If you are a front-end developer or a designer dealing with an enterprise CMS like Adobe Experience Manager, you may find that simple tasks, such as changing the style of a page, can be problematic. For instance, changing a color in the stylesheets should take a matter of seconds. However, it’s sometimes not so easy in the AEM world.
To style an AEM page, you need to understand how to run and operate your local AEM instance and use AEM developer-oriented tools. This is not great for front-end developers who may be newcomers to AEM. Luckily, Zen Garden offers them a tool that makes AEM front-end development familiar and easy. It's called Creative Exchange.
You can work on this kind of package on your own, with your team or even outsource it to an external agency. It makes the entry level for making styling changes for an enterprise AEM-based page as low as it could be. This allows developers with different skillsets and levels of experience to evenly contribute when using Zen Garden. However, this doesn’t mean that Creative Exchange limits the technologies that you can use in your front-end implementation.
The rise of front-end automation
Creative Exchange SDK
Leveraging the power of the SDK
The simplest way of leveraging the SDK is using a built-in command line utility tool. If you have node.js and npm on your machine, you just need to install a module called crex-sdk. That should enable the application in your terminal window. The simplest use cases for the tool are to export the package and extract it into the current directory, then, after changes, zip it back and import it to the AEM instance. Here are the respective commands that would enable this, based on Zen Garden demo content:
The command line utility and use case in the example above are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what SDK has to offer. See the full documentation on Cognifide’s Lab Github. Even a basic usage, like the one in this example, will step up your Creative Exchange game in no time.
Feel free to experiment with the SDK and take your front-end workflow to the next level.
Mateusz has written other blogs on Zen Garden, including Create a universal component inventory with composites and Improving content efficiency with Zen Garden.