Magento 101 – What is Magento?

Magento 101 – What is Magento?

Magento is one of the most popular and fastest growing web applications in the E-Commerce industry. Magento is a new extremely professional open source E-Commerce solution which offers the client community a great control and flexibility. Magento has a modular architecture which puts the control right back in the hands of the online merchants. Magento promises magnificent revolutionary E-Commerce platform for the industry.

Magento was in fact developed in response to the increasing and new needs of online merchants in modern world. More than any other feature of online commerce, the client community needed a flexible environment. Magento is developed with the primary goal of developing a platform that places no constraints on business processes and flow. Magento is a feature rich open source E-Commerce solution which aims at providing the clients with flexibility and control over the look and the functionality of their online store. The pro-active interface of Magento provides extremely efficient tools for jobs like marketing, merchandising and data management. It gives client the power to create sites that are specifically made for their unique business needs.

Magento was launched on March 31, 2008 as an open-source E-Commerce web application. This was created by Varien and built using the Zend Framework. Magento is available under the Open Software License 3.0. After version 1.1.7 some of the parts are licensed under the Academic Free License version 3.0. Varien, the company owning Magento, formerly worked with osCommerce. They originally planned to fork osCommerce but later decided to rewrite it as Magento. Magento officially started development in early 2007. Seven months later, on August 31, 2007, the first public beta version was released. On May 30, 2010, Magento mobile was released; it allows store owners to create native mobile storefront apps.

In February of 2011, Ebay announced it had made an investment in Magento in 2010, worth a 49% ownership share of the company.

As of June 6, 2011 Ebay owns 100% of Magento. Ebay announced that Magento would join Ebay’s new X.Commerce initiative. Magento’s CEO and co-founder Roy Rubin wrote on the Magento blog stating that “Magento will continue to operate out of Los Angeles, with Yoav Kutner and me as its leaders.”

Magento Enterprise Edition is a paid version of Magento tailored for larger companies. It was launched on April 15, 2009. This version provides service agreement with Varien.

Installation of modules is supported by Magento through a web based interface accessible through the administration area of Magento installation. Hosting of modules is done on the Magento E-Commerce website as a PEAR server. By entering a module key, modules can be installed and made available on the module page, into the web based interface.

Three categories of modules hosted on Magento Connect:

1. Core Modules

2. Community Modules

3. Commercial Modules

Installation of Core and Community modules can be done through the administration area. Price information is provided on Commercial module pages and a link to an external website is also given. Magento is owned by a company Varien, which earlier worked with osCommerce.

Magento Server Requirements

1 Supported Operating Systems

• Linux x86, x86-64

2 Supported Web Servers:

• Apache 1.3.x

• Apache 2.0.x

• Apache 2.2.x

3 Supported Browsers

• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and above

• Mozilla Firefox 2.0 and above

• Apple Safari 2.x

• Google Chrome

• Adobe Flash browser plug-in should be installed

4 PHP Compatibility

• PHP 5.2

5 Required extensions


• simplexml

• mcrypt

• hash

• GD


• iconv

• curl

• SOAP (if Webservices API is to be used)

• Safe_mode off

• Memory_limit no less than 256Mb (preferably 512)

6 MySQL Support

• 4.1.20 or newer

• InnoDB storage engine

7 SSL Support

• If HTTPS is used to work in the admin, SSL certificate should be valid. Self-signed SSL certificates are not supported

• Server – hosting – setup:

• Ability to run scheduled jobs (crontab) with PHP 5

• Ability to override options in .htaccess files

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