Adobe Experience Manager 6.5 Now Available—Here’s What You Need to Know

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) 6.5—which helps marketing teams create personalized customer interactions—is now generally available. The new version places a strong focus on creating fluid experiences for prospects and customers as they interact via websites, mobile apps, and online communities. The solution also accelerates content velocity and increases experience intelligence collection so businesses can enhance customer experiences at scale across multiple touch points.

If you have already deployed an earlier version of AEM, here’s our take on some of the new features to help you evaluate whether it makes sense to migrate to 6.5: - Single Page Application (SPA) Editor—this feature was released with the AEM 6.4.2 service pack and has been enhanced in version 6.5. The SDK allows AEM components to be authored within Angular or React SPA applications. For other SPA Editor resources, check out SPA Archetype and the SPA Tutorial. - Headless Content Management System (CMS)—AEM has always offered HTTP APIs, but the introduction of Sling Model Exporters and the Asset HTTP API with content fragment models allows for increased flexibility and use as a headless CMS or hydrating SPA applications. - Touch UI Permissions Editor—this is a less-touted feature of AEM 6.5 but is one of the final pieces of the Classic UI. The previous UI sometimes masked what was actually taking place behind the scenes. For example, un-checking a box did not remove a rule; it actually added a deny rule. The new UI, however, exposes more underlying technical details, which may require training for non-technical users. The new UI also suffers from not portraying the ordering of access-control entries. This means that precedence issues could still arise and need to be resolved in CRXDE Lite (an included developer tool that is often disabled in production environments). - Dynamic Facets—this was a feature that was lost in the transition from Jackrabbit 1 but has been incorporated into Assets Search and is available to developers through QueryBuilder for building guided and faceted search applications. Below is a Dynamics Facets screen shot: - Asset Link—this feature lets users find, edit and upload assets stored in AEM Assets from within Creative Cloud applications (such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign)—without having to leave the AEM application. - Connected Assets—lets AEM Sites link or sync with assets from separate AEM Assets instances. One other note…a completely re-written AEM Desktop App was demoed at Adobe Summit. However, it appears to be on a separate timeline and pegged for a future release.
Considerations for AEM Upgrades 
The chart below shows when support ends for previous versions of Adobe Experience Manager:

If you’re upgrading to AEM 6.5 from 6.4, the change should be painless if 6.4 was a fresh install, or if the repository restructuring was completed in a previous upgrade. The foundation components are deprecated but supported, and the core components should be considered. Check out Upgrading to AEM 6.5 and repository restructuring for further guidance.

Upgrading from AEM 6.3 and older versions will require going through all of the previous compounding considerations. The repository restructuring from AEM 6.3 to 6.4 was only partially required, and this still seems to be the case, but the restructuring guide recommends finalizing this by 6.5.

To facilitate your migration, also consider the new AEM Modernization Tools. The tools offer extendable migration modules for templates (Static > Editable), policies (Design Configurations > Policies), components (Foundation > Core), and dialogs (Classic > Touch).

Considering AEM for the First Time?
If your company has not yet installed Adobe Experience Manager, there aren’t many major changes in 6.5 that would raise stability concerns about launching a new implementation. The solution is worthy considering it’s an effective way to bring content management and digital asset management together in one place. 

This makes it easier for your marketing team to deliver content faster. They can also create personalized experiences for prospects and customers who visit your website as well as those you interact with via mobile apps and online communities.

If you have any questions about Adobe Experience Manager 6.5, or if your company needs assistance with deploying or migrating to the solution, feel free to contact us at  

Matthew Sullivan

About the author: Matthew Sullivan

Matthew Sullivan is a Senior Lead Architect (AEM) at R2integrated in our Baltimore Office. He has worked in AEM/CQ for 10 years and holds AEM Architect and Developer certifications from Adobe.

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