The world is changing and posing new challenges for business, so Adobe is constantly evaluating these changes and improving their products to match the current market trends.
For several months now, the Adobe world has been actively discussing the release of Adobe Experience Manager 6.3. We have tested this version and are ready to take a glance at new features that open up to users and developers.
Since this is not an upgrade from version 6.0 to 7.0, the latest changes aren’t that global or significant, but we can still highlight a few interesting ones. We can divide new features into 2 categories. Moreover, AEM 6.3 also contains all the fixes and updates of the AEM 6.2 version.
1. Improvements that are aimed at systematizing, simplifying, and speeding up your work:
The modal window of the Content Browser has been improved with an online search feature: previously, you could only switch between folders, but now you can type something in the search bar and quickly find it.
However, I couldn’t find a way to recognize the repository path of the search results. List View is also unavailable.
Now, a new option exists in the page mode dropdown: Timewarp. This feature allows you to access the history of page changes to see how the page looked at a specific date and time.
Side Panel: Content tree
The Touch UI has lost Classic toolbars. Thus, locating a component in the page layout was sometimes challenging if, for example, a component is transparent or has some hidden inner components. Component absolute positioning can make the content manager’s job more difficult.
The new version has a button on the sidebar that shows the document structure as a tree (containers, fragments, carousels). The content tree displays the hierarchical structure of the page and allows you to understand where a missing component is located, even if it is completely invisible. It is also possible to edit a component directly from the tree.
The Relate menu setups the relationship between assets.
A new button allows you to establish logical links between assets. You can specify that one picture was taken from another and that the second picture is a copy of the first picture but with some changes.
The Source and Derived are asymmetric relations, while the Other is symmetric.
The relationship information is stored in both related assets under jcr:content/related/sources/sling:members/ or jcr:content/related/derived/sling:members/ or jcr:content/related/others/sling:members/.
Unrelate cancels the relationships between assets.
2. Functionality changes, new features
Check-out/Check-in: How it works? If any author makes a check-out, other authors can’t do anything with the document. This feature is useless if only one author can work on the project. If several authors simultaneously work on the same project, they can’t make changes to the same document at the same time. It helps to avoid any confusion and conflicts.
Check-out/Check-in is supposed to lock an asset for exclusive use and unlock it.
Technically, the property cq:drivelock appears in the asset content node:
It contains the login name of the user checked-out the asset.
Other users can’t modify the asset until it is checked-in. However, they can use the asset on their pages. The publish action is also unavailable for locked assets.
When the owner has finished working with an asset, he can click Check-in to unlock the asset for other users.
What happens if the owner forgets to unlock an asset? The author with administrator privileges can remove the block.
Experience Fragments сan be classified as a fundamental functionality change. It’s a kind of new phenomenon in AEM.
How does it work? You create a fragment, fill it with the necessary information, and use it on several pages at the same time. Than you can just change this fragment and the automatic changes apply to several pages.
For comparison, usual components are created for each separate page. With this new feature, the page stores only a link to some external fragments but does not store all the information for the separate components inside this fragment.
As you may know, Content Fragments introduced in a previous AEM version are only textual assets that can be referenced from different pages. Previously, it was impossible to insert pictures or components. They only supported simple Markdown formatting. So It's not just a functionality upgrade, but rather a whole new feature with the old one intact.
Those who have worked with Content Fragments before can easily understand how to use new Experience Fragments: the fragments have become more advanced, but they are used in exactly the same way as Content Fragments.
Experience fragments are reusable components, not assets. Let’s play with them.
Creating new Experience Fragment is pretty straightforward:
A fragment should have at least one variant:
By the way, other options can be created as a standalone page or as the live copy of the first variant.
Let's look at a fragment from the inside: it is a page with resource type cq/experience-fragments/components/experiencefragment which has one or more variant pages based on one of the Experience Fragment templates.
The default variant templates have an empty layout container. Of course, it is possible to create custom templates.
Next, the page version is filled with content and ready for use:
A Fragment is very simple to use: drag-drop the Experience Fragment component into a page, select a fragment or a specific variation and save.
As expected, the page displays the first variant of Experience Fragment:
It is possible to select a specific variant as well.
If the Experience Fragment is changed, all linked pages are automatically updated.
The Experience Fragment component just keeps the fragmentPath property:
When the page is ready for publication, the publishing master suggests publishing the Experience Fragment and all variants, as well as other dependencies:
Page properties dialog
AEM 6.3 has a new page properties tab “Social Media” which allows an author to set up a social network integration for the page::
The Social Network integration is based on a special invisible Experience Fragment that contains an image and a text for further publication in the social network feed:
When the Facebook Social Media is set up, the appropriate Open Graph markup is inserted into the page meta tags, e.g. og:title, og:description, and og:image. https://stageaemcom.axamit.com
How to create a dialog in AEM?
To make a simple dialog in AEM, use the TouchUI dialog editor. It lets you make fields, tabs, and validation rules in a visual interface:
- Select the required component.
- Click Create… and then Create Dialog….
- Add your info, then click Save All.
To let authors use your dialog, publish the changes. For more complicated dialogs, you should edit the node structure with CRXDE Lite or CRX Content Explorer.
What is the difference between dialog and design dialog in AEM?
In AEM, a Dialog and a Design Dialog are UI elements that allow authors to interact with components. Dialogs are used to edit content for a specific instance of a component, for example, to change the text in a text box component on a specific page. Design Dialogs are used to set default design parameters that will be applied to all instances of a component and define a standard appearance or behavior for a component at the template level.
How to get dialog properties in AEM?
You can access Dialog properties programmatically within your component’s logic, you can use the Properties API to retrieve the values of individual properties by their names. If you need to inspect or modify a component’s dialog properties at a lower level, you can use the AEM CRXDE Lite tool to access the underlying dialog.xml file and make changes to the XML code directly.