In the real world merchants get sold into Magento Enterprise for projects where it’s not necessarily needed. First let me make clear Magento Enterprise is a great product, it can provide a fast loading, PCI-Compliant, fully featured eCommerce solution out of the box. But unless you are going to make use of the Enterprise features and get additional value from these, the license fee can seem like an unnecessarily fixed yearly cost.
If you have decided that the additional cost of the Enterprise License isn’t needed for your Magento site, then how do you migrate away? There are a number of factors to consider and a number of different approaches you could take, I’m going to outline two methods and explore how each could help you achieve this task.
1. Export Magento Enterprise and Import into Community Edition
As the majority of the application structure is identical between the two versions the task of exporting data such as customers, products etc out of Enterprise edition and importing them into the new community edition is possible. This step is easier then exporting from a different system such as Cubecart or Virtuemart, which may store and represent their product and options in completely different ways which would require a complex conversion.
Thankfully if you’re looking to export from Enterprise you get a fairly good Customer and Product data export functionality, category data isn’t covered with an export function so so you’re going to need to find a method of getting these your self, there are tools available from 3rd party developers to assist with this. such as this import / export extension
So once you’ve setup your new Magento Community Edition store and have imported your data, you’ll still need to work on migrating the extensions used and any modifications in your template. As you’re starting again on a fresh community edition you’ll have the chance to hopefully install new up to date Community Edition versions of the extensions you are using, always remember to install these and keep testing as you go.
Due to Magento’s flexible architecture and modular block layout structure you shouldn’t have too much trouble reusing all or most of your template, just remember to test thoroughly EVERY page.
2. Downgrade Directly in Enterprise
Another possible way to move from Enterprise Edition is to work directly on the Enterprise edition system (well a development copy!). We’d recommend completing all necessary tasks on a development copy of your site, once you’re happy do a dry run on the day of the migration for the database and then perform it on the site with the live site in maintenance mode.
As I said previously Magento EE is actually built on a stable copy of Magento CE, with some Enterprise modules added and additional security features included to make it PCI-complient. So either one of the two steps above will help and give us a good basis to go from.
There are a few things to consider when switching that you may overlook (we almost did on our first migration!).
- EE provides easy admin access to the following EAV Entity attributes, some of which you’ll lose when switching. Customer Attributes is one such entity, in Enterprise edition these are available to modify for both the customer and the customer addresses. You’ll need to ensure these values that will still be available in all forms that are being saved. To know exactly which attributes have been added and which will be effected have a look in the database table enterprise_customer_sales_flat_order & enterprise_customer_sales_flat_order_address.
- If you’ve havn’t got any values in these tables then you don’t need to do anything, if you do then I’d suggest looking for either a customer attribute management extension or with just a small custom setup script you can add these into CE, take a look at this article from Excellence Magento on one way to do this http://excellencemagentoblog.com/customer-registration-fields-magento1-6.
- Reward points are another feature that will not be present in the new system by default. You’ll need to think about transferring customer balances to a new system if you are going to move or you’ll have some angry customers when their point balance disappear.
- Like Rewards points, “Customer balances” are another important feature that will disappear after a downgrade. Maxworx has a great extension which can replicate the functionality of Enterprise Edition.
- Mcrypt extension for PHP isn’t required for EE but is a requirement for CE so make sure your server is setup with this or you’ll miss important functionality
- Implement EE type encryption for authentication, if you examine the file