Magento Open Source Vs Commerce Vs Cloud: How to Pick your Edition

14 Jun 2022
Albert Wood
Albert Wood
Magento Open Source Vs Commerce Vs Cloud: How to Pick your Edition

The expansion of digital channels, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and unceasing improvements in the commerce experiences have led to a dramatic growth of digital sales. 

With success on the digital shelf being the parameter of your business abundance in this digital-first economy, having a digital presence is no longer enough to win share from your competitors. 

Digital commerce has seen a shift from being ‘nice to have’ to the engine driving the business forward. Merchants need to deliver commerce experiences on par with or better than popular marketplaces and social media apps. A customized “commerce in a box’’ solution can’t support modern-day customers.

Magento being an industry leader in eCommerce for more than a decade, Adobe is supporting B2C and B2B merchants on this journey with Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce for creating unique shopping experiences for the customers.

Adobe offers a wide range of tools and built-in features to create an impressive online store with many flexible technology solutions for global expansion. 

However, you have to decide between the three popular Magento 2 versions.

Magento Open Source is the base source code and is free to download. The officially licensed version is called Adobe Commerce.

However, often our clients come to us and hesitate about which versions of Magento they should choose. Some of the questions they ask include:

  1. What are the different versions of Magento?
  2. Which version is the most adapted to my business needs?
  3. What are the main differences between the versions?
  4. What are the licensing costs?
  5. Why should I pay for the license when it’s FREE?

The Key Differentiators

  • Business size
  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Security

Business Size

Magento Open Source is a great option to kick start your business online. If you are a SME or start-up that needs to scale its eCommerce platform but can’t afford to pay upfront the license fee. The Magento Open Source platform provides a basic set of features required to start a small online store and test Adobe’s functionalities before upgrading. 

On the other hand, for larger organizations or B2B operations, Adobe Commerce is more suited. Its advanced functionalities, security, and integrated capabilities can accelerate the sales immediately. The Commerce platform is designed to handle large amounts of traffic and transactions. You can scale it as your business grows.

Magento Open Source

Magento Open Source previously known as Magento Community Edition is an open-source eCommerce platform. This is the free edition of the Magento platform which means anyone can get its code, edit it, and host it. 

The official launch of the first Magento Community Edition was in 2008, which quickly gained popularity in the eCommerce industry. However, the release of Magento 2 Open Source in 2015 raised the bar for the eCommerce platforms’ standard with improved, more user-friendly features, and faster performance.

Magento Open Source can be a good solution for SMEs, new merchants, or startups as the version offers great features at minimum expenses. 

Though Magento Open Source comes with basic features you can extend its functionality by adding third-party extensions, plug-ins, and modules to make configuration adjustments and meet your business requirements. However, you will need help from a certified Magento developer to download, setup, and implement the Magento Open Source platform based on your needs.

Magento Open-source Key Features

  • Catalog management
  • Mobile optimized shopping
  • Site Search
  • Integrated payment, checkout, and delivery
  • Instant Purchase
  • Page Builder (available from Magento 2.4.3 release), unified native CMS tool
  • Global selling

Adobe Commerce

First released in 2009 as Magento Enterprise Edition, Adobe Commerce is the licensed version of Magento with advanced functionalities and technical support. 

Adobe Commerce offers Business Intelligence natively and comes with many in-built features, minimum need for third-party extensions.

Adobe Commerce pricing model is based on Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), the total amount of sales your store makes over time, and Average Order Value (AOV.) 

Magento/Adobe Commerce (On-Premise)

Magento Commerce on-premises is the paid version with much higher level of eCommerce capabilities including many advanced tools in addition to all the features available in Magento Open Source. It’s an Enterprise software that you need to buy and host – in the cloud, or with a hosting service as it requires a dedicated team for technical support, maintenance, and troubleshooting. 

Page Builder – This unique Adobe Commerce feature lets merchants create web pages without any coding hassles. The predefined templates and elements enable you to simply drag and drop various features into place and create required pages.

B2B Module – for permission-based hierarchies, personal catalogs, requisition lists, negotiations, company credit systems, and more.

Improved Marketing Tools – customer segmentation, detailed reports on customer activities, email reminders, abandoned cart function.

Customer Engagement Features – reward points, gift cards, gift registries, returns, and store credits.

Advanced Payment Integration – Braintree, PayPal, CyberSource, and Worldpay to enhance transaction security.

Content Staging – schedule content updates, preview content changes from the admin panel.

Improved Import/Export scheduled imports and exports for daily, weekly, or monthly data transfers.

Magento/Adobe Commerce Cloud (Hosted)

Adobe Commerce Cloud is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution hosted on Magento’s custom AWS/Azure based cloud hosting infrastructure – no servers, networks, or cybersecurity hassles. 

This bundled offering by Adobe provides businesses with a flexible as well as scalable end-to-end eCommerce platform to optimize the commerce experience across the entire customer journey. 

Adobe Commerce Features 

  • Page Builder and Content Staging

Though available in Magento Open Source from 2.4.3 release, the Page Builder in Adobe Commerce enables merchants to leverage the Experience Management tools to the fullest and deliver more engaging and personalized experiences.  

 This Adobe Commerce feature helps businesses to create, preview, and schedule content updates hassle free without the IT team’s assistance. This not only increases productivity but also guarantees a flawless shopping experience by optimizing and managing the site updates changes via a timeline dashboard.  

  • Customer Segmentation and Personalization

Adobe Commerce can help increase your conversion rates through personalized content, promotions, and pricing based on properties like customer’s gender, location, wish list items, order history, lifetime purchase value and more. Targeting unknown site visitors is also possible via the products viewed or items in the cart.

  • Product Recommendations powered by Adobe Sensei

Adobe Commerce’s A.I. powered product recommendations help in driving engagement and conversion along with more efficient operations via a dedicated UI embedded into the Adobe Commerce admin.

Adobe Sensei analyzes the buyer’s behavior, processes the data using machine learning and recommends products to the shoppers. 

  • Instant purchase

The Instant Purchase checkout option helps increase the conversion rates for returning shoppers via previously-stored payment credentials and shipping information. This not only makes the checkout process faster but also easier, especially for mobile shoppers.

  • Visual merchandising

Drag-and-drop interface to optimize product category pages by arranging products with best seller, newest addition color, or highest margin. Automatically assigned products based on brand, price, date created, and other attributes.

  • Business Intelligence Capabilities

Drive growth by harnessing your Adobe Commerce or any other data to gain a 360-degree view of your business. Better analysis of marketing ROI and conversion rates while learning more about your customers.

  •  Integrated B2B Functionality

Adobe Commerce delivers all industry-leading B2B and B2C commerce functionalities from a single platform. From custom catalogs, price lists to quick order forms, requisition lists, and more, Adobe Commerce’s B2B features ensure fast, friction-free purchasing for customers.

It empowers your B2B customers with the ability to create company accounts, set up multiple buyers, and define personalized purchase order approval workflows with easy self-service tools. They can use seller assisted shopping to login as the customer and get troubleshoot assistance or save time by placing orders on their behalf.

  • Inventory management

Adobe Commerce can improve your business’ operational efficiency with integrated multi-source inventory and shipping management features. With Multi Source merchants can manage shipping of products from more than one location – warehouses, brick-and-mortar stores, drop shippers, and distribution centers. Once you add custom sources for each location, you become a Multi Source merchant.

Commerce supports inventory management for all business sizes from a single store website to an international network of eCommerce stores, warehouses, and drop shippers. 

  • Technical and Account Support 

Adobe provides 24×7 support for its Commerce users to help merchants quickly resolve technical issues and questions. The dedicated account manager learns about your business to guide you to the right resources and get the most out of the Magento Commerce platform.

  • Cloud Infrastructure

With Adobe Commerce you can focus on growing your business rather than managing your IT infrastructure. Adobe Commerce cloud provides merchants with a high performing, secured, and reliable cloud-based environment that can support all types of Magento Commerce store deployment. 

The high availability and scalability, Web Application Firewall and DDoS protection, high-speed CDN and performance management tools of Adobe Commerce Cloud helps you deliver the experience your customers demand.

Differences Between Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce

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Magento releases security patches for its open source platform to ensure the stores running on Magento platform are safe from phishing or other attacks.

 On the other hand, Adobe Commerce includes a Fastly Web Application Firewall providing a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) protection. It comes with PCI Level 1 Compliance.

Magento Open Source edition is best for companies using a trusted payment gateway as it doesn’t have WAF and DDoS security services.

Your Magento hosting provider has to take care of the server-related security via SSL/TLS Encryption.

Adobe Commerce comes with direct technical support to report a bug and get updates to fix it.

Magento Open Source and Adobe Commerce Pricing

When asked to choose between Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source, the most significant differentiator that merchants look at is the cost. 

Magento Open Source is free to download and customizable as per the requirements of the business. Merchants have to pay only for the development and hosting fees, Magento as a platform doesn’t cost anything.

When it comes to Adobe Commerce On-premises and Adobe Commerce Cloud, there is an annual license fee that merchants have to pay based on their company’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and Average Order Value (AOV). 

Though the costs of running your store on Magento Open Source or Commerce are far apart, what you get with Adobe Commerce is worth every penny. The advanced features of Commerce are what a business need to grow and scale.

Also, Adobe Commerce Cloud has two plans: Starter and Pro. 

Though the Starter Plan is simpler, the Pro Plan offers a Platform-as-a-service experience – secure cloud infrastructure hosting.

Both the plans offer all the pre-integrated cloud features for security, support, and managed infrastructure. However, the Pro plan in addition offers:

  • B2B module 
  • A dedicated technical advisor 
  • New Relic Infrastructure and Logs 
  • Multiple environments to develop, test, and launch the store 

Why should I pay for Adobe Commerce if Open Source is “free”

Adobe Commerce comes with all the features included in the open-source version, plus dozens of additional capabilities and tools, including:

  • Business intelligence dashboard
  • B2B functionality
  • Advanced marketing tools
  • Content staging and preview
  • Customer loyalty tools
  • Magento Page Builder (drop and drag)
  • Visual merchandising
  • Product recommendations  
  • Performance monitoring tools
  • Customer segmentation
  • System Wide Analysis Tool

Cloud hosting is one of the major differences between the two. Adobe Commerce cloud is optimized for global availability up to 99.99% of the time. Users get full onboarding support to learn how to use and navigate the platform. Other cloud benefits include:

  • Fast page loading with a Fastly Content Delivery Network (CDN)  
  • Performance monitoring tools  
  • Web application firewall  
  • Enhanced security with Fastly WAF and DDoS services  
  • PCI compliance  
  • Easy deployment  
  • Streamlined updates and testing 
  • Accelerate site performance with Fastly®’s V Image Optimization.
  • PCI certified cloud infrastructure 
  • unrestricted versions of New Relic APM Pro (performance monitoring) and New Relic Infrastructure monitoring. 


Magento Open Source is a cost-effective and more suitable option for those who need flexibility and customization but will not benefit from the B2B functionality or Cloud environment that the Magento license offers. Although if you need the features Magento Commerce offers and have yearly revenue of more than $5M the license will be helpful.

ioVista’s technical team also suggests Adobe Commerce if you have already decided to pay for a license. In this case, you will have to take care of one system and communicate with one support team instead of maintaining both Magento Commerce and your hosting environment. Moreover, the cloud solution gives robust security and deep analytics.

Albert Wood
Albert Wood linkedin

Albert Wood is an accomplished eCommerce Business Analyst. As a technology futurist and sales motivator at ioVista, Albert is dedicated to transforming struggling eCommerce businesses into thriving enterprises. With a keen focus on client’s business processes, user experience (UX), and leveraging the power of digital marketing, he helps businesses optimize their online presence and drive sustainable growth. Albert’s passion is for virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR), immersing himself in unforgettable experiences and exploring the limitless possibilities they offer. His enthusiasm for these emerging technologies fuels his drive to push the boundaries of innovation in eCommerce.

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