Magento Commerce (formerly known as Magento EE / Magento Enterprise Edition) includes some powerful features that Magento Open Source (formerly known as Magento CE / Magento Community Edition) lacks. The feature list includes multiple wishlists, gift cards, advanced 3rd party integrations, content scheduling, custom customer attributes, reward points and store credits systems, RMA support, and some other useful tools for B2B and marketing tasks.
These tools can be attractive for the right use case, but if you are already using Magento Commerce, you know they come at a cost: Magento Commerce pricing is tiered based on your sales volume per year. If your sales are up to $1,000,000 yearly, your Magento Commerce licensing fees are ~$22,000 for that year. $1 – $5,000,000 tier will be ~$32,000 per year, and so on. And if you are using their Magento Commerce Cloud edition, that will cost you 60 – 80% more each period.*
This cost can add up quickly. We recently worked with a client that determined the Magento Commerce cost was ultimately not worth the level of support and features they were receiving. We did a fair amount of research to determine that each of the features of Magento Commerce that the client did require could be replaced by much more cost-effective, 3rd-party solutions with one-time prices significantly less expensive than their Magento Commerce counterparts.
So, at this point we confirmed that we could migrate from Magento Commerce to Magento Open Source, which would allow them to discontinue paying for the Magento Commerce licensing fee, but still keep all the required features their customers expected, and continue on the same Magento Maintenance schedule. In other words, we would provide a Magento Open Source ‘downgrade’ that would be seamless for the customer, and keep things more or less the same for the site administrators.
Considerations in migrating from Magento Commerce to Magento Open Source
Magento Commerce has a bunch of differences in the database that must be resolved when migrating to Magento Open Source. This is the biggest hurdle to migrating away from Magento Commerce.
Similar to modifying the database, we also had to remove Magento Commerce-specific extensions. This is less effort than database cleanup.
The other hurdle was choosing whether or not we wanted to take the live site offline, perform all the updates, then go back online with the same site instance. The alternative would be to have a new staging site, running on Magento Open Source, that we could sync orders, products, customers, etc from the live site to. This ultimately was our choice, because that meant we wouldn’t have to do tricky database stuff more than once.
Magento 2 Database
We wrote custom procedures to remove data related to Magento Commerce, then pointed a brand new install of Magento Open Source to the cleaned up database. Of course, there were manual database adjustments. Once those were identified and adjusted, the site loaded normally.
At this stage, we ran through the front end and admin areas of the site and fixed any bugs that we found. Fortunately there were not many. The Magento Open Source file system is essentially the same as Magento Commerce, the only difference being Magento Commerce’s extra extensions.
Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source Extensions
We only needed to provide support for a limited number of Magento Commerce features, according to the client’s specifications. We did find during our research that almost every Magento Commerce feature had an equivalent extension provided by some well-regarded Magento 3rd party developers. We felt confident that with the help of some quality extensions we could seamlessly migrate Magento Commerce data to their Magento Open Source equivalents.
Magento Commerce vs Magento Open Source Gift Cards
We went with the Aheadworks Gift Cards extension to replace Magento Commerce giftcards because it included an import tool, which made migrating the Magento Commerce giftcard code pools and customer balances simple. We had to examine the data and get it in an importable format, and once we did that, we could import the data and our gift card codes and balances to the new site.
Multiple Wishlists in Magento Open Source
We went with the WeltPixel Multiple Wishlist extension here because the data format it used was almost identical to the way Magento Commerce stored multiple wishlists. We were able to do a simple database query to import the wishlists into the Magento Open Source site, and then customers would be able to continue to use their existing wishlists the same way they could on the Magento Commerce site.
Store Credits in Magento Open Source
We were unable to find any extensions that could import store credits (unlike the gift cards extension). We went with Aheadworks here again, and we had to analyze the Magento Commerce tables to create a format that would work with the Aheadworks tables. This required some MySQL manual queries to insert the data we needed.
Scheduled Content in Magento Open Source
We found that WeltPixel’s Content Scheduler was appropriate for the client here, with some minor modifications on the theme to support the new scheduler. Blocks and Pages could then be set to use the scheduled start and end times to display the content correctly on the front end.
Magento Commerce to Magento Open Source Overall Customer Conversion Improvements
In the spirit of continuous improvement, we focused on improving customer conversion. We decided to tackle creating an improved checkout to give customers a more streamlined checkout. We went with Amasty One Page here, as it has great support with all of the other checkout extensions (store credits, reward points, etc), and still allowed us to use our normal payment gateways.
We found that some payment methods weren’t quite working out of the box with Amasty One Page (Stripe, specifically), but fortunately Amasty also provided some payment method integrations to get them working with the new checkout page.
Magento Commerce to Magento Open Source Theme Conversion
The theme fixes were pretty minor, fortunately. Most themes will work with both Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. We found that we did have to make some code adjustments for specific features (scheduled blocks, FishPig integration) but overall this step was straightforward and seamless.
Magento Commerce to Magento Open Source Migration Challenges
After all was said and done, we had a full featured Magento Open Source site with all the associated data migrated, and all of the Magento Commerce features replaced, but there were some post launch issues we had to negotiate.
Keeping core Magento data like Products, Orders, and Customers in sync was performed with a 3rd party migration vendor, but we found that we had to go back after launch and resolve some issues with inventory counts. We loaded the Magento Commerce site on a different sub-domain so we could cross reference and fix inventory values as we needed.
Additionally, due to some bugs in Magento 2.3 (the first version with the new inventory system, Magento MSI or Multi-source Inventory), we had some challenges keeping inventory consistent during the migration, but the bugs and intricacies of MSI are challenging enough that that topic deserves its own blog post (which I have already started outlining, considering the depth of knowledge we needed to build in order to resolve some issues with that system).
Overall, this process is not for the faint of heart, and a deep understanding of Magento core is absolutely crucial to get things right. But all of the effort paid off with a Magento Open Source installation that freed our client from needing to continue paying for Magento Commerce costs ever again, and our client appreciates the savings that will ultimately pay for the cost of the conversion many times over.
* Magento pricing structures are negotiable as stated by the Magento/Adobe corporation. Prices noted here are starting prices. Data source: Graybox