Assessing your code for AEM as a Cloud Service migration

Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2020 By

Are you interested in migrating to AEM as a Cloud Service? But, are unsure about how much time it will take or what changes you will have to do to your code to be compliant and have a working application.

In this blog, I’ll try to go over things that you should check your code for and also tools that are available to you for automating some of the changes needed to be compliant.

My recommendation would be to run the Cloud Readiness Analyzer before doing anything else and then follow this blog for further assessment. The CRA is available for download on the Adobe Software Distribution Portal

Here goes, in no particular order

Good luck migrating and see you in the cloud!

12:42 PM Permalink

AEM Rockstar 2020, we are back!

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 By

Submission window for AEM Rockstar 2020 NA is now closed.

…and just like that, we are back for another year! Join us in Las Vegas at Adobe SUMMIT 2020 for one of the most popular sessions 3 years running.

When Darin & Kaushal came up with the idea of AEMRockstar, they had one goal in mind: Give the vast AEM community a platform to show off their chops! If the last three years are any indication, the AEM Community loves AEMRockstar, and so do we!

Want to be up to date with all things AEM Rockstar?

Follow/add

Format Refresher

Below is a quick refresher on how things work.

  1. We ask that you submit your AEM (really, Adobe Experience Cloud) tips & tricks using this FORM before January 31, 2020. Submit as many ideas as you want.
  2. After submissions close, the AEMRockstar team will diligently go through each of the submissions and pick our semi finalists.
  3. We then setup a quick call with each of the semi finalist to go over their submission, let you ask questions and go over the session details.
  4. After having talked to all the semi finalists, we pick the finalists who get invited to Las Vegas to present their submission, including a live demo to the session attendees & a judging panel of Adobe heavy hitters, including last years winner, Mark Adamcin, should he choose to accept his mission.
  5. We only pay for your SUMMIT pass, but you are responsible for travel costs and handling all the fame that comes with being an AEMRockstar!

2019 Recap

  • The 2019 AEM Rockstar session was dedicated to Feike, we still miss you buddy.

  • It was the first year we held AEM Rockstar at the EMEA SUMMIT in addition to the NA SUMMIT
  • We had 85 submissions and the following individuals were selected as finalists.
    1. Mark Adamcin
    2. Ryan Dellolio & Chris Howard
    3. Dan Klco
    4. Shivangi Malot
  • Over 400 people attended the session at Adobe SUMMIT
  • Our esteemed judging panel was
    1. Jean-Michel Pittet – VP, Engineering, AEM
    2. Cedric Huesler – Director, Product Management, AEM
    3. Ruben Reusser – 2018 AEM Rockstar finalist.
  • And they chose Mark Adamcin and his submission of OakPAL as the winner. You can read more about his submission here. Mark walked away with a swanky new Glion electric scooter!
  • Survey callouts
    • Over 80% of the attendees would recommend AEMRockstar to their peers.
    • Over 82% said that it either met or exceeded their expectations.
  • Social Media highlights

#AEMRockstar Twitter Search

Tips for submission

  • AEM Rockstar 2020 Submission Guide
  • The live demos last year were a HIT! Please think about how your submission will demo
  • Submissions that cover multiple Adobe Experience Cloud offerings tend to do better with the varied audience and the judges
  • Are you solving a problem that others deal with it as well? You’d be surprised how common the problem you are facing is and how you can help the community
  • Would it make people go “WOW!”?
  • Using older tools/versions are not favored by the judges (avoid classic UI if you want to win)
  • Look at past year’s submissions and winners
  • Are you willing to open source your submission?
  • Lastly, KISS!

To be considered, all you have to do is SUBMIT your idea. We are looking for all things Adobe Experience Cloud! When you submit, please make sure you provide your complete shipping address, that ways we can send you the brand new AEMRockstar sticker. We had quite a few stickers returned last year.

The fine print

  • Adobe employees are not eligible to submit
  • You have to be willing to open source your submission before the SUMMIT session
  • The finalists are responsible for paying for their own travel and lodging. The AEMRockstar team only pays for your SUMMIT pass
  • Last year’s (2019) finalists are not eligible to submit
9:00 AM Permalink

AEM Rockstar is back for a 3rd year!

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2018 By

 

Submissions Closed for 2019

 

…and just like that, we are back! Join us in Las Vegas at Adobe Summit 2019 for one of the most popular sessions from 2017 & 2018.

When Darin & Kaushal came up with the idea of AEMRockstar, they had one goal in mind: Give the vast AEM community a platform to show off their chops! If the last two years are any indication, the AEM Community loves AEMRockstar, and so do we!

Want to be up to date with all things AEM Rockstar?

Follow/add

Format Refresher

Below is a quick refresher on how things work.

  1. We ask that you submit your AEM (really, Adobe Experience Cloud) tips & tricks using this FORM before January 27, 2019. Submit as many ideas as you want.
  2. After submissions close, the AEMRockstar team will diligently go through each of the submissions and pick our semi finalists.
  3. We then setup a quick call with each of the semi finalist to go over their submission, let you ask questions and go over the session details.
  4. After having talked to all the semi finalists, we pick the finalists who get invited to Las Vegas to present their submission, including a live demo to the session attendees & a judging panel of Adobe heavy hitters, including last years winner, Brett Birschbach, should he choose to accept his mission.
  5. We pay for your Summit pass, but you are responsible for travel costs and handling all the fame that comes with being an AEMRockstar!

2018 Recap

  • We had over 100+ submissions and the following individuals were selected as finalists.
    1. Brett Birschbach
    2. Bryan Williams
    3. Joost van Dun
    4. Conrad Woeltge
  • Over 300 people attended the session at Adobe Summit
  • Our esteemed judging panel was
    1. Jean-Michel Pittet – VP, Engineering, AEM
    2. Jay Dettling – VP, Partners
    3. Robert Anderson – Director, AEM Practice, ACS
    4. Dan Klco – 2017 AEMRockstar winner
  • And they chose Brett and his submission of AEM Remote Assets as the winner. You can read more about his submission here. Brett walked away with a swanky new Oculus Rift!
  • Survey callouts
    • 80% of the attendees would recommend AEMRockstar to their peers.
    • Over 88% said that it either met or exceeded their expectations.
    • 76% said that the session was excellent or above average.
  • Social Media highlights

Tips for submission

  • https://aemrockstar2019.attendease.com/submission-guide/
  • The live demos last year were a HIT! Please think about how your submission demoes.
  • Submissions that cover multiple Adobe Experience Cloud offerings tend to do better with the varied audience and the judges.
  • Are you solving a problem that others deal with it as well? You’d be surprised how common the problem you are facing is and how you can help the community
  • Would it make people go “WOW!”?
  • Using older tools/versions are not favored by the judges (avoid classic UI if you want to win)
  • Look at past year’s submissions and winners
  • Lastly, KISS!

To be considered, all you have to do is SUBMIT your idea. We are looking for all things Adobe Experience Cloud! When you submit, please make sure you provide your complete shipping address, that ways we can send you the brand new AEMRockstar sticker. We had quite a few stickers returned last year.

The fine print

  • Adobe employees are not eligible to submit.
  • The finalists are responsible for paying for their own travel and lodging. The AEMRockstar team only pays for your Summit pass.
  • Last year’s (2018) finalists are not eligible to submit.

 

Submissions Closed for 2019

5:00 AM Permalink

Brett Birschbach #AEMRockstar 2018

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 By

It’s a wrap! Adobe Summit NA 2018 is done, and we are excited to announce the winner of this year’s #AEMRockstar competition:

 

Brett Birschbach from HS2 Solutions

 

This year brought more outstanding submissions than ever, resulting in a fantastic field of semi-finalists. Congratulations to Brett and our other finalists, Bryan Williams, Joost van Dun, and Conrad Woeltge, who competed in front of an audience of 300 AEM enthusiasts! 

Brett (a previous CM guest blogger) has written a great post about his winning Rockstar Tip & Trick. He is the lead 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. Read on below: 

 

AEM Remote Assets –

Sync What You Need, When You Need It

 

Have you ever wanted to use AEM Assets on one server from AEM Sites on another? I bet you have, even if you don’t realize it. Until now, options to do so would have been custom and/or manual, so you may have simply blinded yourself to the idea. Here are some common uses cases that you’ve probably run into:

 

Use Case: Enterprise AEM Assets Instance

Ok, I admit this is probably not the most “common” use case, but for large enterprises in the digital age, it’s a critical use case. An enterprise DAM is a key part of an enterprise technology stack, often calling for a dedicated AEM server with DAM as its sole purpose. But then how do you use those assets for your AEM sites?

 

Use Case: Migrating Assets from Production to Non-Production Environments

Does your organization have Dev/QA/Stage AEM environments? Of course, it does. Are those environments consistently up to date with the latest set of assets from production? For almost everyone I talk to, the answer is almost invariably a resounding “No.” How can this be done in a way that is both automated and disk efficient?

 

Use Case: Site Assets for Local Developer Servers (i.e., localhost:4502)

Pulling down a copy of the production site pages to a local server is easy. Pulling down all of the assets associated with that site? Not so much. How can this be done in a way that leaves behind assets that are not applicable to the site?

A simplistic, brute-force solution might be to use AEM’s package manager to bundle up the entire DAM, copy it down to the Sites server, and call it a day, right? Not exactly. Assets are big…and numerous… Last I checked, numerous big things is rarely a simple situation. Copying the entire DAM can be problematic in terms of disk space, network transfer, and effective package sizes. And even if you can do it manually, as soon the first asset on the remote server changes, you’re out of date!

Ok, so why not just reference the assets directly from their remote location? This would be a nightmare for your authors and developers, no longer able to leverage simple OOTB tools like image components, DAM search, and the authoring sidebar. Ultimately, you’d no longer be able to leverage the full power of AEM sites.

In short, you need a solution that achieves all of the following objectives:

  • Access to all remote AEM Assets from the AEM Sites instance
  • Remote AEM Assets stored locally in AEM Sites for seamless authoring w/OOTB features
  • Copies of just the required remote AEM Assets, not the entire DAM
  • All accomplished in an automated fashion

 

Sync What You Need, When You Need It

AEM Remote Assets tackles this tricky problem in a unique way. The seemingly opposed objectives of “Access to all remote AEM Assets” and “Copy of just the required remote AEM Assets” are achieved by a “sync what you need, when you need it” strategy. What this means is the automated asset sync first copies the entire node structure from the remote DAM, pulling in the tags and metadata of all of the remote assets but leaving behind the large binary files in the source DAM. If and when any of these assets are requested for a real use case, only then does Remote Assets copy the binary files “just in time” via a second sync, leaving behind all of the other asset binary files that are not needed.

Let’s see how this works in practice. AEM Remote Assets first syncs in the node structure of the remote AEM Assets, substituting in a small, temporary binary file to keep all unused assets very small compared to their real counterparts.

Admin user viewing folder of remote assets on an AEM Sites instance.

As an admin user on the AEM Sites instance, I can see all of the “remote” assets that have been synchronized from the remote AEM Assets server. And though an asset may say it is 500+ KB in size, in actuality it is far smaller due to the temporary binary file.

Now the true magic begins. Because we have synchronized in all of the remote asset nodes and tags, we have everything we need as an author to search and use those assets, and AEM will take care of pulling over the binary files for the ones I want to use. Say for example I open a browser and search for “Bike” assets. The system finds the two assets, but as the request is being processed it first pulls over the associated binary files from the remote Assets server, making those two assets now “real” on the Sites server.

Right: Author user viewing two searched assets; Left: Admin user viewing folder with searched assets now made “real.”

The same thing happens if I pull up the page authoring sidebar to add an image to my page.

Right: Author user choosing asset from page authoring sidebar; Left: Admin user viewing folder with referenced asset now made “real.”

This is amazing for the “Enterprise Remote AEM Assets” use case, where authoring sites with remote assets is a critical business function. But what about the use cases of “Migrating Assets from Production to Non-Production Environments” and “Site Assets for Local Developer Servers” where largely we just want to be able to browse the site with all assets. Turns out that scenario (and any others you can think of) works as well.

Right: Web page as seen by an author user, all assets being made “real” simply by browsing to the page; Left: Web page with remote assets before access by an author user.

 

This is Awesome! Can I Has AEM Remote Assets Too?

You absolutely can! HS2 Solutions has contributed AEM Remote Assets to ACS AEM Commons, the most prominent open source feature library for AEM in the industry. You’re probably using this library already! We look forward to the community pitching in with their ideas on configuration options, additional functionality, and even direct code contributions!

For more on AEM Remote Assets, including a video demonstration, view my article on hs2solutions.com. You may also contact me via LinkedIn or email at brett.birschbach@hs2solutions.com.

All opinions are Brett Birschbach’s own and are not Adobe’s.

4:31 PM Permalink

Integrating Microsoft Azure Active Directory OAuth with AEM. Author and publish

Posted on Monday, March 26, 2018 By

On a recent project we were asked to implement an OAuth integration with AEM using Microsoft Azure AD as the server and use it on both the author and publish instances.

AEM OOTB provides Facebook and Twitter OAuth providers and Cloud Service configurations. More details for AEM 6.3 can be found here.

But, since we needed the OAuth to work on the author instance as well, the Cloud Service way won’t work. Our publish use case was to disable anonymous access and only allow access via OAuth, we stayed away from using Cloud Services for publish instances as well.

Below is a list of classes we implemented

  • Scribe classes
    • Azure AD OAuth API
      • AEM uses Scribe, this class extends the scribejava DefaultApi20 class.
      • After writing this class, I submitted a PR to the scribe java project and it’s now been merged . You can use this code as reference to create the same in your AEM code base.
    • Azure AD OAuth Service
      • Also included in the PR to the scribejava project
  • Thats all for the non AEM classes, below are all the AEM related classes.
    • Azure AD Provider
    • Azure AD Login Selector
      • This class is responsible for redirecting the user to the OAuth server login page, a URL with the format similar to http://localhost:4502/j_security_check?provider=xxxxxx&configid=my-granite-oauth-configid&state=/aem/start.html
      • The Service Ranking for this class needs to be higher than the OOTB LoginSelector
      • In the requestCredentials method, you will need get the client ID and the config ID from your Granite OAuth Provider configuration. You can use the ProviderConfigManager and the ProdviderConfig classes for this.
        • for example, providerConfigManager.getProviderConfig(my-granite-oauth-configid);
      • We had to ignore some URLs for being redirected as well, for example, if the request is for below URLs, you don’t want it redirected to the OAuth login screen
        • /libs/granite/core/content/login.html
        • /libs/granite/csrf/token.json
        • /callback/j_security_check
      • This class also replaces the need for having a Cloud Service configuration, but it only works if you want every AEM request to go through this auth provider. If you have a use case similar to allowing a “Social Login”, you will need to create your own Cloud Service configuration.
      • To create a custom Cloud Service configuration, follow the docs and reference the OOTB Facebook and Twitter Cloud Service configurations to create your own.
      • Don’t forget to include the state request parameter in your redirect URI to ensure the users are redirected to the appropriate page after successful login.

On the OAuth app side, the reply URL needs to be of the format https://host:port/callback/j_securitycheck.

As always, please let me know if there are any questions.

12:44 PM Permalink
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