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What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

Recently, I got a news that Magento has been acquired by Adobe for $1.68 billion.

I have also read here, that Adobe likely has plans to change things around the way Magento is made available to developers and businesses.

What will happen after the deal completes in the third quarter of 2018?

Will Magento Community (Open Source) Edition still available for free?

As we all know that none of the products from Adobe are Open Source, will Magento become restricted to the developers like Shopify?

Will there be only Cloud Edition of Magento in the future?

There are many such comments on the web to support my concern:

7 REPLIES

Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

Hi @mohitka,

 

I understand (and have) those (and even more) questions. But I guess we won't know it at this time.

The first signals (the announcement was made 20 hours ago) seems  to be in the same line Magento has.

Trying to answer those questions is almost impossible (is like trying to obtain a blank check signed).

The Open Source edition, at this point is and will be open source and free. Also, having de 25% percent of the code handled by the community... I don't know if we can be afraid of the future of the platform.

About your other questions... I don't know. I would love to get answers too but I guess we will need to wait.

Some reactions are logical (I'm a developer too and I'm part of an agency too).

Remember what community said (and companies made) when launched Magento Enterprise Edition (the idea of forks has started at that moment and is still an idea but Magento has open to the community like never ever).

 

To be clear, I'm not saying this will be like a weekend at Disneyland, but at this moment is not possible to get the kind of answers everybody would like to have.

 

(my 2 cents)

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Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

My prediction is as follows.

 

  • Things will stay as they are for the current 2.x edition for the immediate future.
    Adobe will make promises that things will continue as they are so as to not frighten away existing users while they work on their plan.
  • Adobe will quickly start work on Magento 3 that will be a cloud only subscription model.
    Possibly include a free or minimal cost tier to 'encourage' existing community edition users onto their new cloud platform.
  • Give minimal to no support for the development or users of the community edition on the lead up to Magento 3. Announce withdrawal of community edition and erase all evidence of it ever having existed from magento.com as part of a new Magento 3 focused site.

The question will then be what happens next with regard to the users and extension writers.

 

  • BAD Multiple forks of the open source edition appear fragmenting the market, extension developers don't have a version to target so development of extensions dries up, the forks die due to not having a viable way to montize development or being under resourced.
  • FAIR A fork appears that becomes the agreed main alternative like LibreOffice for OpenOffice. As long as a sufficient number of coders can get behind it and agree on a direction. This may however be quite difficult as the PHP code used in Magento is at quite an advanced level and unlike OpenOffice that is used for many purposes such as home word processing, Magento is used by businesses to sell stuff. A lot of developers will resent giving their time for free to help a business make money.
  • GOOD A well funded company picks up the development of the open source edition and finds a way to monetize it so that some of that money can be invested into hiring developers to work on the project hopefully taking some of the existing developers with it. This new fork becomes the recognised replacement by the community and is supported by the majority of extension developers. Sometimes this can work like MariaDB being the replacement for MySQL.

Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

Hii @mohitka

 

MagentoCE will remain open source check this tweet for more info

 

https://twitter.com/mjasay/status/998930665805496321

Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

Of course Magento Community Edition will always be open source as you can't put that genie back in the bottle. But that does not mean that Adobe has to continue to develop it and release any updates.

 

Adobe is a commercial software company, they don't do open source. So wile what has already been released will always remain open that is no guarantee of any future updates being released by Adobe.

I fully expect the 2.4 release to happen and probably a few 2.4.x point releases ofter that as they are already in the works and it will take time for Adobe to integrate Magento into their operations. After that however they will almost certainly make it a subscription serve like Shopify and won't be releasing their updates as open source.

I have nothing against Adobe but the evidence speaks for itself. The whole Adobe business model is based on software subscriptions. They have in the past promised that Light Room would remain a perpetual licensed product, but now have made it subscription only. Adobe has shareholders to satisfy and managing an open source project will not fit well in their plan.

Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

I guess all the opinions are valid but right now it's pure speculation. An I guess it's fine and it is reasonable.

 

You've mentioned Adobe has shareholders. Well... Permira has shareholders too. Also Ebay has shreholders and today Magento is open has never ever.

So I'm not sure if that reason is enough for me (not right now).

 

I understand most of the comments but I don't have hard & enough data to think that everything will change. I think is too early and we all have some ideas about what could happen and how those assumption has worked in the past.

 

And don't get me wrong, I've been working as freelance developer for the last 10 years so I understand why be worried and how any change can affect me.

 

I would love to be as Dr. Strange to see as many possible timelines as I can... but isn't the case. :-)

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Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

I agree Damian, it is way too soon to know what will happen and my prediction is just speculation.

ebay is a marketplace company, they acquired Magento because at the time it was the fastest growing e-commerce platform. It is likely that ebay hoped to use that to bring more merchants to the ebay platform, or possibly as a way of mitigating risk if individual e-commerce stores became more popular than marketplaces. They paid M2e to develop an integration between Magento and ebay. The ebay business model has always been to earn money on sales commissions  so they never needed to make the software pay for itself as long as it drove more sales on the ebay marketplace. As it turns out buying Magento was another ill thought out purchase like Skype that they really didn't know what to do with so offloaded it.

Permira is an investment company, their business model is simply to buy something that is considered undervalued and find a buyer they will buy it for a premium. They are not in the software business, or any kind of business other than buying and selling assets. Their best approach is to leave a successful management in place to continue growing a business or replacing a failing management with one they believe can add value to the business to get it into shape for a sale.

Adobe however are very much in the software business, unlike the other two examples they don't have an alternative source of revenue, they get their money from selling software, or rather in recent years renting software via a subscription model. So all I have to go on is the past performance of Adobe and their current business model in order to speculate what might happen the best I can.


It is of course possible that Adobe wants to dip their toes into open source but I find that hard to believe when the subscription model has done well for them to the point that they have staked the entire companie's future on going all out subscription for every one of their products.

Nobody knows for sure what will happen but some serious consideration needs to be given to the possibility that Adobe will make significant changes to the way it intends to monetize Magento. There will have to be confidence that income from Magento can meet or exceed the returns currently made by Adobe in order to commit funding to a purchase instead of investing that huge amount of money into something else.

Re: What will be the future of Magento Community (Open Source) Edition after acquisition by Adobe

Hey there,

I am a developer who was using Business Catalyst. Adobe purchased this some time ago now. It is an all in one hosted solution which included a quite decent eCommerce component.

 

The story of Adobe and BC is a long one so I will not cover it all but:

 

- Adobe has tried low end with Adobe Muse and trying to have it connect to BC to be able to have designers build hosted solutions. While in many ways this was well received, Muse is being end of lifed along with Business Catalyst.
Aimed at designers, a lot of the need to progress sites from the basic drag and draw concept of Muse and other things like site domain, going live etc - It did not work. Adobe were told it would not work but they did not take the advice and ignored it.

- Business Catalyst after purchase had a year of nothing much being done, it was put to the new team taking time to get across it and the transition process. BC was .Net based but you did not have access to the server code.

 

- For some time BC had a lot of "Infrastructure work" done constantly and not much development on the actual platform. While a lot of talk was made and the partner and developer community for that had a lot of promise the development of the actual platform was slow compared to the rest of the web.

 

- For some it was clear for a while Adobe did not really understand the web and what developers wanted leads to what their clients wanted. 

 

- Development happened but many things were shown and scrapped and while some things released it was far too slow and developer frustrations kept growing. The Adobe BC team also kept running a policy of updates being the minimum to get it out the door. This lead to releases never being quite what you needed and increasingly prone to errors.

- Bugs and errors increasingly also became a thing where it seemed either the team not wanting to fix them or could not and these continued to mount. Bugs that prevented you using features still exist 7 years down the line and so on.

- Both the team tasked with Business Catalyst got smaller and the developer community, especially some of its previously key and high profile partners moved on after continued frustrations with the lack of understanding of the web from Adobe and the lack of progress on the platform.

There is more to the story and bad tails but basically Adobe had a platform, they are killing it and also have had various Apps about web that have come and gone too. The platform was much more suited for the Adobe Cloud and environment Adobe has. Many people feel a new team with 10 million or less after a year could have got the platform solution back on track.

The platform was also more then eCommerce so you could build out various types of websites.

Magento is Open Source which Adobe do not do, it is also PHP and just eCommerce (I know you can do more but just talking about the core scope)

Adobe Ended the life of Business Catalyst in not a nice way as well and for many have shown a lack of care for the community that was and had been the main driver for its lifespan and activity. (Similar to the Magento community)

The news of this purchase for the developers and agencies using the Adobe BC platform has been shock, laughter and sadness for the Mangento community as well as past staff.
It does not really make sense and I would say to be very concerned.

Adobe has not said what they will be doing but going on their past experience, the fact they had a solution they could have done better with and was more of a fit with their echo system (.Net, C, Azure (they moving from amazon)) etc it does not look good.

I would even say that a lot of the process will be the same. The hype, the talk and so on.. But if you start to see talk from Adobe or Mangento about:

- A transition period and team changes, team members leaving or moving to work in the Adobe environment and for time to be given for this.. This may be like a year and development will slow on the platform. This is to be expected but it will be the first sign.

 

- The nature of Magento will have to change. Adobe did want to open source a number of projects including Business Catalyst and will likely look to close this for Magento. I understand it is a big part of the community but Adobe will be looking at the hosted cloud element rather then the self hosting. They have had issues supporting web based developers and the low end trying to make wesbites and support costs are high.
They wont want to cover self hosted stuff and while you should be able to keep your hostings you wont get new versions or big updates to those versions. Bugs and security updates (at least for a while) but you should not expect more.

- If you see a lot of talk after that about Infrastructure work (And likely considering its PHP based) then this is the next sign of concern.

I will be very happy if Adobe do not go the path that many of us have already seen them do and it all be different with Magento but at this time I believe the path will be similar if not a bit worse for you unfortunately.