Par Charlotte, Directrice Marketing & Commerciale.

The most discussed topic among PrestaShop community is currently PrestaShop 1.7 version. Are these the right technologic choices ? When will there be a stable version available for production ? Which modules are compatible ? Let’s have a look at the situation.

 

REVIEW AND PLANNING

“1.7.0 was a stable version but not for production ??”

A few months ago, PrestaShop released its first 1.7 stable version, but it was not to be used for a store in production.

The “stable but not for production” concept appeared rather odd and surprising, as far as this definition usually does not exist in software production : a release comes either stable or not !

The truth lies in the details : PrestaShop 1.7.0 passed quality tests but was never beta-tested in full production, since many native modules were lacking, including all 3rd party modules.

PrestaShop 1.7.0 was therefore meant for developpers and partners, so that they would start working on peripheral features : modules, themes and so forth … although this temporary limitation of use was little or not communicated by PrestaShop.

A progressive technological shift

Meanwhile, PrestaShop 1.7.0 confirmed its technology shift, including gradually implementing Symfony.
First of all, both frameworks coexists fine (Symfony & legacy – being the previous code -).
Response times from Symfony do not look (too) degraded.
Module/theme interfacing does not got disturbed (beyong functional evolutions).
Opting for this gradual migration, PrestaShop ensure service continuity and saves us from a technological breakdown, which would create “stop” reactions that usually come with any major changes.

Process and organization !

Although some improvements are still to come, PrestaShop has made great efforts which start to show.
– A quality team has been set up, providing a full-on test strategy, including automated non-regression tests.
– A shared roadmap and planning is now available (we highly recommend this post)
– Product managers, whose role is to design the software before coding, are now pinpointedly processing functional and technical needs, and considering all options to get there.

1.7.1 : the community will start to shift

PrestaShop 1.7.1 is currently in beta mode, its official release should come anytime soon (Edit : was released on April 3rd). 1.7.1 will most likely be stable and reliable for production. The “download” button should now redirect to 1.7 branch and no longer 1.6.

Beware ! At 202 ecommerce we consider PrestaShop 1.7.1 to be 1.7 first real version. Therefore, we recommend it to early-adopter retailers only. Should you not be prepared to experience some corrective changes and / or live with a few bugs, better wait for 1.7.1.1 :).

PrestaShop 1.7.1 includes a dozen natives modules on top of those already available in 1.7.0, so functional coverage is getting close to 1.6 (see below). Moreover, many partners have had time to get their modules compatibles, including Paypal (which we are in charge of).

Lastly, 1.7.1 includes a “1 click upgrade” updated module, which allows upgrading from 1.6 to 1.7. Beware again, do not launch any upgrade in production before tests and backups.

 

FEATURES

Core features and Back-Office

A new interface have been designed, with time saving and efficiency for retailers as a priority. We particularly liked :
– Notifications (new clients, new orders etc..) centralized within one dropdown menu. This makes the BO header significantly lighter.
– New browsing by tabs, for a lighter sidebar
– Redesign of the sidebar, focusing on the most used pages on a day to day basis, orders now coming first!

A module section totally modified.
– Installed modules are sorted in 3 sections : theme modules, pre-installed modules, modules added by the seller himself.
– Module notification system, sorted in 2 sections : updates and configuration required.

Some other improvements are also worth listing :
– Maintenance page can now be customized with specific text,
– Affiliation module is now inside PrestaShop core,
– Tags can be placed on several products at once,
– Debug mode can be activated from the BO,
– Payment solutions can be restrained to some shipping carriers (in case you wish to limit payment in cash to a specific carrier for example)
– User DOB is no longer a required field when creating an account.
– Password is (at last!) no longer sent by email when creating an account.

Front-office improvements

As you may have noticed already, PrestaShop 1.7 embarks a new theme, which is not compatible with PrestaShop 1.6. If your current theme is custom made, you will have to design a new compatible theme for 1.7.
The new default theme is straight to the point. The most redesigned part is the order funnel :

– New hybrid funnel, between 5 steps funnel and One Page Check Out (accordion). The new funnel takes the best from both worlds.
– Ordering is smoother when user is already connected
– Sales conditions are now available on the last page, which makes more sense
– New funnel is compatible with EU and German lastest regulations.

 

MISSING FEATURES

As much as PrestaShop is the best tool worldwide, some 1.6 features have not been embarked in 1.7 :-(. Here is our list of what we think is missing at this time, and their status as far as we know.

Feature Core / module Status
Advanced Stock Management Core Expected with 1.7.2, to be released in June 2017
Loyalty Program Module ?
Wishlist Module ?
Live Editor (theme) Module will not be back 🙂

We look forward to install PrestaShop in production environments, thereby confront this new version to the crual reality of a production world and to keep working, together with PrestaShop, on upcoming versions.

 

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