Indeed, version 3.0 of Akeneo, the most versatile PIM, is already here.
I know what a PIM is, but refresh my memory…
A PIM (Product Information Management) is a tool to centralize all the marketing and technical information of one or several product catalogs. In this way it helps the omni-channel experience by increasing the synergy between platforms.
The point is to unify all the input and output of information related to the catalog in a single system specialized in it, to have a single reliable source of data, and simplify the process of import / export with other platforms. Beware, it is not a price or stock management tool, that requires a specific integration; however, it does usually store this information for information purposes, even if it is not exported to other tools.
If you want more information, here is a small explanation:
Akeneo 3. Good news everyone!…
This new version includes some very interesting new features:
- Reference entities. It adds some versatility that we missing in previous versions. It allows creating “entities”, different from the products, which define their own attributes and completeness. These entities are managed independently and may be referenced by the products. What is this worth? For example, you could manage a “brand” entity that is defined by a name, a description, an image and a logo. In this way we unify the brand image in a single place, instead of assigning it to the product separately. The only downside that we find is that they do not allow all types of attributes, only text types, images, references to other entities, select and multiselect.
- Franklin Insights. One of the most attractive new features for the user. Through this tool, you can complete product information with data collected from more than 50 million product pages. You just have to subscribe and configure it, and it will advise to fill in the data.
- Single Sing-on. Prior subscription, you can configure Akeneo to avoid login by user and password, and centralize all accesses of a company in a single login to avoid losses and the consequent inappropriate passwords policies. (⚠ Technical language alert: Akeneo can be configured to connect to a SAML2 server.)
- Performance improvements. It has been improved, among others, the products list, allowing more categories, products and product data in a much faster load. It comes to a whopping load of a million products and 20,000 categories in less than 2 seconds. ?
- Base code refactoring. The core code has been restructured to be much more structured, cleaner and respectful of programming standards. The development team tells us here. Despite all the changes made, all public APIs are respected, so existing integrations should not be affected.
…or not for everyone?
Reference entities, Franklin Insights and Single Sing-on are functionalities only for enterprise edition. But community edition can enjoy the improved performance and the cleaner code in this version 3.
In addition, Akeneo 3.0 had increased system requirements (⚠Technical language alert):
|REQUISITE||Akeneo 2.3||Akeneo 3.0|
|MySQL||>= 5.7.8||>= 5.7.22|
Too much info. Do I upgrade or not?
Our recommendation is: If your system allows it, yes. Try it at least.
As public interfaces have not been affected, but the improvement in performance and cleanliness of code is very significant, go ahead. And if your edition is enterprise, with more reason, since the new utilities are of the most interesting.
You should only be careful if the server is shared with another application, since the technical requirements of Akeneo 3.0 are quite strict. But it is nothing that a sysadmin is not able to solve.