Home Blog 2016 What Is AEM Dispatcher Configuration? Part 2: Environment Setup

What Is AEM Dispatcher Configuration? Part 2: Environment Setup

AEM dispatcher configuration

See also:

What Is AEM Dispatcher Configuration? Part 2: Key Steps to Set Up Your Environment

In this post, I have put together detailed instructions on how to set up AEM Dispatcher in a Windows environment. I am an AEM developer (a Java developer), so setting up Apache is not something I do a lot. The instructions below would have saved me a lot of time if I had them when first trying to set up a server on my local machine.

Let’s consider the local environment installation from our “getting started” tutorial. We assume you already have installed both the AEM author (http://localhost:4502) and public (http://localhost:4503) instances.

Now you only need a couple more things to get the Dispatcher environment ready:

  1. Select one of the three supported static web servers and install it:

    • Apache HTTP Server (“httpd”);
    • Microsoft IIS;
    • Oracle IPlanet.
  2. Install and enable the AEM Dispatcher module (plugin) for the selected static web server.

Static web server installation

We used an Apache HTTP Server (“httpd”) for this demo. We assume that your local environment is Windows-based. The installation steps will be pretty similar if you have another OS family.

The following notes are based on my environment:

Important note: before downloading httpd installers, consider checking if the corresponding dispatcher module exists for the version of your future httpd server. Different dispatcher module versions have been made available by Adobe on this page.

You will note that the Windows dispatcher module is available only for the Apache httpd 2.2 version. You can download it from one of the following archives:


We will use one of these archives in the next section, describing how to enable the dispatcher module on a static web server.

Dispatcher for Apache HTTP server

We need to install the Apache httpd version 2.2 for the x86 platform because we have a Windows environment, and only these dispatcher modules are available for our setup. The Apache httpd for Microsoft Windows is available from several third-party vendors on the Apache httpd download page:

Download Apache HTTP server

You won’t find the Apache httpd binaries for Windows on the httpd Apache website, but you can select one of the third-party vendors instead. Vendors have built these binaries from the source code and made them available on their sites.

Download Apache for Windows

Let's choose the first one: ApacheHaus. Their binaries have been compiled with Visual Studio:

Apache Haus Downloads

You can find binaries for the Apache v.2.2 and find out that binaries for that httpd version have been compiled with Visual Studio 2008 (VC9).

Apache 2.2 VC9 Server Binaries

You also need to get an appropriate Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Package (x86):

Microsoft Visual Redistributable Package

Finally, you have downloaded all the necessary installers for the Apache httpd installation:

  • “vcredist_x86.exe” - Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86);
  • “” - Apache HTTP Server (“httpd”).

Begin by installing “Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)”. This installation is trivial and consists of accepting the license agreement and following the wizard steps.

Then extract the httpd archive and move the Apache22 folder to the C: drive. Your httpd folder will be C:\Apache22.

Open the cmd console and go to the C:\Apache22\bin directory.

C:\Apache22\bin directory in Windows CMD

Then type the “httpd” command to start the Apache httpd server.

httpd command

Httpd is up and running. You can check its operability by typing http://localhost in your browser. You will see the Apache home page if everything is set up correctly.

Apache home page

Press ctrl+c in the cmd-console to stop httpd.

Finally, you have installed your own local Apache httpd static web server.

Installation and enabling of the AEM Dispatcher module

Download the corresponding dispatcher module from this page.

Download dispatcher

We assume that you have downloaded

Extract disp_apache2.2.dll from the archive and move it to the C:\Apache22\modules directory.

Add the following settings at the end of the httpd configuration file C:\Apache22\conf\httpd.conf:

LoadModule dispatcher_module modules\disp_apache2.2.dll

<IfModule disp_apache2.c>
  DispatcherConfig conf/dispatcher.any
  DispatcherLog    logs/dispatcher.log
  DispatcherLogLevel 3
  DispatcherNoServerHeader 0
  DispatcherDeclineRoot 0
  DispatcherUseProcessedURL 1
  DispatcherPassError 0

<Directory />
  <IfModule disp_apache2.c>
    SetHandler dispatcher-handler
    ModMimeUsePathInfo On

  Options FollowSymLinks
  AllowOverride None

The 1st line loads the dispatcher module. You must set the correct name of your dispatcher “dll” file. In our case, it is modules\disp_apache2.2.dll.

The 2nd “ifmodule” block sets some initial properties for the dispatcher:

  • DispatcherConfig sets the full name of the dispatcher configuration file. It’s conf/dispatcher.any for us. You can copy the default dispatcher.any file from the dispatcher archive.
  • DispatcherLog sets the full name of the dispatcher’s log file. It is logs/dispatcher.log in our case.
  • DispatcherLogLevel is the log level file from the briefest 0 (errors) to the most detailed 3 (debug). We set it to Debug level in this example.
  • DispatcherUseProcessedURL defines whether to use pre-processed URLs for all further processing by Dispatcher:

    • 0 - use the original URL passed to the web server.
    • 1 - the dispatcher uses the URL already processed by the handlers that precede the dispatcher (i.e., mod_rewrite) instead of the original URL passed to the web server.

The 3rd “directory” block configures the dispatcher to handle incoming requests for the complete website.

The installation of the httpd server and dispatcher is finally complete. Restart your httpd server for configuration changes to take effect. If you see that logs/dispatcher.log appear, then the httpd server is running, and the dispatcher module is enabled correctly.


To set up your dispatcher environment, you have to install the following software:

  1. One of three supported static web servers;
  2. Enable the dispatcher module for the selected static web server.

Here are the links where you can find detailed and useful documentation:


How to install an AEM dispatcher?

Use the Dispatcher Release Notes page to obtain the latest Dispatcher installation file for your operating system and a web server. Dispatcher release numbers are independent of the Adobe Experience Manager release numbers and are compatible with Adobe Experience Manager 6.x, 5.x, and Adobe CQ 5.x releases.

  • Download the dispatcher build;
  • Modify the Apache web server httpd.conf file;
  • Modify the dispatcher.any file;
  • Restart the Apache web server.

How to check the dispatcher version in AEM?

Bounce it and check dispatcher.any or error.log file configured in httpd.conf

What is the latest AEM version?

As of 2022, Adobe Experience Manager is currently a 6.5 version solution. These include new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. A new version is expected to be announced soon.


Vitaly Kiselev
  • Vitaly Kiselev
  • Certified AEM Developer в Axamit