Jamersan | Magento and BigCommerce Elite Partner Agency

Magento 2.4.4: An Overview of the Improvements

Magento is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms because it is flexible, scalable, and is undergoing constant improvement. Magento Enterprise edition, now known as Adobe Commerce, received one of its largest updates in the move to 2.4.4.

Here’s a quick timeline of the change:

  • Adobe Commerce began rolling out beta releases in October 2021.
  • The final portion of the beta versions was issued in January 2022.
  • Magento 2.4.4 was released in March 2022 after feedback from the beta program.

What’s New in Magento 2.4.4?

The biggest change is the shift to support for PHP version 8.1. Other changes include fixes to GraphQL, better handling of vendor-bundled extensions, and improvements to the checkout process.
In this list, we’re going to give you quick summaries of the major changes.

PHP 8.1 Support

PHP is a general purpose scripting language used by over 78% of all websites. Changes here create performance improvements and allow more flexibility. Here are some highlights:

  • Caching improvements create 5-8% better performance.
  • Enum, Fibers, and Readonly properties allow more flexibility and reliability for developers through using dynamic blocks of code.

OpenSearch Support Added

OpenSearch is an on-site search function supported by AWS. The switch to OpenSource was made because of a change in how ElasticSearch managed its licenses. Current versions bring several improvements for your store:

  • Asynchronous search allows complex searches to run without timing out and returns partial results as the search progresses.
  •  More dashboards for analysis and planning based on searches conducted.

Vendor Bundled Extensions (VBE) Decoupled

Previous versions of Magento came with 3rd party extensions included in the project libraries. Now, Adobe Commerce is removing these extensions from the core code set. These extensions are still available through the Magento Marketplace. The benefit is a more compact Magento base that still provides users with options for useful extensions.

Updated Software Components

The performance enhancements include updated software, such as compatibility with PHP 8.1, OpenSearch 1.2, and jquery. However, some of these are backward-incompatible changes. While positive, they may still cause compatibility issues. Here are a few to check:

  • Inventory check on cart load. This now comes as a default option and should improve customer experience.
  • TinyMCE changes. Changes to the content editor may cause problems depending on your configuration. Check the Adobe site for more details

Removed and updated libraries

Magento continued its move towards a streamlined core platform by removing some software libraries and updating others. Less-used Javascript libraries have been removed and the desirable JS packages have been updated. This includes updates to script.aculo.us, Chart.js, moment,js, and others.

Visit the Adobe site for a full list of these changes.

GraphQL Errors to be Fixed

Magento uses GraphQL to handle queries to APIs. GraphQL queries can tap multiple datasets and allow the client to pull only the data it needs from the server. In this update, previously known bugs have been fixed, including configurable products, hiding categories not working, and errors caused by missing phone numbers on shipping addresses.

Platform Enhancements

Adobe enhanced its platform by ensuring the software continues to offer more powerful solutions for developers. All the project libraries are compatible with PHP 8.1, the JQuery library version has updated to 3.6, and PHPUnit has been upgraded to the latest version.

Other Third-Party Dependencies

Continuing on the theme of streamlining the core Magento software and upgrading its capabilities, Magento 2.4.4 features 3rd party dependencies with top software. Updated versions of Redis, Varnish, MariaDB, and MySQL. These are top pieces of software in the market and add to the cutting-edge Magento features that will deliver the next level of performance for your business.

Security Enhancements

Consumers want to feel safe when they shop online. Magento 2.4.4 brings security updates to make your business and customers secure. These include:

  • Improved token-based access
  • SessionIDs no longer stored int he database
  • Improved API security

B2B Support Improved

Support for B2B commerce has been expanded as well. Magento 2.4.4 is closely connected to Adobe Commerce, and so B2B sales are being advanced. Time to upgrade from 2.3.5 to 2.4.4 has been reduced. Adding more than 100,000 company roles can be faster. Pagination, customer custom attributes, and case insensitive SKU search have all been improved.

Catalog Management Boosts

Managing an extensive product catalog is one of Magento’s strong points because of its scalability. In this update, even more improvements have been added. Here are some examples:

  • A daily catalog rule update will not harm performance.
  • Related product prices are not modified when product attributes change.
  • The mass attribute update action has been improved on the product grid.

Bundle Products Improvements

Bundle product changes include the ability to use a fixed product tax. Bugs related to currency conversion have been corrected. Reindexing has been improved by optimizing the cache cleaning algorithm. Caching a category results in bundled product details being displayed correctly.

Checkout performance

Adobe Commerce 2.4.4 rolled out three major improvements to the checkout system:

  1. Cart operations for carts with 750+ configurable products have been improved.
  2. The total calculation has been deferred to optimize the processing of sales rules.
  3. The order validation process has improved for orders affected by a cart price rule during asynchronous order placement.

The asynchronous order processing is a big boon to businesses with a boom over short periods of time, like the Christmas season. Customer purchases are completed at different times so the purchase can be finalized without delaying the customer and then completed later.

Page Builder

The page builder has been upgraded to improve user experience. It’s now compatible with PHP 8.1. The table properties have been improved. Optimized font sizes for the page builder table and default store view improve readability. A bug causing Magento to convert all dynamic blocks to one language during an upgrade has been fixed.

Payment Enhancements

Support for Venmo as a payment method has been adopted. Paypal Credit gift card anomalies have been resolved. The correct store ID is now used to retrieve saved credit cards. These changes make the payment process better for customers, leading to an enhanced experience for everyone.

Email Fixes

Email is an important part of eCommerce because you can send order confirmations, sales reminders, and special offers. There are some specific improvements:

  • Fix to the error message in the shipment details.
  • Region and country ID values now convert correctly in email templates.
  • Order and shipment notification emails have been fixed.

Magento Coding Standards

Magento now uses coding standards to ensure quality code and consistent output across the platform. Specific changes include:

  • Updated phpunit/ phpunit to the latest version for the magento-coding-standard repository.
  • The webonyx/graphql-php dependency is updated to version ^14.9
  • PHP.ArrayAutovivification is added to identify the auto creation of arrays from a false value.

How should I prepare for the Adobe Commerce update?

So, now you have seen at least some of the big changes coming through with Magento 2.4.4. What should you do about it?

Let’s look at some options:

  • Do nothing, or wait for the code to stabilize. With the changes to vendor bundled extensions, PHP 8.1, and the known backward incompatibility issues, doing nothing isn’t really a good option. However, if your store is already humming along on a previous version of Magento, then creating an updated version in a sandbox to test the features may be a good choice.
  • Do a DIY upgrade quickly. You could make a quick upgrade and see what breaks. Okay, that sounds disastrous. Really, Magento store owners can work through the release notes themselves and try to resolve any of the known issues with extensions and older versions they may be using.
  • Hire a professional to get it done right. Of course this is a plug for our services. But Magento friends can be genuinely helpful. The changes are complex, there are many dependencies to verify, and the potential for something to need extra attention is really high. Unless you’re a certified expert or a glutton for punishment, we strongly recommend hiring professional devs to work through these changes on your behalf so you can focus on running your business.

Here’s what we think you cannot do:

Refuse to update.

Deciding to not update is, eventually, going to cause major problems. Older versions of PHP will stop being supported, new vendor functions will not be backward compatible, and the list of problems will probably grow by the week and month.

Upgrade Seamlessly with Jamersan

So, if you’re ready to start planning your update, then let’s have a chat. Book a call with one of our experts and we can help you assess how to plan the update process to ensure your store stays operational and continues to make money.

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