What’s New In Magento 2.4.x ? Features, Enhancements & Requirements

August 10, 2020 Written By Hemant Parmar

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From new Order Approval workflows, seller-assisted shopping, 30x faster New Media Gallery, in-store pickup, fast and easy deployment of headless and PWA development, and with a cherry on the top security feature like 2FA Magento 2.4.0 is purely a genius work from Magento.

In June 2020, Magento released the beta version of the long-awaited version of Magento 2. Adobe owned Magento had announced in Dec 2019 that it would release Magento 2.4.0 this year anytime. And at last, on July 28, 2020, Magento 2.4.0 is available for everyone to download, install, and upgrade.

Many would be wondering what new things Magento 2.4.0 has brought to the table? What are the technical requirements your system must have to install or upgrade to the latest version? Should you upgrade to the Magento 2.4.0? We will answer all those questions of yours so stay tuned till the end.

Magento, as always, has published separate release notes for both Magento 2.4.0 Open Source and Commerce editions. And in addition to that, Magento has published a release note for new features and improvements in the B2B module. So, let’s find out what new things and improvements Magento has promised this time?

We know you have lots of questions in your mind, so here is what you can expect from this article.

Now let’s move further and explore these six points one by one.

But before we do that what are the latest Magento 2.4 technical requirements needed to install or upgrade to existing Magento.

Magento 2.4.x Technical Requirements:

  • First, you have to install Elasticsearch, and then you will be allowed to install or upgrade 2.4.0. Older versions of Elasticsearch like 2.x, 5.x, and 6.x are removed or deprecated.
  • For installation, you need any open-source system with 2+ GB RAM.
  • Latest Apache 2.4 or Nginx 1.x web servers.
  • For the database, MySQL 8.0 and MariaDB 10.4 needed for installation.
  • Works better with PHP 7.4 and PHPUnit 9.0.0 (as a command line tool). Other PHP versions are not recommended.
  • Same PHP extensions and system dependencies are required as for other version installations.
  • PHP OPcache and PHP settings should be installed and configured properly.
  • Valid SSL certificate needed for the secure HTTPS connection. Self-signed won’t work and TLS 1.2 or later is required for PayPal and repo.magento.com.
  • For page caching and session storage Redis 5.0, Varnish 6.3.1, RabbitMQ 3.8.x technologies are required.
  • 3 master databases of Magento Commerce provide scalability benefits for Magento apps in areas like checkout, orders, and others.
  • Support for php_xdebug 2.5.x or later is optional but recommended.

What’s New in Magento 2.4.0?

Right from the beginning, release notes say that this version introduces support for the latest PHP 7.4, MySQL 8.0, and Elasticsearch 7.6.x. 2FA (two-factor authentication) for the admin by default is substantially the big improvement for the security of Magento 2 merchants. And the Commerce edition includes B2B enhancements like new Order Approval flow.

This stable version of Magento has removed payment methods like Authorise.Net and Braintree for Open Source. And for Commerce edition, Magento has also removed eWay, CyberSource, and Worldpay from the core code. To use these payment options, merchants can install the official extensions of each available on Magento Marketplace.

Along with all the core quality improvements included in the 2.3.5-p1 patch, Magento 2.4.0 also includes 100+ core code and 30+ security fixes and enhancements. Magento has also considered and fixed 226+ GitHub issues and pull requests suggested by the Magento community that range from minor core code clean up to substantial improvements in GraphQL and Inventory Management.

Note: Magento has also provided security only patch that merchant can install rather installing the whole functional fixes, which includes time-sensitive security fixes.

These were the major highlights of this latest Magento 2 version. Now, we will present the most useful insights of these release notes in the shortest manner possible so that you don’t have to scroll through.

Security Improvements:

As mentioned earlier, this version includes 30+ security fixes, which help close remote code execution (RCE) and cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability. Additional security enhancements include,

  • 2FA is enabled by default for admin accounts, Cloud SSH access, and Magento.com users and can’t be disabled for admin accounts.
  • By default, template filter strict mode is enabled, which makes sure that deliberate RCE attacks are not enabled.
  • Magento has disabled data rendering for UI date providers by default that don’t allow malicious users to execute arbitrary JS.
  • Magento has introduced a new \Magento\Framework\Escaper class. So, $escaper local variable is available for use instead of deprecated $block->escape{method}.
  • To help security researchers report issues, this version comes with support for security.txt file.

Platform Upgrades:

Magento has brought many significant platform upgrades this time with Magento 2.4.0 as listed below.

  • Support for PHP 7.4 has been introduced with this version and older versions like 7.1 and 7.2 are deprecated.
  • This latest PHP version requires the latest PHPUnit 9.x for the testing framework and older PHPUnit 6.5 is deprecated. Extension vendors of Marketplace need to confirm their extensions are compatible with PHP 7.4 and configured for PHPUnit 9.0.
  • This upgrade comes with default catalog search engine Elasticsearch 7.6.x. MySQL has been removed.
  • Support for MySQL 8.0 included and merchants are advised to update to MySQL 8.X because of the added benefits like enhanced performance, improved security, and reliability.
  • Along with MySQL 8.0, it includes support for MariaDB 10.4.
  • Zend Framework is now deprecated and all the dependencies of the Zend Framework will take place by Linux foundation’s Laminas Project.
  • Signifyd fraud protection code removed from the core integration and instead an extension is available for the same. The same happens with the Braintree and other payment methods.

Infrastructure Upgrades:

This release contains infrastructure improvements for modules like a catalog, customer account, CMS, import, B2B, and cart and checkout.

  • Removal of Authorize.Net payment method by default and use of the official extension for the same is suggested.
  • Elasticsearch also has support for partial words for product searches by name or SKU when a quick search is used.
  • Express PayPal checkout migrated to the latest PayPal JavaScript SDK. The behavior of the payment method won’t change but it will allow new features and security improvements.
  • Web Set up Wizard is removed and deprecated. Merchants have to use the command line to install or upgrade this version.
  • A new feature included that allows merchants for seller-assisted shopping. They can log in on behalf of customers and assist customers in shopping.

Performance Improvements:

  • A new way of invalidating the customer data by avoiding a known issue has been introduced.
  • Redis has undergone multiple optimizations to better its performance.
  • Caching of SQL queries for the inventory tables has been improved.
  • Quick Order add-to-cart’s performance improved by 25-30%.
  • Lazy Loading included for merchants to use.

Along with all these improvements, Magento 2.4.0 also includes the following noteworthy enhancements.

  • Integration of Adobe stock v2.0, which reduces the steps for the license of the stock images.
  • New Media Gallery with a new and searchable interface for asset management, which allows 30x faster search, filters, and image sorting.
  • The Commerce edition’s page builder now has support for PHP 7.4.
  • The enhanced inventory management capability now supports in-store pickup and bundle products.
  • GraphQL capability has been significantly enhanced.
  • The MFTF v3.0.0 has support for PHP 7.4 and PHPUnit 9 along with features like MFTF helper to create a custom action, Schema updates, sub-folder inside test modules, nested assertion syntax, and static checks.
  • Enhancements in vendor-developed extension for dot-digital, Amazon Pay, Braintree Payments, Klarna, Vertex, and Yotpo. When publishing a new version, vendors must confirm their extensions are compatible with PHP 7.4.

These were the significant enhancement that Magento 2.4.0 brings, which also includes hundreds of other fixes and known issues. To know more in detail you can read the official release notes.

For a person with technical background, all this information would be easy to understand and can analyze the advantages of upgrading to Magento 2.4.0. But for normal people, it would be hard to decide and will seek an opinion of experts.

As per the experts at Mconnect media, you should upgrade right away to Magento 2.4.0 because it supports all the latest technology stack to help improve the performance of your store significantly. Also, Magento has streamlined many processes by simplifying it and enhancing the platform to work in a better way. This new version will provide merchants with the capabilities to seize new opportunities in currently changing environments and be ready for the future too.

Also, Magento has pulled plugs on all the Magento 1 versions for both editions in June 2020. So, if you are still using the older platform, then it is the last chance for you to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2. If you are confused that you should do this or not, then we suggest that read what happens if you continue to use Magento 1 after EOL.


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