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AEM 6.3 overview

AEM 6.3 overview

The world is changing and posing new challenges for business, so Adobe is constantly evaluating these changes and improving its 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 talk about new features that open up to users and developers.

Since the update is not from the version, for example, 6.0 to 7.0, then the changes are rather small than global ones, but anyway there is a lot of interesting among them. All new features can be roughly divided into 2 categories and we will take a closer look at each of the categories. Apart from that AEM 6.3 also includes all the fixes and the updates from AEM 6.2.

1. Changes that are aimed at systematizing, simplifying and speeding up your work:

Content Browser

The path browser modal window has been improved with an online Search capability: earlier it was possible only to switch folders and now you can enter anything 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.

Page Editor

Mode selector

Now there is a new option in the page mode dropdown: Timewarp. It is supposed to view the page version as it was in the specified date and time.

Side Panel: Content tree

Since the Touch UI have lost Classic toolbars it was difficult sometimes to locate a component in the page layout, if for example a component is transparent or has some hidden inner components. An absolute component positioning makes authoring a tricky game.

In the new version on the side panel there is a button that shows the document structure in the form of a tree(containers, fragments, carousels). A content tree shows the hierarchical structure of the page and allows to understand where the just dropped component is, even if it is completely invisible. It is also possible to edit a component directly from the tree.

Relate/Unrelate

Relate menu setups the relationship between assets.

A new button allows you to establish logical links between assets. For example, you can specify that some picture was taken from another one, that the second picture is a copy of the first picture but with some changes.

Source and Derived are asymmetric relations while Other is symmetric.

The relationship information is stored in the 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.

More details: https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-3/author/assets/managing-assets-touch-ui/related-assets.html

2. Changes in functionality, new features appearance

Assets

Check-out/Check-in: How it works? If any author does check-out than other authors will not be able to do anything with the document. If there is only one author on the project, this function is useless. If several authors simultaneously work on the same project, they won’t be able to 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 an 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 are not able to modify the asset until it is checked-in. However, they can use the asset in their pages. A publish action is also unavailable for locked assets.

When the owner finished its’ asset modifications he can click Check-in to unlock the asset.

What happen if the owner forgot to unlock an asset? The author with administrator privileges can force the lock release:

More details: https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-3/author/assets/managing-assets-touch-ui/check-out-and-submit-assets.html

Experience Fragments

Experience Fragments сan be attributed to fundamental changes in functionality, it’s a kind of new phenomenon in AEM.

How it works? You create a fragment, fill it with information you need and you can use it in several pages at the same time. Than you can just change this fragment, and the automatic changes occur in these several pages. For comparison: the usual components are created for each separate page, and with the emergence of this new concept, the page stores only a reference to some external fragment, but does not store all the information for the separate components inside this fragment.

As you may know Content Fragments which were introduced in a previous AEM version are text assets only which can be referenced from different pages. Earlier it was not possible to insert either pictures or components. They supported simple Markdown formatting only. Therefore, we can say It's not just an upgrade of functionality, this is a completely new feature while preserving the old one.

Those who have worked with Content Fragments before can easily understand how to use new Experience Fragments: fragments have become more advanced, but they are used 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 variants can be created as a standalone page or as the first variant live-copy.

Let's look at a fragment from within: it is a page with resource type cq/experience-fragments/components/experiencefragment which has one or more variant pages based on the one of Experience Fragment Templates.

Default variant templates have an empty layout container. Of course, it is possible to create custom templates.

Next, the variant page is authored and ready to 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 the Experience Fragment:

It is possible to select a specific variant as well.

If the Experience Fragment is changed, all the pages with reference to it will be automatically updated.

The Experience Fragment component just keeps the fragmentPath property:

When a page is going to be published the publish wizard suggests to publish the Experience Fragments and all the variations as well as other dependencies:

More details: https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-3/author/experience-fragments.html

Page properties dialog

In AEM 6.3 there is a new page properties tab “Social Media” which allows an author to set up a social networks integration for the page:

The Social Networks integration is based on a special invisible Experience Fragment which contain an image and a text to be published 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

See details: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/webmasters/

Contributor

Vasily Lazerko
  • Vasily Lazerko
  • Adobe Certified AEM Architect