From Magento Commerce to Adobe Commerce

¿What Happened? Chronicle and opinion

You can read this article also in Spanish.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece

It all started with this tweet from Adobe in which he reported the rebranding of Magento Commerce as Adobe Commerce and with that I realized that the handle @magento had been blocked and abandoned by Adobe in favor of @AdobeCommerce. There has already been a long written and thought on the subject, but I would also like to offer my point of view on the matter.

Although the movement makes all the sense in the world, I couldn't help but think how a story that I was able to be a part of was being diluted and in which I thought that the community was the portion of the equation that added value to the platform. The fact is that the owners have another point of view about it.

In recent years it has been seen how Magento has been abandoning itself to a series of decisions that has little to do with software and developers, if not rather what fits the technology within the company and its competitors.

My beginnings as a Magento developer date back to 2015, when it was owned by eBay. I didn't have a lot of experience as a developer and I didn't know much about eCommerce, but Magento 1 was a solid platform with a large community of developers and an ecosystem of collaboration and events that was the envy of all other Open Source projects.

At the end of that year Magento 2 was introduced and shortly after the purchase of Magento by Permira, an investment fund that during those years pushed collaboration through participation initiatives both at an analytical level as development. Magento 2.0 had multiple problems and shortcomings, but its strength was a committed community that pushed development, and in a way, led the decision-making of the company. I understand that at the business level it could be a problem, but the fact is that the solutions proposed by Magento were not always liked by the community and were not done at the speed that it required. In turn, the learning curve of Magento 2 and the high cost of transition from Magento 1 to Magento 2 left multiple developers and companies behind.

One of the problems that have weighed down Magento 2 during all these years has been the Front-End, since its architecture and technologies used made development laborious, complex and was far from the new wave of development in which JavaScript it was the native language and React and Angular were the frameworks to follow. In 2017, PWA Studio was presented as a solution, but that only deepened the problems: development is still going on, there is no specific migration plan, change requires training, and different solutions have emerged along the way. Although they are not all better than the Magento proposal, they have been faster in development and have helped the fragmentation of the platform itself. Now developers no longer all follow the same discourse, as there are multiple options for working with Magento. Although it is something enriching, Magento has not been able to absorb that information and make it its own by building more solid software.

From Magento Commerce to Adobe Commerce: What Happened? Chronicle and opinion

A moment ago I mentioned that Magento lectured the community to improve the platform through multiple initiatives, right? Well, I can't help but think that this was a strategy to increase the value of the company and sell it in 2018 to Adobe for $ 1.68 billion. In those years the platform gained in stability and thousands of errors were corrected by the community, so it is fair to think (at least in my opinion) that the community was used for commercial purposes. This news shook the ecosystem like never before, as Adobe was a company comparable in size to eBay in its day (in fact, much larger), and those years were known as the dark years of eBay. Reactions were multiplied by social networks, and although there were all kinds of opinions, everyone was clear that there were things that were going to change. In these two years, multiple events have been unleashed that have made the community lose a lot of strength. The departure of many leaders and executive positions from Magento only made it clear that something was happening, but the community was also moving (the contributors and mantainers team has also been depleted): Shopware appeared as a more solid solution, the transition from Magento was simple due to the architecture used and the project had an idea of ​​a developer community that Magento apparently no longer shared, so many developers have have embraced this technology and community with great interest. On the other hand, Adobe has accelerated the integration into its ecosystem and its services but has continued without solving the problems that have plagued the platform for years (PWA Studio among them).

These changes have accelerated the degradation process that already existed previously, and has left the project at a point, which although I am not sure that it is a no-return, requires a lot of work to re-channel, at least in terms of commitment and community is concerned.

It's the end of an era? From my point of view yes (especially for me, taking into account my personal circumstances and what I currently do). The coronavirus has not helped anything, since the events were the glue that united the community in a certain way and gave it speed and now the realization of them is managed by Adobe and has left MageTitans, MeetMagento and the future realization of them in a place that I do not know.

Does Magento (Now Adobe Commerce) still make sense? From my point of view I think so. For years we have entered a market with multiple competitors and multiple purposes, so it is very difficult that any platform can have a monopolistic position, at least for a few years. However, I believe that Adobe can find a niche in which it can grow, and there is no point in letting software that was not its competition die after such a large investment.

As some reader knows, it has been a few months since I have been developing with Magento, but that does not mean that I like to see it as something that was built for so many years, to which I owe so many things and that generated an ecosystem as important both technologically as socially you go down the drain for a matter of numbers and graphics. I stay with the good days when I was able to be part of this story.

Long live Magento 🙂


Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash