Last week saw the release of the Magento 2 Merchant Beta. This beta is a significant update to the Magento platform and is a major milestone in the development of Magento 2, which is scheduled for full release in Q4 this year.
Magento 2 is currently in pre-release and is being put through some rigorous QA testing both in-house, and by external testers. The Merchant Beta program allows those who are willing to be early adopters to test the software in real-world conditions before it is released to a wider audience.
The update will deliver a number of significant enhancements including:
- Additional functionality such as streamlined checkout and payment processing.
- Additional Enterprise Edition features, including import/export functionality and transactional emails.
- Performance improvements for both editions, including server-side and client-side tweaks such as Varnish 4; page caching; jQuery; RequireJS and other updates; image compression; and improved browser caching.
- Significant codebase improvements for the Magento Enterprise Edition, including scalability enhancements; MySQL cluster compatibility improvements; the ability to use a stand-alone database for the checkout process; the addition of concurrent admins for order and product management; and a re-factoring to allow the separation of store sub-systems.
Developers now have the opportunity to take advantage of the functionality improvements that have been added to the Community Edition platform. There are a number of training courses now on offer at a discounted early-bird rate of $289 (approximately £180), which represents more than 50 per cent saving on the course costs which will apply post-launch.
There are six units of on-demand training planned, with the first three units available now; units 4-5 to be made available later this month; and unit 6 scheduled for release in September. Classroom training will be offered at selected venues.
In addition to the developer training, there will be courses in theming Magento 2, in addition to classes for those interested in learning how to manage Magento 2 stores. The developers recommend that anyone planning on taking the Fundamentals of Magento 2 Development course should have some experience in working with the Magento 1 platform. There is a free online quiz being offered to allow would-be course attendees to check their current knowledge levels before they sign up. Magento has also released a free whitepaper which offers a wealth of advice and tips on preparing your store for migration to the new platform.