Posted Jan 12, 2016 by Gregg Milligan
Here at Human Element, we’ve been looking at Magento 2 since before its official release in November. But here are some of our first thoughts on the new features and architecture in the Magento 2 admin, as compared with Magento 1.x. I’ve organized the blog into the following sections:
My first impression of the new Magento 2.X admin is generally positive. It has similar content and features to the first iteration, but it’s organized and represented in a better way. There are a few differences and new features, but nothing drastically modified. Here are some improvements that I noticed when navigating through the admin screens.
The presentation of the admin has an overall nicer look to my eye. The styles, iconography, fonts and color schemes have been improved. Check out the comparison:
Any little thing that makes it easier to sift through large data sets, goes a long way. The added ability to display different columns in the product listing is pretty sweet:
Of course, developers could modify Magento 1.X to show embedded video content for products. Previously, the way you would probably do it would be to create a custom attribute for videos, then insert the attribute into the template somewhere so it would show up as an embedded video. But now, Magento 2.X appears to have the ability to embed and display videos, right out of the box. Yayy! Supported streaming services include Vimeo and Youtube. The latter requires a Youtube API key.
You can still see a list of enabled/disabled extensions on your site, but in Magento 2.X there are some extra features provided through this admin screen. It’s nice to see the module version on this page. Also, there appears to be a way to “sync” your modules in case there is a more recent version floating around out there. This could be very nice, assuming nothing gets broken when you hit “install” on the new version.
Here’s another new feature that could potentially be dangerous. Hopefully, measures are take to help ensure upgrading your site is a smooth process with no functionality-breaking side-effects. But, since we live in the real world, who knows what consequences you will face in running an upgrade wizard.
As always, the more custom functionality your site has, the most risk you take on during an upgrade. Also, hopefully, you have avoided modifying core components of your site. Always backup your files and data before upgrading, and be prepared to have developers fix something that was adversely affected by the upgrade.
This is nothing a google search couldn’t provide, but it’s still a nice touch. Right there in the admin, links to Magento partners and extension marketplaces are provided.
There are many changes to the Magento 2.X file structure, which is out of scope of this article, but because of the new file structure, the information about the theme structure is represented an a different way. The theme fallback hierarchy is represented a little bit more clearly and simply. Also, there is an option to have a “preview image” appear in the displayed theme information.
If you access the “Index Management” page in the 2.X admin, you’ll notice that you cannot manually trigger reindexing from this admin screen.
If you want to reindex manually, you will have to trigger the reindex via command line instead of through the admin. If you know how to use the command line, you are more likely to understand the potential consequences and how to minimize the risk for table-locking.
Just like in Magento 1.X, you can choose whether you want to reindex, as you save changes, like whenver you edit products. Or you can alternately configure an index to update on a schedule, in order to prevent the potential for table-locking (if you are constantly saving things).
There are many little improvements here and there in Magento 2, the most obvious being the overhaul of the look and feel. If you have used the Magento admin before, you will definitely find it easy to get the hang of the new and improved version.
What’s your favorite new feature or update to an old feature? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to friend us on Facebook!