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It is widely known that Magento has two different editions, but what is the difference between them? People roam the internet in search of the answer. There are a lot of articles about it, however, the information on the functionality of the two editions can vary even in official Magento sources. Mostly because Magento is constantly evolving and updating its features. We will try to sum up all the latest information on the subject and figure out what exactly distinguishes these editions from each other.
Magento Open Source
Previously known as Magento Community Edition, it is an open-source CMS that can be used by anyone wishing to create a webstore. The first Community Edition beta release took place in 2007 and has been constantly evolving ever since to become one of the best open-source ecommerce platforms on the market today. Like most open-source products, it is easy to customize with the help of numerous extensions, which allow you to do basically whatever you want. Without them, it is pretty difficult and time-consuming for an unskilled user to make any changes. Luckily, there are many Magento partners (our company is one of them) that could be hired to get your job done.
Magento Commerce (previously known as Magento Enterprise Edition) has the same core used in the open-source edition but offers way more useful features. Judging by its previous name, we can tell that it’s intended for large-scale companies, which need all the available functionality. Well, that’s not exactly true. Magento Commerce has two different versions: Magento Commerce Starter and Magento Commerce Pro.
Magento Commerce Starter is intended for new merchants who are just starting their way into the big business and would like to fully concentrate on business growth rather than IT management. Some of the highly useful features, like Advanced Analytics and Reporting with Integrated B2B Functionality are not included in the Starter plan, which significantly limits businesses capabilities. Basically, Magento Commerce Starter is Magento Open Source with Magento support.
Magento Commerce Pro has unlimited functionality and is boosted up with some dedicated hardware in the managed cloud. Additionally, it has a high-availability infrastructure with a three-server setup and dedicated launch management, which helps business owners to effectively start their ecommerce project. Business Intelligence Essentials and B2B module are also included. You can see the official comparison between the two versions on magento.com and devdocs.magento.com.
Here is an interesting thing: on the first link, we can see that both versions have a Magento Business Intelligence Essentials feature. At the same time, on the second link, it’s said that this feature is only available in Magento Commerce Pro. Both of the two links are official Magento guides.
Magento Commerce can be hosted on-premise using Magento’s cloud hosting and deployment. Both of these variants have their own features. For example, some of the performance features are only available for the on-premises version of Magento Commerce:
- Accelerating site performance with integrated Varnish page caching.
- Using separate master databases to support checkout, order management, and product data.
- Allowing each master database to have multiple slave databases to scale read operations.
Before exploring the differences between Magento Commerce and Magento Open Source, let us take a look at what these editions have in common. The following core Magento 2 features are available for both editions:
- Promotions and Pricing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Site and Content Management
- Catalog Management
- Catalog Browsing
- Product Browsing
- Checkout and Payments
- Order Management and Customer Service
- Customer Loyalty
- Customer Accounts
- Support for Global Sites
- Analytics and Reporting
- Layout and Theming
Magento’s Professional technical support team is available 24/7 by phone and email for Magento Commerce users and is ready to help with the core application and cloud infrastructure issues. Magento Open Source doesn’t offer such support.
The main disadvantage of Magento Commerce is its cost. Unlike Magento Open Source it’s not free, the monthly fee of Magento commerce starts from 2,000$ for Magento Commerce Starter plan and 3,417$ for Magento Commerce Pro. Average order value and expected annual online revenue of your store form the final price of your subscription. At the same time, prices for the custom development for the Open Source project could be pretty expensive as well.
Cloud hosting is available for both Magento Commerce Pro and Magento Commerce Starter. It provides Magento Commerce with Amazon Web Services-based cloud hosting infrastructure, Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)-based production, staging, and development environments specially optimized for Magento, continuous cloud integration tools with support for unlimited users, DDos protection, full versions of Performance Monitoring and testing tools (New Relic APM Pro and Blackfire.io Enterprise) and that’s not even a complete list. Unfortunately, Magento Open Source doesn’t provide its users with such functionality. Also, it should be mentioned that Magento Commerce Pro has some extra cloud hosting features, such as high availability infrastructure and dedicated hardware. Services like MySQL, Elasticsearch, Redis, RabbitMQ can be implemented without extensions.
Integrated B2B Functionality
Integrated B2B Functionality is available only in Magento Commerce Pro. It provides excellent opportunities for B2B-orientated businesses: large orders, custom catalogs and pricing to fit contract terms, self-service tools for customers allowing them to manage their accounts, purchases, quotes, credits, multiple buyers per company, opportunities with define roles and accesses, expedite restocking, order creation, troubleshooting options for customers and other features are available only in this version. This functionality can be implemented into open-source edition only with the help of extensions and custom development.
Advanced Analytics and Reporting
Advanced Analytics and Reporting is also available only in Magento Commerce Pro. It grants access to 100 predefined sales, marketing, customers and other reports, visual and SQL report builder, Magento and Google analytics, B2B dashboard. It also allows you to set up 10 user accounts with additional permissions, along with the ability to send reports to certain members of your team.
This field includes many features that can help ecommerce specialist to improve customer experience and increase conversion. Let us take a look at some of them. Elasticsearch helps customers to locate desired products much faster using stop words, attribute weighting, synonym management, and customer misspellings. Rewards points, Gift Registries, Gifting options, Wishlists are highly effective tools for earning customer loyalty. Targeted promotions feature will give the ability to show certain dynamically generated information to a specific type of customers. And the Segmentation feature can help you to determine these customers by certain attributes, including unregistered users. Visual Merchandiser optimizes product categories and helps you to organize them by a certain property. To meet user’s needs, it can automatically put some types of items into specific categories, saving time for other work. Instant Purchase allows your customers to skip the checkout process and buy goods instantly.
As you can see, the differences between the functionalities of the two editions are numerous. It will take forever to review every single one of them.
Here is a list of features available only in Magento Commerce edition:
- Add to Cart by SKU
- Additional Payment Gateways
- Administrator Permission Roles on Website and Store Levels
- Advanced Permissions
- Automated Email Marketing Reminder
- B2B Commerce functionality
- Backup and Rollback
- Cloud deployment process Improvements
- Configurable Order Tracking Widget
- Content Management System
- Category View and Purchase Permissions per Customer Group (Limited Catalog Access)
- Customer Attribute Management
- Customer Segmentation, Targeted Promotions & Merchandising
- Dynamic Rule-Based Product Relations
- Full Page Caching
- Gift Registry
- Gifting Options
- Google Tag Manager
- Integrated Signifyd fraud protection
- Limited Catalog Access
- Logging of Administrator Actions
- Magento Commerce Starter (Cloud)
- Message Queues
- Multiple Master Servers
- Multiple Slave Databases
- Multiple Wish Lists
- MySQL Cluster Support
- Optimized Indexing
- Order Archiving
- PA-DSS Certification/Payment Bridge
- Persistent Shopping
- Price and Promotion Permission
- Private Sales
- Return Management Authorization (RMA)
- Rewards Points
- Scheduled Import/Export Functionality
- Staging, Merging and Rollback of Content
- Store Credits
- Strong Data Encryption, Hashing, and Key Management
- Support for Alternate Media Storage – CDN and Database
- Support Tool
- Visual Merchandiser
Found a mistake? Feel free to report it in the comment section.
Which one to choose
After the overview of these editions, we can assure you that the choice of the platform should be based on the specifics of the business, its goals, needs, plans, strategies, and resources. There is no competition between these editions. It’s not “Magento Commerce versus Magento Open Source”, they are just different, with different purposes, and we are free to choose what is better for our businesses. We choose something that fits our business requirements. Both of these editions are highly customizable and have the same core functionality. Both Magento Commerce and Open Source are perfect for the creation of a high-quality ecommerce project. Although specific features and characteristic should be duly noted. We recommend our customers to think carefully before making any final decisions.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding this topic, we would be glad to discuss them together.