PHP 8 and Magento: improvements

20.09.2022 Angelika Siczek
the person who is typing on the keyboard

The most popular solutions used by developers, users, and e-commerce owners are regularly and consistently modified and improved. The changes do not bypass the PHP language and the Magento platform.

Php 8.1 is already the next update in the widely used language for dynamic page and application construction. There are sensible improvements, performance has been improved, and many new features have been added.

The end of May 2022 also brought updates to the Magento open-source platform. Magento open source 2.4.4 introduces support for Php 8.1. All libraries have been updated to comply with Php 8.1. Core Composer and third-party libraries have also been updated to the latest PHP 8.1 compatible versions. This version also provides support for OpenSearch 1.2.

Magento Open Source 2.4.4 supports PHP 8.1

The launch of support for PHP 8.1 should be considered the most significant change that was particularly expected. The new PHP version means new features and performance improvements. What else is particularly worth mentioning:

  • Magento Open Source 2.4.4 provides support for Elasticsearch 7.16 and OpenSearch 1.2. Magento Open Source with locally hosted deployments can use both solutions. However, OpenSearch is now the default search engine for Magento Open Source 2.4.4 cloud-hosted deployments. All customers with cloud deployments who upgrade to 2.4.4 must therefore use OpenSearch,
  • The jQuery library has been updated to version 3.6, while the jQuery-ui library has been updated to version 1.13.0. Other JavaScript libraries have been updated to the latest versions,
  • TinyMCE 5.8.1 is supported in the latest version of Magento Open Source. The older version of TinyMCE 4 has been removed from the code base,
  • RequireJS library has been updated to the latest version (v2.3.6),
  • PHPUnit has been updated to the latest version (9.5.x). Tests and test frameworks have been updated to be compatible with the new version.

What does the new version of Magento open source 2.4.4 bring?

Magento in the new release supports not only PHP 8.1 technologies but also others that are basically standard today – Elasticsearch 7.16 and OpenSearch 1.2. The latter has already become the default search engine for Magento deployments that are hosted in the cloud. It is also worth noting that the already mentioned jQuery library has been upgraded to version 3.6.

Every enhancement that improves security should also be appreciated. Although there is only one fix, there is a large group of improvements:

  • the use of email variables was phased out in version 2.3.4 as part of security risk mitigation in favor of stricter variable syntax. This older behavior has been completely removed in this version as a continuation of security risk mitigation,
  • Bearer API token authentication can no longer be implemented using integration tokens,
  • the database is no longer a storage space for session IDs,
  • password reset and OAuth access tokens are encrypted while stored in the database,
  • Swagger is now disabled by default when Magento Open Source is in production mode.

And what has been fixed?

Hundreds of bugs have been fixed in the core code of Magento Open Source 2.4.4, covering installation, upgrades or deployments, among others. Magento Open Source now logs static content deployment errors in compilation log files as expected. Data patches can no longer ignore unique table constraints and insert duplicate values into MySQL database tables. Previously, patches could insert duplicate values, damaging the database. The site map generator configuration can now be successfully changed from the command line. Previously, Magento Open Source displayed this error when trying to change the site map configuration outside of the administrator.

Improved PayPal payments and accessibility

The improvements also included such important issues as payments. The latest version supports PayPal Venmo payment. There is a “pay later” option, which has been added as an option for buyers based on the buyer’s location rather than the seller’s location. The information on the checkout page now displays exact details about how much and in what increments the buyer will have to pay using the “pay later” option.

The latest version of Magento Open Source also provides better compliance with standard accessibility guidelines. It includes improved tooltips, accessible screen element names and tags, and redesigned icons and buttons. Over 80% of these fixes help improve the shopping experience for users with no vision or limited vision.

It’s impossible to list all the fixes and improvements. In addition to those mentioned above for Magento Open Source, version 2.4.4 also improves scalability and performance. Let’s keep in mind that updating the platform to the current version is extremely important and relevant to its performance in terms of integration with other platforms, functionality or cybersecurity. Upgrading also guarantees faster access to innovative features, simpler upgrades, increased performance, smoother operation, and optimal tools for developers.

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