Magento 1.2. is out (with downloadable products)

Just at the dawn of 2008, Varien launched a new version of Magento: 1.2. Upgrading previous Magento versions was sometimes not an easy task since Varien used to change standard function names which caused themes to break. We backup the site, made a copy, took a deep breath, expected the worse, and… Nothing 🙂 The upgrade went smoothly. Wow, that felt good.

We were joking at the company today.

Zeljko: You know what’s easy in Magento?
Branko: There is nothing easy in Magento!

Zeljko is an front end interface developer, while Branko is a programmer. Although creating Magento theme is a clear process if you follow designer’s guide, programming is much more complex. Before this version, Magento upgrades used to cause troubles. Hope this is over.

There is always a good practice NOT to update platform to latest version immediately. Even in this case this proved to be valid. Two days after version 1.2. came version that fixed some flaws. Keep this in mind when you wish to upgrade to newest version of the platform immediately after it appears. 🙂

New version sorts some issues from Magento 1.1.x versions and brings some highly requested features such as:

  • Support for Downloadable Products. (to see this new product type in action visit the Magento Demo Store. We added an example of an MP3 product and an eBook )
  • Added Layered Navigation to site search result page, with control on the attribute level to include or exclude attributes used on the search results page.
  • Improved site search to utilize MySQL fulltext search
  • Added support for fixed-taxes on product level for such taxes as “State Environmental Fee” in the USA and “WEEE/DEEE” in the EU.
  • Upgraded Zend Framework to the latest stable version 1.7.2
  • Added a Layered Navigation Cache for improved performance of large catalogs (currently in beta and is NOT recommended for production use).

If you need to upgrade existing Magento version through the Magento Connect Manager to, follow this steps:

  • Do NOT use your live or production site. We suggest making a copy of your site and upgrading that copy first.
  • Backup your index.php and .htaccess files (if modified)
  • Log into your Magento Connect Manager.
  • Select the ‘Setting’ tab.
  • Change the Preferred State to ‘Stable’, and save settings.
  • For the Mage_All_Latest package select upgrade.
  • Click on the ‘Commit Changes’ button. The upgrade should start.
  • After upgrade is complete click on the ‘Refresh’ button.
  • Copy your original index.php and .htaccess files back (if needed)
  • Log into your admin and rebuild search index
  • You should now have Magento 1.2.0 installed.

Happy Magentizing

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