Monday, March 23, 2020
Akeneo 4.0 brings several welcome changes to its PIM software. Upgrades to Symfony, Mysql, and PHP offer incremental updates to the technical stack, while performance improvements abound. I was lucky enough to be at the Akeneo PIM Summit 2020 to witness the unveiling, demos, and discussions in person. What 2 features are we most excited about, why and who will benefit the most from upgrading quickly?
This is by far the largest improvement to Akeneo and immediately improves any enterprise customer's ability to manage their digital assets from within Akeneo. While not a DAM, the new features and asset family drastically improve the ability of the user to manage product assets without any additional extensions or software.
Asset families are a completely new concept in 4.0 and worth the hassle of upgrading alone. This new feature makes it possible to create assets that have different attributes, like products. A product catalog should have different requirements than a print catalog high resolution photo, the new asset family feature fixes that issue. All assets still require a code, label, and a file (called media), but the ability to customize and define asset attributes including file type and required for completeness, for use downstream is a massive improvement.
In addition to the attribute changes, you can have up to 10 transformations per asset family that are configurable with json viewable in the user interface. I've worked on multiple custom code extensions that are no longer needed and, in my experience, the use cases for this are helpful.
In Akeneo 3.x , and prior versions, Akeneo recommended using the API for connectors, protecting them from most of the changes in future upgrades for Akeneo. This worked great, but it lacked tracking features to see what uploads happened when.
In 4.0, there is one single location to modify those settings and apply different group permissions. In addition, you can refresh API creds, change password, and add images to track.
In addition, the monitoring tools for these connections allows users to track products created and updated via the connector through the user interface.
These are only just the top 2 features leading to my recommendation for upgrading all enterprise customers. Akeneo has come a long way since my first work as a developer on Akeneo's 1.7 version. Overall, the changes from versions 3.2 to 4.0 greatly impressed me and will add great business value for enriching product data efficiently. Other benefits including performance improvements, a new version of Symfony on the back end, and new data quality monitoring also add value, but monitoring and advanced asset association and transformation within a channel were the greatest need I saw.
The Akeneo team has made the upgrade from 3.2 to 4.0 even easier with their improved documentation. Upgrades are always challenging when migrating previous code, but by leveraging rectorphp those challenges can be identified programmatically.
If you are interested in upgrading your Akeneo platform or looking to re-platform, contact Sitation for additional information. Our service professionals have a wealth of Akeneo expertise allowing you to leverage all of Akeneo's new features.
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