Welcome to 2016! I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. We have some great technical webinars planned for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) in 2016, starting with next week’s GEMs session on Oak Lucene Indexes, presented by Chetan Mehrotra and Alex Parvulescu from Adobe Engineering. But before that happens, I wanted to take a look back on last year. As a reminder, we run two separate Experience Manager technical webinar programs: GEMs exposes developers and users to cutting edge features from the engineers and product managers creating and defining the latest release. The Ask the AEM Community Experts series brings in a wider group of speakers and is orientated towards getting the most out of your current AEM implementation projects.
In January, Gabriel Walt and I kicked off the year with a sneak peek of some of the features targeted at developers which we were going to be announcing as part of the AEM 6.1 release. We covered everything from some of the repository enhancements in Oak through to new capabilities in the AEM Brackets plugin and beyond. The next week we had two great sessions. First Scott MacDonald, Gabriel Walt, and Feike Visser did a Sightly deep dive which walked through a variety of Sightly component development topics. And then Dominique Pfister from AEM Engineering and Andrew Khoury from AEM Support presented some great content around some new Dispatcher features for caching and optimization.
February included the release of a Feature Pack for AEM Forms and to start off the month, Steve Monroe and Girish Bedekar presented some of the new features and some great new samples included in this feature pack. A bit later in the month, David Catalan from the Adobe Quality Engineering team presented on how Adobe uses SonarQube to track software quality and how our customers can do the same on their AEM projects. Finally, I did an Ask the Experts about Login Based AEM sites in which I tried to answer some of the questions I’ve seen come up over the years on the AEM Forums.
March’s Ask the Experts was led by Adobe engineer Will McGauley did a deep dive into AEM Workflows. This session answered some burning questions about using the AEM Workflow engine and is definitely recommended for advanced AEM developers.
In April, Sreekanth Choudry Nalabotu from Adobe Consulting led an AEM technical webinar on Touch UI components session with support from Scott MacDonald. Sreekanth has been documenting his adventures with AEM for some time on his blog which has been required reading for AEM developers. Sreekanth started with some comparison of the Classic UI and the new Touch UI and walked through some of the steps that he has personally used to debug and troubleshoot Touch UI components.
In May, Lokesh BS from Mindtree and Scott MacDonald took a step down the stack in their Ask the Experts session on Apache Sling. If you wanted to learn more about Sling Selectors, Default Sling Post Servlet, Sling Models, and the Sling API, then this was the session for you.
June brought us a Tips & Tricks session from Gabriel Walt all about the Touch UI Sites interface. (You may need to enter a passcode for this session, it is AEMSitesUI) With the release of AEM 6.1 in the spring, this was a hot topic and there was a lot of interest in using the new user interface. Also that month, Tyler Rushton, who manages the AEM Documentation team, and Scott MacDonald presented a session where they walked through how the AEM Documentation is updated and maintained. It was a fascinating insight into how Adobe internally uses AEM.
The dog days of summer may start (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) in mid-July, but we packed in three great AEM technical webinar sessions in the latter part of July. First, AEM Product Manager Bertrand de Coatpont presented a Gems session on some of the new AEM Communities features in AEM 6.1 which enables the creation of online community sites with no development effort. Then Scott MacDonald and AEM community member Jaisan Sunny did as Ask the Experts session on some advanced component development topics. Finally, Tobias Bocanegra, Adobe Principal Scientist, did an indepth presentation on the Oak External Login Module which represents a significant change in how AEM integrates with external identity management systems like LDAP directories.
In August, Dan Klco from 6th Dimensions presented a really interesting session on the integration between AEM and Adobe Campaign. And then I returned to the AEM Gems stage with a presentation on ACS AEM Commons & Tools. It is a topic near and dear to my heart and there was some great feedback on the session.
September started with a Gems session by Martin Buergi and Markus Haack from AEM Product Management and Engineering, respectively, introducing a new integration between AEM and IBM Websphere Commerce. A bit later in the month, Adobe Super Hero and prolific blogger Joerg Hoh did an Ask the Experts session on Dispatcher caching.
October had two great Gems sessions. First, Christanto Leonardo and Christian Meyer from AEM Engineering presented on how to create custom widgets for Touch UI dialogs. As more of our customers move to a Touch UI-first approach, implementing more complex dialogs has become more and more common so this was definitely a welcome presentation. The following week, Bertrand Delacretaz and Tomek Rekawek did a deep dive into the AEM upgrade process explaining common scenarios and gotchas. Incidentally, this was Tomek’s fourth month at Adobe (although he’s been using AEM/CQ for over 4 years) and it was great to see him jump right into our webinar series. The month ended with an Ask the Experts session conducted by Scott MacDonald and Russell Whitchurch about AEM integration with other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions.
The last Ask the Experts session of the year was presented by Ken Beaton, Simon MacDonald, and Bruce Lefebvre from AEM Engineering on AEM Apps. Mobile is obviously a huge focus area for Adobe, our customers and partners, so it is great to see how developers can translate their existing AEM skills into the mobile application world.
Looking back, 2015 was a great year for the AEM community, but we’re just getting started. If you missed any of these sessions (or maybe just forgot about them), now is a great time to catch up. And remember to come to the first AEM Gems session of 2016 on Wednesday, January 20 to learn more about Oak Lucene Indexes.