Tuesday 30 January 2018

Steps to migrate third party CMS website to AEM

AEM(Adobe Experience Manager) is getting more and more popular, due to its enterprise capability for managing content. There are cases where we need to migrate third party CMS site to AEM.
Some examples could be Drupal to AEM, Salesforce to AEM e.t.c.

Let us understand the common process of migration. I will take you through the steps to migrate any third party CMS websites to AEM.

The estimation part of AEM project migration is given in this link.

Below listed are the major steps in a migration project.
  • Analysing the current system with integration elements involved
  • Define content strategy
  • Define asset Strategy
  • Design the new system with integration
  • Migrate the content to new system
  • Test the new system

While migrating a site, we should have an understanding of the current site CMS; then map it with related elements in AEM.

For eg. A site made in Wordpress will have the content stored in a location and images, videos, pdfs in some repository. Understanding the layers in both CMS plays a big role in delivering a successful migration.

Setting up the environment
To ensure a smooth migration, we need an AEM DEV environment ready where we can quickly move the data from current system. The minimal DEV environment configuration could be just an author instance with 2 to 4 publish instances and a dispatcher.

Strategy to Migrate Content 
Below steps to be carried out for a smooth content migration
  •     Content Evaluation
  •     Cleaning up/ Sanitizing the content    
  •     Content Mapping - Organizing the content hierarchy
  •     Design
               - Based on the analysis of existing system, we need to design a solution which has proper
               digital asset structure, metadata, tagging, client library, target AEM templates and
  •     Content Migration - There are many ways to do this.
              - Manual Migration(When the content in the old system is not structured)
              - Automation Migration(When the content in the old system is structured)
              - Hybrid Migration(When there is structured and unstructured content in the old system)
  •     Content Verification
Assets Strategy
Assets plays an important role in any CMS. We need to carry out,
  •     Asset migration and categorization
  •     Extract and update metadata from old system to AEM
Getting into action
Based on the design we need to have templates, components created.

We need to identify the tools/ methods available to export data from current system to AEM once the templates and components are ready. AEM follows hybrid way of content migration in almost all scenarios.

REST API for migration
Some of the CMS system provides a REST API layer where the content is exposed. We can invoke them in AEM and get those data exported into AEM directly.

To achieve this, our migration scripts should have,    
   -  Map the templates from current system to AEM
   -  Map the components from current system to AEM

 Once the content and assets are migrated, we can start manual testing on the pages by creating new pages as per design.

How do we estimate an AEM Migration project?
  •     List templates
  •     Estimate the templates
  •     List components
  •     Estimate the components
  •     Analyze the current CMS content ( XML/JSON Data)
  •     Estimate the scripts for each components (XML/JSON Data to AEM Component)
  •     Estimate asset migration and categorization(Extract and update metadata for digital assets on AEM)
  •     Estimate Analytics part
  •     Estimate Integration (Login, Authorization, Search)
  •     Estimate Workflow creation

 Need help?
If any one facing trouble in identifying the strategy, let us know through the comments section.


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Friday 12 January 2018

Rule Engine Integration with AEM

We have been integrating various applications with Adobe experience Manager. Some examples are search, social integration etc.

There are cases where we need to integrate Java based rule engines (For e.g Drools, IBM ODM, JRule etc.). Let us see how we can integrate them.

What is rule engine?
Rule engines are used to provide business based decisions while processing a data. For e.g., when a loan is to be processed based on a lenders salary, and many parameters, we can have a rule engine integrated with AEM.

How can we achieve this?
To achieve this we may need multiple layers as shown.

Business rule layer
As seen in diagram, The rule developer (skill set is prior working knowledge on rule engines) develops the rules, test them and deploy the rules. These rules are created on a rule engine.

The rule developed resides in a rule repository (back-end of the rule engine).

The Business professional (Skill set is business understanding of rules) who creates the rules, will have a UI access of rule engine and based on the rule developers rules, he creates new rules to satisfy a business condition.

Web service layer.
Here the Java is deployed on any server. The Java code will perform activities of invoking the Rule engine and process rules;  this rules will be handed over to AEM through an https layer in xml or json format.

Any questions, let us know through the comment section?

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Thursday 4 January 2018

A program managers thoughts on site migration to AEM

Let us see how a project manager should think before he starts with a site migration to AEM. What things he needs to consider? The history of AEM has seen thousands of migration to AEM. But how many were successful? How many of them were cost effective? Let us do an analysis.

Planning before he starts.
There are multiple planning sessions to be done before actual migration starts.

Cost/ Budget Planning

The PM should think of the total cost estimated for the complete implementation. This includes initial setup, UI development/ UI changes, developing new feature additions, QA tools, platforms, integration costs, licensing costs etc.

Technical Planning

PM should get a clarity on the total number of sites, UX changes, data conversions, system integration, any analytical and personalization items.

Team Planning

Right mix of technology team is necessary for any development. For an AEM, the considerations should be the back-end, front-end capabilities of a developer including various integration through web-service layer, analytics, search etc.

Implementation Planning

Define the correct time frame with a proper sprint planning. Include the team in discussions is necessary for this.

Integration planning

Third party integration can be complex task when the developers are not aware of it. Always try to add a developer who knows the various integration like search, analytics, web-service etc.

QA Planning
Define a QA Strategy and ensure the test cases are prepared well before the actual development.

Deployment Planning

Ensure the DEV and QA work together to make the deployment process success. Define a deployment strategy considering latest tools and technologies available.

Set a well defined communication channel for the deployment process which makes the deployment smooth and success. Ensure the roll back and disaster recovery are considered in planning.

Post deployment planning

Regular Monitoring of performance and any backups are to be planned as part of this.

He or she should also consider the partnerships for AEM implementation, Adobe cloud solutions and infrastructure in course of time. Let me know your migration experiences through comments section.

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