More and more companies dealing in online trading use the Magento platform. Until recently, sellers had to settle for the first version of the Magento e-commerce platform. However, now the new edition offers, among other improvements of the order acceptance system, simple headless PWA implementations or multi-level authentication.

 

In June 2020, Magento released the beta version of the long-awaited Magento 2 edition. Adobe, the owner of the platform, announced in December 2019 that it will release Magento 2.4.0 this year. What improvements has the new release brought? What technical requirements does your system have to meet to install or update to the latest version? Should you upgrade to Magento 2.4.0?

 

Futuristic interface hand Technical requirements

Magento has released edition notes for both versions of Magento 2.4.0 Open Source and Commerce separately. In addition, it has published information about the release of new functions and improvements to the B2B module. The latest Magento 2.4 technical requirements needed to install or upgrade to this version are numerous, but do not let that put you off migrating to the new platform as it offers huge benefits.

 

You need to install Elasticsearch first, and only then will you be able to install or update to 2.4.0. Older versions of Elasticsearch such as 2.x, 5.x and 6.x have been removed or discontinued. In addition, any open source system with more than 2 GB of RAM is required for installation. You will also need the latest Apache 2.4 or Nginx web servers version 1 and above. For a database installation, MySQL 8.0 and MariaDB 10.4 are required.

 

New Magento works better with PHP 7.4 and PHPUnit 9.0.0. Other PHP versions are not recommended. The same extensions and system dependencies are also required for installing other versions. PHP OPcache and PHP settings should be properly installed and configured. In addition, a valid SSL certificate is required for a secure https connection. Automatic signatures will not work and TLS 1.2 or later is required for PayPal and repo.magento.com. Redis 5.0, Varnish 6.3.1, RabbitMQ 3.8.x are required for page caching and session storage.

 

It's not everything. The three main Magento Commerce Databases provide scalability benefits for Magento applications in areas such as checkouts, orders and more. Support for php_xdebug 2.5.x or later is optional but recommended. As you can see, the list is quite large, but now only about the benefits of migration.

 

What's new in the latest version of Magento?

The first thing we learn is that this version introduces support for the latest PHP 7.4, MySQL 8.0, and Elasticsearch 7.6.x. 2FA (Two Factor Authentication) by default for the administrator. This means improving the security of sellers in Magento 2. The Commerce version includes B2B enhancements such as an improved order approval flow.

 

The new, more stable version of Magento has removed payment methods like Authorise.Net and Braintree for Open Source. For the Commerce edition, Magento also removed eWay, CyberSource, and Worldpay from the standard code. To use these payment options, sellers can install the official extensions of each available on the Magento Marketplace.

 

In addition to all the basic quality improvements included in patch 2.3.5-p1, Magento 2.4.0 also comes with over 100 code cores and over 30 fixes and security enhancements. Adobe has also fixed a ton of over 200 GitHub issues as suggested by the community. They range from a minor cleanup of core code to major improvements in GraphQL and Inventory Management.

 

Attractive news for some might be the fact that Magento also provided a security patch that the vendor can install instead of installing the entire functional fixes. This includes time sensitive security patches as well.

 

Security improvements

The new version has extensive security updates. Includes over 30 patches to help close remote code execution (RCE) and cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities. Additional enhancements include 2FA (Multi-Factor Authentication) which is enabled by default for admin accounts, Cloud SSH access, and Magento.com users (cannot be disabled for admin accounts).

 

By default, template filter strict mode is enabled, which guarantees that deliberate RCE attacks are not enabled. Magento has disabled data rendering by default for UI date providers which will not allow malicious users to execute arbitrary JS code. New class \ Magento \ Framework \ Escaper has been introduced. Thus the local variable $ escaper is available for use in place of the deprecated $ block-> escape {method}. To help security analysts report problems, this version supports the security.txt file.

 

Platform updates

In the new version of Magento, support for PHP 7.4 has been introduced and older versions such as 7.1 and 7.2 have been abandoned. The latest version of PHP requires the last PHPUnit 9.x for the test platform, and the older version of PHPUnit 6.5 is considered obsolete. For consistency, Marketplace Solution Providers must confirm that their extensions are PHP 7.4 compliant and configured for PHPUnit 9.0.

 

The new version of Magento comes with the Elasticsearch 7.6.x default directory search engine. It also includes support for MySQL 8.0 and vendors are advised to upgrade to MySQL 8.X for additional benefits such as increased performance, improved security, and reliability. With MySQL 8.0 comes MariaDB 10.4 support as well. The Zend Framework is now deprecated and all Zend Framework dependencies will be handled by the Linux Foundation's Laminas Project. Finally, the Signifyd anti-cheat code has been removed from the base version.

 

Infrastructure updates

The new version of Magento includes infrastructure improvements for modules such as catalog, customer account, CMS, import, B2B, and cart and checkout. It is also suggested to remove Authorize.Net payment method by default and use the official extension for that. Elasticsearch also supports the ability to search shortened using partial words, in product search by name or SKU.

 

The PayPal Express checkout has moved to the latest PayPal JavaScript SDK. The payment flow will not change, but will allow for new features and security improvements. Additionally, the network configuration wizard has been removed. Resellers must use the command line to install or update this version of the platform.

 

Magento 2.4 also includes a new feature that allows owners to help customers. They can log in on their behalf and assist them with their purchases.

 

Performance improvements

The latest version introduces a new way of invalidating customer data by avoiding a problem known to sellers. In addition, Redis has undergone many optimizations to improve its performance. SQL query caching for inventory tables has also been improved. The efficiency of adding a quick order to the cart improved by 25 to 30%.

 

These are just some of the many improvements that the new version of Magento offers. There is also an Adobe stock v2.0 integration that reduces the steps required to license stock images. New Media Gallery with a new interface and resource search capability that allows you to search, filter and sort images 30 times faster.

 

We also have the Commerce Edit Page Builder which now supports PHP 7.4. The enhanced inventory management feature supports in-store pickup and product packaging. Additionally, GraphQL's capabilities have been greatly improved. Magento Functional Testing Framework version 3.0.0 supports PHP 7.4 and PHPUnit 9 along with features such as the MFTF helper for creating a custom action, schema updates, a child folder inside test modules, nested assertion syntax, and static tests.

 

The third-party extension for dot-digital, Amazon Pay, Braintree Payments, Klarna, Vertex and Yotpo has also been improved. When publishing a new version, vendors must confirm that their extensions are PHP 7.4 compliant.

 

End of support 

We have listed the most important and greatest changes that have been introduced in the new version of the platform. However, Magento 2.4.0 brings hundreds of other fixes for known issues. For IT knowledgeable salespeople, all this information is easy to digest. They will fully appreciate the benefits of upgrading to the new version. However, it will be difficult for laymen to make a decision without consulting specialists.

 

 

In turn, experts say that you should immediately update Magento to version 2.4.0 as this platform supports all the latest technologies to significantly improve the performance of your store. In addition, Magento has streamlined many processes, simplifying them and improving the platform to make it work faster and more modern. The new version will provide retailers with the opportunity to take advantage of modern opportunities in today's changing environments, as well as prepare for the future. Additionally, Adobe has suspended support for the first version of both editions this year. So if you are still using the older platform, this is the last chance to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2.