Magento 2.3 update – 16 things to expect

By the end of the year, we’re hoping to see the next significant release of Magento. This will see the next version changing from Magento 2.2.x to Magento 2.3. In this video, I’ll highlight 16 changes that we can expect from the update.

If you’re new to Magento 2, then checkout the Magento 2 Beginner Playlists on the Homepage of this Channel once you’ve finished watching this video. And don’t forget to subscribe for more weekly Magento videos.

So, aside from the change in version numbers what can we expect from the Magento 2.3 update, scheduled later this year? Note, that this list contains a mixture of changes aimed at either your role as an admin, a developer or maybe both.

1. Bug Fixes

Well, I guess the very first thing we can expect is a tonne of bug fixes that have been reported and acknowledged during the release of Magento 2.2. On the flip-side, we can probably expect the introduction of a few more bugs as that tends to be the norm when releasing new software updates.

In terms of features, there’s plenty that have been announced. Although, some of these may be restricted to the Enterprise version, known as Magento Commerce. Anyway, this is what I’m aware of…

2. Progressive Web App (PWA)

If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, a Progressive Web App is an Application that uses Web Building elements (much like a mobile browser) but can tap into the full functionality of your mobile device like a standard app. This could be something like access to the camera or push notifications, just to name a couple. Allegedly, they are also cheaper to build than traditional apps that you might find on your app store.

Anyway, Magento have acknowledged this progression in technology and will be releasing the PWA Studio that will help developers to quickly learn and build applications that can support your online store. It sounds really exciting and I can’t way to learn more later this year.

3. GraphQL

On the subject of Progressive Web Apps, Magento are also going to support GraphQL. This API technology will allow Progressive Web Apps to pull and push information from your Magento store but using much smaller packets of data. This ultimately means faster loading times than the traditional APIs that Magento 2 currently uses.

4. Asynchronous API

And whilst I’m talking about APIs, the upcoming update will allow multiple APIs to run at the same time. Right now, if an API request is made to Magento it is queued until the request before it is completed. So, if your online store relies heavily on APIs then you will see a significant improvement in the time it takes to handle data.

5. Declarative Database Schema

Right now, when a module is developed for Magento 2, it has to be structured in a complex way that can result in unwanted bugs. Well the upcoming update will allow developers to restructure parts of their modules so that it can be written much clearer. This will result in a reduction of potential bugs, easier development and performance improvements.

6. Multi-Source Inventory (MSI)

This is another pretty cool feature for store admins to take advantage of. Multi-source inventory will allow you to natively manage inventory from multiple sources. This is super-useful if you stock your items at multiple warehouses or brick-and-mortar stores.

Also, inventory will be reserved using a new table structure within the database. This is another change that will ensure that your store performance will not be degraded.

7. Page Builder

As an Magento Open Source user, this one might make you a little sad. An exclusive feature for Magento Commerce users will be the new Page Builder. This is powered by a company called Blue Foot CMS that Magento recently acquired.

It allows you to build pages using a drag-and-drop style interface. And it adds a very clean and intuitive user experience for any admins looking to build pages without any HTML or CSS experience. Hopefully, we might see a lite version of this for Magento Open Source users in the future.

8. 2FA

Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of security. First, a user will enter their username and a passphrase. Then, instead of immediately gaining access, they will be required to provide another piece of information that is provided by something like the Google Authenticator App.

I recently talked about this on the channel. As it was recently announced that you can now install this into Magento 2.2 early if you have access to your Command Line Interface and Composer support. But from what I understand, Magento 2.3 will come packaged with this module if you can wait.

9. Google reCAPTCHA

Google reCAPTCHA is used to help restrict access to your Magento site to only humans. The reCAPTCHA module provides enhanced security when compared to the Magento CAPTCHA module that’s already built-in. Its additional benefits include support for invisible reCAPTCHA.

It was recently announced that you can now install this into Magento 2.2 early if you have access to your Command Line Interface and Composer support. Again, I believe Magento 2.3 will come packaged with this module if you can wait.

10. Message Queue

This is another feature that is being introduced to the Open Source Edition, that the Commerce Edition already utilises. I’ll admit, that I struggled getting my head around this feature. But from what I understand, this allows Magento to queue tasks when the system is busy.

So, if I carry out a task by clicking on button, then rather than waiting for the web server to respond, I can carry on pressing other buttons and the task will be completed as soon as the system deals with the previous request. Thus improving performance and usability. Again, this is how I understand it but I could be wrong.

11. ElasticSearch

This is a 3rd party search engine that can be run on a dedicated server. It is extremely powerful and the purpose of this utility is to improve the speed and relevance of your in-store search results. It’s actually something that is already supported by Magento Commerce. But now it’ll be officially supported for all Magento Open Source users running the latest 2.3 version.

12. PHP 7.2

PHP is a fundamental requirement of Magento. And despite the release of PHP 7.2 last year (which promises increased performance and security), the requirements of Magento have restricted the compatibility to a maximum 7.1.

Well, in this next update we can expect to see full support for PHP 7.2. Also, any backward-incompatibility issues should be resolved, and all 3rd party libraries should support PHP 7.2. I also believe that all 7.0 compatibility will be dropped but that’s yet to be confirmed.

13. Libsodium

This one also relates to PHP. At the moment Magento 2 uses a PHP module called mcrypt. This is used for encryption. But because PHP 7.2 has phased this out, mcrypt will be replaced by the libsodium module. As an admin you probably wouldn’t be aware of this change. However, as a developer it’s an important change to note when building new sites or servers.

14. Import/Export Improvements

I don’t have any specific details, but I have read that the Import/Export features within Magento 2.3 will gain some significant improvements in speed and usability for admins. Hopefully, this will negate the need to rely on 3rd party extensions that currently attempt to cater for those needs.

15. Cache Management ACL

If you currently take advantage of the Role Permissions within the backend of Magento (which I highly recommend), then you can expect Cache Management to appear in the list of resources. This will restrict both actions and access to specific users or User Roles.

16. TinyMCE

So, there is one thing that I truly despise about Magento. And that’s the WYSIWYG Editor. I believe it uses TinyMCE 3 which is 10 years old! Well, apparently this is being replaced by a newer version that should bring in a few more features and be a little more pleasing to the eye.

Magento 2.3 update – Summary

These are some of the things that we can expect to see in the upcoming version of Magento 2.3. It’s entirely possible that not every change will come out with the initial release of 2.3 but could come out in a version such as 2.3.1. Either way, it’s pretty exciting.

So, is there anything I’ve listed that you’re happy to see? Or perhaps something you were hoping to see but didn’t get mentioned. Let me know in the comments.