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We're excited that the latest version of Magento Enterprise - Magento Enterprise 1.13 - is now available. At time of writing, we have already started three projects using it and were pleased to be on the alpha-test programme.

Magento Enterprise is - in our view - the most capable, functionally rich (and now, most popular) e-commerce platform in the world. The past few versions have massively increased the functional richness of the software that now powers 10s of thousands of online retail properties around the globe. At Screen Pages, as a Gold partner, we have conducted 15 or so Magento Enterprise implementations and are extremely happy with what it delivers - as a matter of preference, it's a much better, safer and faster platform than Magento Community Edition.

Now, with this latest version, we are very pleased that the Magento product development team
has invested in improvements in two key areas: greater scaleability and better performance. On certain websites with very particular operational and configuration scenarios, we have seen Magento "challenged" and our implementation teams have had to jump through technical hoops to deliver the desired performance and scale. Happily, these issues are being addressed in this new version.

Below is a summary of the key improvements:

Magento uses indexes to keep site navigation and browsing fast. This version has optimised the Magento Enterprise indexing process to enable significantly faster. This means you can add and update products more frequently while ensuring your URLs, promotions, navigational menus and product search tools are always completely up to date, while never slowing down the performance of your online store with laborious background tasks.

Indexing has been improved to make it an incremental process which reduces the need to perform a full re-index and most indexing operations are now automated.

Improved Caching
Magento uses "caches" to deliver pages to browsers quickly - from server memory as opposed to from catalogue databases.

Magento has improved the caching system so that only changed pages are re-cached, meaning better site performance & page load times for your customers. Improved caching performance also drastically reduces server load enabling your to store to support even larger traffic volumes while conducting back end operations.

Speedier Checkout Flow
Magento Enterprise 1.13 has much improved checkout times by reducing page load times for browsing and placing orders.

Functional Improvements
Magento has made some 350 functional improvements in key areas including in the web store and shopping basket, admin panel order creation, import and export functionality, tax and payment methods.

You can read the full Magento press release here.

There's an interesting paper which benchmarks the performance improvements.

More ...

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