Have Adobe just killed Magento?
The future of Magento: according to Adobe
On February 11th, Adobe hosted Adobe Developers Live: Commerce. Before the conference, there was some real uncertainty in the community around what exactly the future of Magento Open Source edition was going to be. But during the conference Adobe shared some pretty major news - they'll be retiring their flagship eCommerce product Adobe Commerce.
Let me give you some background into how exactly we got to this point. Not long ago I shared my thoughts and predictions on the future of Magento Open Source, and in there I talked a bit about the history of Magento's ownership, how Adobe acquired them in 2018, and how actually their plans have always been to integrate Magento into Experience Cloud.
More recently Adobe revealed that there plans were only to integrate Commerce edition into Experience Cloud, with no mention of Open Source at all. Following on from this, Adobe then closed magento.com redirecting all traffic to an Adobe hosted Experience Cloud page instead.
I talked about how the community responded to this with the intention of branching off Magento Open Source to a new, community maintained project completely independent of Adobe. But I also noted that the reality of a solid future for Magento really sat with Adobe and what they decided to do the software.
So the community has been keenly anticipating some official response from Adobe, and with all signs pointing to major changes with Open Source nobody expected them to say they were essentially killing off Adobe Commerce - at least in the form we currently know it.
In the video today I'm going to be looking at key snippets from the keynote. I'm going to translate any flowery language to break down what they're actually saying, and give my opinion on what it all means both for Open Source and Commerce editions.
Before you watch these clips I will say that I'm not employed by Adobe, I'm not associated to them in any way - I'm just giving what I feel is a logical breakdown from the things that were said at the keynote, and also the direction I can see Adobe moving in for the future.
So what do we conclude from what was said in the keynote? For Open Source, it's great news to hear that this is now going to live with the Magento Association - or the community. That's a good move that gives a huge amount of freedom for the future direction of development for Open Source and creates a separation of concerns with Commerce. Open Source now has freedom to develop new features without any ties or dependencies to Adobe, and this means it's positioned really well to cater for the huge numbers of SMB's, and even enterprises that want that full level of customisation the codebase offers, which you largely lose when moving into the realm of SaaS.
For Commerce, Adobe's initial take is this kind of hybrid of plugging SaaS services into the current codebase, but to my mind there's a strong shift towards a gradual retiring of features offered by the current codebase, instead replacing them with SaaS offerings. So Adobe have already released product recommendations and search as SaaS services, and catalog, inventory and pricing are next on the list. That's some pretty fundamental core features moving to SaaS already. Eventually I think we'll see SaaS based replacements for all core functionality, followed by Adobe then stripping that 'legacy' core functionality from the current codebase and moving wholesale to SaaS only with Commerce on Adobe Experience Cloud. It's at this point I can see Adobe announcing they'll be retiring Commerce edition completely in it's current form, while also cutting ties with Open Source edition fully. I just can't see Adobe indefinitely supporting both the features offered by the current codebase, and the replacement SaaS services indefinitely - it just doesn't make business sense.
Whether this actually all happens long term, only time will tell, but from the keynote, it certainly seems to be the direction Adobe are moving in. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out for any further news from Adobe on this front, but for now thanks for watching this keynote breakdown, and if you're on the lookout for a developer for your eCommerce store - not just Magento, you can visit our marketplace to find quality UK based developers here.