What is Mage-OS and Why Did We Join?

What is Mage-OS and Why Did We Join?

Refreshed Values

Over the past several years, particularly since Adobe’s acquisition of Magento, the growth strategy of Magento Open Source has become increasingly ambiguous. Adobe’s focus has predominantly shifted towards enriching its Adobe Commerce + Cloud + B2B offerings, resulting in a limited roadmap for Magento Open Source, primarily encompassing security patches and minor improvements. Merchants and Agencies that invested their energy and time in this platform are not pleased with this path. In response, an initiative has been formed with the aim of establishing a community-driven fork under the umbrella of the Mage-OS Association.

Let’s see how they describe Mage-OS Distribution on their website:

The Mage-OS Distribution is an independent and community driven fork (alternate version) of Magento Open Source that retains compatibility while allowing the freedom to innovate and push the platform forward, given Adobe’s focus is now on only improving their Adobe Commerce (Cloud/B2B) offering. Its aim is to put the platform back into the hands of the community and bring back tangible improvements in the form of new features and enhancements while lowering the barrier to entry for merchants and developers.

What Does This Mean?

If you give yourself some time and let it resonate, you’ll realize that this definition is full of heavy and strong statements that summarize the Magento scene in the last five to six years. Since Adobe made an acquisition of Magento, the feeling that ran through most of us in the Magento community was that it’s getting more and more obvious that this acquisition leads to reshaping the message that comes to our clients – Adobe is targeting enterprise and leaving everyone else behind. 

A significant proportion of Magento merchants operate within the small and medium-sized business (SMB) or mid-market segments. These merchants have begun to perceive a sense of neglect. Not all merchants need Adobe cloud saas ecosystem nor have the revenue that even allows considering that kind of infrastructure. One of the things that Adobe clearly stated is that Adobe developers will “not touch the core” of Magento Open Source codebase. In practice, this means that Magento will still receive security patches and platform enhancements, but there is no space for innovation, new features and new ideas, which were the characteristics of the Magento community in general.

End of the Magento Open Source Status Quo

The status quo of Magento Open Source platform’s feature lasted until 2021., when the number of Magento community members reached numbers just enough to form a voice. The ideas behind Mage-OS were first shared in an Open Letter about the future of Magento. That letter prompted discussions and action across the community. 1,641 people that use, develop, or otherwise depend on Magento for a living signed the letter. Mage-OS brings the ideas of that letter to life. 

The rest is history: Mage-OS association was formed with main goals formed as follows:

  • Grow the community
  • Nurture good vibes and values
  • Sustain Magento as a leading platform for custom ecommerce development
  • Increase ecosystem market share
  • Increase confidence in the Magento ecosystem

In October 2023, the first release of Mage-OS (1.0.0 version based on Magento 2.4.6-p3 plus community contributions merged since) was released and since then the community is growing, the project is getting its shape and the number of community members, professional members and supporting companies is getting bigger literally every single day since membership was formed in November 2023.

Introducing Mage-OS

Mage-OS is an upstream compatible, lightweight composition of Magento Open Source packages. Some packages will contain changes, and some will be entirely new. We aim to keep the Mage-OS Distribution compatible with all existing Magento 2 extensions and integrations to the greatest extent possible.

What differentiates Mage-OS from Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce?

  • Independent and community-driven
  • More accessible to new users, developers, and contribution
  • Lightweight package selection by default
  • Simple migration to and from Magento Open Source

Essentially, what you get by installing Mage-OS is the best of both worlds: proven Magento Magento Open Source functionality with community based improvements!

Since only a couple of months have passed since the initial release by the time of writing this post, most of the things that are improved are not so obvious to Magento administrators and merchants. The most of the work is currently based in fixing the issues in the core code, initial performance improvements plus removing dependencies to Adobe packages. All of those changes are important to create platform stability and backward compatibility with Magento Open Source and to create a stable starting point for more “visible” improvements and new features. The platform is running smoothly and it is easy and straightforward to migrate existing Magento projects to Mage-OS without worrying about compatibility, 3rd party extensions, server/infrastructure requirements and painless switch in general.

So far, Mage-OS in its current state is a great starting point. And now the fun begins, we are ready to dive into the community!

What’s There for Merchants?

Merchants today require an e-commerce platform that can adapt to the ever-changing landscape of technology and consumer behavior. They don’t want to be limited by a platform that relies solely on extensions or API connectivity, as this can make it difficult to keep up with the latest trends and innovations. Instead, they want a platform that is constantly evolving at its core, so that they can always be at the forefront of the digital commerce revolution.

This is why we believe that the evolution of an e-commerce platform should extend to its core. By constantly innovating and improving platform core, we can ensure that our merchants have the tools and features they need to succeed in the ever-competitive world of online retail.

Inchoo & Mage-OS Community

In the history of open source projects, success is almost always directly connected to the effort and enthusiasm of developers involved in the community. Adoption of open source projects inside development companies is in most cases also driven by developers and experts in the company. Adoption of open source projects within business owners is again in most cases driven by the chosen companies and their developers. It is a circle in which every party pushes other involved parties to grow. This lifecycle is a very important part of software growth, innovations, improvements and happy users in general.

To better understand this, we asked our backend developers Terezija Radić and Dinko Iličić about their views of the Mage-OS community and the platform itself.

Terezija Radić Profile Image

Terezija, you’ve been a part of the Magento community and now the Mage-OS. What can you say about the two and the values they bring to developers like yourself?

I have been working with Magento for six years. Back when I was starting out, although I was a newbie then, I had the chance to attend one of the Meet Magento events and later be involved in the organization of Meet Magento Croatia. What amazed me was Magento’s vibrant community and the opportunity to discuss your challenges as a developer with Magento core and extension developers. The essence of it is transferred to Mage-OS – the whole idea of bringing Magento back to developers is more than appealing. I’m glad to attend weekly tech meet-ups for first-hand information about the progress made on set topics such as web-installer, indexer improvements, and updates of the admin theme and to be a part of change for the best.
Dinko Iličić Profile Image

Dinko, you had the opportunity to work on the Mage-OS project. Can you tell us more about your experience with the platform? Additionally, can you compare your first interactions with Magento to the Mage-OS?

Reflecting on my initial experiences with Magento, I vividly recall the excitement of diving into the platform, exploring its capabilities, and witnessing the incredible work of developers within the community. However, in recent times, Magento has appeared to lose its focus on innovation, leaving the community feeling neglected by Adobe and dampening the enthusiasm I once had.

Now, with the emergence of the Mage-OS initiative, my passion for the platform is reignited. The driving force behind Mage-OS shows immense promise. Even in these early stages, they have seamlessly transitioned between Magento and Mage-OS, effectively addressing longstanding issues and identifying areas for improvement that were previously overlooked. Their dedication to implementing new features and enhancing existing ones has reignited excitement among developers and the community alike. I am excited to not only watch, but also to contribute to the Mage-OS progress.

Mage-OS community is the place where all of the cycle parts mentioned start and move up and that is what Inchoo recognized – a great starting point for Magento moving further and beyond. We share the same values – developers’ enthusiasm, effort to build something that we’ll be proud of, constant innovation and openness to new ideas. Consequently, we resolved to support the Mage-OS community, and Inchoo assumed the role of a Silver Mage-OS partner. A team of developers started to attend weekly tech meetings and Mage-OS became an everyday topic around the coffee machine, but also among Inchoo project teams!

What’s Next?

The best way to learn and grow is through experience, getting your hands dirty. Here at Inchoo we already know that and while we learn we’ll try to get involved to Mage-OS community as much as possible and become a part of innovation processes to make Magento even better – for business owners and their customers, for Inchoo as an ecommerce agency and for open source community in general.

Having in mind the history of Magento and future goals focused on enterprise merchants, Mage-OS could make a turning point in the Magento community with refreshed values and innovation-first approach. Their philosophy and idea of “cutting-edge” flavor of Magento Open Source makes things more interesting for the developer community and may lead us to focus on great new features instead of investing our energy on complexity of Magento. 

At the moment of writing, Mage-OS is having its momentum and can very soon become a first choice for small and medium-sized merchants. We believe that this could be the way forward for us and our clients and we’re happy to not only watch what the future will bring for Magento but also be a part of its progress!

You made it all the way down here so you must have enjoyed this post! You may also like:

Why Should You Add Google Tag Manager to Your Magento? Bojan Mareljic
Bojan Mareljic, | 0

Why Should You Add Google Tag Manager to Your Magento?

How to programmatically create customers in Magento 2.3.x Deni Pesic
Deni Pesic, | 2

How to programmatically create customers in Magento 2.3.x

Blogging for merchants: attract visitors to your eCommerce site Andreja Cicak
Andreja Cicak, | 2

Blogging for merchants: attract visitors to your eCommerce site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <s> <strike> <strong>. You may use following syntax for source code: <pre><code>$current = "Inchoo";</code></pre>.

Tell us about your project

Drop us a line. We'd love to know more about your project.