What to expect in nopCommerce 2.7

We have spent the past few weeks working on the new 2.7 release of our nopCommerce themes and extensions. NopCommerce 2.7 is to be released in roughly a week and I bet that many nopCommerce customers, vendors and developers are wondering what the nopCommerce team has in store for us this time. Let me try and highlight the more important features of the new nopCommerce and why upgrading to the new version should be on the agenda of every nopCommerce online store.

First of all nopCommerce 2.7 will run on the new .NET Framework 4.5. What does this mean for the various nopCommerce users?

First of all for the nopCommerce developers this means that the CLR is the same 4.0 but there are new libraries and bug fixes in the framework. Pretty much the same thing as with the move from .NET 2.0 to .NET 3.0 and .NET 3.5. The .NET Framework 4.5 also implies Visual Studio 2012 (smarter and faster according to Microsoft), MVC 4 and Entity Framework 5.0.

The EF 5.0 change is actually quite important to nopCommerce. Microsoft are reporting 67% speed improvement, which comes out of the box with the new EF 5.0. We tend to believe them as they have done a significant change in the new Entity Framework. All LINQ queries are now compiled and cached by default, something which had to be done explicitly before. Nopcommerce relies heavily on LINQ as part of its usage of EF as the nopCommerce data layer. So a 67% performance improvement in the framework will undoubtedly mean significant performance improvements for nopCommerce. All nopCommerce third party vendors will also benefit from this as their nopCommerce plugins will run faster with nopCommerce.

For nopCommerce retailers the nopCommerce 2.7 move to the .NET Framework 4.5 simply means faster nopCommerce indeed. Of course all windows hosting spaces need to be upgraded to .NET 4.5 but let the hosting companies worry about that.

Speaking of performance improvements nopCommerce 2.7 has one other important innovation. It supports configurable minifying and bundling of javascript files. This significantly reduces the content sent to the browser and respectively the load time of nopCommerce pages. The nopCommerce savvy developers should certainly find the following article on the Microsoft MVC web site interesting.

The nopCommerce team has continued to add new database indexes and presentation layer model caching in nopCommerce 2.7, which will also boost the speed of the system.

The performance improvements in the new nopCommerce 2.7 are surely exciting. But in 2.7 the nopCommerce team has implemented another feature that is at least as noteworthy. The new version supports id-less urls. Online marketeers and SEO experts will be cheering at this one as will the whole nopCommerce community because this is a long awaited and extremely important feature. Why urls should contain keywords rather than ids which are meaningless to search engines should be self-explanatory. What this feature also brings is less effort for the nopCommerce developers who will no longer have to struggle to implement custom routing schemes to close this SEO gap.

These are some of the more notable features of nopCommerce 2.7, which I hope will convince all interested in nopCommerce of the value of the new version. Of course there are numerous other improvements and bug fixes.

Given all this, we can certainly conclude that the nopCommerce team remain true to themselves and are giving us a version which is up-to-date with the very latest web technologies and as powerful and as enjoyable to work with as ever.