What is Headless AEM?
Mar 20, 2023
Headless AEM, or “decoupled” AEM, is Adobe Experience Manager’s approach to content delivery that separates the content from the presentation layer. Adobe first introduced its headless capabilities in Adobe Experience Manager at the Adobe Developers Live conference for digital experience developers in 2021 and customers have been able to leverage GraphQL and other API connectivity ever since.
With the ever-changing landscape of digital content delivery, headless AEM is an excellent way for enterprises to keep up with the trends.Let’s take a closer look at what Headless AEM entails and what it means for enterprises.
How Does AEM Fit Into the Headless CMS Landscape?
AEM is a headless CMS that offers a flexible and customizable architecture to provide developers and marketers with the tools to create highly personalized experiences and content. Its bespoke features allow for rapidly delivering content, forms, and digital assets to any device or platform.
Moreover, AEM’s architecture enables developers to integrate the platform quickly with other popular technologies and services, expanding the potential for creating unique experiences and engaging content. It makes it easy for AEM to consume structured content from a web app or site over HTTP using GraphQL.
Like most headless CMS, AEM allows content to be decoupled from the presentation layer and served to multiple channels via API. The platform not only supports headless content delivery but offers traditional content management features as well, making it a hybrid CMS.
AEM: Headless vs. Hybrid
AEM, as a headless CMS, has become popular among enterprises. The main idea behind a headless CMS is to decouple the frontend from the backend and serve content to the frontend through an API.
As part of its headless architecture, AEM is API-driven. Content is delivered to various channels via JSON. These channels can then use the content to make personalized designs.
The GraphQL API/Asset Rest API is used in a headless architecture to retrieve content kept in content fragments and content models. In the case of AEM, content is provided as a service API for backend and frontend interactions to transfer content across any device. The content in this architecture is created in AEM, but it is styled, presented, and delivered on a different platform. It is a modernized design pattern used to implement experiences on many websites.
With its hybrid capabilities AEM allows you to create your own templates or use prebuilt templates to make content available across multiple channels using an API.
Headful and Headless in AEM
Projects in AEM are implemented in both headless and headful formats, allowing you to explore the incredible benefits of both models when working on a project.
AEM provides robust tools for managing content creation and distribution on a single platform. In a traditional “headful” content management model, the content authors and developers collaborate on the same platform to provide unique experiences to customers.
On the other hand, you can use AEM to manage content in such a way that a different platform manages the presentation and delivery of the content. This is the “headless” model. Here, content authors and platform developers work together on different platforms.
Headful, also known as the full-stack model, allows content to be managed in the AEM repository and components. This model enables content creation, styling, presenting, and delivery in AEM.
In the headless model, content is managed in the AEM repository, but delivery is done via APIs (REST or GraphQL) to other platforms to render content. This model enables content creation, styling, presenting, and delivery to happen on a different platform.
Features of Headless AEM
As a cloud service, AEM is an excellent tool for implementing a headless architecture with three main features:
Content models have to do with content represented structurally. Information architects use the AEM Content Fragment Model editor to define content models. They are the foundation of Content Fragments.
Content Model serves as the basis for creating Content Fragments. Content authors use the AEM Content Fragment Editor to create content fragments. These content fragments are then stored in AEM assets and managed via the Assets Admin UI.
Content API for Delivery
Most CMS platforms use APIs to deliver content from the decoupled backend to the frontend. In AEM, the GraphQL API has support for content fragment delivery. The content fragment CRUD operations are also supported via the AEM Assets REST API.
Headless AEM: Unlocking the Power of a Decoupled CMS with Oshyn
Headless AEM provides a powerful solution for companies looking to take advantage of the benefits of a decoupled CMS. By separating the content management and presentation layers, enterprises can achieve greater flexibility, scalability, and agility in their content management and delivery.
However, headless CMSs and the integrations they will inevitably require can be hard to navigate, particularly with how quickly things change from vendor to vendor. If you want to select the right CMS for your enterprise then you need a partner to help you. Oshyn is an enterprise digital agency with decades of experience working in the content management space and with numerous vendors.
Oshyn works with some of the world’s leading brands and creative agencies to help them create amazing digital solutions based on leading digital experience platforms such as Adobe, Sitecore, and Optimizely.. Ready to discover whether headless AEM or other headless solutions are right for your business? Contact us today to find out more.