A Brief History of Magento: 2007 – 2020
The Magento ecommerce platform is one of the most revered platforms for ecommerce developers worldwide.
In fact, the word Magento is Googled more often than the word ecommerce. This shows the impact that the platform has had. But the history of Magento is not a linear one. The development of the open-source platform, it’s partnerships with eBay and finally purchase by Adobe has created a lot of attention for the company in 12 short years.
Started as part of a project by Roy Rubin through his company Varien, it grew over the years to be one of the most customizable ecommerce platforms on the market.
As Magento developers, we love to see the growth and interest that the Magento ecommerce platform has sparked, and with the new acquisition by Adobe, the future ahead looks interesting.
Here is a brief timeline of the Magento Platform so far, and a look at where it might be headed over the next few years.
The History of Magento Timeline 2007 – 2020
- Roy Rubin and Yoav Kutner begin a project named Varien while attending college at UCLA.
- In 2007, through recognizing a gap in the market via competitor osCommerce, Rubin began placing ads on Google Adwords and landed a large contract. This funding enabled the development of what would become the Magento framework.
- Varien released their first product under an open source license in 2008. The name Magento was derived from the color magenta, which was featured in the original logo. Since the domain Magenta.com was already taken, they settled on the more ‘masculine’ version of Magento.com
- Due to the highly customizable nature, the popularity of the open source platform, named Magento Community Edition grew quickly. By early 2009 it was more popular than its predecessor, osCommerce.
- Around 2010, the company name Varien was changed to Magento, as the platform was more recognizable than it’s parent company.
- In February 2011, it was announced that eBay had made an investment in Magento in 2010, worth a 49% ownership share of the company. In June 2011, eBay then announced that it would be acquiring the entire company. eBay as the owner of PayPal then integrated PayPal directly into the Magento platform.
- The Magento Imagine Conference was first held in 2011 in Los Angeles. The event brought together Magento Developers with more than 600 Magento merchant and partners. The conference has run every year since with Magento Imagine 2018 running in Las Vegas.
- Due to the split of PayPal from eBay in 2015, Magento was spun out as an independent company by the new owner Permira private equity fund in November 2015.
- In 2016, the Magento Enterprise Edition, a platform as a service (PaaS) was introduced. It had the same core source as the Magento Community Edition but was designed for large businesses that require technical support for installation, usage, configuration, and troubleshooting.
- In 2017, the Community and Enterprise Editions were renamed Magento Open Source and Magento Enterprise.
- In 2018 it was announced that Magento would be acquired by Adobe for $1.68 Billion with a view to integrating it into Adobe Experience Cloud, its Enterprise CMS platform. The acquisition was finalized in June 2018.
- In October 2018 Adobe announced Magento 2.3, which will allow users to sync their Magento stores with Amazon and integrate their product catalog with Google Merchant Center and Google advertising channels.
- In 2019 Adobe merged Magento Commerce Cloud into the Adobe Experience Cloud. According to Adobe, this integration allows businesses to merge end-to-end customer experiences from creation to commerce.
What’s next for Magento and Adobe?
While it’s still early days for Magento under Adobe ownership, big developments have already happened and more are in the works.
A big concern for many is the longevity of the Open Source Platform, which is still powering over 25% of ecommerce stores online. One thing we do know is that Adobe’s expertise in predictive analytics and artificial intelligence will eventually integrate into Magento’s arsenal of tools.
According to Neil Lynch, an ecommerce expert, “Adobe acquired Magento specifically to complement its Experience Manager (“AEM”) digital experience/content management platform. AEM is best-in-class, but it’s also expensive. So, it makes sense for Adobe to focus on companies that can afford AEM, i.e., upper mid-market and enterprise customers.”
The terms Adobe Commerce Cloud and Adobe Magento Commerce Cloud are becoming more popular in Google searches, as more ecommerce businesses look at the next iteration of the Magento platform. Whether the brand itself will be entirely changed, or whether the Magento Open-Source platform will retain its vibrant community is difficult to know at this point.
With the history of Magento, one thing is clear. What happens next is anybody’s guess. But as developers who believe strongly in the platform, we will be keeping a sharp eye on the latest Magento updates and developments.