Magento is an open-source E-commerce platform written in PHP. The software was originally developed by Varien Inc., a US private company headquartered in Culver City, California, with assistance from volunteers.
Varien published the first general-availability release of the software on March 31, 2008. Roy Rubin, former CEO of Varien, later sold a substantial share of the company to eBay, which eventually completely acquired and then spun off the company.
According to the research conducted by ahead Works in May 2015, Magento’s market share among the 30 most popular e-commerce platforms is about 29.8%.
Magento employs the MySQL/Maria DB relational database management system, the PHP programming language, and elements of the Zend Framework. It applies the conventions of object-oriented programming and model–view–controller architecture. Magento also uses the entity–attribute–value model to store data.
Magento officially started development in early 2007. Seven months later, on August 31, 2007, the first public beta version was released.
Varien, the company owning Magento, formerly worked with E-Commerce. It had originally planned to fork E-Commerce but later decided to rewrite it as Magento.
In February 2011, eBay announced it had made an investment in Magento in 2010, worth a 49% ownership share of the company.
On June 6, 2011, eBay announced that it would be acquiring the rest of Magento, which would join its new E-Commerce initiative. Magento’s CEO and co-founder Roy Rubin wrote on the Magento blog that “Magento will continue to operate out of Los Angeles, with Yoav Kutner and me as its leaders.”.
Yoav Kutner left Magento in April 2012 citing the vision for Magento having changed since the time of acquisition due to high level staff changes.
As a result of the breakup of eBay following Carl Icahn’s raid, Magento was spun out as an independent company by the new owner Permira private equity fund on November 3, 2015.
Magento is the provider of two distinct platforms, Magento Community Edition and Magento Enterprise Edition. There were also two former platforms, Magento Professional Edition and Magento Go.
Magento Community Edition
Magento Community Edition is an open-source E-Commerce platform. Fitted with bundle of features, anyone can modify the core system of Community version. Developers can implement the core files and extend its functionality by adding new plug-in modules provided by other developers. Since the first public beta version was released in 2007, Community Edition has been developed and customized in order to provide a basic E-Commerce platform. The latest version is 2.0 which was released on Nov 18, 2015.
Magento Enterprise Edition
Magento Enterprise Edition is derived from the Magento Community Edition and has the same core files. Unlike Community Edition, this is not free, but has more features and functionality. This edition is designed for large businesses that require technical support with installation, usage, configuration, and troubleshooting. Although Magento Enterprise has annual maintenance fees, neither Community nor Enterprise Editions include hosting. The Magento team develops Enterprise Edition by cooperating with users and third parties. The latest version is 188.8.131.52 which was released on May 13, 2014.
Magento Go was a cloud-based eCommerce solution, which also includes web hosting by Magento Inc. This was launched in February 2011 in order to support small businesses as it has no need for software installation. Magento Go still has built-in modules and can add Magento extensions for more functionality, but is also the least customizable platform. On July 1, 2014, Magento Inc. announced that they would be shutting down the Magento Go platform on February 1, 2015
Magento supports a Web template system which generates multiple similar-looking pages and customizes theme
Magento provides a basic theme which sets up an eCommerce website. The theme is designed for customizing all pages by adding or editing the PHP, HTML and CSS. Magento users may install themes which change the display of the website or its functionality. Without loss of content or layout of pages, themes are interchangeable with Magento installations. Themes are installed by uploading theme folders via FTP or SSH and applying them using the backend admin system.
Magento developers have created Magento plugins which extend its basic built-in functionality. Magento users can install modules by downloading them, and uploading them to their server, or applying a module’s Extension Key through Magento Connect Manager.
Magento allows users to integrate several different domain names into one control panel and manage more than one storefront at a time from a single admin panel.
Magento “Imagine eCommerce” conference
“Imagine eCommerce” is the annual Magento eCommerce conference that has run since 2011. The first event was held in February 2011 in Los Angeles with more than 600 Magento merchants, partners, and developers. The goals of the “Imagine eCommerce” are sharing ecommerce ideas and providing networking opportunity sessions.