Development on Phoenix started a long time ago, however I realized that the front end and the UI/UX for the back end (the managers) needed to be updated first, so Route 66 was split off at that point. I will resume development of Phoenix after Route 66 has cleared a few hurdles, like releasing the community version.
Phoenix vs. Route 66
Route 66 brought us a much needed UI/UX facelift for both the store and manager sides. Code was also rearranged into more logical groups as it grew. Design frameworks and new template systems allowed it to support frameworks like Bootstrap 3, Bootstrap 4, MaterialCSS, Fontawesome, and more in the future. I wanted Route 66 to be able to upgrade from previous versions but unfortunately the changes between HTML 4 and HTML 5 along with changes between CSS 2 and CSS 3, make it nearly impossible to upgrade templates from older versions without losing all the benefits of going to a responsive (and mobile ready) structure. using older templates was also a huge challenge to get everything to work nicely together, so I pulled the duplicative code out and went with the newer software architecture. Technically an older template can be modified as a newer style template manually, but time is better served making a new site design/template while you use a simple template customized for your purposes until you can get a fully customized template developed.
Phoenix will take what we built and add a more powerful database engine to the mix. This will be a direct upgrade design and template wise for users of Route 66. The order and product data will be able to be imported into the new database, so it should be the easiest upgrade we have ever done.
The new database will allow customer accounts, price level assignments, better customer-centric experiences ( CX ), multiple storefronts on th same copy, differnt language versions simultaneously, and sales, marketing, and other data at your finger tips in a newer dashboard.
The database for front end use was ready in late 2017, but work was diverted to do Route 66 first. The hardest part is using newer DB concepts I picked up during my master's degree studies a few years ago so that the back end can do most of the heavy lifting a few times instead of having the front end do recursive data lookups every time someone visits the store and views another page of products. This makes the store faster for customers but slower for product management - slower as in milliseconds vs. 100's milliseconds for simple DB lookup. Once I solve that issue in the DB back-end management, Phoenix will be well on it's way to being released in mid 2020 (I hope) which marks AgoraCart being 20 years old.
That that is my story (for now) ... and I'm st..st..stickin to it