January brings more than just the start of a new year, it’s also bringing the release of a new, improved Long Term Service (LTS) version of OroCommerce. Starting with an upgrade to Symfony 4.4 LTS, enhanced data management and reporting, even more tools to customize and manage content, easier eCommerce setup and administration, and an improved developer experience, there’s something to get everyone excited. And that’s not even including the addition of B2C eCommerce capability!
In advance of the official LTS release in January, we’ve issued the release candidate (RC) today. Here’s what you’ll get when you download the new version. Be sure to check it out and let us know what you think.
Enhanced Analytics, Data Management, and Reporting
Navigating, managing and collecting data, as well as helping your customers is about to get much easier. Here’s what you can expect with the RC and what’s to come with the LTS version.
- Google Tags Manager makes managing your tags simpler. Now Oro makes using Google Tags Manager even easier than ever. Starting with the RC, you can enable Google Tag integration for data mapping globally, per organization or per website.
- Managing data is also easier. Now, instead of exporting an entire database, you can apply filters of your choosing and export only the data you need. Those with large databases and extensive product catalogs are going to love this new feature.
The LTS version is going to have even more to love. While the details aren’t finalized yet, here’s what you can expect.
- There will be enhanced reporting widgets for common eCommerce KPIs.
- You’ll get complete visibility into workflow generated emails on the customer, customer user, order, quote, request, account pages.
- Back-office users will appreciate that many actions will be performed with fewer clicks.
- An out-of-the-box template will let you embed quotes in emails. No more supplying a link to view!
- The ability for sales and customer to provide improved customer support will be enhanced with user impersonation. Authorized users can sign-on as a customer to see what their customer sees to better answer questions and facilitate sales.
Enhanced CMS Capabilities
The powerful content management system gets even more power right out of the box. You get more control over content and content production as well.
- Experience full control over page layout, content and presentation with the new WYSIWYG editor. In addition, preset widgets let you easily embed videos and a preview function lets you see the page in mobile and desktop formats before you publish. Optimizing for mobile is easy because you can optimize for mobile instances directly from the preview screen.
- With such great power comes great responsibility. That’s why you can now set permissions to edit based on different roles. Your content is more secure than ever as you have complete control over who can edit general content and who can embed videos from third parties. Set permissions based on your unique content security needs.
- Speaking of edit permissions, you can now give permission to users to insert HTML content generated by third parties. The system will not attempt to suppress or sanitize the HTML and CSS you generate with 3rd party tools, so what you insert is what will be published.
- Home pages and landing pages get a refresh with powerful widgets like the configurable image slider. This widget lets you easily create image sliders and call to action buttons that can be placed on any page.
- The ability to upload and easily link to images, downloadable PDF attachments and other content files will allow customers and site visitors to access files previously available only in the back office. This feature is great for adding product support content like MSDS sheets or user guides and manuals.
- With the LTS version you’ll get production workflows for creating landing pages so creating and approving content will be easier than ever.
- Speaking of creating content, new content widgets for products, product segments and embeddable categories will make creating new pages as easy as assembling widgets. Developers can even create custom widgets for content creators to use in creating custom pages.
- Web catalog content management for items with restricted views will be easier than ever with the addition of content filtering. Easily preview what pages are visible to what groups.
Setup and Administration Improvements
Setting up and maintaining multi-company or multi-language installations is streamlined. You also get the added ability to set up a B2C website to complement your B2B operations as well. Many of these improvements are included in the RC version, but you’ll have to wait for the LTS for B2C functionality.
- OroCommerce’s ability to setup and administer multiple organizations with a single installation has made it a favorite with companies with multiple operations. Now that functionality is even more flexible with the ability to better separate products by company in a multi-company installation. Multiple companies with individual product lines have no problem starting the with RC release as you are no longer required to share the same product catalog for all companies.
- Localization improvements make sure the proper currency symbol appears where appropriate and that labels are translated correctly.
- In addition, you’ll benefit from improved management of product attributes as well as minor modifications and bug fixes.
- Starting with the LTS version, you can configure a new website for B2C with a single click. This saves setup time as quotes, shopping lists and other features unique to B2B eCommerce are automatically disabled while features for B2C are enabled. If you have an existing B2B site and want to change it to a B2C site, just click the button and the changes to the configuration will be done for you.
Technology and Developer Experience
Starting with the RC version, you’ll find improvements near and dear to a developer’s heart.
- With the upgrade to Symfony 4.4 LTS you’ll experience improved performance, stability, and security.
- Everyone will benefit from extended APIs and additional configurations and authentications to ease integrations with ERPs.
Ready to Upgrade to OroCommerce 4.1 RC?
To upgrade OroCommerce, follow the upgrade and clone instructions. The upgrade process is similar for all Oro applications. Please use the `orocommerce.git` repository or files from OroCommerce GitHub when doing so.
Stay tuned for the LTS release of OroCommerce in January. We also value your feedback, so let us know what you think in the Oro Community Slack channel. Got an idea for a product improvement? Share that in the Oro Community as well.