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.


Our last Gems ses­sion of the year was pre­sent­ed by David Cata­lan as a fol­low up to his pre­sen­ta­tion from Feb­ru­ary on Sonar­Qube. This time David did a deep­er dive into using Sonar­Qube for JavaScript qual­i­ty met­rics. It was a high­ly illu­mi­nat­ing ses­sion and a great way to end the year.

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.