February 11, 2021 by Ben Chafetz

What’s New In Magento 2.4.2? B2B Features, Dev Tools & More

With another quarter comes another Magento Commerce update, so in this blog, 121eCommerce will be taking a look at a few of the notable updates, improvements, upgrades, and features added with the Magento Commerce 2.4.2 upgrade. 

Overall Security, Quality & Performance Improvements

First, let’s kick off with the major security, quality, and performance improvements made in the latest edition. Magento Commerce 2.4.2.

Security

  • 35+ total security fixes and improvements.
  • All Magento core cookies now support the SameSite attribute.
  • All remaining core Content Security Policy (CSP) violations have been fixed to help prevent XSS and other code injection attacks.

Quality

  • GraphQL API functionality has been expanded for B2B features with features like Login as Customer, Company Credit, and Requisition Lists.
  • VBEs (Vendor Bundled Extensions) have been improved, with features like Buy Now Pay Later with Braintree, Transactional SMS in DotDigital, and Commodity Codes in Vertex.
  • Remote storage and native AWS S3 cloud support
  • 280+ total fixes, including all issues known for Magento 2.4.1.

Performance 

  • Better API performance and Admin response time for Magento Commerce installations with large product catalogs.
  • Scalability enhancements that allow native Magento support for complex catalogs up to 20x as large as previous catalogs.

Enhanced Payment Support For Purchase Order Approvals & New Workflow

B2B Magento Commerce users, rejoice! Magento 2.4.2 has brought with it a ton of new features for purchase order approvals.

First, Magento POs now support credit cards, PayPal, and a variety of other 3rd-party payment methods. For security, these payment details can be provided only after a buyer’s PO has been approved.

In addition, email notifications and on-screen notifications will notify users if a PO has been placed, but payment details have not yet been entered.

Note that in order to comply with approval rules, all item selections, discount codes, and shipping options cannot be changed once a PO has been approved using this new workflow.

Improved Support For Headless B2B Implementations With GraphQL APIs

Magento 2.4.2 has brought improved GraphQL API support to help B2B stores using headless implementations. GraphQL can now be used to do things like:

  • Add company administrators, users, roles, and teams.
  • Check a company’s credit history.
  • Create, delete, and update requisition lists and fully manage list items.
  • Create a customer admin token to enable remote purchasing assistance for B2B buyers.

Media Gallery & Page Builder Updates & Improvements

The latest update for Magento Commerce brings some huge updates to two of its best flagship features, the Media Gallery and Page Builder.

As far as the Media Gallery goes, new Media Gallery Optimization features can take any object uploaded to the gallery and automatically optimize it for web use – reducing the size while maintaining quality and improving website performance. This makes it much easier to manage images throughout your store.

In addition, Access Control Support has been added to provide creatives, designers, agencies, and other third parties with access to the Media Gallery without potentially exposing sensitive data from your Magento Installation.

Page Builder has also received some under-the-hood improvements to enhance content migration and CSS customization, allowing developers to create and implement new pages more easily than ever.

PWA Studio Optimizations & Improvements

A new version of Magento’s PWA (Progressive Web App) studio has been released, which includes:

  • Native support for internationalization and localization, with support for multiple languages and currencies in Venia.
  • An enhanced extensibility framework to help support code changes through extensions.
  • Additional My Account features for PWA apps including Wishlist, Saved Payments, Order History, and Address Book features.

Feature Announcements For New & Updated Features

This feature, called “Interactive Product Guidance” allows merchants to show users information and guidance from Magento directly within the Admin page, including:

  • New feature announcements.
  • Onboarding nurture campaigns.
  • Walk-through guides and product tours.
  • Feature awareness campaigns.
  • Tooltips.

However, this is not enabled by default, so it’s a totally optional feature. It may be beneficial if your admin team does not keep up with the most recent patches and update information from Magento. 

If you want to enable this for your users, you need to navigate to Stores > Configuration > Advanced > Admin > Enable admin usage tracking. 

Upgrade Compatibility Tool Alpha Release

Magento 2.4.2 will see the first alpha release of the Upgrade Compatibility Tool (UCT). This tool is designed to make the upgrade process simpler, safer, and more transparent. 

This is done by using the UCT to scan your current Magento installation. Then, the tool identifies potential problems in your custom code that may cause compatibility issues when you upgrade, ensuring you and your dev team have the time to make the necessary changes.

So, for example, if you are using Magento 2.3.4, you could run the UCT to analyze issues that may occur if you upgrade to Magento 2.4.1.

However, the alpha release of the UCT is limited. Currently, it can only analyze problems with the Magento Commerce API and GraphQL Schema Compatibility. However, further tools and features are planned for its later releases.

Other Updates & Information

That pretty much covers all the major features and changes. But there are a few more minor updates and changes we’ll discuss here:

  • Changes have been made to Magento Marketplace Extension requirements. Vendors must now have 90 days to submit an extension that’s compatible with minor versions like Magento 2.3 or 2.4, and 30 days to submit an extension that’s compatible with patch versions like Magento 2.3.7 or Magento 2.4.2.
  • Split database functionality is officially deprecated. It will be fully removed with the Magento 2.5 update.
  • The Magento Commerce and Open Source 2.3 release line has now been moved to security-only patches.
  • The Magento Quality Patches tool is now available for all new quality fixes.

Update Your Magento Installation For All These Benefits & More

If you’re ready to upgrade to Magento 2.4.2, you’ll enjoy a lot of great benefits – particularly if you sell B2B products. So don’t delay! Update today! Need help? 121eCommerce specializes in Magento maintenance and support, so contact us now for a consultation.  

And if you want to stay in the loop about what’s new with Magento, learn more about the platform, get tips on eCommerce development, make sure to take a look at the 121eCommerce blog. 

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