Archive for February, 2015

Seeing is believing: Explore the AEM installation directory

Now, we have installed AEM and started it. Before we log into AEM, let us see what exactly it created in your system. Move to the installation directory – that’s the directory to where you copied the QuickStart jar file and the license file.

You will notice that it created a folder, crx-quickstart. Whenever you start AEM for the first time, it creates the QuickStart folder. It saves all the required data inside it. After you make changes, it saves the changes there. Since you have started AEM once, it retains the folder for subsequent restarts. You will notice that whenever you start AEM for the first time, it takes a little longer time to start, because it needs to create the QuickStart folder.

Move into the QuickStart folder. Let us not get into a lot of technical details for the time being.

directory-structure

Following are the two folders that I would like you to familiarize with:

  •  Logs: The logs files. There is an error.log file inside it. We will use error.log file frequently to see what went wrong with AEM if it misbehaves.
  • repository: Navigate inside it. Go inside segmentstore. You will see a lot of tar files.
    tar-files

AEM stores that data in this format. This is the default configuration. You can also save the data in MongoDB. We will see that later.  There are more folders and files. We will explore them in detail later.

Let us start Adobe Experience Manager

Let us see how you install and start AEM. You first need to get an AEM installation file, which is fondly called as the QuickStart file. Adobe doesn’t provide you a trail version of the same. One of the ways to get an installation file is to attend Adobe Training Services class room session. Adobe distributes the installation file in the class room trainings.

AEM installation file is a jar file. It will accompany with a license file – license.properties. The License file contains the license information that you need to run AEM. If you are using AEM in a production environment, that is for hosting your content in real-time, you need to pay the license fee and obtain the license.

AEM is licensed based on various modules it offers: Sites, Apps, Forms, Community, and Assets.

  • Sites: Allows you to create websites.
  • Apps: Allows you to create apps used for hand-held devices.
  • Forms: Allows you to manage LiveCycle Forms.
  • Assets: Allows you to manage digital assets, such as images, icons, pdfs, and so on.
  • Community: Don’t ask me what it is used for. 🙂

The license file that you obtained for training purpose allows you to use all these functionalities.

Let us install AEM. Wait a second. You need to have Java 6, specifically JRE 6, installed in your machine. Obtain JRE from the Oracle website at free of cost.

  1. Copy QuickStart jar file and license file to a folder named AEM.
  2. Rename the QuickStart jar file as follows: aem-author-4502
    (I don’t remember the original name of the QuickStart file.)
    When you install AEM, it takes some key variables from the file name itself. In this case, the first string aem represents AEM itself.Next one, author, represents that it’s an author instance. (I hope I am not adding a lot of jargons.) It means that you use it for authoring your content. This instance mostly used by people in your organization to add, edit, and delete content. People outside your organization doesn’t take care of these tasks. They simply view the content.The third part 4502 indicates that AEM will run on that port number. That means if some other process is already using that port, AEM quits. (Drobo uses that port by default.)
  3. Double-click the file you created. It will bring up a pop-up window as shown below.
    srat-aem
    Soon, it will change as follows. AEM is started.  (Now, don’t ask me how to stop AEM.)
    started-aemDon’t close this window. If you happen to close this window, you need to kill AEM from the Task Manager to stop it. Once AEM is up, your default browser opens up and shows you the login screen. Log in using admin as user name and admin as password. You will see the Project management page after a successful login.

    aem_welcome

     

    We will explore various pages in a short while – after we have a quick look at the folder where you copied the QuickStart file.

Why do you need Adobe Experience Manager?

iconAdobe Experience Manager (AEM) manages the user experience of your website (content) across various channels. In a globalized world, you need to manage content across multiple websites in various languages. Your content is consumed using various devices – hand-held devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, PCs, and so on. This results in a scenario that you have plenty of user experiences to manage. You need to provide optimal experience in both iPhones and Android phones. And, the same is applicable across thousands of other devices. AEM helps you to achieve this goal effectively and effortlessly.

AEM is one of the solutions in Adobe’s Marketing Cloud ecosystem. All solutions in Marketing Cloud complement each other and provide you with key solutions to effectively manage user experiences. The following diagram represents various solutions in Adobe Marketing Cloud: (Taken from Adobe’s website.)

marketing_cloud

Let me cite a few examples for how this ecosystem helps you to provide better user experience.

I am sure all of us would have visited online shopping sites many times. Which is the most commonly used feature in an online shopping site, such as Amazon? It definitely is the Search feature. You normally won’t traverse through menu options such as Men’s and then Boots,  …. and so on. You just search for the product you need. There can be thousands of users who do the same thing while you search for a product. For online shopping sites, the Search feature must be very efficient. Adobe Marketing Cloud provides you with a solution named Site Search. You can easily integrate Site Search with AEM. This capability indexes all your products and details, as Google indexes a website information. When a user searches for a product, the Site Search provides the search result and makes this operation extremely fast.

Similarly, tracking your users is very important to serve them better. You need to know the geographical areas they come from, the web pages they visit, and so on. AEM can be integrated with Adobe Analytics easily. This gives you a great reporting capability and statics about your user behavior.

Content personalization is another important aspect of your website. You should be able to customize your website based on your user profile. If your user is a male of a certain age group, provide the user with something he finds appealing. Change it accordingly if the user is a female of a certain age group. Adobe’s Marketing Cloud solution, Adobe Target, does it for you effortlessly.

Adobe Social (a capability in Marketing Cloud solution) helps you to integrate AEM with Social Media. Adobe Campaign allows you to manage digital campaign effortlessly. In short, AEM along with other Marketing Cloud solutions helps you to provide a great digital experience to your users. It indeed transforms your content into experiences that result in better customer reach, retention, and high ROI.

In the next post, you will see the underlying technologies on AEM.