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Magento is an open source e-commerce web application that was launched on March 31, 2008. It was developed by Varien (now Magento Inc) with help from the programmers within the open source community but is owned solely by Magento Inc.. Magento was built using the Zend Framework. It uses the entity-attribute-value (EAV) database model to store data.
The Magento Community Edition is the only free version of Magento available.
The Magento ecommerce system has been widely adopted by online retailers with 130,033 sites known to use itranging from smaller ecommerce websites to large multinational businesses such as Harvey Nichols and Samsung.
While Magento offers a free "Community" edition, it should be noted that the software is a complex solution that will typically require the user to have a reasonable grasp of php and html in order to set a customized store live. While there is an enormous amount of 'self help' available on forums and offered by the Magneto community, you cannot obtain support from Magento until you purchase the Enterprise edition.
As an e-commerce platform, Magento allows for features including flexible product display options, mobile templates, transaction options, multi-store and multi-site functionality, user accounts and loyalty programs, product categorisation and shopper filtering, and discount and promotion rules.
As a web platform, Magento uses its own take on the model-view-controller (MVC) model. The differences between the traditional model and Magento's model are the following: