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8 Keys to Success on Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Commerce Cloud has become the favored Magento configuration in our organization. I thought I would share some things that have been the key to our success.

  1. Embrace the infrastructure

    Engineers are opinionated. System engineers are no different. They like the way they do it. They have passion. We had to convince our system engineers to acquiesce to the will of the Magento team. There was some initial hesitation and push back, but we decided to align with the Magento Commerce Cloud's approach. It might have been a little rough at first but ultimately it has paid great dividends for our organization. Things we used to have to manage, stress over, and care about now are afterthoughts. If you embrace it, you can leverage it to your benefit and to your customer's benefit.

  2. Embrace Magento

    This might sound strange. You are already using Magento so of course you have embraced Magento. We have been involved with taking over a few Magento Commerce Cloud implementations that were struggling and can tell some are not truly embracing Magento.

    • Magento has a package loader and you should use it.
    • Magento has a patching process and you should use it.
    • Magento is tested and optimized for LESS and you should use it.
    • Magento Commerce Cloud has a solution for 301 redirects and you should use it.
    • Magento has a solution for JavaScript loading and you should use it.

    Every time you stray from what Magento has, your team has to shift focus from solving business problems to managing development, build, and environment issues.

  3. Do development elsewhere

    I have seen a number of other companies try to use the integration environment for development. This does not work. The integration environment does not have the horse power to do proper development. There are good uses for that environment but development is not one of them.

    Our team has their own virtual machines and/or docker setups for customers. We do our development from our office with the use of a shared database server. Depending on what each team member is doing we may have just one or multiple databases setup for the customer. Each developer has their own application server configured with XDebug and uses PHPStorm to write and debug code within their instance.

    We follow the GitFlow process and have individual developers add code updates into feature branches and an integration prime responsible for reviewing, merging, and deploying code to the cloud for QA testing, UAT, and production builds.

  4. Use default processes

    The cloud build process allows for developers to add in their own build hooks to adjust the process. From the installations we have reviewed, it seems some development teams try to morph the process to align with their own internal deployment process. Those installations fight against the tide. Each time the Magento Commerce Cloud team modifies, fixes, or improves the build process, these custom modifications fail. It requires that the development team keep doing their own testing on each cloud deployment release rather than actually working on development for their customers.

    The default processes work. They are simple. They will meet your needs.
  5. Leverage the tool set

    Magento Commerce Cloud bundles in some nice technology and features that we regularly take advantage of. New Relic is a great tool to monitor the performance of your Magento site. Especially with complex builds, since there are a lot of integrations and custom programming, New Relic quickly shows what process(es) is consuming the most resources to help us isolate the problem. Where New Relic helps with the what, Blackfire.IO helps with the why. Blackfire allows you to connect to your running production server and debug an individual session. We have used this effectively to debug the exact problems found through New Relic.

    The cloud tools make it simple to spin up a new instance into the Integration environment. While this environment doesn't work for development, it does work well for giving access to an extension provider to debug and address issues with their code in an isolated environment without impacting any other ongoing development and testing. Add in your own script for scrubbing data clean and the normal hesitation you get when giving access to a 3rd party is mitigated.

  6. Use composer sparingly

    This might surprise some. Isn't composer the wave of the future? Don't you want to automatically get the latest updates from extension builders? Don't you want the last code from your System Integrator's shared custom extensions? In short, nope. You can require an exact version in composer so no unexpected updates happen, but then on every build you are dependent on 3rd party servers to be running and responsive.

    Magento 2 has excellent code separation making it very easy to manage extensions. You never want to get automatic extension updates. The system should be fully verified in your development process and approved through staging. This entails knowing EXACTLY what code is in use. If between builds you pull in unexpected new code, your system is no longer fully tested and unexpected problems crop up.

  7. Staging is for staging

    As already mentioned, the integration environment is not for development. That shouldn't be interpreted as a reason to use the staging environment for development. Staging is for staging. Staging uses the same configuration (multi-server, Fastly, etc.) as production so is a perfect place for final QA and UAT prior to releasing to production. There should be no surprises when publishing to production. If staging is used for staging, there won't be. Worry free production releases are possible.

  8. Just because you can doesn't mean you should

    Magento has built in a lot of flexibility to allow developers to divest from the Magento default direction in not only code, but tools and utilities. Magento has such a wide audience and enormous open-source community this makes sense. Magento Commerce however is built for the enterprise. Enterprise solutions are already complicated. Magento Commerce Cloud provides the hosting and infrastructure for an enterprise solution. Just use it.

May 2019 Newsletter

Kadro Newsletter

Imagine 2019

We're back from the best Magento Imagine experience yet! Meeting our technology partners, seeing our dearest customers, and connecting with new Magento users is always a blast for the whole Kadro team.

We're thrilled to see what Magento has planned for the future and to implement new strategies & ideas we've learned. In addition to learning all things Magento, we've added to our list of Magento Certified Developers.

Join us next year in Las Vegas March 29 - April 2, 2020 for Magento Imagine at Adobe Summit.

Latest Project

The Magento Commerce project for North American Rescue included several custom developments and integrations for a responsive web experience, product based content and training experiences, and message-based, real-time, direct database integration between Magento and Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Upcoming Events

Are you looking to connect with Kadro? Here’s where you can join Kadro this Summer:

  • New Year, New Tax Laws and Obligations Webinar – May 29, 2 pm EST, Your Computer
    • Register today!
    • Are you up to speed on “economic nexus”, and the ruling’s impact? Find out by attending this webinar to learn how:
      • Compliance automation relieves this risky burden
      • Avalara enhances sales tax functionality and makes it easy to manage and report
      • Exemption certificates work and why they are important
  • RetailX (formally known as IRCE) June 25-27, McCormick Place South, Chicago.
    • Register today for $200 off registration with promo code EXIV817692
    • Visit us at Booth 818

Featured Technology Partner

Creator by Zmags enables leading retailers to rapidly build + publish interactive, shoppable content and other digital experiences in minutes, all without any coding. Rich content projects like quizzes, outfit builders, buying guides and lookbooks are brought to life effortlessly, maximizing your brand’s customer experience with high-quality content that converts. Learn more

April 2019 Newsletter

Enterprise Magento Solution Partner

Have you heard? We have some exciting news! Kadro is proud to announce we are now an Enterprise Magento Solution Partner.

Our U.S.-based team is Magento Commerce and Magento Cloud certified and ready to help you bring your e-commerce dreams to life. As an enterprise partner, we have a direct line to Magento bringing you the latest development and innovative solutions first.

Our existing, and future, clients all have unique business requirements. Becoming an Enterprise Magento Solution Partner enables us to fulfill those needs unlike ever before.

Kadro is on the Move!

From trade shows to blockbuster movies, you can find us all over the United States. If you are attending any of the below events, or are in the area during those times, let us know and we can dedicate time to spend with you!

  • Magento at the Movies: Avengers Endgame April 25th, 6:15 pm Arlington, VA
    • Ballston Quarter Stadium 12.
      • Tickets are limited - register here
  • Imagine 2019 May 13-15, Wynn, Las Vegas
    • Visit us at Booth 300
  • RetailX (formally known as IRCE) June 25-27, McCormick Place South, Chicago.
    • Register today for $200 off registration with promo code EXIV817692
    • Visit us at Booth 818

March 2019 Newsletter

Springing Forward

Good afternoon , it's hard to believe it is already spring time! In the south, not only do we get great weather - we get pollen! For those of you unfamiliar with pollen in the south, this video describes it pretty well.

On the business side - trade show season is in full swing! If you are attending any of the below events, or are in the area during those times, let us know and we can dedicate time to spend with you!

  • Adobe Summit March 24-28. The Venetian, Las Vegas
  • High Point Market April 7th, 4-6:630 pm High Point, NC - Centennial Station Arts Center.
    • Invite only event please email us to reserve a spot.
  • Imagine 2019 May 13-15, Wynn, Las Vegas
  • RetailX (the artist formally known as IRCE) June 25-27, McCormick Place South, Chicago

In continuation of our 2019 goals we want to introduce everyone to Annex Cloud. Annex Cloud delivers fully integrated Customer Loyalty, Referral Marketing, and User Generated Content solutions. Their solutions and team of Customer Success Managers combine to help you tackle even the most complex acquisition, conversion, retention challenge.

Continuing Success in eCommerce!

If you remember your first conversation with anyone on the Kadro team you know we value long term relationships and not just the quick win. So this month instead of focusing on an individual client, we are highlighting our portfolio.

Our existing, and future, clients all have unique business requirements. Each client has their own unique spin on their site's user experience. Each site also has its own unique way they handle their back office integration. Take a minute and leaf through our portfolio. Maybe there is a case similar to yours, maybe not. Either way, let us know how we can best serve you!

New Technology Spotlight

Since 2010, Annex Cloud has provided more than 250 leading brands and retailers, including Hewlett-Packard, Bed, Bath & Beyond, G.H. Bass, Olympus, and Sugarfina, with the ability to engage tens of millions of their customers one-to-one at scale.

Annex Cloud’s customer marketing platform provides fully integrated Customer Loyalty, Referral Marketing, and User Generated Content solutions that work together to optimize the customer journey and deliver a unified customer experience, a greater quantity and quality of referrals and content, and more high-quality and resilient customer relationships. Ask us for an introduction or learn more at AnnexCloud.com.

Celebrating 18 Years!

Kadro is 18 Years Old

As we mark our 18th anniversary at Kadro, we would like to take a moment to thank all of our customers, partners, vendors, and employees who have helped us achieve this milestone.

Founded in February 2001 on the heels of the dot-com bubble and the start of a financial recession, we began our journey during a period of uncertainty. We were very fortunate in earning the business to serve REEDS Jewelers in March 2001 and The Steritech Group in April 2001, our first two customers who both remain our customers today.

Over these 18 years we have evolved, matured, and transformed our business through many custom software development projects and system integrations to deliver solutions for over 300 businesses. It has been a very rewarding experience.

Today, as we enter our 7th year delivering Magento B2C and B2B eCommerce sites for our clients, and our 8th year onboarding businesses onto eBay, Amazon, Walmart, and Jet marketplaces, we are focused more than ever on helping our clients succeed and grow their businesses.

Happy Birthday to the entire Kadro family!