Magento 2.1: Features and Fixes
Magento 2.1 was announced back in April by Paul Boisvert during the keynote at Imagine 2016. According to Paul, the update was planned for this June, and the Magento team kept its promise.
This is the first 2.X update of Magento and the community lays great hopes on it as far as it seems to become the most stable version containing the smallest ever number of errors and issues. Due to the dramatic quality increase Magento 2.1 is expected to be much more comfortable for both final users and development companies and able to start the mushroom growth of new Magento 2 stores.
Magento 2.1 Features
Enterprise Edition Features
The provided Magento EE 2.1 new features are quite impressive and make a real difference in in-store marketing and merchandising.
Content Staging and Preview
Today, time is the biggest value, so fast-moving e-commerce allows succeeding to only those who can outpace competition and predict customer needs.
The Content Staging and Preview feature allows managing and providing new content much faster and without inconsistency. Now you can stage, preview, schedule and approve different content easily and without the need to involve IT experts.
User-friendly dashboards enable multiple marketers to create and schedule individual promotions and combine them easily into global campaigns. The new functionality allows you to preview the changes across the store, including product and checkout pages, from the outset and forget about this piece of work hereinafter.
The current version of Magento 2 replaces Solr with Elasticsearch, an advanced search technology applicable to big catalogs and including 33 languages by default. With it Magento admins are able to determine stop words, synonyms, and attribute weighting in order to deliver only relevant search results.
Features for Magento EE and Magento CE
Alongside the “Big Brother” edition, Magento Community has also received several highly valuable enhancements with the latest update. Now, both versions include PayPal enhancements, Braintree hosted fields, and improved management interfaces.
Implemented PayPal In-context Checkout allows you to improve conversion rates and avoid multiple headaches related to sensitive data storage. The functionality makes the checkout process more simple allowing customers to make repeat purchases without re-entering their credit card information and leaving merchant’s web stores.
Braintree Hosted Fields
In Magento 2.1, the implemented Braintree fields (actually transparent iframes) securely collect all sensitive data and let you comply with the simplest PCI DSS level still leaving you full control over checkout and conversion rates.
Improved Management Interfaces
Finally, both editions got some backend admin area enhancements able to streamline the process of Magento management, search information easier, create new products and content faster.
Magento Enterprise in the Cloud
But, this release notes overview would be incomplete without mentioning that now Magento Enterprise is also available in the cloud. If you want to remove all technical problems and infrastructure disputes and concentrate on sales solely, you can take advantage of the Magento Enterprise Cloud edition running on AWS (Amazon Web Services).
Now, when it is almost done with the features, we’ll just mention that traditionally this new version of the platform includes some security enhancements available in detail by request.
Surprisingly, the offered features are just a part of the work done, and perhaps not the biggest one. This update includes a tremendous number of fixed technical issues, to be exact, it is about 450. The below diagram shows you the areas of implemented fixes.
Diagram 1. Magento 2.1 Fixed Issues Areas
So, Magento 2.1 is a much cleaner version of the new platform and is definitely ready for further deployment.
Magento 2.1 Installation and Upgrade
The Magento 2.1 release notes also describe the ways of installation and upgrade of the new platform either from GitHub or using Composer. For the purpose you can also take advantage of our Magento 2 Migration and Installation blog posts or other multiple detailed instructions provided by the Magento team.
To be honest, we expect that Magento 2.1 will substantially increase the interest of new coming users to Magento 2 and its share among other ecommerce platforms.
We have already tested Magento 2.1 and reached our own verdict:
- We love that Magento works hard and releases updates very quickly. It is the recipe for success;
- We noticed that the new version contains much less installation and upgrade issues. It makes porting to Magento 2 easier and simpler;
- In general, the number of fixed issues gives us confidence that Magento is on the right way to the leadership among other ecommerce platforms.