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Magento Open Source vs. Adobe Commerce: A Detailed Comparison

13th June, 2024 | Magento

magento open source vs adobe commerce

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce: What to Choose?

Magento is one of the most popular and widely used eCommerce platforms, powering over 250,000 online stores. The platform was originally developed by Varien Inc. and released as an open source eCommerce solution in 2008.

In 2018, Magento was acquired by Adobe for $1.68 billion. Since then, Adobe has continued to develop and expand the Magento platform, releasing new features, capabilities, and editions tailored to businesses of different sizes and complexities. When comparing Magento Open Source vs. Adobe Commerce, it is essential to understand the distinctions and advantages each version offers to choose the best fit for your business needs.

Choosing the right edition of Magento for your business is an important decision that impacts your budget, features, scalability and more. The two main options to evaluate are:

Before diving into the in-depth guide, let’s quickly compare Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce.

Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce (A Quick Comparison)

Licensing Open-source, free to download and use Commercial, requires a paid license
Cost No license fees, but may incur costs for hosting, development, and maintenance Subscription-based pricing, with costs varying based on features and usage
Target Audience Small to medium-sized businesses, startups, and developers Enterprise-level businesses, large-scale ecommerce operations
Ecommerce Functionality Robust ecommerce features, including product management, catalog management, checkout, and payment processing Comprehensive ecommerce features, with advanced capabilities for large-scale operations
Customization and Flexibility Highly customizable through themes, extensions, and integrations Highly customizable, with advanced features for enterprise-level customization
Scalability and Performance Scalable, but may require more technical expertise to optimize performance Highly scalable and optimized for performance, with enterprise-level features
Security and Compliance Secure, with built-in security features, but requires ongoing maintenance and updates Highly secure, with advanced security features and PCI compliance
Support and Community Strong open-source community, with a wide range of resources and third-party providers Dedicated support team and services, with a robust ecosystem of third-party providers

What is Magento Open Source?

Magento Open Source is the free, open source edition of Adobe Commerce. Key features include:

  • 100% open source eCommerce platform
  • Free to download, install and use
  • Active community of over 350,000 Magento developers
  • Core eCommerce functionality for customizable online store
  • Support for marketing capabilities and promotions
  • Mobile responsive templates and PWA Studio support
  • Basic security measures and data encryption
  • Scalable architecture supporting high traffic stores
  • Extensible and modular code base for customization
  • Integration with many third-party apps and services

Target Audience and Use Cases

Magento Open Source is ideal for small businesses, early stage startups, or anyone wanting to test out the Magento platform at no cost.

It works well for basic eCommerce sites that don’t require advanced functionality. The open source edition can also be used by developers to build custom eCommerce solutions.

Some example use cases include:

  • Small online boutique stores
  • Simple eCommerce websites with a few products
  • Startup eCommerce businesses on a tight budget
  • Developers wanting to build custom eCommerce solutions
  • Anyone wanting to experiment with Magento for free

Advantages and Limitations


  • 100% free and open source
  • Active community support and extensions
  • Supports basic eCommerce features and customization
  • Cost-effective way to start an online store
  • Scalable to support business growth


  • Limited native features compared to enterprise edition
  • No official support from Magento
  • Requires technical expertise for setup and management
  • Not suitable for large, complex eCommerce projects
  • Basic security and performance capabilities

What is Adobe Commerce?

Adobe Commerce is the enterprise-level eCommerce platform for larger businesses. Key features include:

  • Robust eCommerce functionality for complex stores
  • Advanced security, performance and scalability
  • Sophisticated business tools like BI, PIM, order management
  • Omnichannel commerce and POS capabilities
  • Powerful Magento eCommerce marketing and merchandising features
  • Dedicated 24/7 support from Magento experts
  • Seamless integration with rest of Adobe ecosystem
  • Optimized architecture for high traffic, global sites
  • Built-in PCI compliance and business continuity

Target Audience and Use Cases

Adobe Commerce is designed for mid-market to large enterprises that need an advanced, robust eCommerce platform. It works well for:

  • Growing businesses scaling past Magento Open Source
  • Large online stores with complex requirements
  • Retail chains with omni-channel commerce needs
  • Companies selling globally in multiple regions
  • Businesses that require enterprise-grade security and support

Example use cases:

  • Multi-million dollar online retailers
  • Global fashion and apparel brands
  • B2B companies selling wholesale/bulk orders
  • Automotive, manufacturing or industrial goods sales
  • Companies needing advanced order management

Advantages and Limitations


  • Robust enterprise-level eCommerce features
  • Advanced security, performance and scalability
  • Sophisticated omnichannel and B2B capabilities
  • Powerful built-in business intelligence and analytics
  • Seamless integration with other Adobe solutions
  • 24/7 support and services from Magento experts
  • Optimized for high traffic, complex eCommerce projects


  • More expensive licensing cost
  • Requires large technical team for implementation
  • Overkill for simpler eCommerce sites with basic needs
  • Locked into Adobe ecosystem and services

Comparison of Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce

Licensing and Cost

  • Magento Open Source – 100% free open source license. No license fees.
  • Adobe Commerce – Paid license required. Annual fee based on business revenue + additional fees for add-ons, hosting, support.

Hosting and Infrastructure

  • Magento Open Source – Can be self-hosted on own servers or on cloud platforms like AWS, Azure. Flexible hosting options.
  • Adobe Commerce – Managed cloud hosting is required through Adobe Commerce Cloud. Less flexibility or control over infrastructure.

Core Features

eCommerce Capabilities

  • Magento Open Source – Supports basic eCommerce features like catalog management, checkout, cart, etc. Less complex capabilities OOTB.
  • Adobe Commerce – Advanced eCommerce functionality for B2B, B2C, omni-channel commerce. More complexity and robustness.

Scalability and Performance

  • Magento Open Source – Designed to be scalable but limited compared to enterprise edition. Performance optimizations available but not built-in.
  • Adobe Commerce – Optimized architecture for scalability and speed. Load balancing, caching and other performance best practices built-in.

Security and Compliance

  • Magento Open Source – Basic security features like encryption and role-based access. No official compliance built-in.
  • Adobe Commerce – Enterprise-grade security, identity management and compliance certifications like PCI DSS.

Support and Community

  • Magento Open Source – Active open source community but no official support from Magento. Reliant on the developer community.
  • Adobe Commerce – Professional 24/7 support direct from Magento experts and developers. Peace of mind for businesses.

Advanced Features

Business Intelligence and Analytics

  • Magento Open Source – Only basic reporting features natively. Requires integrating third-party BI tools.
  • Adobe Commerce – Built-in advanced BI and reporting dashboards powered by Adobe Analytics.

Omnichannel and B2B Capabilities

  • Magento Open Source – Limited omnichannel (POS, order management, inventory, fulfillment etc.) and B2B capabilities.
  • Adobe Commerce – Sophisticated omnichannel and B2B order, inventory and fulfillment functions out of the box.

Marketing and Personalization Tools

  • Magento Open Source – Can integrate third-party marketing apps. Basic promotions and merchandising capabilities.
  • Adobe Commerce – Advanced native marketing tools like segmentation, experiments, personalized catalog, user generated content.

Integration with Adobe Ecosystem

  • Magento Open Source – No native integration with Adobe Marketing Cloud or other Adobe solutions. Requires custom integration.
  • Adobe Commerce – Seamless pre-built integration with Adobe Analytics, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Target and more.

When to Choose Magento Open Source vs Adobe Commerce

Factors to Consider

When deciding between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce, key factors to consider include:

  • Business size and growth trajectory
  • eCommerce complexity and functionality needs
  • In-house technical expertise and resources
  • Budget constraints
  • Importance of advanced support and services

Scenarios Where Magento Open Source Makes Sense

  • Startups or small businesses on tight budget
  • Simple eCommerce sites with limited product catalog
  • Businesses still validating eCommerce viability
  • Developers wanting to build custom stores
  • Companies without dedicated tech teams for implementation

Scenarios Where Adobe Commerce is the Better Choice

  • Enterprise eCommerce with complex requirements
  • Companies selling large catalogs of products globally
  • Businesses needing B2B, wholesale, bulk order capabilities
  • Retail chains with omni-channel commerce needs
  • Organizations that value 24/7 support and services

Migrating from Magento Open Source to Adobe Commerce

As your business grows, you may outgrow the capabilities of Magento Open Source and need to upgrade to Adobe Commerce.

Key Considerations for Upgrading

  • Feature needs – Do you require advanced functionality only in Adobe Commerce?
  • Traffic and order volumes – Is your store exceeding the site traffic or order thresholds of Open Source?
  • Performance issues – Are slow page loads or downtime becoming problematic?
  • Lack of support – Do you need expert support from Magento as your business scales?

Benefits of Upgrading to Adobe Commerce

  • Gain enterprise-level features and performance
  • Get full-time support from Magento experts
  • Unlock more advanced omnichannel, B2B and analytics capabilities
  • Seamlessly integrate eCommerce with rest of Adobe solutions
  • Scale your business globally with improved site speed and reliability

Steps Involved in Migrating to Adobe Commerce

  • Evaluate feature needs and identify gaps
  • Assess technical considerations – server, infrastructure, custom code impact
  • Budget for licensing costs based on revenue tiers
  • Account for development, testing and launch resources required
  • Develop a detailed project plan and timeline
  • Work closely with Adobe Commerce onboarding team to migration solutions
  • Leverage available migration tools and best practices

Final Thoughts

Both Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce offer robust eCommerce solutions tailored to different business needs. When deciding between the two platforms, it is essential to weigh your specific business requirements, growth goals, and budget. Magento Open Source provides a solid foundation with essential features and customization options, making it suitable for businesses that have the technical expertise to manage their online store independently.

However, if your business demands advanced functionality, enhanced performance, and enterprise-grade support, Adobe Commerce is the clear choice. It is designed to meet the needs of complex, global businesses that require comprehensive capabilities and dedicated support to ensure seamless operations and scalability. Carefully consider your current and future needs to make an informed decision that aligns with your business objectives.

Additionally, the recent Magento 2.4.7 Release has introduced several new features and improvements that benefit both Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce users. This release includes enhanced security, performance optimizations, and new tools that further empower businesses to deliver exceptional online shopping experiences. Whether you opt for Magento Open Source or Adobe Commerce, staying updated with the latest release ensures you leverage the full potential of the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce?

  • Licensing: Magento Open Source is a free, open source platform while Adobe Commerce requires a paid license.
  • Support: Open Source relies on community support whereas Commerce comes with 24/7 support from Magento experts.
  • Features: Commerce has more advanced, enterprise-level capabilities while Open Source offers core eCommerce functionality.
  • Performance: Commerce is optimized for security, speed and high traffic sites.
  • Ecosystem: Commerce enables tight integration with other Adobe solutions.

Is Magento Open Source really free to use?

Yes, Magento Open Source is 100% free to download, install and use for any purpose including commercial websites. However, there are costs involved with customization, web hosting and maintenance.

What’s the difference between an on-premise vs cloud version of Magento?

The on-premise version is self-hosted on your own servers while the cloud version is hosted on Magento’s cloud infrastructure. Cloud offers faster deployment but fewer customization options.

Can you upgrade from Magento Open Source to Adobe Commerce?

Yes, you can migrate or upgrade from Open Source to Commerce. It requires planning to account for licensing costs, development work, testing and launch support.

Does Adobe Commerce require specialized hosting?

Yes, Adobe Commerce licenses come bundled with mandatory hosting on Adobe’s cloud infrastructure. This differs from Open Source which can be self-hosted.

What level of technical expertise is needed to run Adobe Commerce?

Adobe Commerce requires a solid technical team experienced with Magento development and enterprise eCommerce management. Open Source has a lower barrier to entry.