News

Future-proof with Adobe Commerce 2.4.4

 

At the end of April, Adobe released their latest release, 2.4.4. In this release new steps are taken in the field of e-commerce possibilities, security and performance. In addition, there are also many technical improvements that make the development process run more smoothly.

Technical improvements

Both Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce are switching to PHP 8.1 in this new 2.4.4 release. This leads to a lot of technical improvements, namely:

  • Maintenance and upgrades are easier and more cost-effective
  • Significant improvements in performance and scalability
  • Better experience and tools for developers
  • Improved site stability

What does that mean in practice? This version is the fastest Adobe Commerce version that has already been released. You can now confidently work with complex catalogs that are up to 10 times larger than before, while large numbers of transactions are processed up to 5 times faster and we see significant performance improvements for both the back-end and storefront thanks to the adoption of PHP 8.1 .

Security

In addition to the PHP upgrade, there are of course also a lot of security improvements. An important one is the switch in integration tokens. Previously, an integration token could be used as a standalone key for token-based authentication. However, this behavior is disabled by default due to the security implications of a never-expired access token. This means that authentication now runs via OAuth, and that this change also has an impact on all your integrations.

Platform improvements

There are also a lot of platform improvements provided by Adobe! For example, JQuery was upgraded, as well as PHPUnit, Elasticsearch and TinyMCE.

Caching

Also the caching strategy was significantly improved in release 2.4.4. Where before placing an order caused that all ordered products were removed from the Varnish cache, that is no longer the case. In addition, the entire site page cache is no longer cleared when you update a product from top categories or perform an indexation to update product attributes or inventory status. This ensures that we can now offer your end users a faster webshop experience.

Functional

The 2.4.4 release also includes some functional improvements for both Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce. For example, the code base was 'stripped down'. In concrete terms, this means that modules such as Amazon Pay, dotdigital, Klarna, Vertex and YotPo are no longer included in the code base by default, which ensures better performance since fewer modules have to be loaded. These modules will of course remain available, but now they must be actively downloaded.

Accessibility Updates

Screen accessibility for all target groups is becoming increasingly important and so Adobe has also given it the necessary attention. This release includes improved tooltips, accessible naming and tagging of screen elements, and redesigned icons and buttons. More than 80% of these solutions help improve the shopping experience for visionless or limited vision users.

Pagebuilder

It was already good news for our customers that Pagebuilder also became available for Open Source in version 2.4.3, but now it is also possible to add an alt text to images. Not only does this help with SEO, it also contributes to better accessibility.

Bugfixes

Of course, Adobe also provided a lot of bug fixes, both for products, the shopping cart, categories, emails, images and much more. A complete list can be found in the release notes, which you can find here

Functional - Adobe Commerce only

For the customers using the paid Adobe Commerce version, several improvements have also been made to Adobe Sensei, the AI ‚Äč‚Äčelement in Adobe. This ensures that you can not only offer AI-powered product recommendations and searches, but also that the buying experience is fully tailored to each customer to accelerate product discovery, increase conversion and increase the average order value.

In addition, SWAT (see image below), better known as Site-Wide Analysis Tool, is now made available to every Adobe Commerce customer, where it was previously only available to Adobe Commerce Cloud customers. Thanks to this tool, you now have access to real-time monitoring, reporting, insights and recommendations. In addition to enhanced access, the Site-Wide Analysis Tool dashboard has also been enhanced to serve as a central repository for accessing Adobe Commerce support tools. This provides users with a single point of view and easier access to other support tools, including helpful support resources, recommendations, managed alerts, and a summary of the extensions. In future iterations, this dashboard will be updated with additional widgets that provide new insights.

Finally, the Adobe Live Search has also been improved as well as bugs in the RMA module, reward points, the staging module, etc. A full list of issues that have been fixed can be found in the release notes. You can find it here for Adobe Commerce.

SWAT

PWA

This release also contains a lot of new GraphQL endpoints for our customers who use PWA Studio. Additional functionality was provided for, among other things, B2B features and for the admin. In addition, there is now support for dynamic blocks and targeted promotions, allowing marketers and merchandisers to build personalized content and cart promotions for specific customer segments. This update reduces the need for custom development, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership and a faster turnaround time.

Performance

Adobe also paid a lot of attention to speeding up the GraphQL requests, especially in the shopping cart. In addition, the Storefront's performance has been improved through changes to the way GraphQL requests are cached. Fastly and Varnish now cache GraphQL requests sent with auth tokens.

When to upgrade?

Are you convinced of this latest release? Then you can sit down with your PHPro Project Manager and/or your PHPro Product Owner to schedule this upgrade as soon as possible.

Would you rather wait a little longer? This is possible, depending on the version that your webshop is currently on. Adobe will no longer support version 2.3.X from September 8, 2022, which implies that your webshop must be upgraded to 2.4.X before this date. For customers currently on 2.4.3, it is possible to patch to 2.4.3-p2 now and apply a third patch in August 2022, 2.4.3-p3.

Next release

In addition, Adobe has already announced their next release, namely 2.4.5. This will be available from August 9, 2022. Based on the current roadmap, it seems to contain mainly PWA Studio improvements, as well as some security and quality improvements. In addition, Adobe Commerce version 2.4.4 will be supported until November 2024, so the need to immediately switch to 2.4.5 is not very urgent. Given the many improvements and new functionalities that version 2.4.4 offers, we recommend that you implement this upgrade as soon as possible.

Do you have any questions? Feel free contact your PHPro Project Manager and/or your PHPro Product Owner!