Editor's note: The recent updates of the Enterprise and Community Magento Editions brought customers a lot of new great features and enhancements. In this connection, we asked Piort Kaminski, Magento Senior Product Manager, about the current strategy of the Magento EE development and plans for the future.
SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER, MAGENTO
aW: Magento EE is already an extremely powerful e-commerce platform, but you still continue to improve its functionality and performance. Tell us please, is it difficult to look for new valuable features for Magento and what is the main source of your innovation ideas?
Piotr: eCommerce is limitless. Every merchant is different and has unique needs, and you can see from over 6000 Magento Connect extensions that there are many things you can change in Magento. However, when Magento weighs adding new features, we try to focus on core eCommerce functionality that is a shared need across a large group of merchants or a clear gap in functionality. We look at the market, merchant needs, developer needs, and internal sources to prioritize what we add to the product.
aW: The competition among e-commerce platforms is fierce nowadays. Do you accept any competitorsí findings sometimes or does Magento pave its own unique way in development?
Magento is unique as it covers both, small stores and really large ones.
Piotr: Magento is pretty unique as it covers a very large segment of the market from small stores to really large ones. We try to find our own way based on the needs of our merchants and the community.
aW: In your opinion, what functionality improvements are more competitive today, frontend features for customers or backend refinements for Magento admins?
Piotr: Both are critical. We need to continue to empower merchants with tools to create compelling shopping experiences that differentiate them from competitors. But, we also need to invest in Admin enhancements to help improve merchant operations and productivity, so that they can cost-effectively and efficiently manage their sites.
aW: What made you choose these particular features for the current Magento EE update? They do not seem to concentrate on any particular functionality while improve a wide range of the platformís performance.
Piotr: We try to have a couple of tracks to make the release appealing to a large group of merchants. This release largely focused on enhancing the shopping experience and merchant productivity by offering new merchandising and responsive design capabilities. We also included several updates to improve platform security and reliability and to keep up-to-date with changing technologies.
Magento pays a great deal of attention to security.
aW: What is your most favorite feature of the current update?
Piotr: My personal favorites are responsive emails and smart categories. Responsive emails are critical because so many email messages are now opened on mobile devices. Smart categories, which is part of Visual Merchandiser, is extremely powerful functionality that allows merchants to set up rules to automatically assign products to categories or to create new, virtual categories based on product attributes. Merchants should check out our video tutorials and documentation to learn all they can do with this rich, new feature.
aW: Magento pays much attention to security issues. Do the threats of this sort stand tall today or is it mostly a reserve for the future?
Piotr: Magento pays a great deal of attention to security. Our software is very popular and mission critical for many merchants, so we need to constantly be on the lookout for new threats. We run our own tests, work with internal security experts, have external audits and penetration testing, and participate in a bug bounty program run by eBay in order to identify new ways to harden our defenses.
aW: How do you estimate the role of Google for online stores? Are technical SEO facilities actually crucial for successful shops?
Piotr: Optimizing a site for search engines is crucial for merchants and Google plays a big role being the most popular search engine. Magento is particularly well-suited for search engine optimization because merchants can take advantage of our native functionality and open-core software to improve their position in search results.
We are focusing on quality and reliability improvements in both editions.
aW: What should we expect in future updates?
Piotr: We are focusing on quality and reliability improvements in both editions.
aW: Do you have any final words?
Piotr: Magento 2 developer beta is coming soon. Developers should join the webinar on December 18 to learn more about the beta and help shape the future of eCommerce!
aW: Thank you very much Piotr, for your informative and extended answers. We all wish Magento and you personally much success and new great achievements.
Additional Information: Magento EE ver. 1.14.1 Main Feature Highlights
Visual Merchandiser The new included drag-and-drop visual merchandising tool allows Magento admins easily organize and get a precise idea about the look of the category page as a result of the changes they made. It also provides an opportunity for further adjustments of product positions on category pages. Learn more.
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