Monthly Archives: February 2015

Adobe CQ5 Questions and Answers

What is Adobe CQ5?

Adobe CQ5 (now renamed as Adobe Experience Manager) is a robust web content management system (WCMS) based on Java. It enables users to design, develop, author and manage digital properties to provide sophisticated digital properties (websites, mobile sites and apps) and deliver consistent user experience across multiple channels.

How CQ5 actually works?

Mainly CQ5 servers run on two instances – Author instance and Publish instance.

  • Author instance: Content authors are connected to Author instance to create, edit and optimize web pages/sites using existing components (created by CQ5 developers), website content, and more. Simple / Complex workflows can be enabled to ensure that only approved content goes live.
  • Publish instance: Once the pages are built, the pages will be published to the publish instance for the site visitors to view. The authors can test in author instance, and publish to publish instance. There could be multiple author instances and multiple publish instances to accommodate load balancing.

Another key component is Dispatcher. Dispatcher is used for caching content and generating it dynamically and load-balancing to achieve HA (High Availability).

What is the technical background of CQ5?

CQ5 is based on Java and uses JCR (java content repository), Apache Sling RESTful framework, and OSGi framework.

  • JCR is where all the content is stored.
  • Apache Sling RESTful framework to map that content with corresponding url requests. You can expose Sling URLs for access from outside CQ5 instance as well.
  • OSGi framework (Apache Felix as container) enables it to control (start and stop) each module independently. You deploy your java code into OSGi bundles and manage these bundles independently from the AEM Console.

How to manage multilingual and multinational sites?

CQ5 has a feature called Multi-Site Management (MSM). It enables you to develop, edit and optimize different websites in different languages for different regions (domestic/international). Organizations can even build websites for each of their brands and serve local needs. With multinational presence of many brands, there are times when you need to serve the content in local languages. There are third party companies like translations.com which can provide translations for your content and have built-in connectors from inside CQ without manually managing the content for translations

How to build mobile sites and apps in CQ5?

With Adobe Experience Manager 6.0, the site can be optimized automatically for responsiveness. You can preview the site in an emulator, which replicates a mobile device (phone / tablet), while authoring a page for your mobile website. You can also switch between different emulators to know how the end UI is going to be. This will tremendously reduce the testing time and allows you to launch responsive site quickly.

Adobe Experience Manager, with its OOTB (out-of-the-box) components, enables you to render mobile pages specifically for a device based on its features. It has categorized all the mobile devices into three groups including smart, touch and feature. You can create your own groups. When users access your mobile site from their device, CQ5 detects the device and offers the page layout that corresponds to the device group it belongs.

To develop mobile apps, you can use Adobe Experience Manager Apps feature. AEM allows you to create native apps and hybrid apps by accessing PhoneGap enterprise features, which integrated within AEM. You can also create apps specific to your brands and marketing campaigns specific to the region.

CMS Migration to Adobe Experience Manager AEM/CQ5

Why are you Looking to Migrate to CQ5?

Possible reasons could include:

  1. You are not satisfied with the features of your existing CMS
  2. You are asked to migrate to CQ5
  3. You are exploring the features of CQ5, like it so much, and ready to migrate.
  4. You want to provide richer experience for your visitors and customers, that your current CMS couldn’t provide.
  5. Your organizational needs changed and you are looking for a more robust CMS that can integrate well with marketing platforms and have a seamless integration with Creative Suite?

Whatever may be the reason, you are at the right place in your research. I am not going to debate the pros and cons of CQ5 here, but I am going to cover what are the factors that would help you while migration. Migration needs a careful planning, validation and meticulous execution.

Plan:

Migrating a CMS platform into CQ5/AEM needs careful planning and meticulous execution strategy, as your current implementation may include numerous dependencies on external systems, and other internal systems. It requires a clear and concise implementation plan to ensure a painless transition of content and digital assets from current platform to CQ5/AEM. Solid migration plan can help identify potential problems and how to avoid them.

To plan a migration, you need know how big your migration is. In other words, the volume and the type of content and digital assets that you need to migrate. It includes text, images, audio and video files, documents and more. You should start with auditing your current content and digital assets. This audit will help you to conclude on what should be migrated to the new platform and what can be left out (deprecated content/assets). Along with the migrated content, there might be some new content that needs to be added to the new system in conjunction with migrated content.

Validate:

After planning the migration task, validate the migration plan to ensure that the proposed system will work as expected. Mapping should be done between the current CMS and CQ5. Identify and verify the content and digital assets that are included in the migration plan and that are left behind. Pick a subset of content and do a trial run of the migration process. Identify all the road blocks you ran into. Improvise your scripts, processes further. Run another test run. Continue the test runs until you are satisfied the actual execution doesn’t fail.

Execute:

After the migration plan is validated, execute the plan to ensure seamless migration into CQ5. For this, you need to extract content and digital assets from current CMS system and import them to CQ5 instance. For this, you can use tools like RMC from NextRow, or you need to run the migration script to import data to CQ5 depending on the mapping specifications. After importing conduct an accuracy test on the imported data.

 CMS platform and Adobe CQ5 Figure 1: Content mapping between current CMS platform and CQ5

Insourcing and Outsourcing

Insourcing is the process of using own or other resources by a company to complete a task or a project. Outsourcing is the process of contracting the task or project to an outside company or seeking assistance from an outside company in finishing a project.

Insourcing vs Outsourcing the migration taskFigure 2: Insourcing vs Outsourcing the migration task

With careful planning, migrating to Adobe Experience Manager may take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, depending on the content, number of templates, number of assets. Having qualified resources on the team with good experience on AEM is a must to have a successful migration. So, outsourcing the migration task will help organizations to concentrate on core development items, while the outsourcing company can complete this migration offline.

Issues to Consider while Outsourcing Migration

In general, organizations outsource migration projects to service vendors when their IT teams are not scalable to handling these adhoc projects. There are many vendors offering CMS migrations to AEM and identifying the right partner is the key. However, there are some factors to consider to avoid confusion and frustration in choosing a suitable outsourcing partner:

  • Technical specifications and requirements: Before outsourcing migration projects, organizations need to analyze current CMS platform; formulate specifications and requirements for proposed platform; and then discuss them with outsourcing companies to make sure that they can serve your needs.
  • Cost: Instead of choosing an outsourcing partner specifically based on price, organizations might have to look for multiple vendors, compare their services and price tags, and then choose the best.
  • Area of expertise: Choose an outsourcing company such that it has expertise in performing CMS migrations to Adobe AEM. Don’t choose a company that offers a bundle of IT services using other platforms along with CQ5/AEM because it will dilute their expertise and focus on the platform.
  • Support services: Ensure that the vendor you choose for your CMS migration to CQ5/AEM offers support and maintenance after deploying the new platform.
  • Customer responses: When choosing an outsourcing company for your migration project, consider client responses on the services of that company as well as its reputation.
  • Updated technology: Consider an organization such that it offers migration services using the latest version of AEM (AEM 6.0).
  • Scope to grow: Choose a company that has a scope to grow in the future. So that it will continue offering its services for you in the future.

 

Apart from these factors, a critical issue to consider is security. When you choose a company, ensure to know how they protect your platform from security threats.

Choosing a Right Partner

If you want to migrate your current CMS platform into Adobe AEM, then you need to choose a partner with deep understanding of AEM platform. NextRow offers web experience management services with focus on Adobe CQ5/AEM. NextRow has teams of Adobe certified CQ5/AEM developers and Adobe certified CQ5/AEM architects who have done some large scale migrations into AEM. These experts will analyze your current CMS platform, formulate migration strategies to optimize the time to deploy the new site and then implement those strategies for a successful migration. NextRow has experience in offering different migration services, including content migration and application migration. NextRow also has the expertise in upgrading outdated Adobe CQ5 versions to the latest AEM versions. (NextRow is currently offering upgrade services to AEM 6.0).

An Image Showing CQ5 Versions

Figure 3: An Image Showing CQ5 Versions

Along with migration services, NextRow also offers maintenance and support, including fixed development services and Level1/Level2/Level3 support services, to its clients. NextRow also offers assistance in integrating AEM with other Adobe Marketing Cloud tools and third party applications.

Adobe Experience Manager – Digital Experience Delivery Made Easy for Marketers

As customer expectations are reaching higher altitudes consistently, marketers are looking ways to optimize their digital platforms on a high priority in order to meet their customers’ needs. For this, marketers need to have the right strategies to offer customer experience and need to break organizational barriers. They must adopt and leverage high-end digital experience delivery platforms to stand out from the competition.

According to “The Forrester Wave: Digital Experience Delivery Platforms, Q3 2014” report, Adobe is in the top place in the list of companies that offer digital experience delivery platforms. The reason behind this is the Adobe content management system, Adobe Experience Manger. Adobe AEM enables marketers to expand their brand presence by delivering personalized web experiences to their customers across different digital devices and channels.

How Marketers Can Benefit from Adobe AEM?

Using Adobe Experience Manager, marketers can:

  • Design and manage multiple sites with single instance using the Multi Site Manager (MSM).
  • Integrate the platform with Adobe Marketing Cloud to optimize the platform and reach more target audience.
  • Design and optimize digital marketing campaigns using the Adobe Campaign, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud.
  • Integrate the platform with other marketing and e-Commerce solutions to convert leads into sales.

Adobe AEM Multi Site Manager (MSM):

This functionality of Adobe CQ5/AEM enables marketers to automatically create and manage multiple sites such as multinational and multi-lingual. This functionality allows marketers to maintain corporate branding and increase their brand’s digital presence globally across multiple channels. They can also offer access to digital assets of the brand as a common library using the Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality.

CQ5 Multi Site Manager

Figure 1: A screenshot showing the capabilities of the AEM Multi Site Manager

AEM, Adobe Marketing Cloud Integrations:

Adobe Experience Manager can be integrated with other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions to optimize the platform and offer personalized experiences to customers.

Marketers can integrate Adobe AEM

Figure 2: Integration of Adobe Experience Manager with Adobe Marketing Cloud

Marketers can integrate Adobe AEM with:

  • Adobe Scene7 to synchronize digital assets between AEM and Scene7 by creating a synchronization folder in both platforms. Marketers can also view published AEM assets in different viewers like Basic Zoom, DHTML Flyout Zoom, Flash Flyout Zoom, Video and more.
  • Adobe Analytics to track the visitor data from website and drive traffic using conversion variables. Marketers can also map author and publish modes in AEM with different report packages.
  • Adobe Social to store the data of social communities in the cloud. This enables marketers to use the benefits like optimized cross-channel moderation, updating data from communities to the cloud. Even though the data is in the cloud, marketers can control author and publish instances from the platform. Marketers can also moderate user data using Unified Moderation and Trusted User Moderation features of Adobe Social.
  • Adobe Target to create campaign using AEM and can manage them using Target. Marketers can implement campaigns on landing pages, can perform A/B testing. They can also track user generated data, access it to optimize the platform and increase conversion rates. Based on the data, they can create and run digital campaigns.

Adobe Campaign:

Adobe Campaign (formerly known as Neolane) enables marketers to design and automatically run marketing campaigns, from one-off campaigns to one-to-one messages, across different marketing channels. This allows marketers to establish individual profiles for customers to know their preferences and offer them before they request it.

  • Integration with AEM: The integration of AEM with Adobe Campaign allows marketers to leverage content from AEM authoring environment to design inbound and outbound campaigns. Marketers can use the marketing assets in AEM to publish in a campaign and run it across different channels using Adobe Campaign. Marketers can also optimize customer experiences by engaging in personalized communications with them using customers’ profiles shared on AEM and Adobe Campaign solutions.

AEM Integration with Marketing/E-Commerce Tools:

By integrating Adobe CQ5/AEM with marketing/e-Commerce tools, Marketers can convert leads and lists into sales. Some of these integrations include:

  • ExactTarget integration with AEM will enable marketers to optimize digital marketing campaigns through emails and newsletters by distributing them in ExactTarget platform.
  • Hybris integration with AEM will allow marketers to listen to their audience responses by connecting and accessing data from an e-Commerce platform. This will allow them to market their products.

AEM can also be integrated with other marketing/ e-Commerce tools like Eloqua, Marketo and Endeca to optimize online business.

NextRow is system integrator and an Adobe solution partner that offers web experience and digital marketing services using Adobe Experience Manager. NextRow’s services include consulting, implementation and upgrading Adobe CQ5; migrating other CMS platforms into AEM; maintenance and support services for existing Adobe AEM platforms; and integrating AEM with other tools of Adobe Marketing Cloud as well as third-party applications. NextRow is also offering Adobe Experience Manager integrations with different marketing tools such as Eloqua, Adobe Campaign, Hybris, and more.