AEM Tutorial

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) needs no introduction to CMS developers or marketers, as it’s been a content management system offerings leader over the years. Still, AEM continues to dominate the CMS space.

This comprehensive CMS solution makes managing your marketing content and assets easy. This AEM tutorial will serve as a base if you want to start with AEM 6.5.

Below are the topics we will be covering in this AEM Tutorial
  • What is Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)?
  • How does AEM work?
  • How is AEM better than other CMS solutions? 
  • AEM Architecture
  • AEM core components
  • AEM Features
  • Benefits of AEM
  • What does an AEM developer do?

Adobe Experience Manager Tutorial For Beginners

This AEM tutorial blog will give you a glimpse of all the essential concepts required for beginners to get started.

What is Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)

AEM is an enterprise content management solution that allows you to create, manage, and deliver content across every digital touch point. It streamlines the process of managing content assets.
Built on top of Adobe Cloud technology, AEM helps you to support the assets to support your digital experience from anywhere without the complexities of networking protocols.

You can manage images, documents, PDFs, online forms, and more. AEM offers useful features to create and deliver digital content quickly and easily.
Whether building sites or mobile apps, AEM is perfect for automating your content strategy that drives constant growth in creating consistent and engaging customer experiences.

How does AEM work

  1. AEM is a part of Adobe Experience Cloud (AEC), which lets you create and deliver exceptional customer digital experiences.
  2. AEM employs advanced digital marketing tools to improve your user experience and gain insight into your visitors. You can personalize content and pages, track conversion rates, and uncover which ads drive traffic most.
  3. Adobe Experience Manager helps your sales team manage customer connections, create rich multimedia experiences, and conduct targeted marketing.
  4. With Adobe Experience Manager, you can provide customized experiences to your customers across all channels, harnessing the full power of Adobe's industry-leading marketing solutions.
  5. Integration with these platforms gives you access to customer segmentation, data analysis, and other features.

Want to become an Adobe Experience professional and get into a high-paying profession Check out our expert-designed industry-oriented "AEM Training". This AEM course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain.


How is AEM better than other CMS solutions? 

The most significant benefit of AEM is building custom digital experiences according to user needs, providing best-in-class features such as digital asset management, content workflows, and social and multi-channel collaboration.
AEM provides an impressive platform to manage mobile apps, websites, campaign management, and more beyond website management.

AEM Architecture

AEM Architecture comprises the following, as shown in the below image: 

1) Java Runtime Environment [JRE]

AEM primarily collects jars, servlets, Java classes, JSPs[Java Server Pages], and static resources like HTML, images, and assets. JRE is required to power this architecture.

2) Granite Platform

The Granite platform is a vital part of the AEM stack. Granite is the name of Adobe's open web stack.
The Granite platform is comprised of the following modules, as shown in the figure above:

Servlet Engine

AEM requires an application server that supports Java Servlets API 2.4 or later. The AEM software package is available in two varieties: 

  • cq-quickstart.jar includes everything you need to get started (also known as a "standalone executable jar") and one that does not. Quickstart: The standalone jar file includes a servlet engine. Users can install an AEM instance with a built-in servlet engine by just double-clicking the jar file, as "Standalone" implies. A separate external application server is not required for servlet handling.
  • Cq-quickstart.war: To be used in combination with a third-party application server. A servlet engine is not included in WAR files. A JRE, a WAR file, and a third-party application server are required for servlet handling.

CRX Content Repository

Everything is stored as nodes and properties in the built-in CRX content repository, like in AEM. CRX is a repository for JCR content. JCR requirements combine relational database and file-system capabilities, allowing fine-grained access to content repositories in both file-system and database modes.

Let us define a few terms right now:

  • CRX (Content Repository Xtreme): CRX is an AEM repository.
  • JSR (Java Specification Request): A JSR is a formal document that outlines proposed specifications and technologies for the Java platform. There are thousands of JSRs. Adobe's JSR-283 implementation is CRX.
  • JCR (Java Content Repository API): It can be described as the specifications for consistently accessing content repositories via the JAVA API. As a "kind of repository." CRX provides JCR support. Apache Jackrabbit is another example of JCR.

To summarize, CRX is a form of JCR content repository, and CRX is a JSR implementation (JSR-283).

Sling Content Delivery

Sling is a REST-based Web application framework. The sling enables the rapid development of content-oriented applications. AEM is based on the sling. Sling utilizes JCR repositories such as CRX and Apache Jackrabbit.

"When using Sling, the type of material to be presented is not the first processing priority. Instead, the main consideration is whether the URL resolves to a content object for which a script may be identified to perform the rendering. This provides excellent support for web content authors in creating easily customized pages to their needs."

OSGi Framework (Open Service Gateway Initiative)

The OSGi is a Java framework for building and distributing modular software programs and modules. OSGi is a modular architecture that provides bundles to create robust components and applications. AEM is built on OSGi. AEM can be viewed as a collection of bundles (components). The web portal is being used to manage all AEM bundles.

A bundle is a jar file containing Java classes and a specific metadata file (META-INF subfolder). Bundled apps or components can be installed, started, paused, updated, and uninstalled without reboot. Each bundle (component/application) is a tightly coupled, dynamically loadable array of classes, jars, and configuration files that display their external dependencies.

The OSGi framework, AEM components, and any additional custom applications built on top of the AEM platform are all included as OSGI bundles.

3) AEM Modules 

AEM includes five modules: Sites, Assets, Mobile, Forms, and Community, which make it a top-tier CMS platform for developing and delivering high-traffic websites, forms, and mobile applications.  

Let's take a short look at each of these modules and their functionality -


AEM Sites enables you to create and manage responsive websites from a single platform. You can also manage several websites in various languages from a single location.

Furthermore, it provides the tools you need to enhance your eCommerce platform and launch marketing campaigns all in one spot.

.Asset Management

To build efficient workflows and deliver consistent content experiences, you may create custom variations of your assets in AEM and integrate them with Creative Cloud. You can manage your assets from the cloud, create asset generation routines, and automatically add metadata and tags to all assets.


AEM Mobile requires a single code base to generate apps that can be delivered across several platforms. It features Adobe Analytics, which gives you a quick overview of how well your app is working. A single dashboard can also be utilized to look at metrics and implement modifications to the content.


Adobe Forms lets you design simple forms that provide dynamic experiences to your clients based on their location and device. This makes form completion more interesting. To combine data with the existing system, you can create automated workflows. Adobe Analytics also provides information on user experience and the effectiveness of targeted adverts.


Adobe Communities gives you a platform to interact with your customers. It contains features like tagging, social login, notifications, inline translation, and insights to help you engage visitors and convert them into active community members. You may also use content recommendations to customize your community to your brand's identity.

4) Custom Application Module (your website)

Customers can build custom application modules on top of AEM. The underlying technical stack enables customers to benefit from AEM, such as flexibility, simplicity of managing and delivering websites, content, and assets, and reduced complexity of delivering online experiences to the right customers.

AEM Features

Since we have lists of unique features, we have highlighted a few portions that we believe provide AEM with a competitive advantage.

1) Digital Asset Management (DAM)

AEM Digital Asset Management (DAM) features visual searching, smart tagging, multilingual asset management, etc., to let you quickly store, manage, and find assets.
Marketing teams may connect assets with channel partners and external teams through the Brand Portal. Additionally, you may use asset insights to identify which assets perform best regarding engagement, usage, and interaction.

2) Integration with other marketing tools has been made more accessible.

Because AEM is part of the Adobe Experience Cloud, it can seamlessly integrate with other Adobe solutions and products. AEM Connectors can also be used to connect it to any third-party tool.

3) Integration with the Cloud

AEM Cloud connection is an effective method for integrating your company's marketing and DAM departments. It assists you in delivering high-quality content by streamlining your workflows.
Furthermore, since Adobe offers full cloud support and a wide range of services, it can help you fulfill your organization's unique needs.

4) Security

AEM is a secure and dependable CMS platform that protects and safeguards your company's sensitive data. It regularly releases easy-to-deploy AEM security hotfixes and supports all popular authentication methods, including SAML SSO and LDAP.

5) Out-of-the-Box (OTB) Components

AEM Out-of-the-box components enable rapid implementation for organizations. Workflow procedures, standardized layout, and form development are a few of Adobe's OTB components.

6) Intuitive Authoring Experience

Adobe's Touch User Interface feature offers simple-to-use creative experiences on various devices. Editors can easily create content pieces and distribute them to various channels to ensure consistent user experiences.

7) SEO and User Experience

Once your material has been scanned, AEM may automatically provide tags and metadata to your content assets. This feature is convenient when you need to publish much content without impacting SEO.

According to your preferences, you can also change the allocated tags. Additionally, it facilitates instant access to the required media, enhancing team productivity.

8) Headless CMS Capabilities

AEM's headless CMS features allow you to employ many technologies to provide content across all channels. You have complete control over how the content is displayed on several platforms, including desktop, mobile, IoT, and PIM systems. The ability to provide actual omnichannel experiences is, therefore, at your disposal, giving you the most flexibility.

9) Advanced Workflow Management

AEM makes workflow more efficient, which designates unique workspaces for each task. Every participant is assigned a role inside the structure that encourages collaboration between various groups. Annotations and comments are additional options for providing input that helps with productivity.

10) Creative Dashboard

The project dashboard allows editors to manage projects in a centralized setting. Each project comprises a group of related resources, each represented by a tile.
Adobe Experience Manager users can incorporate several information types into their projects. Although the editors can link external links, project data, team information, and tasks with their particular projects, the most often used ones are websites and assets.

AEM Benefits

You can swiftly offer personalized and captivating content experiences to every customer, regardless of the device or screen, with Adobe Experience Manager's collaboration capabilities.

Cloud scale and security.

Digital agility is a requirement for digital success. Give your IT staff the speed, space, and security they require to ensure end users have an uninterrupted, always-available experience.

Explore flexible experiences.

Throughout the day, your customers constantly change between channels. A hybrid CMS (headed and headless) enables seamless delivery to established and emerging channels, including the web, mobile, in-venue screens, Internet of Things, and single-page applications. This allows you to reach clients wherever they are.

With content intelligence, deliver the ideal experiences.

For the best content for your customers, get to understand them. All of this is made possible by the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which identifies your clients' preferences and then automates the creation and delivery of content so that you may reach them at the ideal moment.

Move faster with marketing and IT velocity.

Better experiences are delivered more quickly. Thanks to pre-built components, drag-and-drop content creation, and the capability for marketing and IT teams to collaborate simultaneously rather than waiting for one another to take the next step, you won't ever miss an opportunity to communicate with your customers when it matters.

AEM Core Components

Components are the structural elements that make up the content of the pages being developed in Adobe Experience Manager. Components have always been the foundation of the AEM experience, making page creation simple but effective for authors and component development diverse and extensible for developers.

The Core Components are a collection of Web Content Management (WCM) parts for AEM that have been standardized to speed up website development and reduce maintenance expenses. The current iteration of the Core Components includes the container components, form components, template components, and page authoring components.

What does an AEM Developer do?

  • Conception and execution of AEM-based enterprise content management solutions
  • Assist with the AEM's integration into the EPD's operational and development environment.
  • Integrating systems with the Adobe Marketing Cloud, such as Adobe Target, Analytics, or Tag Manager.
  •  Implement web frontend HTML templates in AEM JSP templates.
  • Support the product owner in evaluating the needs of the architecture, technologies, internal interfaces, or links to external AEM systems.

Related Article: AEM Developer


You have learned AEM's concepts, features, components, and more. It's important to note that adequately mastering the AEM concepts through repeated readings will help you remember and use them as and when necessary.

By Tech Solidity

Last updated on February 13, 2024