Archive for April, 2017

April 24, 2017

AEM Multi-Site Tips & Tricks Preview – IMMERSE 2017

We are excited to share another post in the AEM Rockstar Tips & Tricks Guest Blog series! This Tips & Tricks preview is from Brett Birschbach, an AEM Certified Architect and AEM Rockstar semi-finalist who will be a session presenter at Adobe’s global virtual developer conference, IMMERSE May 15th – 19th 2017. Brett will detail his Tips & Tricks in a follow-up post after IMMERSE. Brett’s session will be on Tuesday, May 16, 1:15-2:15 PM Central (11:15-12:15 PDT).

Brett is the Adobe Marketing Cloud Solutions Architect for HS2 Solutions, a digital transformation company based in Chicago. He is a hands-on problem solver with experience leading large multinational, multi-site platform projects.  Brett led the development of the new Shared Component Properties feature in the open source ACS AEM Commons library. For more from Brett, visit his Github: HitmanInWis.

Multi-site platforms are the norm in a mature Adobe Experience Manager installation. However, most implementations, in true Agile fashion, start as a single site and then expand to support multiple. Suppose your client is the NFL and it wants to put all 32 teams on the same AEM platform. We all know that launching 32 team sites on day one is A Bad Idea, so likely you are going to start with just one site as a proof of concept.  However, Agile tends to tempt a lot of us in this situation into thinking that “I’ll just code for this one site now, and worry about multi-site support and code structures on the second site when I actually need them.”  YAGNI, right?  Except…you ARE going to need it.  Pretending you are building a single site when you know the platform is going to support multiple, thinking only in the present instead of taking a step back and getting the full picture, is a great way to paint yourself into a corner.

 

Man painted into corner

Image by Ali Moussa, HS2 Solutions

Coding a multi-site platform beginning with single-site patterns, we are faced with technical debt in making the transition to multi-site – technical debt that often never gets fully paid.  Let’s be real, clients want to see sites #2 through #32 launched as quickly as possible after site #1 is launched.  After all, that’s the vision you cast them – that they would easily be able to create and manage all their sites on a single platform using the same components and authoring techniques as the first site.  To the client, having a single working site seems like it should account for 80% of the total work, so the rest of the sites should be a snap.  You know as well as I do that the urgency to turn out these sites means that much of the technical debt accrued early in the project will be worked around and put off until resolution on a proverbial someday, never to be repaid.  Bad decisions made when creating the first site often linger on for as long as the platform lives.

Image by Ali Moussa, HS2 Solutions

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Structuring your code base for multi-site success isn’t that hard to do, it’s just easier not to do it (which is why we end up in this situation).  But what if you had a step-by-step guide?  What if you could leverage the experience of peers who have already done it well?  This stuff isn’t rocket science, and the principles don’t change much from project to project.  No sense wasting your time trying to come up with all the techniques on your own.  Wouldn’t you rather be doing the fun stuff like banging out a sweet, interactive Schedule component for authors to drop onto those 32 NFL team sites?  Of course, you would!  That’s why I encourage you to attend the “Multi-Sites: Setting your Codebase Up for Success” session at Adobe IMMERSE 2017.

 

Why should you attend?

  • Adobe IMMERSE is the premier AEM developer conference of the year, focusing on the technical audience.  If you’re not already registered, sign up using the link above!
  • I’ll be covering Basic, Advanced, and Overachiever techniques, 15 in all, using the NFL example above (modified to HFL, to avoid any grumbling from the lawyers).
  • The techniques come from a successful, international, multi-site platform implementation hosting a dozen brand and corporate sites, so they are tried and proven.
  • Every example (yes, every last one) will be demonstrated by real code that you can download, look at, and play with in order to gain a true understanding that only code can give.

Disclaimer: Being a Green Bay native (and therefore huge Packers aficionado) I *may* take the liberty to take a few jabs at our archrivals in Chicago…don’t take it personally 🙂

 

 

 

2:53 PM Permalink
April 18, 2017

Be an #AEMRockstar: Use AEM DataLayer

Today’s guest post features the winner of our first AEM Rockstar Competition, Dan Klco of Perficient. Dan rocked Summit attendees with his presentation, so we asked him to share his DataLayer demo. In the coming weeks, we’ll share more AEM Rockstar posts and preview one semi-finalist’s IMMERSE presentation. Stay tuned!

Dan is an experienced Adobe Digital Marketing Technical Lead, Solution Architect, Consultant and Advisor. Through his career, he has become viewed as a valued thought leader in the industry, with solid skills in leading teams to implement successful digital marketing programs in the Adobe ecosystem. Dan is also a PMC Member of the Apache Sling project, which is the basis for Adobe’s Experience Manager product, this allows him unique insight into the AEM platform.

During the AEM Rockstar session at Adobe Summit, I had a chance to talk about Digital Marketing DataLayers in AEM. I discussed how this important design pattern can help simplify Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Marketing Cloud integrations, and introduced AEM DataLayer, a new Open Source library for creating DataLayers in AEM.

I was thrilled to be awarded first prize for my presentation and would like to share some more with information with you about how to use the AEM DataLayer library on your project.

Step 1: Identifying Data to Track

In my talk, I discussed analyzing designs in the discovery phase, to identify what data you might need to capture for Digital Marketing. It is important to focus on the might rather than the need to ensure that your DataLayer will not require significant changes during the course of the implementation.

Given the page above, you may want to track some of the following information as an example:

 

Track Time

Scope

Information

Example

On Load

Page

Page URL

http://www.weretail.com/us/en/about-us.html

On Load

Page

Page Path

/us/en/about-us

On Load

Page

Site Section

about-us

On Load

Page

Region

us

On Load

Page

Language

en

On Load

Page

Page Title

About Us

On Load

Component

Video

/content/dam/we-retail/en/videos/Perficient-Digita-Agency-Reel.mp4

Event

Component

Video Play

Event

Component

Video Complete

Step 2: Configure AEM DataLayer

The AEM DataLayer is available as a downloadable AEM Package and is easy to install and incorporate into your project. Click here to watch my Spark video demo.

The steps to install and configure the AEM DataLayer are:

  1. Install the AEM DataLayer package
  2. Setup a Cloud Configuration for AEM DataLayer
  3. Add the Cloud Configuration on your site

Step 3: Add Your Custom DataLayer Code

To create your own DataLayer code, create a simple Bundle project and add the dependencies:

<dependency>

  <groupId>org.apache.sling</groupId>

  <artifactId>org.apache.sling.models.api</artifactId>

  <version>1.3.0</version>

  <scope>provided</scope>

</dependency>

<dependency>

  <groupId>com.perficient.aem</groupId>

  <artifactId>aem-datalayer.core</artifactId>

  <version>0.1.0</version>

</dependency>

 

You can then create Sling Model classes implementing the ComponentDataElement interface:

 

@Model(adaptables = Resource.class, resourceType = {"myapp/components/myresource" }, adapters = ComponentDataElement.class)
public class CustomDataElement implements ComponentDataElement {

For every class, you will need to specify the annotation parameters “resourceType” and “adapters”. You can specify any number of resource types, and when AEM encounters a resource of the type specified, it will call your Sling Model.

The WeRetail Reference project contains a number of examples ComponentDataElement classes you can use as a base for your custom implementations. For example, if you wanted to track the video displayed in every instance of the video component you scoped in Step 1, you could create a class like the one below:

/*
*  Copyright 2017 - Perficient
*
*  Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
*  you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
*  You may obtain a copy of the License at
*
*      http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0
*
*  Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
*  distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
*  WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
*  See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
*  limitations under the License.
*/
package com.perficient.aem.weretail.datalayer;
import org.apache.sling.api.resource.Resource;
import org.apache.sling.api.resource.ValueMap;
import org.apache.sling.models.annotations.Model;

import com.perficient.aem.datalayer.api.Component;
import com.perficient.aem.datalayer.api.ComponentDataElement;
import com.perficient.aem.datalayer.api.DataLayer;

/**
* Adds in the video details for the AEM Mobile Video component into the
* AEMDataLayer
*
* @author danklco
*/
@Model(adaptables = Resource.class, resourceType = {
"mobileapps/components/mobilevideo" }, adapters = ComponentDataElement.class)
public class MobileVideoComponent implements ComponentDataElement {

private final Resource resource;

public MobileVideoComponent(Resource resource) {
this.resource = resource;
}

@Override
public void updateDataLayer(DataLayer dataLayer) {

Component component = new Component();
component.getComponentInfo().setComponentID(resource.getPath());

ValueMap properties = resource.getValueMap();

component.addAttribute("video", properties.get("fileReference", String.class));

dataLayer.addComponent(component);
}

}
This Gist brought to you by gist-it.view rawweretail-reference/src/main/java/com/perficient/aem/weretail/datalayer/MobileVideoComponent.java

Further Support

If you have any questions or comments about the AEM DataLayer, please open an issue on GitHub or message me on Twitter at @klcodanr. As the library matures, I will be building out more documentation and use cases on GitHub so please keep tuned!

 

2:26 PM Permalink