What I am most excited about in AEM 6.4

AEM | February 27, 2018

Adobe just held their Adobe Partner Technology Update to preview the key features and integrations from the upcoming release of Adobe Experience Manager 6.4 which was attended by more than 1000+ partners across the globe. To me, that proves how ready and excited the industry is for this new release.

Topics that were covered by Adobe:

AEM Sites

Content Services
Single Page Application Editor
Smart Layout
Core Components
Style Systems
Adobe Launch Support

AEM Assets

Native Support for Creative Cloud For Enterprise
Smart Tagging
Smart Crop
Smart Translations
Smart Metadata
Cloud Scale & Security
AEM Screens
Commerce
AEM Forms

AEM 6.4 Stand Outs

The 6.4 preview covered so much information and there are a lot of things in this new release that are innovative and exciting. Here are some things that stood out to me:

Sensei, Sensei and Sensei is everywhere! Adobe is taking us into futuristic AI enabled solutions by leveraging Sensei to improve, enhance and help content creators and marketers to provide an optimal digital experience.  

Sensei strikes again with content intelligence smart tags. You can train the AI algorithm to process images and apply applicable tags. Each tag you add helps the AI algorithm to update its logic; thus enabling content authors with content intelligence.

Smart translation. With AEM 6.4 you can turn on Adobe Sensei to leverage machine learning translation to search for auto-translated tags.

Content Services will now have the ability to expose and share content through APIs which enables integration with third-party applications.  Imagine sending information to an IoT device like Alexa.

Smart layouts allow authors to drag and drop modules on a page and lets Adobe Sensei Artificial Intelligence optimize the layout of content, and surface the most engaging content within a page based on analysis across your key business performance metrics.

Core Components now come with versioning so you have more control over which version you would like to upgrade to.

Style Systems allows authors to select a style from various options available. Within AEM 6.4 CSS is implemented in the backend allowing authors to select a different look and feel within the same component to target their content based on specific marketing needs.  

Adobe Launch has reimagined how tags are loaded in AEM6.4. “Just imagine a single tag can collect all data you want and then send it to data services.”

With AEM 6.4, Adobe introduces native support for creative cloud for enterprises with AEM assets. This enables Single Sign-On integration between creative cloud and AEM assets thereby allowing Creatives and Marketers to bridge gaps and improve collaboration at an accelerated velocity. Native support to the creative cloud comes with a check in, check out option and search capabilities, plus the OOTB option will require no configuration.

Adobe extends content intelligence to smart crop. Imagine auto-generation of smart crops based on point of focus that is generated by AI algorithms.

Advanced Metadata Management. If your organization has governance related to use of assets look no further. With the Adobe 6.4 release customers can leverage a WYSIWYG editor and add field dependencies, meaning you can now configure it so that a size of a particular product cannot be added until the copyright field is populated. You can also configure parent-child field logic which enables the author to ensure all assets have consistent data governance.

Cloud Scale and Security. With 6.4 now enables customers and partners to self-serve through new deployment process which helps with faster go to market timelines by including continuous integration/continuous delivery of custom code, testing automation and best practices which is available to all AEM Managed Services Customers.

Screens allow you added location-based services thereby allowing different stores to have different messages, you can also leverage screens to provide different messaging at different times of the day.

eCommerce. We have all seen AEM’s journey into eCommerce integration. With 6.4, Adobe is expanding this to all Adobe Marketing Cloud options by enabling a cloud environment with I/O runtime integration.

AEM Forms

As part of AEM Forms track, Adobe has an introduced a new feature called Data integration which serves two purposes:

  1. Connect your backend systems- configurations available are mySQL, SQL Server, Rest and Soap Services and Microsoft Dynamics Connector (available in package share)  
  2. Create data models for forms to help with pre-filling information, you can also leverage data models to test and sample forms.

Automated form conversion. AEM Forms 6.4 allows smart conversion of PDF to adaptive forms leveraging Sensei.  This includes integration with backend data stores via form data model and enables batch conversion of existing forms. 

Upgrade path for liveCycle customers. Currently, the upgrade path is from LC ES4SP1 to AEM Forms 6.1 and then from AEM Forms 6.1 to AEM Forms 6.3. With the latest release, Adobe has provided a direct upgrade from LC ES4 to AEM Forms 6.3 and will continue to provide a direct upgrade path for future releases.

We at iCiDIGITAL are excited to learn more about Adobe’s product offerings at Summit and if you would like to know more about how iCiDIGITAL can help you with your Adobe Marketing Cloud journey feel free to reach out.

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Divya Kandikatti is a Lead Business System Analyst at iCiDIGITAL. She works with clients throughout their AEM journey, working closely with the business, dev and QA teams to ensure delivery of a quality solution. She has 7+ years of experience gathering requirements for web-based applications, APIs, and CMS implementations. In her free time, she enjoys movies, traveling, and trying out new things like kickboxing and acrylic painting.