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      Everything You Need to Know About Moving to AEM as a Cloud Service

      Oct 10, 2022

      5 minute read

      What Is AEM as a Cloud Service?

      Adobe Experience Manager as a Cloud Service is the new generation platform for building and serving experiences using Adobe Experience Manager.

      It offers great content management (CMS) capabilities and digital asset management (DAM) for marketing and communication teams.

      Moreover, it is a cloud-based, scalable, secure, always available, and up-to-date solution.

      AEM as a Cloud Service vs. AEM on Premise

      The significant differences between AEM as a cloud service and AEM on-premise are explained in the table below:

      AEM as a Cloud Service AEM on Premise
      License cost is based on usage. License cost is infrastructure and users based.
      New features are available frequently as the software is upgraded by Adobe on a daily basis. Upgrades are not implemented frequently as compared to AEM on Cloud Service. The latest features are not available until CFP is deployed.
      Has low ownership cost as it only requires the deployment of custom code. High ownership cost as it requires managing your own infrastructure and support.
      Auto scaling allows adding more AEM instances on demand. It also supports horizontal and vertical scaling. Auto scaling is not possible because of architecture and license cost limitations.
      It follows microservices-based architecture. It is built like a monolithic application and requires custom development and cost to integrate it with any external service.
      It’s more secure since security fixes are automatically applied regularly. Security fixes are available only when Adobe releases CFP and it takes more time to propagate them to production.
      Only Cloud Manager can be used for deploying code. Any custom CI tool like Jenkins is not supported. Any custom CI tool can be used to deploy code.
      Cloud manager builds and deploys code from the Adobe GIT repository only. Any source code management repository can be used.

      Benefits of AEM as a Cloud Service for Businesses

      Some of the benefits of using AEM as a Cloud Service for businesses are:

      Zero Downtime

      Previously, AEM wouldn’t provide services to update and maintain. However, AEM as Cloud Service is constantly updated and available. This means that you do not experience any downtime.

      Moreover, the cloud service comes with an inbuilt failover strategy that provides all the required protection against any failures. This leads to an improved user experience for businesses.

      Auto Updates

      The new supported architecture that comes with Cloud Service allows businesses to make the latest innovations available as soon as they are ready to be rolled out. As a result, businesses don’t have to work hard to plan and execute these upgrades, which sometimes take years.

      This gives businesses an opportunity to spend more time on building business-centric innovations rather than spending time on upgrades.

      Auto Scalable

      With cloud service, businesses can easily scale their servers during peak hours of traffic and automatically scale them down once the peak is over. This means businesses can focus more on delivering better customer experiences, innovate more, and grow faster.

      You’ll also get the required tools and best practices to manage and deliver assets at scale along with developer tools to create and launch new websites and apps.

      What’s more, you can even rely on cloud experts to help you leverage the latest innovations.

      Reduced Costs

      AEM as a Cloud Service enables businesses to utilize the application faster than before because of its SaaS-like agility.

      Ultimately, businesses can launch dynamic and tailored content faster than industry standard timelines. Thus, by implementing AEM as a Cloud Service, you can create higher ROI and improve business value.

      Give this blog post a read to know why AEM is the preferred CMS tool for enterprises.

      Moving to AEM as a Cloud Service: A Step by Step Guide

      The transition to Cloud Service involves three phases- Planning, Execution, and Post Go-live.

      Proper planning is an essential step for a successful and smooth transition to the Cloud Service.

      Moving to AEM as a Cloud Service

      Phase 1: Planning

      Before you begin the transition, it’s important to know what significant changes have been made to AEM as a Cloud Service and the features that have been introduced, replaced or eliminated.


      Assess cloud service readiness – Run a comprehensive analysis of your existing codebase against the removed/deprecated features of AEMaaCS. You can even use Cloud Readiness Analyzer (CRA) tool.

      Review – Depending on the results of the assessment, conduct effort estimation, and resourcing exercises. The results will help you understand what level of code changes are required.

      Measure – In order to measure the performance of the site accessibility and assets handling, set up KPIs, project timelines, and success criteria.

      Phase 2: Execution

      This phase includes deploying code to an Experience Manager Cloud Service instance. Cloud Manager enables businesses to self-manage Experience Manager in the Cloud.

      There’s a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) framework included. It allows the IT teams and implementation partners to expedite the delivery of customizations or updates without affecting performance or security.

      Here are some of the activities you need to perform in this phase:

      • Move existing content from a source AEM instance to the target AEM Cloud Service instance. You can take advantage of Adobe’s Content Transfer Tool.
      • Refactor the existing code to ensure it’s compatible with AEM as a Cloud Service.
      • Use Adobe’s utilities like AEM Dispatcher Converter, AEM Modernizer Tool, Asset Workflow Migration to speed up the code refactoring.
      • Code refactoring and content transfer activities can be performed in any order. However, you must follow the correct project structure to render the content successfully.

      The below figure shows a standardized maven project structure that you can follow during code refactoring-

      Standardized Maven Project Structure

      Standardized Maven Project Structure
      Note – Code quality test coverage should be at least 50% otherwise build will fail in Cloud Manager build pipeline.

      Once refactoring and customization are done and you are ready for the final, Go Live, phase, there are a few things that you need to follow to ensure the execution is smooth and successful-

      • Freeze further code and content refactoring until go-live.
      • Make sure all the required content is transferred to AEM as a Cloud Service by using the Content Transfer Tool.
      • Verify the functioning of the site running on an updated and re-factored project.
        Make sure the performance and security testing is done.
      • Finally do the Cut-Over.

      Post Go Live

      The Post Go-live phase includes clean-up of temporary files, review best practices for continuous development and manage logs.

      After the Go-Live phase, a few things need to be taken care of in the post go-live phase. This is to ensure that everything is working as expected.

      Below are some important points that you should be aware of-

      • If there are any issues occurring in the post go-live phase and they need to be debugged by using thread dump, then you need to contact Adobe Support. You need to specify the time window for which thread dump is required. This is because as of now on AEM as a Cloud Service there is no way to get the thread dump on your own.
      • You can also go to the Cloud Manager interface to download the logs and access the particular author/publish service under the Environment Card available on Cloud Manager’s Program.
      • You can also use Adobe IO CLI to access the logs via API. For example-
        To download the log use command aio cloudmanager:download-logs ENVIRONMENTID SERVICE NAME [DAYS]
        To tail the log use command aio cloudmanager:tail-log ENVIRONMENTID SERVICE NAME


      AEM as a Cloud Service provides a scalable, secure, and agile technology foundation for AEM sites and sssets that enables marketers and IT to focus on delivering impactful experiences at scale.

      With AEM as a Cloud Service, your teams can focus on innovating instead of planning for product upgrades.

      However, when it comes to switching to AEM as a Cloud Service, there are many technical challenges. Thus, it’s usually recommended to have a team of technical experts by your side to ensure a successful migration.

      Want to Migrate to AEM as a Cloud Service? Contact Us!

      Our AEM developers can help you with a smooth transition to AEM as a Cloud Service without any data loss.

      Should you have any questions, reach out to us at [email protected] and we will take it from there.

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