Update to Adobe Commerce (Magento) 2.4.4 Before the Holidays

Believe it or not, it's February and this is a holiday season 2022 announcement.

There is a new release of Adobe Commerce, formerly Magento, scheduled for April 12, 2022. While it is a “minor” point version release for Adobe following 2.4.3 that came out last August, it has a couple of significant implications for merchants. 

If you currently have an Adobe Commerce website, we recommend that you upgrade to 2.4.4  or higher by summer to get ahead of the holiday season. Here’s why and what else you need to know about the latest Adobe Commerce update.

Preparing for Magento 2.4.4.

PHP 8.1 support

This version is the first fully compatible version with PHP 8.1 — the coding language that is underneath all of Adobe Commerce. Why is this a big deal? Well, PHP version 7.x will only provide security support until November 28, 2022. So, basically, on the biggest holiday shopping weekend of the year, any version of Adobe Commerce earlier than 2.4.3 will be vulnerable and unpatchable. It’s the holiday surprise you’ll want to avoid.

Improved speed

Adobe Commerce has improved performance with every release, especially in their cloud environment. PHP 8.1 processing is about 25% faster than its predecessor, so it can process code faster at a foundational level. 

Open search

The Adobe Commerce team has switched to a new external search service. Current versions support Elasticsearch and the new version of 2.4.4 also adds support for Open Search. Customers in the cloud version will need to make that switch.

How should I prepare for the Adobe Commerce update?

  1. Get in touch with your development team and get on their calendar. Speaking for our team, it’s been a busy 2022 and we’re scheduling four months ahead at the moment, so we recommend reaching out too early.
  2. There are “backward-incompatible changes” in 2.4.4, meaning it’s very likely that some of your extensions are not going to work with this upgrade. That can be a pretty tough dependency for merchants, so start making a list of your extensions and begin checking in with extension teams on their timing.
  3. Don’t panic. You have time to get this done in the spring and summer. However, if you are reading this in October, you likely need to come up with a security strategy to help protect your platform through the holiday season.

Final thoughts

Because of our work on the Amazon Pay extension for Adobe Commerce, we’ve been beta testing and working with 2.4.4 for the last three months. Working with PHP 8 and the new performance improvements and support for search options is great. 

We’re already discussing upgrade plans for clients in May-June in our Run State support program. We have not tried to upgrade any merchant sites to it as of this writing, but we’re expecting to start that in April 2022.

Now is a good time to put a game plan together for 2.4.4 to avoid. The worst situation for you as a merchant is going to be trying to rush an upgrade of your core ecommerce platform through in October. Now is a good time to put a game plan together for this.

We'd also like to mention that if you're interested in learning more about Adobe Commerce in general, visit our Adobe Commerce topic page

All about Adobe Commerce

Want to learn more? Check out our Quick Guide to the Adobe Commerce Platform.