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CMS Migration to Adobe Experience Manager AEM/CQ5 - NextRow BlogNextRow Blog

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.


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.


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.


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.

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