Magento 2 Posts

Equip Your Magento 2 Stores with High-quality Extensions Profitably

No doubt, Magento 2 will become the next ecommerce destination for numerous Magento users.

So, if you consider migration as the next step of your improvement or just build a new M2 store, we are ready to make you two great offers.

All M2 Essentials in One Place

Coming into this innovational Magento 2 era we have a hankering to enter it with our new and existing customers continuing the long-term beneficial partnership. And, since we sincerely believe that Magento 2 is currently the best available ecommerce software, we offer you to equip your M2 online stores profitably right now.

M2 Extensions PackM2 Extension Pack

M2 Extension Pack provides you with a unique and original chance to access all M2 extensions either currently available for purchase or expected to be released. The pack includes free extensions installation and the 360-day support period.

Our Magento 1 extension buyers are provided with the 30% discount on M2 Extension Pack (use the M2PACK coupon code):

  • CE M2 extension Pack: the discounted price is $979 (only for our M1 customers) and $1399 is the full price of the pack;
  • EE M2 extension Pack: the discounted price is $2099 (for our M1 customers) and $2999 is the full price of the pack.

Totally, we expect all 12 extensions to be good and ready by the end of March. The modules cover most significant functionality fields, including sales and marketing, administration, user experience, and content management. As soon as you purchase the pack, all the extensions above will appear in you customer account area. For the launched extensions you will get the links for downloading immediately, while the coming soon extensions will appear after their final release.

aheadWorks CTO on Introducing Automated Tests to M2 Products

We’ve talked a lot about shifting more attention to the quality of our code and working towards easier customization of our products.

Today we’ve called out our CTO to talk about what is being done in that direction and what is yet to be done in the future.

aheadWorks CTO, Peter Samoilov

PETER SAMOILOV
AHEADWORKS CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER
10+ Years of Development Experience

aW: So, Peter, we understand it’s all about automated testing currently. Would you mind giving a quick intro?

Peter: An automated test is, basically, an additional code that checks the validity of the software or a part of the software. There are multiple benefits to having it, some of which include higher product quality, lower costs of consecutive version development, testing software in a specific environment, easier code refactoring, etc.

Automated tests provide higher product quality, lower costs of consecutive version development, testing software in a specific environment, easier code refactoring, etc.

aW: Why do M2 modules require automated testing?

Peter: Tech-wise, M2 is much more complicated than M1, and that goes for modules as well. This means that writing code requires a much more thorough approach. On top of that M2 is a young platform and there is not much expertise out there and virtually no experienced specialists. Put all of this together and you get a pretty high risk of screwing something up, starting from algorithms and ending with architecture. Automated tests help to mitigate that risk.

Also, unlike with M1, with M2 we get a testing framework out of the box, which is another hint to all module vendors.

aW: What are your expectations from automated test implementation?

Peter: First, we simply want to take our extensions to the level above what we had at M1. Our intention is to have high quality products, closer to what you get at “enterprise” level.

Great Offer for Our Customers: 50% Discount on Magento 2 Extensions

Today, when Magento 2 is released, most of you consider it as the next ecommerce destination and explore the existing M2 environment in order to estimate the advantages of migration.

50% Discount on Magento 2 Extensions for Our Customers

The new platform grows exponentially constantly attracting new dedicated extensions and services, vendors and providers, technical approaches and price strategies. Within the Magento 2 ecosystem, we are committed to providing our customers with a reliable way for smooth and rapid switching to the new platform as soon as they are ready for this transformation.

50% Discount for M1 Customers

Coming into the Magento 2 era we do our best to provide extensions covering most required functionality areas and offer our M1 customers tools necessary to get up to speed with their Magento 2 stores.

Today, aheadWorks Magento 1 customers have a unique opportunity to purchase Magento 2 extensions at the 50% discount.

Any of our M1 customers, regardless of the products they purchased* and regardless of the license statuses, are able to get any Magento 2 products from our catalog 50% off.

In order to streamline you successful launch on Magento 2 we also offer free installation and extended up to 180 days support and updates period for all M2 products.

* Excluding free products, their support licences and Advanced Reports units.

How It Works

  • Ensure you are under the account you used for M1 purchases;
  • Enter coupon M1M2 on the shopping cart page;
  • Use it for any number of products.

New aheadWorks CEO Natallia Kukuruzina: “We Implement New Advanced Development Principles”

Today we talk to Natallia Kukuruzina, a new aheadWorks CEO, who brings new approaches to the development of our products and company as a whole.

New aheadWorks CEO, Natallia Kukuruzina

NATALLIA KUKURUZINA
AHEADWORKS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering.

Natallia Kukuruzina is a highly-experienced strategic manager working for 10 years in IT mainly focusing on foreign contractors and early project launches. Natallia possesses vast experience in team building, process establishing, and business administration.

Interview

aW: Hi, Natallia! Do you mind answering a few questions about the future of aheadWorks, the prospects of Magento 2, and the market in general?

Natallia: Sure! I’ll be glad to take this chance to talk to our customers and share our plans for the future.

aW: Great! Let’s start with an introduction then.

Natallia: Well, I’m an involved person, I love working with other people, I enjoy my work and I welcome challenges.  (smiling…) I’ve been an aheadWorks CMO for over a year now and today I’m  excited to join the company as a CEO. I’m extremely intrigued with the Magento 2 platform and new opportunities it promises.

Our primary task is to provide early adopters with must-have tools and ensure quick and smooth uptake of the new technology.

aW: Welcome aboard! And, since you mentioned it, let’s focus on Magento 2 for a minute. What are your expectations for the platform and how does it affect aheadWorks? Scared? Excited?

Natallia: A little bit of both, naturally. But, it’s worth mentioning that we came prepared for Magento 2. By the time it launched we already had 5 fully tested extensions in our M2 portfolio which are available for the purchase now and we are planning to expand it by a few more before the year runs out. So, for now, our primary task is to provide early adopters with must-have tools and ensure quick and smooth uptake of the new technology.

As to the platform itself, I expect great things. Magento 2 is extremely powerful, compared to the first version it provides store owners with many more e-commerce opportunities. Recent innovations have streamlined the checkout process, created wider SEO opportunities,  offered improved admin grid,  better PCI compliance, and much more.

As an extension provider, our job is to embrace these changes and find a way to take them a step further. We look carefully at new opportunities, at needs of our clients, and we find ways to add value to their business.

We already have 5 fully tested extensions in our Magento 2 portfolio.

aW: Are you planning any changes in your business strategy and product development process with the advent of Magento 2?

Natallia:Yes, it’s inevitable. We currently stand on the edge of new era, when previous approaches are no longer applicable, while the new ones are not yet entirely formed. And I’m not just talking about the code, the whole ecosystem is about to change.

Magento 2 Release Blossoms Forth the New Era of Ecommerce

Magento 2.0 is finally out. We witness a historical day!

Magento 2 Release

We are very excited with this great moment touching the whole formidable Magento community and, no doubt, global eCommerce as well.

A New Era of  Commerce Innovation is Here

Magento 2 is available in two new products: Magento Enterprise Edition 2.0 and Magento Community Edition 2.0. The new platform embodies the future of ecommerce software functionality and development.

Based on its open source traditions Magento 2 provides all online customers and store owners with an enterprise-level performance and productivity. It rises on the basis of innovative architecture, amazing shopping experience, and advanced scalability.

It’s been definitely a long way full of complex challenges and ardent work. And, the result is fully worth the effort providing the pioneering state-of-the-art digital commerce platform.

Today, we are sincerely happy for the Magento team and hope that the new ecommerce solution will strengthen its position among most powerful and popular e-platforms worldwide.

aheadWorks is Headed for Magento 2.0

aheadWorks passionately welcomes this glorious milestone taking a proactive position in order to make Magento 2 even more sterling ecommerce solution.

We made a great leap forward in our approach to design and development of our M2 extensions. We improve our  products betting on the easily customizable code, approved frontend functionality, refined backend interface and usability.

At this very moment our Magento 2 portfolio contains five ready-to-go extensions, representing our best ecommerce experience. Starting from Advanced Reports, Follow Up Email, Product Questions, Gift Card, and Automatic Related Products we gradually speed up the process of development and soon will be able to announce our next Magento 2 modules.

Currently, the above extensions are passing the Magento 2 compatibility verification procedure and will be available for purchase shortly. Still, right now you can find their demos in our store.

Follow us for further updates in our blog and social media.

Conclusion

With the advent of Magento 2 our ultimate goal is to cover main business areas with M2 functionality extensions as soon as possible without any quality compromises. For this purpose, we have significantly revised our approach to code, usability, and functionality of our modules and are confident that we can provide even better products as a result.

Once again, we congratulate Magento on this historical and revolutionary achievement and wish it to reach new business horizons.

The Freshest Magento 2 Installation

The starting point for exploring the broad advantages and capabilities of Magento 2 is to download and install the platform.

Magento 2 Installation

Despite the awesome functionality Magento 2 is harder to install than the previous version of software. This necessitated the emergence of multiple installation guides across the Internet. But, most of them point at the manual way of installation, or cast a lot of console spells to install different server-side software, or just loose their relevance gradually.

On the other hand, there is a bunch of ready Magento 2 stores installed in online demos, but most of them are also outdated. Besides, in this case you can’t play around with files, command-line scripts, tests, etc.

Rapid obsolescence is pretty natural since Magento 2 is still in Beta and the code is subject to change until the GA release. Nevertheless, our ultimate goal is to overcome this obstacle and always have available a fresh Magento 2 version.

Below we share, we believe, a great way to install the latest Magento 2 any time you follow this guide. The solution uses Vagrant and Puppet to setup a full-featured Ubuntu box with Magento2 inside. All you need is to install VirtualBox and Vagrant, launch a couple of commands, and enjoy the freshest M2 already running.

Magento 2 Installation

Vagrant Configuration to Run Magento 2

This Vagrant configuration sets up the required environment and installs the latest available Magento 2 running on Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS (Trusty Tahr).

Box Contents

  • Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS (Trusty Tahr);
  • Apache 2.4 with mods enabled;
  • MySQL 5.6;
  • PHP 5.5.9 with all the extensions required for Magento 2;
  • Composer;
  • Git.

Magento 2 Glossary for Non-Techies or How It’s Made

The changes introduced for Magento 2 are significant and developers, merchants and the others involved in Magento need to know the specifics of the new platform since it is almost here.

Magento 2 Features in One Glossary

This knowledge will help to understand the advantages provided by the Magento 2 and the specifics of its usage. Primarily oriented towards store owners the Glossary below describes most prominent Magento 2 features in plain language.

Magento 2 Features in One Glossary

Composer

Composer is a packages management system for PHP widely used in Magento. Currently Magento 2 can be completely downloaded and installed via Composer, and the team seems to continue developing it for further implementations. It is used to install/uninstall third-party extensions, add new libraries, etc.

Dependency Injections

Dependency injections are the processes of object isolation via constructors aiming to make classes and objects independent for further easier development and testing. The back side of this procedure is that it creates larger code snippets, which are harder for debugging.

Docker

Docker is an open-source software automating the deployment of application in dedicated software containers. The Docker’s special advantage useful for the Magento 2 development is that it doesn’t require a separate operating system to be run within the virtualized container.

GitHub

Magento 2 uses GitHub as an official repository  from the outset. The dedicated section of the service contains both Magento and community contributions, including official Magento versions and related documentation, extensions, supporting software, etc.

Magento 2 Extensions: Our View

Now, with the advent of the Magento 2 Merchant beta we realize that just a short time remains before the great shift in the ecommerce world – the final launch of Magento 2. This long-awaited leap is going to be quite a hard challenge for the whole community and for us personally as a Magento extension provider.

So, what are the main features of Magento 2 plugins and how will they affect both vendors and merchants? We asked our Magento 2 Development Team to answer our questions on the topic.

Magento 2 Extensions Development Process

fedor_morozov_photo

FEDOR MOROZOV
AHEADWORKS DEVELOPER

aW: What are the differences of the Magento 2 extensions development process compared to Magento 1?

Fedor: Magento 2 extensions development involves a more structured approach: more classes, objects, new code patterns, xml, xsd. Today, Magento is much closer to the “enterprise style”. You also need some time to embrace Magento 2 coding standards, but it is actually not more complicated than to port to Magento 1 from other ecommerce solutions.

Thanks to the new mechanisms, the integration into the system became simpler and more transparent. And, the architecture of Magento 2 provides a big order, encapsulation, and modules’ independence.

Magento 2 Demo

In our previous post we wrote about the changes that Magento 2 brought to the backend and frontend interface, and now you can explore them with your own eyes in our Magento 2 demo store.

The frontend of each store largely depends on the implemented theme, configuration and integrated extensions and can be surprisingly different from the default view. In our demo store we tried to mainly keep unchanged the default user interface to let you have an idea of the starting point you approach right after the installation.

Magento Welcome

As for the backend interface it is more static and you’ll be able to recognize the Magento 2 admin area on any store you ever visit.

Magento 2 Demo Store Backend

The first striking change of the Magento 2 backend is the changed color scheme provided for Magento admins. The blue-to-gray palette of Magento 1.x is changed to more contrast fields and blocks in black and white.

New Backend Interface of Magento 2

This year Imagine 2015 was held on the eve of Magento 2 release and a great part of the conference content was devoted to its new features and functionality.

Magento 2 at Imagine 2015

Magento 2 made three sessions at Imagine 2015 and was the major topic of the first conference day. Ten ad hoc presentations on the topic were provided by the Magento Development Team and community experts on Monday, April 20:

  • Magento 2 backend admin UX and framework changes;
  • Magento 2 configuration;
  • Migrating merchant data and themes to Magento 2;
  • Code customizations;
  • Code generation principles;
  • Caching optimization for Magento code development;
  • Magento 2 performance and scalability;
  • Refactoring into TDD / BDD.

Magento 2 Backend Admin UX and Framework Changes

We all put a lot on Magento 2 and want it to be able to change the world of ecommerce, improve and intensify Magento solution. We clearly realize that it should be a differently new product, but what are the directions of changes and what is the priority approach to its functionality, structure and design development?

One of the most noticeable novelties for Magento admins is the change of backend interface implemented in Magento 2. And, if other preseentations are full of developer oriented technical details, Magento 2 admin interface is close and clear for merchants as well. Especially that the new Magento 2 interface is mostly designed for non-technical users, according to Jonathan Atkins, Head of Product Design and UX.

There are two main reasons inspiring Magento admin user interface changes – complexity and users focus. These both aims are closely linked together.

Since the new design is primarily created for Magento merchants, it was necessary to make it more simple and effective. Assumed to be a “business tool for business users” the new interface looks greatly different from Magento 1.

New Look and Feel

Starting from the very beginning the new look and feel deserve special attention. The Magento 2 backend interface obtained improved usability and modern flat design, which is touch-friendly with larger click/tap targets.

All You Need to Know or Once Again about Magento 2

Magento 2 is on the fast track now and the company pays much attention to its promotion among developers, which should embrace the new code as quickly as possible and then extend it further throughout the market. The turn of merchants will come a bit later, apparently, closer to the Merchant beta release.

Magento 2

But, no doubt that the whole Community is to get ready to meet Magento 2 fully equipped having a thorough understanding of the new platform. Starting from the very beginning we’ll try to collect some basic facts about Magento 2 and everything around it.

Magento 2 Tasks

The process of Magento 2 development is transparent for all members of the community and we greatly appreciate it. In line with this principle the Magento 2 team declared the main goals of the current enhancement:

  • Update the technology stack;
  • Simplify external integrations;
  • Improve performance and scalability;
  • Streamline the customization process;
  • Enable easier installations and upgrades;
  • Deliver better quality, testing resources, and documentation.

This way we can expect from Magento 2 to be an innovational product able to satisfy the requirements of developers and merchants in a neat and seamless manner.

Magento 2 in Google Trends

The popularity of Magento 2 is rising constantly in Google Trends over the time since 2009, as it is shown on the picture below. Lately Magento 2 reached its highest popularity in December 2014, and April 2015.