AEM 6.0 at a Glance

28 May 2014
Przemyslaw Pakulski
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Adobe Experience Manager 6 is out!

Almost 6 years after introducing CQ5, the revolutionary WCM platform, last week Adobe released the next version of the product, known now as Adobe Experience Manager 6.0 (AEM).

aem 6.0 quickstart

What I really like about this platform is that it has evolved over time keeping the technology stack fresh. It has been like that throughout history and it is no different this time. Find out what's new in the latest release below.

Top Tech Innovations

#1 Jackrabbit Oak

AEM 6.0 is now powered by the next generation repository implementation called Jackrabbit Oak (aka Jackrabbit 3). The architecture of Oak was redesigned from scratch to offer improved performance and scalability and support massive content repositories. As an option MongoDB, a leading NoSQL database, can be used as a persistence layer to support efficiently active/active clustering and user generated content scenarios.

#2 Touch UI

The next key innovation is the visible shift towards touch enabled devices. The old UI called Classic (based on ExtJS) has become less important and it is gradually being superseded by a new touch optimized interface, based on jQuery and by Coral UI.

While the Classic UI will not disappear suddenly and seems it will be supported for a long time; the majority (if not all) of the newly introduced features leverage the Touch UI. The good news is that new look and feel is used across all Adobe Marketing Cloud products which makes them all unified and similar to use.

aem6 touch ui

#3 Sightly

With version 6.0 of AEM platform, Adobe has introduced and now recommends a new way of component development; Sightly. This new templating language Sightly, is fully HTML compliant, which enforces separation of the markup from logic and also offers XSS protection by default.

Although it promises simplified development process and reduced time to market, in my opinion it will take probably some time to adopt the new markup language, while mature and solid JSP will remain the first choice and for many CQ implementers.

#4 More open source

Anything else? Sure, the technology stack, which since many years is based on open source projects, has been enriched by the following new ones:

  • Jetty 8 - an extensible, widely used open source web container supporting Servlets 3.0 specification, which has replaced the "own breed" CQSE used previously.
  • Apache Solr - a scalable open source enterprise search platform, which can be configured as embedded server or integrated external instance, to replace and extend functionality of default search engine based on Lucene.

New and Updated Features

But AEM 6 it's not about technical changes only. It also provides a set of new and enhanced functionality. From my perspective the most important, among others, are:

  • Social Communities - a collection of redesigned social components based on Social Component Framework which now allow also storage in Adobe Social cloud,
  • Mobile Apps support - simplifies management and deployment of mobile applications to multiple platforms using PhoneGap Build,
  • Many DAM enhancements - including 2-way syncing with Creative Cloud, Dynamic Media support integrated directly into AEM, processing profiles, metadata schemas, enhanced search and improved team collaboration with projects, workflows and tasks,
  • Operations Dashboard - allows monitoring and diagnosis of the AEM platform and running maintenance tasks and various health checks, all this from one place,
  • Improved and new integrations with Adobe Marketing Cloud services (including Target and Campaign),
  • eCommerce Integration Framework extensions for Elastic Path and Intershop,
  • Adaptive Forms - easy-to-use solution to create complex and responsive forms.

For a full list and details check the release notes.

Summary

The 6th version of Adobe Experience Manager has only been available for a few days, so I do not yet know all the details and secrets, however I can say that the number of architectural and functional changes makes the “jump” to next version number fully justified.

My expectations for the new release are quite high, especially around the next generation content repository, and I cannot wait to see how it will perform in real production environments.
I am very much looking forward to seeing AEM 6.0 in action pretty soon.