento/Adobe OpenSource?
Additional sources about this topic:
- Open Letter Magento Community - The Future of Magento
- Adobe Commerce Extensibility
- Tweet magento.com redirects now to adobe