Two big things are shaping the digital commerce game: composable development tools and AI-powered personalization. Adobe’s latest release is all about these game-changers, which got us asking: Is Adobe going composable? Here at Vaimo, we’ve created ecommerce stores on the Adobe Commerce platform (formerly Magento) for over 15 years. For the past few years, we’ve focused on building composable solutions for our clients.

First, let’s look at Adobe Commerce/Magento through the years we’ve worked with the famous ecommerce platform.



What is Adobe Commerce?

Adobe Commerce is a flexible and scalable end-to-end ecommerce platform. Retailers can manage, personalize, and optimize the commerce experience across touchpoints and the entire customer journey, from initial to post-purchase engagement.

Adobe Commerce also integrates seamlessly with Adobe Experience Cloud, allowing you to manage all your ecommerce content in one place.

What is Magento?

Released for public use in 2007, Magento was an open-source ecommerce platform written in PHP and available to download for free. Developers could download the software, implement their own modules, and build upon the functionality.

Historically, Magento offered the free Magento Community edition and the Enterprise edition, a paid version of the platform that came loaded with features and functionality out-of-the-box.

Magento was an on-premise product before they launched Magento Commerce Cloud in 2016.

After Adobe acquired Magento, Magento Community became Magento Open Source, and Magento Enterprise became Adobe Commerce. Merchants and developers can still use Magento Open Source to self-host and customize their ecommerce solutions.

Adobe Commerce vs Magento

In 2018, Adobe acquired the ecommerce platform Magento Commerce. Magento, a market-leading ecommerce platform, was a natural addition to Adobe’s suite of cloud services. Adobe and Magento’s shared vision of digital experiences bridged the Adobe Experience Cloud with ecommerce.

Adobe launched cloud-based Adobe Commerce in 2019. Since the acquisition, Adobe has solidified its standing at the forefront of digital experience trailblazers. Last year, Adobe was named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce report for the seventh consecutive year.

For Adobe devotees and Magento evangelists alike, the confluence of Adobe and Magento means elevated shopping experiences across industries and channels. Discover what Adobe Commerce can do for you, whether it’s a good fit for your ecommerce business, and how it measures up in the marketplace.

Open Source vs. Adobe Commerce

Magento Open Source remains the publicly available, free version of its premium counterpart, Adobe Commerce. Both platforms provide a rock-solid foundation for an ecommerce store with some notable differences.

The two versions both provide responsive web experiences across devices, payment options, checkout, shipping, and site administration. While Magento Open Source offers enough basic functionality to get an ecommerce store up and running, the options are sparse.

Adobe Commerce comes loaded with heavy hitters such as a B2B suite, ElasticSearch, CMS, customized shipping options, advanced cloud features, and a plug-and-play integration with Adobe Experience Manager.

Adobe Commerce vs Adobe Commerce Cloud

When Adobe released Adobe Commerce in 2019, the ecommerce platform was named “Adobe Commerce Cloud.” Since then, Adobe rebranded the platform simply as “Adobe Commerce,” with cloud hosting still included in the product.

What are headless and composable?

Headless architecture refers to decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend infrastructure. In a headless setup, the ecommerce platform serves only the content or data through an API (Application Programming Interface), while the presentation layer (e.g., website, mobile app) is built separately using any technology or framework. This allows for greater flexibility and innovation in designing and delivering digital experiences across various channels and devices.

Composable architecture involves breaking down an application or system into modular, interchangeable components that can be independently developed, deployed, and scaled. Composable architectures enable businesses to assemble their digital solutions by combining these modular components, such as microservices, APIs, and third-party services, to meet specific business requirements and adapt to changing needs over time.

Think of composable as going one step further than headless. Headless architecture primarily focuses on decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend infrastructure, while composable architecture goes beyond this separation and encompasses the entire application or system, breaking it down into modular components that can be combined and assembled to create customized solutions.

While headless architecture primarily addresses frontend concerns, composable architecture extends to the entire application stack, offering greater flexibility, scalability, and customization options.

How Adobe went composable

As one of the market’s most flexible platforms, Adobe has always been a great building block for a headless approach or a hybrid composable model. Here’s why:

Magento started out by supporting modules and extensions within its application. Over the years, Magento began working on its headless architecture by allowing clients to run their front end and connect to an external content management system (CMS).

In addition, Magento has always offered seamless integrations with catalog management, search, product information management (PIM), and more.

As a result, Adobe Commerce has always been a great candidate for a composable approach because it allows for external functionality, tools, and services that will scale with your build. We’ve worked with numerous clients who have used Adobe’s powerful backend in their composable or headless solutions. Read more in our Rapala case study, a headless ecommerce solution built on Adobe Commerce.

Now, with Adobe’s latest release that includes composable development tools and AI-powered personalization, the ecommerce platform giant has truly made its mark in the composable world. Read our detailed report on the latest release here. Because of Adobe’s simplified composable offering, the benefits of going composable with Adobe Commerce are stacking up:

  • Flexible architectural options: You can choose between headless, non-headless, or hybrid approaches, tailoring the architecture to their specific needs.
  • Feature-rich platform: Adobe Commerce provides extensive out-of-the-box functionality accessible through its GraphQL API, reducing the need for multiple vendors and cutting time-to-market in half.
  • Hybrid frontend experiences: Supporting both headless and non-headless frontend experiences simultaneously, merchants can gradually transition to a composable architecture without a full system migration, realizing value faster.
  • API Mesh: Simplifies integration by consolidating multiple microservices and third-party tools into a unified GraphQL endpoint, reducing complexity and enabling easier customization.
  • Adobe App Builder: A serverless extensibility platform allowing you to create custom microservices and integrate third-party solutions without the need for extensive infrastructure management, reducing complexity and total cost of ownership.

Is Adobe Commerce right for my business?

Adobe Commerce caters excellently to medium-to-large businesses seeking a robust ecommerce platform known for its extendability, fluidity, and flexibility.
This full-stack ecommerce solution offers a feature-rich, modular environment that seamlessly integrates with essential supporting technologies for a headless or composable approach. Adobe Commerce’s customizable nature sets it apart—you can tailor it precisely to your needs without limitations.
Adobe Commerce is the ideal choice if you’re seeking a modular, best-of-breed solution but aren’t ready for a fully agile, composable delivery engine. It effortlessly facilitates expansion into new markets, channels, and technologies.

How Vaimo can help

Adobe’s journey toward composability represents a significant milestone in the evolution of digital commerce, and Vaimo is proud to be at the forefront of this transformative shift. As we continue to collaborate with Adobe and push the boundaries of innovation, we remain committed to delivering exceptional results for our clients and shaping the future of ecommerce.

For our client Rapala, we built a modern headless solution with the Adobe Commerce platform as the engine and Vue Storefront as the customer-facing presentation layer. The presentation layer, built as a Progressive Web App (PWA), offers an app-like user experience for mobile visitors to the Rapala website.

We also offer the Vaimo LaunchPad, our composable architecture accelerator product that makes it easier to onboard into a commercetools-driven composable architecture. With a proven blueprint, integrations, data, and technology architecture, we have created a structured baseline for all ecommerce needs.

Are you interested in going composable with Adobe? Contact us to find out how we can help.