In today’s post and video I’d like to cover three things:

- Pack­ages
– Pack­age Share
– The Adobe CQ Pack­age Share contest

Pack­ages

If you’ve been using Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager and Adobe CQ for a while, you may have come across them. A pack­age is just a zip file of con­tent in a spe­cial for­mat: a file sys­tem seri­al­iza­tion of the repos­i­tory. A pack­age con­tains a group of files and fold­ers that you have selected, as well as meta infor­ma­tion from the repos­i­tory, includ­ing prop­er­ties and con­fig­u­ra­tions for those files and fold­ers. A pack­age can include any con­tent or project-related data from your repository.

Pack­ages are a great way to bun­dle up the fea­tures and func­tion­al­ity of your site, which you can then import into a new site or even share with others.

For exam­ple, say you’ve been work­ing on a devel­op­ment server at your com­pany, but you really want to do some test­ing locally. No prob­lem. Down­load your work as a pack­age, and install the pack­age in your local copy of Adobe Expe­ri­ence Manager.

Or maybe you want to deploy some con­tent from a devel­op­ment server to live: you could use pack­ages for this, too.

Per­haps you want to add new func­tion­al­ity that some­one else has cre­ated: you can go ahead and down­load the pack­age from Pack­age Share and plug it right in to your own copy of Adobe Expe­ri­ence Manager.

Some exam­ples of pack­ages include an iOS device sim­u­la­tor; hot­fixes for Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager; or cus­tom Search Engine Opti­miza­tion components.

How do you cre­ate pack­ages? The eas­i­est and quick­est way to get started with pack­ages is the Pack­age Man­ager. The Pack­age Man­ager man­ages the pack­ages on your local con­tent repos­i­tory instal­la­tion, and also allows you to build them. The Pack­age Man­ager is found from the “Pack­ages” link on the right-hand side of the Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ager front page. When you open the Pack­age Man­ager, you will see all the currently-available pack­ages on your local copy of Adobe CQ.

To cre­ate a new pack­age, click on “Cre­ate Pack­age” at the top of the screen. In the dia­log box that pops up, enter a suit­able pack­age name — for exam­ple “My Test Pack­age”, a ver­sion num­ber — for exam­ple “0.0.1″, and select the group name — either your com­pany name, or “my_packages”. After click­ing on OK, you will have an empty package.

Let’s add some con­tent to the pack­age. Click on “Edit” on the left of the menu below your pack­age name.

The first step is to add some meta­data, for exam­ple a descrip­tion and a thumb­nail. This helps other peo­ple to find your pack­age and to under­stand what it does, so make sure you describe your package’s pur­pose and functionality.

The next step is to add some files. You do this by adding fil­ters. A fil­ter is a way of select­ing a group of files you want to include in the pack­age. Remem­ber, a pack­age can con­tain com­po­nents, con­tent, or any­thing else in the repos­i­tory, includ­ing other pack­ages. Click the fil­ter tab, then “Add fil­ter”. Nav­i­gate to a folder (for exam­ple /apps/geometrixx) then click OK, then click Done.

You can have many fil­ters, so go ahead and cre­ate another, for exam­ple a javascript library such as /etc/clientlibs/foundation/jquery. In real life, you would not need to include foun­da­tion libraries, as they will be avail­able in any Adobe CQ install. Click Done, and finally click Save.

You can check to see what’s included in your pack­age by click­ing More, Cov­er­age — ver­ify the list includes the files (and meta­data) you want.

Finally, click “Build”, and con­firm by click­ing “Build” again. After a few moments, you should see your pack­age is built (the log shows some­thing like “Pack­age built in 761ms”), and the Pack­age Man­ager now shows your pack­age size, the fil­ters used, and has a link for you to down­load it.

 

It’s as easy as that! Try down­load­ing the pack­age and open­ing it on your local machine to see what it’s made up of. If you’ve ever used the vlt tool, the con­tent should look familiar.

Of course, there are other ways to man­age con­tent pack­ages, for example:

* Using the direct CRX interface

* CURL on the com­mand line — an option that allows pack­age actions to be automated.

For more infor­ma­tion, see http://​dev​.day​.com/​d​o​c​s​/​e​n​/​c​q​/​c​u​r​r​e​n​t​/​a​d​m​i​n​i​s​t​e​r​i​n​g​/​p​a​c​k​a​g​e​_​m​a​n​a​g​e​r​.​h​tml

Now you know how to cre­ate and down­load pack­ages in Adobe CQ5.

Pack­age Share

Pack­age Share is a cen­tral­ized server made pub­licly avail­able to share con­tent pack­ages, like the one you just cre­ated. It includes pack­ages such as offi­cial hot­fixes, fea­ture sets, Adobe CQ5 updates or CQ5 con­tent gen­er­ated by other users. You can also use it to upload and share pack­ages within your company.

Here’s what Pack­age Share looks like today …

From Pack­age Man­ager, click on Pack­age Share in the top menu bar. You’ll need to sign in with your Adobe ID, and once you’re logged in you’ll see a list of avail­able pack­ages. When you down­load a pack­age, it becomes avail­able in your local Adobe CQ instance within Pack­age Man­ager, from where you can install it.

You can add your own pack­ages to Pack­age Share. In Pack­age Man­ager, you’ll see “Share” to the right of your pack­ages: if you click that, then click Share and con­firm, your pack­age will be uploaded. If you go back to Pack­age Share, you should see it listed in Recent Pack­ages. It’s REALLY easy!

You can also see your pack­age by search­ing for it. Note the impor­tance of spec­i­fy­ing Author, Ver­sion, and other metadata.

 

Con­test

Finally, news of a great con­test. You’ve seen how easy it is to make pack­ages, and how easy it is to upload them to Pack­age Share. How would you like the chance to win a brand new Mac­Book Pro by doing just that?

All you have to do is come up with a neat idea for a pack­age — maybe a set of forms, maybe a handy JavaScriptlibrary, some­thing that peo­ple might com­monly need to use.

Cre­ate a pack­age, and upload it to Pack­age Share, and you could be in with a chance of win­ning a shiny new Mac­Book Pro.

See the con­test page for more details and com­plete rules.

Also, check out my col­league Chris Nguyen’s recent post, which delves fur­ther into the contest.