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magento & ecommerce

Magento 2.3 open source & commerce features and release notes

Marketers around the globe get excited with each new release of Magento 2. And they usually have a good reason to, as this extensive content management system, specifically built for e-commerce, gets much better with every single update. This is especially true in the case of major releases.

Packed with thousands of features and providing vast extendibility, it is also one of the most popular platforms in the industry. For example, did you know that Magento powers more of the top thousand online retailers than any other?

Introducing Magento 2.3.0

When Magento 2.2.2 was released, we called it a revolution. There were so many amazing features added, including Instant Purchases, Dotmailer Integration, MFTF, Advanced Reporting, and Magento Shipping.

Magento 2.3, the latest version of the platform, goes even further and introduces several brand new features that marketers are sure to find useful.

Great for both merchants and developers

The Magento 2.3 codebase has arrived and it is now officially live. It comes with a solid amount of new tools to bring new opportunities for both merchants and developers and enhance their experiences. These include a completely new front-end technology, which provides customers with feature-rich and even more powerful storefronts. And that’s not all.

Announcing the Page Builder

As a merchant, you may enjoy the presence of an all-new, intuitive Page Builder feature included in the latest Magento Commerce release. It will make it easier for you to update content or build some store pages on your own without a single line of code. A flexible grid system will allow you to visually position page elements in the most customizable way. Page Builder is also fully compatible with the existing Magento features such as widgets and media gallery.

It is currently only available as part of the Early Adopter Program and set to become generally available as of the 2.3.1 release.

New security tools

Fighting bots and taking your security to the next level is now even easier with native support for Google reCAPTCHA and Two Factor Authentication (2FA). This means that you will no longer need separate security extensions to implement those.

New APIs and improved indexing

You mustn’t overlook the new APIs, too. They are now scalable and asynchronous. The main goal here is to boost the performance significantly by allowing better control over the execution and timing of API calls. This will come to full light when integrating custom front-end solutions.

Indexation times are now reduced by over 60 percent thanks to sharding and parallel processing of indexers. This will result in far quicker product updates and can have a great effect on larger sites.

What to expect when upgrading

At this point, you are probably asking yourself if you should upgrade and if your Magento-powered web store will continue working after that.

These are some vital considerations you need to make before deciding whether or not you should upgrade. Here are a few quick notes that will help you make an informed decision:

  • Upgrading to PWA Studio is optional and the current front end is still there if you prefer it.
  • Moving to the Declarative Schema is a one-way ticket (a potential downgrade will be hard).
  • MySQL search will be marked as depreciated and Elasticsearch is going to be offered instead.
  • Saving a product will require some attention and changes to avoid issues.
  • The customer Data changes provided in order to eliminate the infamous duplicate AJAX calls may lead to potential bugs when using third-party extensions.
  • Here is a list of deprecated classes and interfaces that you may want to check.

Magento Open Source 2.3.0 release notes

Magento Open Source 2.3.0 is now generally available. There are numerous enhancements for both merchants and developers, as well as many functionality fixes included in this release. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Enhanced merchant tools

Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) is now provided as a major Inventory Management enhancement. What this means is that you can now directly manage physical inventory for all product types both in a single warehouse and across several locations using multiple sources. Inventory Management will also update order and shipment options accordingly, thus giving you full control over your stock.

Security enhancements

  • There are over 30 new security fixes integrated into the new Magento core.
  • Cache flush ACL has been introduced to provide granular access to the cache management settings. It is meant to prevent any accidental changes that could affect your system’s performance. From now on, you will be able to control which users among those with administrative powers can clear the caches.
  • The admin panel is now protected with Two Factor Authentication and Captcha, which will help protect your website from bots and password thieves.

Better developer experience

  • The PWA Studio project is here to support the development of Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), as well as their deployment and maintenance. We will discuss this feature in more detail later on.
  • GraphQL API is now available as a replacement for REST and SOAP web APIs, serving as a base for custom front-end Simply put, it is a sophisticated data query language. Take a look at the official GraphQL Dev Guide for more details about this implementation in Magento. We will also cover some aspects of it below.
  • The declarative schema approach makes the installation and upgrade procedures for Magento and its extensions easier and greatly reduces the need for most database scripts. This particular feature also allows Magento to roll out database schema changes in patch releases, which wasn’t possible in previous versions. Database structure validation is supported, as are split and shared database structures.
  • Asynchronous Web APIs enable all earlier versions of Magento REST APIs to access the data See Asynchronous web endpoints for more details.
  • Bulk Web APIs are here to allow all existing REST APIs to use payloads with multiple entities. Check Bulk endpoints for more information on this.

Other enhancements and improvements

  • Magento Functional Test Framework (MFTF) has been upgraded to version 2.3.6.
  • Release packaging improvements that will result in improved product quality and smoother release process are also included. Additionally, an increase in test automation has been introduced.
  • Elasticsearch support is now available in Magento Open Source, as opposed to older versions that provided Elasticsearch support only in Magento Commerce core.
  • The Vertex implementation in Magento is now Vertex O Series 7.0 compatible.
  • Klarna has received quite a few important updates, such as support for PHP 7.2 (no longer supporting PHP 5.6) and somewhat rebuilt cleanser filtering.
  • Dotmailer will now support split database mode known from Magento Commerce core.
  • Amazon Pay has been revamped with improved performance and architecture.
  • Magento Shipping has been enhanced with the Click & Collect feature that will allow merchants to provide this functionality as a shipping option to buyers, as well as to configure a number of related options such as source locations available. There are many more changes to Magento Shipping, including pop-ups for multi-package shipments, improvements to the dispatch details page, and more.

Magento commerce 2.3.0 release notes

We are now going to take a look at Magento Commerce 2.3.0 General Availability. As with the Open Source version, there are hundreds of functional improvements in the Commerce release for both merchants and developers to enjoy. Let’s have a quick look at some of them.

Improved merchant tools

  • Multi-Source Inventory (MSI) is now provided as a major Inventory Management enhancement. What this means is that you can now directly manage physical inventory for all product types both in a single warehouse and across several locations using multiple sources. Inventory Management will also update order and shipment options accordingly, thus giving you full control over your stock.
  • Page Builder is native in Magento Commerce release. It is a re-write of the Blue Foot CMS that Magento recently purchased from Gene Commerce. Page Builder features drag-and-drop layout management, template creation, and much more to make it easier for you to update content or build some store pages on your own without a single line of code. A flexible grid system will allow you to visually position page elements in the most customizable way.

Page Builder is also fully compatible with the existing Magento features such as widgets and media gallery.

  • The CMS enhancements in Magento 2.3.0 introduce TinyMCE 4.6 as your default WYSIWYG editor. It is integrated through an adapter that will allow you to easily replace it with a different WYSIWYG editor anytime. There are also banner enhancements – you can now create one in Page Builder or the native Magento WYSIWYG editor.

Enhanced developer experience

  • Asynchronous Web APIs enable all earlier versions of Magento REST APIs to access the data asynchronously. See Asynchronous web endpoints for more details.
  • Bulk Web APIs are here to allow all existing REST APIs to use payloads with multiple entities. Check Bulk endpoints for more information on this.
  • The declarative schema approach makes the installation and upgrade procedures for Magento and its extensions easier and greatly reduces the need for most database scripts. This particular feature also allows Magento to roll out database schema changes in patch releases, which wasn’t possible in previous versions. Database structure validation is supported, as are split and shared database structures.
  • The PWA Studio project is here to support the development of Progressive Web Applications, as well as their deployment and maintenance. We will discuss this feature in more detail later on.
  • GraphQL API is now available as a replacement for REST and SOAP web APIs, serving as a base for custom front-end Simply put, it is a sophisticated data query language. Take a look at the official GraphQL Dev Guide for more details about this implementation in Magento. We will also cover some aspects of it below.
  • Many expected updates to Magento’s tech stack which include MySQL, Elasticsearch, Redis, and PHP 7.2.x compatibility.

Other improvements and enhancements

  • Magento Functional Test Framework (MFTF) has been upgraded to version 2.3.6.
  • Release packaging improvements that will result in improved product quality and smoother release process are also included. Additionally, an increase in test automation has been introduced.
  • Security improvements were introduced in the form of Two Factor Authentication (2FA) and Google reCAPTCHA.
  • Cache flush ACL has been introduced to provide granular access to the cache management settings. It is meant to prevent any accidental changes that could affect your system’s performance. From now on, you will be able to control which users among those with administrative powers can clear the caches.
  • Elasticsearch support is now available in Magento Open Source, as opposed to older versions that provided Elasticsearch support only in Magento Commerce core.
  • The Vertex implementation in Magento is now Vertex O Series 7.0 compatible.
  • Klarna has received quite a few important updates such as support for PHP 7.2 (no longer supporting PHP 5.6) and somewhat rebuilt cleanser filtering.
  • Dotmailer will now support split database mode known from Magento Commerce core.
  • Amazon Pay has been revamped with improved performance and architecture.
  • Magento Shipping has been enhanced with the Click & Collect feature that will allow merchants to provide this functionality as a shipping option to buyers, as well as to configure a number of related options such as source locations available. There are many more changes to Magento Shipping, including pop-ups for multi-package shipments, improvements to the dispatch details page, and more.

Magento 2.3 new features in-depth review

Let’s focus on the new features now. Some of them are available for all versions of the platform, while others are exclusive to Commerce and Cloud editions.

Magento 2.3 open source features

Google reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA has proved to be an excellent technology to eliminate bots from various websites, including online stores. You have most likely installed one of those third-party extensions like UI mod Google reCaptcha or Google reCaptcha by Amasty long ago.

No matter how robust those extensions are, you won’t need them anymore as the Google reCAPTCHA tool has now become native core functionality. You will now be able to use it to take the following pages to the next level in terms of security:

  • Registration
  • Forgot password
  • Contact form
  • Admin login
  • User login

Two factor authentication (2FA)

Similar to the Google ReCAPTCHA tool, there is a great choice of extensions that can introduce 2FA for Magento. And again, they might become obsolete sometime soon. That’s because Two Factor Authentication is now also native in Magento 2.3 to provide an important extra layer of security for the admin panel.

It doesn’t really mean that you should stop looking for security extensions right now. There are many that might be crucial to your business’ security like Amasty Advanced Permissions.

Speaking of 2FA integration, it requires privileged users to verify their usual login procedure via phone call, access token, SMS, or One Touch. There are currently three authentication methods for the admin panel: Authy, Google Authenticator, and Duo Security.

Elasticsearch

This robust RESTful search and analytics engine used to be exclusively available in Commerce edition not long ago. As previously announced during the Magento Imagine 2018 conference, Elasticsearch support has been moved to the Open Source platform version. It was an important and highly anticipated decision, seeing as MySQL search engine was quite weak and causing lots of issues to busy online stores that were suffering from the lack of solid full-text search, faceting, or product list sorting solutions.

Elasticsearch has a distributed model (shards and nodes based), which allows for scalable and powerful searching through all kinds of documents. It is capable of near real-time search and analysis. It also supports real-time GET requests which work great for NoSQL datastores like MongoDB.

There are several Elasticsearch extensions available for Magento Open Source like Mirasvit, Bubbleshop, Wyomind, and ElasticSuite. They served many Open Source edition users well and certainly helped with the adoption of this solid search technology. Some of them might become less relevant, while others, like ElasticSuite, are still actively developed and keep their impressive potential due to better performance and their outstanding full-text search relevance model.

When upgrading, your default MySQL search will be flagged as deprecated in favor of Elasticsearch. It works well and it can greatly improve your site’s performance, reporting, as well as data storage and analysis.

Magento’s official website provides detailed instructions on how to install and configure Elasticsearch.

GraphQL

GraphQL is a server-side runtime for executing your queries and a query language as well. More importantly, it doesn’t depend on any particular database and/or storage engine.

With all the new features like Progressive Web Apps, it was really important to introduce a new query language for APIs in Magento 2.3 to reduce the number of API calls and shrink the volumes of data accordingly through a much smaller number of responses. This is now perfectly possible with GraphQL and its reusable units called fragments.

This is a very interesting approach and Magento is currently working on an entirely new layer to support it. The layer will interface directly to the Query API. Obviously, GraphQL is the implementation of Magento’s choice for any PWA’s front-end data retrieval.

For further information on the GraphQL technology, take a look at the official Introduction to GraphQL.

Declarative database schema

As you may know, altering the schema of a Magento database isn’t exactly easy. You can accomplish this task with InstallSchema and UpgradeSchema classes, and that’s where certain issues could appear.

The Magento 2.3 release is attempting to improve this and eliminate the difficulties by implementing a so-called declarative database schema. Instead of database schema definitions being fragmented to accommodate many install/upgrade scripts, a new and interesting approach is introduced here.

Magento’s declarative database schema will make use of a full definition created with XML, which means there will be no more messy fragments. It will certainly make it much easier to install and upgrade Magento as you are no longer dealing with fresh database scripts for each new version of the platform, data or schema-wise.

With this approach, redundant operations are no more. And with the new declarative schema method, developers are able to declare the final desired state of the database, while the system is able to adjust to it automatically. On top of that, it will allow data to be deleted when a module is uninstalled.

Klarna checkout

The Klarna support introduced in version 2.3 is a payment system enhancement. It adds a number of new features and is meant to boost the default shopping experience.

The most noticeable improvement gained with Klarna is the instant checkout process. It isn’t exactly a zero-step checkout, but with this provider, a customer only needs to specify their address details.

Another vital enhancement to Magento’s default shopping experience is Klarna’s “pay over time” option which allows for spread payments. A customer is now able to split the cost of purchase into several convenient parts.

The third unique improvement is the “pay later” option. A customer can pay for their order within 30 days after shipping and can also return the product without spending any money.

The Klarna Checkout module for Magento 2 can be installed for free on Magento’s official website. You can also read more about the Klarna Magento integration.

BlueFoot CMS & page builder

BlueFoot CMS integration with Magento 2.3 seems to be one of the top improvements for this release. It is actually a rewrite of the Blue Foot CMS technology that Magento has recently acquired from Gene Commerce together with Page Builder. A flexible grid system will allow you to visually position page elements in the most customizable way.

It features drag-and-drop layout management, template creation, and much more to make it easier for you to update content or build some quick store pages on your own without a single line of code needed. It gives you the power to create or customize pages just the way you want them to be, as it also offers full integration with the existing Magento features such as widgets and media gallery.

As of Magento 2.3, you can add streaming videos from services like Vimeo and YouTube, as well as a large number of other elements like Google Maps to produce everything from standard pages to blog posts. You will be able to create outstanding content quickly and mostly without the need for any other system. The interface is clean and friendly, which makes it easy to use even for non-tech-savvy users.

This is a great addition, and while BlueFoot CMS cannot cope with particularly complicated tasks, it will certainly appear as a real time and money saver for small and medium-sized merchants.

 
Progressive web apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps are true game changers in terms of how the front-end part of an e-commerce store is implemented.

In short, they are web apps enhanced with a number of robust web technologies (such as Cache API, push notifications, Service Worker, Fetch networking, and Web App Manifest) that will allow you to design a website or a web app that can behave like a native application in terms of speed and functionality.

As a matter of fact, a properly designed progressive web app won’t be just as good as native – it is pretty much possible to create a PWA that will provide a better experience than a native one. That’s mostly because PWAs are using the same HTML/CSS/JavaScript platform as regular websites.

With PWAs, not only can you cut the costs related to dedicated mobile app development but also greatly speed up the overall process by skipping the app store approval, seeing as you simply won’t need it anymore. Progressive web apps aren’t really limited to mobile devices, though. They can also be easily installed as a Chrome Web App in the desktop version of the Chrome browser.

Unlike typical web apps, Progressive Web Apps are entirely server-side, which allows for less troublesome maintenance and updates as you don’t need to issue them to an app store. Customers will certainly appreciate faster loading times, better usability, improved speed, and the device independency of PWAs.

Moreover, there is a roadmap to bring quality PWAs to the Microsoft Store and list them alongside native Windows 10 apps. Talk about a revolution in the making!

Magento’s all-new PWA Studio included in the 2.3 release contains a set of tools that will allow you to develop and deploy amazing Progressive Web Apps on the basis of React and GraphQL.

Cache Management ACL

The caching system is the vital layer of performance for Magento 2. It may sound trivial at first, but there are as many as 15 types of cache in the latest release. Any attempt to interact with this specific system by a less experienced administrator may result in a dramatic performance drop.

In the earlier versions of the platform, the cache flushing policy was not enough to protect the web store from performance disasters. To address the problem, Magento 2.3 has been enhanced with effective granular access (or role-based access control) to the cache management settings. It is meant to prevent any accidental changes that could affect your system’s performance.

From now on, you will be able to efficiently control which users among those with administrative powers can view and manage cache types.

PHP 7.2

PHP 7.2 brings a large number of new development features. At the same time, it takes performance and security of the platform to the next level. Introduced in the Magento 2.3 release, it also incorporates modern cryptography technologies.

The core improvements include:

  • Performance increase by 13% compared to PHP 7.1 and also 20% faster than PHP 7.0.
  • Argon 2 is a modern algorithm for securely hashing passwords as opposed to Bcrypt, which was used in the previous version of PHP. It is designed to have the highest memory filling rate and, unlike Bcrypt, is parameterized by three distinct factors:
    • Memory cost
    • Time cost
    • Parallelism factor
  • Libsodium is an application-layer, modern, and easy to use library for encryption, decryption, signatures, password hashing, and more. It has been forked from NaCl and made portable, installable, and cross-compilable. It is also a cross-platform and cross-languages library.

Since mcrypt support has been dropped in PHP 7.2, the Libsodium module will now be used instead. By integrating Libsodium in the PHP core, it became the first programming language to support a modern crypto library by default.

Message queues

Message queues allow for asynchronous communication between various systems within the Magento platform. In Magento 2.3, the support for queuing has been extended to Magento Open Source as opposed to older versions where Message Queue Framework was limited to Magento Commerce.

You can find more details about MQF in the Message Queues overview on Magento’s site for developers.

Asynchronous API

The Asynchronous Web API appeared in the Magento 2.3 release as an important improvement that allows a user to execute API calls to Magento’s REST API without the need to wait for a response.

This means that integrations don’t have to wait for their requests to be processed in full and they can make additional calls while waiting for the server. The performance increase will be dramatic in the case of large sites that receive a good number of API requests.

Magento Amazon sales channel

Amazon accounts for 44 percent of US online retail sales, while 60 percent of Magento merchants are already involved in the Amazon Marketplace. Attracting Amazon customers thus seemed to be an obvious decision for most businesses. However, it wasn’t exactly easy in terms of time and money – until now, that is.

Magento Amazon Sales Channel is an amazing enhancement introduced in 2.3 core. You will be able to easily integrate your catalog with Amazon and manage everything else like product listings, repricing rules, SKUs, orders, and so on right through the admin panel.

The following features have been made available:

  • Listing Management – Seamlessly integrate your products with Amazon marketplace via rules and build products in Magento from Amazon listings.
  • Intelligent Pricing – Use the Magento intelligent repricing system to auto-reprice your Amazon listings in order to increase your sales via an Amazon Buy Box position, which is known to generate up to 90% of sales.
  • Inventory Management – Maintain inventory sync between your catalog and Amazon listings automatically and utilize inventory marketing tactics on Amazon.
  • Fulfillment Management – Fulfill your orders with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), fulfill them on your own, or combine the two methods as desired.
  • Order Management – You can ship or cancel orders and build customer accounts from a centralized location within Magento sales order grid.

Multi-source inventory (MSI)

This is an essential functionality enhancement in Magento 2.3 for businesses running multiple stores or doing lots of drop shipping.

It adds the ability to manage inventory by source location. Until now, managing multi-source inventories from a single website was a tough task. Even though a few third-party solutions exist, they are very complex while lacking some vital features.

MSI not only gives you the opportunity to link multiple inventory sources to your online store but it also lets you define various conditions to optimize the delivery route based on the location of the nearest warehouse or physical store. Advanced drop shipping management, low stock reports, total stock control – with MSI, none of this is a problem anymore.

Let’s have a look at the key concepts behind the Magento 2 Multi-Source Inventory system:

  • Magento 2 MSI Stocks allows you to create groups of sources and link them to the desired
  • Magento 2 MSI Sources lets you create and extensively manage a list of sources that represent each physical location where stocks are physically located like a warehouse, a garage, your house, etc.
  • Magento 2 MSI Source Selection Algorithm is designed to calculate the most efficient delivery route, based on the sources list. It uses many parameters such as customer, address, product, stock, source data, and more.
  • Magento 2 MSI Product Edit Page is a default product edit page which includes a completely new section named “Assigned Sources”. This section displays a source code, name, and status, the status of items in each source and their quantity, as well as the notification quantity.
  • Magento 2 MSI Salable Quantity - After sources are defined and linked to stocks, the number of items is specified per source per product, and each stock is linked to a corresponding site. The MSI module then sums everything up to provide you with the salable quantity.
  • Magento 2 MSI Partial Shipment lets you ship orders in parts or instantly provide your customers with drop shipping options.
  • Magento 2 MSI Performance - The checkout performance usually suffers from source selection algorithm as it takes more computing power and time in most cases. MSI eliminates this problem and the purchase remains as fast as when processed from a single source.

Magento 2.3 commerce-only features

There are a number of unique Magento 2.3 features that are exclusive to Commerce and Cloud editions.

You can find out more about those features below.

Store Credits

Providing your customers with credits has never been easier. It is a powerful tool that can help you attract more new visitors and keep your existing customers coming back. You can use credits to increase loyalty or as a replacement for refunds.

This functionality lets you view and control a credit balance from the admin panel, as well as link store credit to purchase, view history of operations, etc. The module also allows your customers to easily redeem their store credit balance. They also have the opportunity to share their credits with friends, which can definitely boost your sales by helping attract new clients.

Gift Cards

Previous versions of Magento 2 Commerce were lacking the gift card functionality. There are several extensions to fill the gap, but it’s always better to have this feature available out of the box.

There are two gift card types available in Commerce 2.3 release:

  • Physical - Offering physical cards will require you to pack and send them via post office just like any normal order. The recipient can then redeem the physical card in-store, by phone, or online.
  • Virtual - Selling virtual cards lets your buyers send them right to the e-mail address of their chosen

Both types of gift cards have no expiration date.

Requisition lists

This is another great exclusive functionality available in Commerce 2.3 edition. It provides your store visitors with the ability to create multiple lists of frequently purchased items and use them for order placement. It works for logged-in users as well as guests.

Please note that, while similar, a requisition list isn’t exactly the same thing as a wish list. There are several important differences between the two:

  • As a merchant, you can configure a maximum number of requisition lists per customer
  • Requisition list is not purged after your customer adds items to the shopping cart and, as such, it can be used for placing multiple orders.
  • The UI for requisition lists uses a compact view, which allows for displaying of a large number of items.

This outstanding feature simplifies and improves the usual buying experience of previous Magento versions. It’s like recurring payments taken to the next level as items can be added to cart from a single place in just a few clicks, thus allowing customers to save time while ordering frequently purchased products.

Visual merchandiser

In short, Visual Merchandiser provided in Magento Commerce 2.3 is a robust set of tools for product management. Positioning products and applying various conditions to them has never been easier.

This module greatly simplifies your back-end procedures and provides you with a number of new opportunities. With this tool, you are offered a grid that contains products as tiles or you can choose to work from a list of products. They can be dragged and dropped to a new position. It’s visual and easier than ever before, so you will no longer need to hire a specialist for a series of non-trivial tasks.

Content staging

With this exclusive Commerce 2.3 functionality, you can easily design, preview, and schedule a wide selection of content updates. Every static page can be turned into a dynamic one, which would provide store visitors with a scheduled, constantly changing experience. You can modify visual experience, price rules, etc.

In other words, you can turn any page into a collection of elements that can be exclusively turned on or off as you require. And with scheduling, you can have those changes applied automatically. This is a very handy feature to have for stores. Just think of holidays like Black Friday or any seasonal sales.

This is a full list of elements supported by the Content Staging module:

  • Catalog and Cart Price Rules
  • Products and Categories
  • CMS Pages and Blocks
  • Widgets

Last but not least, with this module, you always get two content sets: its original version and a set of updates defined and scheduled in a so-called campaign. Once the campaign is over, the original content will be automatically restored.

Page builder

Magento 2.3 Commerce offers a full version of Page Builder as opposed to a limited one provided in the Open Source edition. The robust Commerce Page Builder offers a vast variety of options and more content types that can be customized.

Let’s list and briefly describe the core features provided by Page Builder:

Grid system and drag and drop functionality

You will be able to customize products, images, headers, and anything else you require in just a few clicks with the all-intuitive Page Builder UI. The drag and drop functionality allows you to create more complex designs on your own, while the grid system lets you divide any page into separate segments to put your content in. Those page cells can be customized to allow for any custom experience desired.

Visual effects

The admin section of Page Builder introduces multiple reach visual effects to improve the appearance of your content. You can turn them on or off anytime as needed.

Relaxed integrations

Page Builder is well-integrated with the standard Magento 2 functionality. It allows you for easier and more intuitive use of the default features. Placing images from your gallery anywhere on the page is just a few clicks away.

Integration of products into other pages or elements is also possible, which is another great enhancement of the standard Magento 2 functionality. What’s more, not a single line of code is required for that, so you can easily integrate your products in blog posts or promotional pages.

On top of that, Page Builder lets you embed a number of third-party elements, such as streaming videos from YouTube or Vimeo, Google Maps, and much more to categories, product pages, and blog posts.

Preview and schedules

Page Builder also allows you to preview the appearance of your store with a single click. Just hit the button to see how your new storefront looks like from your customers’ perspective.

Furthermore, you can schedule changes for your required date and time. This means that you can now have that Halloween design ready in advance and apply it automatically right on time. Similarly, you can incorporate design changes for all major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter and schedule them weeks or even months in advance. Better yet, the design will revert itself to your standard one as soon as the holidays are over.

Shared catalogs

This Magento 2.3 Commerce feature is a B2B improvement. Sharing an exclusive discount with just one of your partners is now entirely possible. You can define custom pricing rules within the admin panel that are designed for different businesses or groups of users. That also includes the visibility of particular products or categories.

There are two types of shared catalogs in Magento 2 Commerce: public and custom. A public shared catalog is created by default during the B2B installation process and displayed at the storefront to guests and non-logged-in customers, while the latter is visible only to users it has been assigned to.

Please note that you can only have one public shared catalog as opposed to custom shared catalogs that are unlimited.

Companies and negotiation quotes

Just like Shared Catalogs, Companies and Negotiation Quotes are also B2B features exclusive to Magento 2 Commerce edition.

The former lets you enable company accounts in your online store. The owner of a company account is then able to customize its structure and provide/change needed information.

Negotiation Quotes allow your business partners to set up negotiable prices directly from the shopping cart. Once the proposal is sent, store admins are instantly notified and can respond to it. A customer can proceed with the checkout process once the price is accepted. At this point, the negotiated price and quantity cannot be changed to prevent potential fraud.

Conclusion and final thoughts

The outstanding Magento 2.3 release is a combined effort of many hard working people: the Magento Core Team, Magento Community Engineering, and Community Contributors. This new major version is packed with many significant enhancements and improvements to both Open Source and Commerce editions that will, without a doubt, dramatically change the current customer experience.

As such, this version also introduces a very large number of new opportunities for merchants, administrators, and developers. Let’s just have a quick look at the list of the game-changing features:

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
  • Declarative DB Schema
  • GraphQL support
  • Elasticsearch updates (now in Magento Open Source)
  • Asynchronous and Bulk Web API
  • Complete PHP 7.2 support (modern cryptography included)
  • Multi-Source Inventories (MSI)
  • WYSIWYG upgrade
  • BlueFoot CMS
  • Page Builder
  • Cache-Management ACL
  • Google reCAPTCHA and Two Factor Authentication
  • Magento Amazon Sales Channel
  • Klarna Integration

Many of those features, such as PWA, GraphQL, MSI, DDS, and Asynchronous API, will ensure that Magento stays well ahead of the competition by providing more flexibility to its merchants and developers than any other option out there.

Without any doubt, the release of Magento 2.3 is a great way to start the year. This new version of the popular e-commerce platform is a great gift for marketers looking to expand their online business and add more useful features that their customers will surely enjoy.

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By interactivated • on December 31, 2018

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Interactivated Ecommerce Britain:
 
P.O. Box 3175,
Road Town, Tortola,
British Virgin Islands
 
Chamber of Commerce: 1772296
Interactivated Ecommerce Netherlands:
 
Herestraat 106
9711 LM, Groningen
Netherlands
 
+31(0)50 711 9940
 

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