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    Seamlessly Share Digital Assets From Different AEM Instances With Connect Assets

    In the digital content management landscape, Digital Asset Management (DAM) is crucial to facilitate efficient collaboration, enable quick access to assets, and improve productivity. Consequently, it also fosters seamless & engaging experiences and ensures brand consistency.

    However, if digital assets are not managed properly they can pose complexities like missing digital assets, inconsistent branding, increased operational costs, subpar customer experiences, and difficult collaboration.

    Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), the comprehensive content management solution, rises to these challenges with its innovative Connected Assets feature. With the connected assets feature, businesses can streamline digital asset management and enable seamless integration & synchronization across different AEM environments/ instances.

    In this Article, we’ll decode a use case that highlights the migration of Brand Microsite assets from Media Library to AEM Assets (eDAM).

    But before that, let’s understand the benefits, capabilities, and prerequisites of leveraging connected assets in AEM, demonstrating how it can revolutionize your asset management strategy.

    Benefits of Implementing Connected Assets in AEM

    Streamlining asset management in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) with connected assets provides significant advantages.

    • It enables the AEM Sites authors to seamlessly access and utilize assets from remote DAM instances, such as eDAM.
    • It enhances productivity and collaboration among content creators by streamlining asset discovery, usage, and publishing processes. Before AEM 6.5, this level of seamless integration was unavailable, making asset management more cumbersome and time-consuming. Connected assets eliminate the need for manual asset transfers and reduce duplication, ensuring that content creators always have access to the most up-to-date assets.
    • This integration also facilitates better version control and reduces the risk of inconsistencies across different platforms.
    • Additionally, connected assets support a more agile content creation process, enabling faster time-to-market for digital experiences.

    Capabilities of Streamlining Asset Management in AEM Using Connected Assets

    The use of connected assets in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) introduces a range of capabilities that significantly enhance asset management and content delivery.

    • Users can seamlessly search, browse, and utilize assets from a remote Assets instance, streamlining the content creation process.
    • AEM administrators can establish integration connections between local and remote instances, enabling seamless usage and eliminating the need for Sites and Assets to share the same instance.
    • This capability enables independent scaling and management, providing greater flexibility.
    • The AEM Sites instances can access remote assets and fetch copies during publishing, ensuring efficient content delivery.
    • This feature is compatible with both existing AEM Sites instances and upcoming AEM instances, providing a versatile solution for asset management.

    It’s crucial to note that videos, schemas, and content fragments do not sync with connected assets. However, Dynamic Media is identified as a potential solution for managing these types of content. The asset instance (the AEM instance that sources the assets) and the site instance (the AEM instance that uses assets from other instances for site content) can reside either on-premise, in the AMS cloud, or as a Cloud Service. Also, Connected Assets configuration is primarily used for authoring, while Dynamic Media is designed for content delivery, ensuring a streamlined and efficient workflow across different environments.

    Prerequisites to Master Connected Assets in Adobe Experience Manager

    • An AEM Assets 6.5 instance running on AMS, on-premise, or AEM as a Cloud Service (AEMasCS)
    • An AEM Sites 6.5 instance running on AMS, on-premise, or AEM as a Cloud Service (AEMasCS)
    • User groups with appropriate permissions configured on each instance
    • Completion of Assets Essentials clean-up efforts
    • Basic understanding of workflows and launchers
    • Successful upfront tag migration for asset migration

    Use Case: Migrating Brand Microsite Assets to AEM Assets Using Connected Assets

    Here’s a use case depicting the migration of Brand Microsite assets to AEM Assets using connected assets’ functionality.

    The customer’s Brand Microsite, hosted within AEM Sites, stored and referenced its assets within the Media Library add-on DAM. They wanted to migrate these assets to AEM Assets (eDAM) by leveraging the Connected Assets functionality. This migration would streamline their asset management, enhance accessibility, and improve content delivery efficiency. Let’s understand how Team Grazitti approached this:

    From Setup to Success: Implementing Connected Assets in AEM

    1. On the Site Instance

    a) Verify and Configure Group:

    Initially, check if the group “connectedassets-sites-techaccts” exists. However, if the group doesn’t exist, create it with appropriate Access Control Lists (ACLs).

    Next, create a User, let’s say it is “localdamuser” and then add that user to the following groups:

    • administrators
    • authors
    • dam-users
    • connectedassets-sites-techaccts

    b) In the Experience Manager Site Asset, navigate to Tools > Assets> Connected Asset Configuration.

    Navigate to Connected Assets

    Figure 1: Navigate to Connected Assets

    c) Next, update the required information under the Connected Asset Configuration section.

    Figure 2: Connected Asset Configuration

    Figure 2: Connected Asset Configuration

    d) Next, click Test. If everything gets correctly configured, you will receive a success message.

    e) By now, the digital assets on the Assets Deployment will already be processed and their renditions generated. To avoid unnecessary regeneration of renditions, disable workflow launchers.

    Here’s how you can disable launchers:

    Adjust the launcher configurations on the Sites deployment to exclude the connectedassets folder, where assets are fetched.

    1. On the AEM Sites instance, Click Tools > Workflow > Launchers.
    2. Search for launchers with workflows named DAM Update Asset and DAM Metadata Writeback.
    3. After selecting each launcher, click on Properties and update the paths as shown below:

    Before After
    /content/dam(/((?!/subassets).)*/)renditions/original /content/dam(/((?!/subassets)(?!connectedassets).)*/)renditions/original
    /content/dam(/.*/)renditions/original /content/dam(/((?!connectedassets).)*/)renditions/original
    /content/dam(/.*)/jcr:content/metadata /content/dam(/((?!connectedassets).)*/)jcr:content/metadata

    In the above table, ‘connectedassets’ is the name of the folder we have set as the mount point in the previous configuration.

    If you want to create more renditions of a fetched asset on the Sites instance, skip the step for disabling the launcher.

    2. On DAM Instance (eDAM)

    a) Firstly, ensure the connectedassets-assets-techaccts group is available and the ACLs (Access Control Lists) are correctly set up.

    b) Then, create the DAM distributor user group by combining the content-authors and connectedassets-assets-techaccts groups.

    c) Next, create a user on the DAM instance, for example, remotedamuser, and add this user to the following groups:

    • Administrators
    • DAM-distributor
    • Dam-users
    • connectedassets-assets-techaccts

    d) Perform the CORS configuration as shown in the image below. This step may require further evaluation and any unnecessary configurations can be deleted.

    • Code repository and pipeline deployment will be necessary for implementing this configuration in the intended DAM environment, especially considering AEM as a Cloud Service (AEMaaCS) doesn’t allow system console access.
    • This configuration should be placed in the ui.config folder, specifically for the author run-mode.
    • Example configuration file: com.adobe.granite.cors.impl.CORSPolicyImpl~connectedassetstest.cfg.json
    insert alt text here

    Figure 3: CORS Configuration

    e) Configure the dispatcher for headers and clientheaders: Note that this step may not be required for the AEM as a Cloud Service (AEMaaCS) author environment. Also, the code changes will need to go through the dispatcher deployment pipeline.

    Below are the necessary changes:

    – Locate the site-specific farm file in the available farms. Add the following lines in the /headers section:

    /headers {


    – Add the following headers in the site-specific clientheaders file:

    f) Create or modify the configuration file:

    – Add the SameSite cookie attribute configuration:
    { “token.samesite.cookie.attr”: “None” }

    3. How to Add Support for Single Sign-On (SSO) in Connected Assets?

    To enable Single Sign-On support for connected assets, the experts at Grazitti Interactive suggested updating the Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) configuration. Specifically, including the Single Sign-On URL (sso-url) in the list of allowed origins.

    4. Utilizing Connected Assets as a Content Author

    Here’s how the content author can efficiently leverage the functionality of the connected asset to enhance workflow. Here’s how:

    a) Access Connected Assets: While editing a page, open the side panel and click the Connected Assets icon. This will display images from the linked DAM system.

    Connected Assets Configuration in AEM

    Figure 4.1: Login to Connected Assets

    b) Drag and Drop Images: Simply drag and drop the desired image onto your page.

    Connected Assets Configuration in AEM

    Figure 4.2: Drag And Drop Assets Using Remote Content Finder(From SidePanel)

    c) Locate Used Images: Navigate to Assets > Files > connectedassets (or /content/dam/connectedassets). This folder stores all images currently used on the pages that were added via Connected Assets.

    d) Metadata Editing: Only the fetched assets can be used like any other local asset, except that the associated metadata cannot be edited.

    e) Dynamic Media Assets: After configuring Connected Assets, Dynamic Media assets are available on Sites deployment in read-only mode. You cannot use Dynamic Media to process assets on the Sites deployment.

    f) Remote DAM Operations: After configuring Connected Assets, you can perform update, delete, rename, and move operations on the remote DAM assets or folders. The updates, with some delay, are automatically available on the Sites deployment

    g) Preview and Publish Updates: Sites authors can preview the available updates on the Sites deployment and then republish the changes to make them available on the AEM publish instance.

    5. Configuring Access Control in a Centralized DAM System

    In the use case, the asset environment, comprising a centralized Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, the user manages assets across three distinct folders: Brand1, Brand2, and Brand3. Additionally, they maintain three separate site environments, labeled site1, site2, and site3. To maintain brand consistency and ensure appropriate asset usage, they wanted to configure site1 to exclusively access assets from the Brand1 folder. They wanted to accomplish this while restricting access to assets from the other two folders within site1.

    The team of experts at Grazitti Interactive enabled this access control using users, groups, and permissions. Let’s decode how:

    a) Create three separate groups, one for each brand.

    b) Assign each user to the group that corresponds to their brand.

    c) Set Group Permissions:

    • UserGroupBrand1: This group will only have permission to access content in /content/site1 and DAM assets in /content/dam/brand1.
    • UserGroupBrand2: This group will only have permission to access content in /content/site2 and DAM assets in /content/dam/brand2.
    • UserGroupBrand3: This group will only have permission to access content in /content/site3 and DAM assets in /content/dam/brand3.

    By using this approach, users will only see content that is relevant to their assigned brand, ensuring data security and a focused user experience.

    To Conclude

    The implementation of connected assets in AEM ushers in a new era of efficiency and collaboration in AEM digital asset management. By seamlessly integrating AEM Sites with remote DAM instances like eDAM, organizations can streamline workflows, enhance productivity, and deliver compelling digital experiences. As AEM’s capabilities continue to innovate, connected assets will remain a cornerstone of modern content management strategies, enabling businesses to stay agile and competitive.

    Partnering with an AEM digital expert can significantly enhance this process. They provide businesses with in-depth knowledge and technical expertise to configure connected assets, troubleshoot potential issues, and ensure seamless integration. Additionally, an AEM digital partner can provide tailored solutions and ongoing support, helping businesses fully leverage AEM’s capabilities to achieve their strategic goals.

    Ready to Improve Asset Management in AEM With Connected Assets? Let’s Talk!

    Explore the possibilities of AEM innovation, and be at the forefront of transforming digital experiences. If you want to learn more about our AEM prowess, drop us a line at [email protected], and our maestros will take it from there.