Day 2 Recap of Magento Live UK 2017

Following on from a busy day 1, day 2 treated us to even more Magento insights and announcements.

We started off with breakout sessions where a range of experts within the community were sharing their experiences and predictions.

It was great to see two Magento core team members shared on the community-driven project to add multi-source inventory to Magento. An audacious undertaking which you can be a part of. What's more, at the Contribution day at the beginning of the conference, 2 new pull requests were created pushing this project forward, fantastic work. My one reservation with this project is the size of it. Hopefully the team can find a way to release a MVP version to that we can realise some of it's benefits even sooner.

Mark Brinton gave insights into why a flexible system like Magento is so important to B2B merchants. Having effective communication between all components of the business is key to them excelling.

I can think of no-one better than Alan Kent, Chief Technical Architect at Magento, to share optimised Magento 2 deployment strategies.

CTO of Space48, Tony Brown, shared tips and tricks on maximising the effectiveness of Varnish caching in Magento 2 with a couple of gotchas to watch out for in order to ensure that your site is scalable.

The mobile innovation panel talked about how all that investment in pushing towards mobile first responsive sites a few years back is paying off in dividends. They also discussed some of the practicalities of PWA and the challenge of awaiting iOS adoption of modern technologies.

Following on from winning a Trailblazer award in the general session yesterday, Steven King from Kurt Geiger was on stage talking about their experience migrating to Magento 2 and how they've been able to benefit from it.

Magento's very own Ben Marks shared highlights from the many open source innovations that are coming out of the community. I'm proud to say that we were one of the ones mentioned, it's certainly something that we continue to enjoy being a part of.

Douglas Radburn spoke in the developer track on plugins in Magento 2 and how they can enable maintainable modifications to the core code base. A reference to SOLID architecture principles never goes amiss.

Peter Sheldon shared how the online experience is changing, giving more insight into why Progressive Web Apps are so promising due to new browser features and at the same time saying why investing native apps might not give return on investment.

A highlight of the afternoon was the DevExcahnge where developers got to swap notes and discuss about the direction that tools and processes are going. I was fortunate to spend some time with some incredibly experienced people discussing the future of the Magento frontend. With the recent announcement of a commitment to PWA and rumblings of a headless solution, there was plenty to discuss. For the most part though, we need to wait and see which direction Magento will be heading and at what pace.

We then moved on to the second and final general session to close out the day. What surprises would Magento have in store for us.

We were honoured to welcome the creator of Drupal to the Magento Live stage. While now it's one of the most popular open source CMS systems in the world, it started off with Dries working for a couple of evenings creating a message board for him and his friends. Now, Dries is CTO of Acquia, and like RedHat to Linux, they provide Enterprise level services and infrastructure to the Drupal market.

We have had a couple of announcements over the Magento and Acquia partnership over the last year and it's easy to see why the companies see a future together. They make a great partnership to knit content and commerce together to create engaging customer experiences that are easy for businesses to manage. This presentation was focussed on looking to the future and the kind of interactions customers are coming to expect like voice with Alexa. We'll have to wait and see if we can expect products and services around the combined solution.

We heard at Magento Imagine the story of how Jason Woosley, SVP of Product & Technology had come back from visiting the community at conferences and told Mark Lavelle, CEO of Magento, that they needed to take their brightest engineers off leading their own development teams and instead put them in front of the community. Once Mark had picked his jaw up of the floor, they worked together to create the Community Engineering team. A team organised purely to support the innovation and creation that goes on every day by the community and work to bring that back into the open source product. At day 2 of Magento Live UK, the benefits of making this decision have been incredibly apparent. A community-driven initiative to have multiple stock sources so that inventory can be shared and managed between websites and regions the biggest example to date. On top of that, we've seen a incredible increase in community engagement in improvements and fixes to the core Magento Open-Source product. Over 45 of these have actually been accepted into the core by privileged community members. This is a huge, brave step forward for Magento but they know it's a fantastic opportunity to increase the speed at which the product can get even better.

One success story shared on stage was that of a partnership between Redbox Digital and Wagento Commerce. Two agencies working across the Atlantic to create over 20 websites for Universal Music Group artists on Magento Commerce and connected to the Magento Order Management system.

An IDC study reviewed some of the largest B2B sites and found that 70% were already using Magento. If we add to that the numerous B2B features on their way in version 2.2 slated for the end of the summer, we can only imagine to see the dominance increase.

It's not hard to see why Magento is proving so popular for B2B. These merchants need a highly customisable platform with a rich feature set and the ability to tightly integrate into multiple other systems. There's no other platform out there that makes that as easy to as Magento does.

And so that wraps up the 2017 edition of Magento Live UK. For those looking to mark the dates for next year in the calendar, you'll also need to be booking some flights to Barcelona.