Welcome to Atwix MageNews – March edition!
A recap of the most existing news that happened in Magento Community last month in our humble opinion: Magento 2.3.1, PWA, the Magento Association, collective community experience, thoughts, ideas and updates. Everything is in one place here, collected and brought to you with love.
So, without further ado, we are starting!

Good to Know

Magento 2.3.1 is coming soon

It feels like it was yesterday when Magento 2.3 was released and now we are waiting for the following minor release of Magento 2.3.1. It will come out around March as Jason Woosley mentioned at the Magento Live Australia. This release will include a very long-awaited feature which is going to significantly improve Magento Admin experience. It’s Page Builder which is currently under EAP. Its release was delayed and due to that fact some merchants were confused when they tried to find it under Admin panel, but couldn’t. Rest of upcoming improvements can be found in the overview from the Firebear team.

More Info:
[FireBear] What can we expect from Magento 2.3.1?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Magento Association is on the scene!

The Magento Association has officially launched with the announcement of its Inaugural Board of Directors. The Magento Association’s mission is to advance and empower the global Magento community and commerce ecosystem through open collaboration, education, and thought leadership. The idea of the Assotiation has been unveiled about a year ago at the Magento Imagine 2018 in Las Vegas. During most of the 2018 Magento, SmithBucklin (the association management and services company) and a specially appointed Community Task Force all together worked on the mission, bylaws, strategic plan, operating budget and selection of the Magento Association Founding Board of Directors. Now the Association is up and running and we are also proud to have Atwix CEO Slava Kravchuk as a Director on the MA’s Board.

More Info:
[Magento] The Magento Association Is Now Established
[Magento Association] Creation Process and FAQ

Open Source

Magento PWA v2.0.0

Magento PWA team has announced that PWA studio v2.0.0 is ready for us. What’s inside? 100% Lighthouse score, full checkout, improved UPWARD, semversioning, modular Venia, improved customer and app-like experience, enriched PWA documentation. Well, it’s time to prove it in action!

[GitHub] Release v2.0.0 · magento-research/pwa-studio
[Magento PWA Documentation] Venia storefront setup
[Magento PWA Documentation] Magento theme vs PWA storefront
[Magento PWA Documentation] Venia project structure

Blazing-fast integration tests possible

When a user has 10 seconds long latency to accomplish some tasks, he or she would most likely try to abandon such task next time. The interesting fact that running integration tests in Magento 2 can take even more. A large application can be time-consuming to run, huh? However, ReachDigital found a room for improvement and cut down the time that is needed to execute integration tests. Check out how they made it below.

More Info:
[GitHub] ReachDigital_TestFramework: Faster drop-in replacement for Magento’s integration test.

Extensions

In February, Firegento team hosted a hackaton where some open source modules were either extended or implemented:

Firegento_ContentProvisioning establishes a simple way to deploy and maintain CMS content in a case when both CI and content management team are working in parallel.
EthanYehuda_CronjobManager helps to monitor a state of cron job processing in Magento 2

Magento U

A new Color on the Magento U palette

Magento U issued a new Magento 2 Certified Professional Cloud Developer exam. It costs the same price as the rest of professional exams from Magento and has a dark blue badge. Cloud exam covers Magento Commerce Cloud fundamentals, service configuration, aspects of deployment process, troubleshooting techniques and go live strategy.

More Info:
[Magento U] Certified Professional Cloud Developer

M2CSS will be updated

Magento U team is working now on updating Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist exam. We will see updates in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned, especially, if you are going to take the exam soon.

Community Experience

Session bottleneck was investigated

It’s a common case when Magento page has a couple of AJAX requests per page load. Usually, this happens when storefront tries to load private customer data via customer/section/load action. The thing is that requests will use, probably, the same session data which is going to be an issue because of single-thread nature of sessions. This basically means that simultaneous requests will be put in a queue and will wait for previous items to finish. Integer_net team investigated this bottleneck and described the whole process with an open-source solution implemented.

More Info:
[integer_net] Resolving Session Bottleneck in Magento AJAX Requests

AI loves Magento

Thousands of developers work with Magento’s codebase, developing features and implementing business logic. However, there is a crucial side of Magento that is often overlooked – the value of the database. Nowadays data became an expensive resource, mostly, because of trending AI and Machine Learning techniques. Magento store often contain gigabytes of data, including a deep insight into customers. That’s a perfect opportunity for the AI to come and help. The following sequence of articles helps to touch an idea of using the ML with Magento data on simple examples.

More Info:
[Medium] When Magento meets Python (episode new Business Logic using ML)
[Medium] When Magento meets Python (episode Anomalies Detection)
[Medium] When Magento meets Python (episode: Text Analysis)

PHP-FPM pools in action

PHP configurations can be different for Magento storefront and Admin using PHP-FPM pools. A simple use case could be increasing max_memory_limit value exceptionally for Magento Admin in order to run heavy operations like catalog importing. Take this idea further and see how it can be applied to your projects!

E-commerce

The mobile gap in conversion rate

Measurements show that mobile customers spend more time on the website than the desktop customer, but the conversion rate is remarkably lower. Tom Karwatka, CEO of Divante, discovered this interesting fact, tries to find causes and give advice on how the gap can be reduced.

More Info:
[Medium] Optimizing Mobile eCommerce — PWA and CRO

Security

Magento Live Australia Security Recap

Kristof Ringleff, Founder of Fooman, posted a recap of an open discussion on security that happened at the MLAU with links to existing solutions that help to ensure there are no known vulnerabilities in Magento instances.

More Info:
[Fooman] MLAU 2019 – DevExchange: Extension and Security Recap

3rd-party extensions are main vulnerability

Willem de Groot, Magento forensics investigator, gave an interview where he said that the main security issue of Magento 1 websites is outdated insecure extensions. Read more why the merchants, after they got hacked, doubt they could have done anything to prevent that.

More Info:
[Help Net Security] Most Magento shops get compromised via vulnerable extensions

Upcoming Events. Don’t Miss!

– March 5-8th – MageTestFest, Florence, Italy
– March 11th – 35th Magento Stammtisch Aachen, Aachen, DE
– March 21st – Mage Titans Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

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