There will be a Commerce 9 - which is a non-event
An update to let you know that we are going to do a Commerce 9 release. With good results from Commerce 8 and CMS 8 releases I think everyone have a better idea of what major version releases from EPiServer means today, so this should not be a big thing. We will keep the breaking changes to a minimum so for many customers / partners this will not have any impact at all.
Why a major version release?
A technical reason to allow CMS Core to continue with improvements on our logging system (we expose data types from log4net in a public API - this needs to be removed = breaking change). So just to re-iterate what have been said in other channels - version numbers only carry a technical message.
Since we are going to do a breaking change release there are a few other things we're planning to do and please send us your feedback if you think it's good or bad.
- Remove dependency on WWF (Windows Workflow Foundation), where WWF 3 that we are using is now obsoleted and (officially) not supported on Azure, We will provide a compatibility layer that allows customized workflow activities to be re-used with VERY MINOR modifications. NOTE! It will NOT be 100% source code compatible so dev resources are required for an upgrade. The positive aspect is that a number of partners have asked for / begged us to remove WWF for quite some time, so I expect this will not be such a negative thing after all.
- Remove remains of Mediachase CMS. Most of the Mediachase CMS code, along with database tables, are still present in EPiServer Commerce. This is just unnecessary baggage that adds no value.
- Implement improved version handling for catalog system. This is a feature that should be highly invisible, the only noticeable aspect would be improved performance, hopefully significantly improved performance. The actual feature itself might not be strictly breaking, but shipping it with Commerce 9 gives us a bit more flexibility.
When is this going to happen? No firm dates, but at least a few months into the future.
-- UPDATE --
We're getting closer to a release... The good news is that the performance has improved significantly - real-world tests has shown 2x - 10x performance improvements in catalog-related operations. As always, your mileage may vary.