Adobe AEM Magento Integration: A Tandem of CMS and Ecommerce

Choose Magento
11mid read August 26, 2022
Choose Magento
Adobe AEM Magento Integration: A Tandem of CMS and Ecommerce
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Magento (or Adobe Commerce as of April 2021) is a powerful ecommerce platform with its own content management system (CMS). 

But it’s no secret that Magento’s built-in CMS doesn’t go far when your business scales. It becomes more difficult to store your assets, share files, and manage content especially if you’re selling across platforms. And that’s when Adobe AEM integration comes in handy.

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is an advanced CMS and digital asset management (DAM) platform. Named a leader in the last edition of The Forrester Wave™: Agile Content Management Systems (CMSes), Q1 2021, AEM allows to get a merchant’s content to the market fast and customize customer experience on the web. 

At Elogic Commerce, we’ve been a trusted Adobe partner for the past 13 years and know how important it is to have the same vendor for all your ecommerce platform integrations

Both AEM and Magento are owned by Adobe, which gives an amazing opportunity for merchants to take the best of both worlds and seamlessly integrate them into a powerful ecommerce solution.

What is Adobe AEM, what are its benefits for Magento merchants, and how to implement Adobe AEM Magento integration, and whether is it possible to migrate from AEM to headless AEM — read more in our material.

What Is Adobe AEM?

Adobe AEM is a powerful CMS used to create, edit, and manage digital content across various channels. It was initially a PaaS solution until 2020 when — to the delight of mid-size companies and large enterprises — it became a fully cloud-native SaaS application.

Adobe AEM presents a number of capabilities:

  • AEM Sites (aka Content Management System) allows you to build experience webpages from scratch, deliver consistent and personalized content across channels, and launch multiple marketing campaigns from a single dashboard.
  • AEM Assets (aka Digital Asset Management) stores millions of files, automates the content flow between the store teams and outside partners, and uses AI to add tags to images for better search results and optimized user experience.
  • AEM Forms (aka Digital Enrollment and Forms) gives marketers the possibility to create smart responsive forms, set up automated responses or use interactive elements for each audience segment, and reuse content to build other forms and templates.
  • Cloud Service provides a secure and scalable foundation for the retailer’s omnichannel efforts. AEM Cloud is extensible and prevents enterprise websites from outages as they deliver content at scale.
  • Learning Manager makes life easier for those in charge of training and content development. Marketers can create unified learning experiences and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize learning journeys for both employees and customers.

These all components are combined in a cohesive Adobe AEM architecture. Check out the details in an explanatory video of our partner, Adobe.

Read more: Ecommerce Architecture for Website — Full Guide 

AEM ecommerce natively connects to Adobe Analytics, Target, Creative Cloud, and other Adobe services, which gives all the necessary tools for digital marketers to study their audience, for creative teams to share and exchange files, and for the management board to oversee their business processes.

Adobe AEM benefits: Why Should You Try Adobe AEM Magento Integration?

Your Magento store can have all the aforementioned content management capabilities. Quite a few brands have already opted for an Adobe AEM Magento integration, including Lenovo, Helly Hansen Outdoor Apparel, and TiVo, among others. 

What’s convinced these retail giants to go for AEM integration with their Magento stores? Here are a few benefits of Adobe AEM Magento integration.

Benefit #1: Real-Time Product Update

Imagine your team wants to put a product on sale. You have all your product catalog imported in Magento, and the update should be done in a special_price field. Thanks to AEM, updated product data (including the price, title, stock status, etc.) will appear immediately across all your ecommerce sales channels, be it your website or the marketplace through which you reach out to your customers.

Benefit #2: Easy-to-Implement Marketing Campaigns

Now imagine one product update received good feedback from your customers, and you want to launch a whole campaign for this sales season. Do you call an ecommerce development agency to create a PWA or a single page for a short-term marketing campaign? Not after AEM Magento integration! 

With AEM, your marketers can create experience pages as well as product teasers and carousels in a drag-and-drop interface without the need to code. Products will be taken from the Magento database, and AEM will help you organize them on display.

Benefit #3: Improved Asset Management

While small businesses can store and handle their web content in Google Drive or using any other file-sharing tools, the built-in ecommerce AEM DAM system will benefit large enterprises managing thousands of assets. 

The creative and marketing teams working on your Magento project can search, drag & drop, save, and publish their own assets and those of a different team. Meanwhile, you, as a manager, won’t need to worry that storage space and DAM memory will end one day and you’ll lose all your files.

A diagram showing the flow of assets in AEM..
Asset sharing and management with AEM. Source: Net Solutions.

Benefit #4: Built-In Analytics Tools

AEM is already integrated with other Adobe tools like Analytics, Audience Manager, Campaign, and Target. You can easily add them and configure the information you need to collect from your customers to customize your marketing campaigns. And while Magento Business Intelligence (BI) does provide similar analytics reports, AEM will extend it with additional data and give predictive insights to identify your customer journey behaviors and points of friction.

AEM Commerce Integration Framework

Adobe AEM and Magento are easily integrated thanks to a Commerce Integration Framework (CIF) connector created by Adobe. 

Adobe CIF Connector

Adobe CIF connector enables eCommerce AEM to access a Magento storefront with all its content and product attributes via a slow Magento 2 AEM GraphQL APIs back-end. You might have heard about GraphQL as a part of a standard tech stack of PWA projects like Vue Storefront and Magento PWA Studio.

A diagram showing CIF architecture
CIF component architecture. Source: Adobe

AEM CIF consists of six elements, each improving a particular aspect of your store:

  • AEM CIF cloud connector allows the CMS to access your commerce data by integrating AEM with Magento Cloud GraphQP endpoint or Adobe I/O Runtime GraphQL.
  • AEM CIF core components act on the server and on the client sides and create static, SEO-friendly storefront.
  • AEM CIF archetype with AEM Venia storefront  (Magento PWA Studio’s default theme) allows you to start a B2C project without the need to code everything from scratch and  experiment with your marketing campaigns.
  • CIF extension layer retrieves complex business logic, like user location and channel to define the best inventory strategy.
  • CIF integration layer connects your AEM with other ecommerce solutions, including Magento, marketplaces, PWAs, etc.
  • Campaign integration is built on top of the microservices and gathers live data on I/O Runtime to reduce your cart abandonment rates.

Magento AEM Integration Steps

What happens when Adobe CIF connector is added? We won’t delve into the dull, technical details involving code, commands, and instances. But we will show you the schematic AEM commerce integration framework.

Read more: Magento 2 ERP Integration in 2022: Step-By-Step Guide 

AEM Magento integration should be done in a local developer’s environment. The code to the Adobe CIF connector itself is open-source and can be accessed on GitHub. You’ll need to 

  1. Set up a local AEM development environment by installing local AEM instances, Apache Maven project, Integrated Development Environments (IDE), and troubleshooting.
  1. Download the AEM core components and add a CIF code to your system.
  1. Connect them to Magento instance: AEM GraphQL is typically enabled by default, so you can do this directly in AEM’s OSGi configuration settings;
  1. Add commerce components in AEM: go to AEM start menu → Commerce → Products → Create → Bind Products.

…and watch your AEM and Magento Adobe synchronize!

Adobe Experience Manager Integration

Eventually, your high-level architecture of Adobe AEM Magento should look like this:

A diagram showing Adobe AEM Magento integration.
AEM Magento integration architecture. Source: Adobe.
  1. AEM Author components receive data from Magento and give a product preview thanks to such tools as a product picker;
  2. AEM Publish requests commerce data from Magento to render shopping experiences (like product catalogs);
  3. A content delivery network (CDN) caches the data received from AEM components and later sends the assets and static files to the browser;
  4. Web components for dynamic content (that is, client-side components) exchange non-cacheable data, like shopping cart transactions, and bypass AEM to render the Magento experience.

An experienced programmer can deploy such an AEM and Adobe Commerce integration project in a day. The problem will be later to check the integration for any discrepancies and implement any customizations, if needed, which may take more time.

If it all sounds too complicated for you, we’re here to help.

Hire a developer with us

...and watch your store upgrade without extra hassle!

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Headless or No Headless, That Is the Question

The tandem of AEM and Magento is priceless for a simple reason: you have a chance to join the new era of headless ecommerce

If you’re not ready to transform your business and go headless, you can stick to your guns and use AEM as a CMS. On the other hand, if you believe AEM headless approach is the next big step in your business development, Magento will run the back-office commerce operations and the AEM headless CMS will power the front end of your storefront keeping your customers engaged.

There are four scenarios for your business model after Adobe AEM Magento integration:

Four deployment models of AEM Magento integration.
Headless eCommerce AEM with Magento deployment models.. Source: Adobe.

Scenario 1: Experience-driven commerce. AEM owns the entire glass of your storefront and integrates Magento commerce services via GraphQL APIs.

Scenario 2: Hybrid headless commerce AEM. AEM delivers content via API and HTML, and Magento delivers Commerce data via GraphQL. This deployment mode is not supported out-of-the-box and requires technical assistance (Elogic is here to help!).

Scenario 3: Commerce-led hybrid. Similar to scenario 1, except that Magento owns the glass and integrates AEM as a CMS. This is the least troubling integration pattern for Magento owners, which doesn’t require changes in the rest of the storefront.

Scenario 4: Vertical hybrid commerce. AEM and Magento share the presentation layer of the storefront, as in Magento powers the checkout and My Account page and AEM — the marketing pages and the storefront catalog experience. This solution is common but also requires technical assistance for you to ensure that all the user activities are handled properly by the two systems.

Overall, the AEM headless approach to Magento development will allow the two systems to do what they excel at: run the commerce backend with Magento and do the marketing with AEM. And you as a merchant can take advantage of this duo!

At Elogic, we offer end-to-end assistance in the implementation of any third-party system, including AEM. Check out our integration services and let us know when we can implement an Adobe AEM Magento integration for you!

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FAQs

What is the difference between AEM and Adobe Commerce?

AEM vs Magento (aka Adobe Commerce) should never be contrasted against the same backdrop as they stand for different systems, each with its own functions and goals. AEM is an enterprise content management system (CMS) that helps marketers create and optimize customer experiences across channels by managing content and digital assets. Adobe Commerce is an ecommerce framework for building online stores. Both are owned by Adobe and, if integrated, make a powerful combo for creating disruptive shopping experiences.

Is AEM a CMS?

Yes, AEM is a powerful Adobe CMS (content management system) most commonly used by enterprises that continue to grow and deliver personalized, unified customer experiences across channels.

Does Adobe own Magento?

In June 2018, Adobe acquired Magento to add it to its end-to-end digital experience platform including content creation, marketing, advertising, analytics, and commerce for B2B and B2C customers. This way, Adobe places all digital technologies under a single roof and allows easier integration of commerce technologies, like AEM commerce, for better shopping experience.

How to integrate Adobe AEM with Magento?

Adobe AEM Magento integration can be easily implemented via a CIF connector developed and powered by Adobe. You need to synchronize AEM core components with your Magento instance to access your content and product attributes in both systems.

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