AEM as a Cloud Service - Benefits and Limitations

With technological innovation happening at an untenable pace, customer expectations and demands have also increased. They are just not happy with the old-school ways of doing stuff. This is why brands have to rethink their go-to-market strategy and develop a new seamless digital marketing strategy that delivers personalized experiences across multiple touchpoints. To help you do just that, Adobe Enterprise Management (AEM) steps into the picture.


But what exactly is AEM? Well, in simple words, AEM is the one-stop solution to content complexity. It is integrated into the Adobe Experience Manager as a content management system (CMS), a cloud service, a Digital Asset Management System (DAMS), etc. In this day and age, it is of the essence that brands provide their customers with a personalized and omnichannel experience. Now, where does AEM as a Cloud Service fit into all this? Well, AEMaaCS (AEM as a Cloud Service) is a direct gateway to harnessing the power of cloud tech and using it to develop and host AEM solutions.

What is AEM as a Cloud Service?

A Harvard study recently found out that 73% of shoppers complete their buyer journey across multiple channels. Not just that, but omnichannel shoppers also end up spending 4% more. A seamless omnichannel experience is of the essence, and AEMaaCS helps you do just that.


But first, let’s strip down to the basics. What exactly is AEMaaCS? AEMaaCS is the latest introduction to the AEM lineup. Adobe is moving away from versioned releases such as AEM 6.5, AEM 6.4, etc, and is shifting towards a completely version-less cloud platform. But to answer the question, 'What is AEM as a Cloud Service?’. Well, AEMaaCS is the transition of all the capabilities of AEM into a cloud-based platform. AEMaaCS can now be offered as a Software as a Service, more of a platform as a service.


The platform is able to host and develop AEM solutions. The only difference now is that now all this can be done while harnessing the power of the cloud. Thanks to the cloud and new microservice architecture, the platform can successfully scale itself, based on the spike in demand. The latest transition of the platform allows for regular delivery and integration of updates with minimal downtime.


But what are the new perks and features that were absent in the AEM 6.5  and come attached with the all-new AEM as a cloud service? Capitalize on your AEM solutions in a cloud-native manner with these brand new features,


      Implementation of dynamic architecture that auto-scales according to the rise or fall in demand.

      A top-notch security system, where you don't have to worry too much about staying on top of threats. There are automated tests to scan for any visible threats.

      Gives developers an option to add automation to the application development process.

      The system has an in-built Content Delivery Network (CDN) and other network delivery options that allow seamless and instant content delivery.

      By optimizing performance topologies, you can ensure maximum resilience and efficiency.


Benefits of AEM as a Cloud Service

24/7 Availability

With previous iterations of the product, such as AEM 6.5, the author side needed to suspend services of the platform to run regular maintenance constantly. This included security patch updates, patches, upgrades, and other routine maintenance things. But not anymore. With the cloud conversion of the AEM platform, updates can be delivered and implemented almost instantly. As a result of this, customers won’t experience downtime at all!

Real-time Scalability

Unlike AEM6.5, AEMaaCS takes a very unique approach towards scalability. But how so? Well, it is based on an orchestration engine (Kubernetes). This engine continuously keeps monitoring the rise or fall in demand of service amongst the customers. Once this is determined, it immediately starts monitoring the state of the AEM software and scales it horizontally or vertically, based on your customer needs.

Once customer requirements are determined successfully, the scaling of the platform is done automatically.

The latest codebase

With cloud integration, the AEM codebase has seen a lot of positive change. This has been anticipated by users for a very long time and is now finally here. With AEMaaCS, you don’t have to worry one bit about updates since all the services are constantly running instances to the latest code-base. Whenever required, updates will be pushed silently. Customers don’t have to worry about downtime at all.

In-built smartness and self-sustainability

The AEMaaCS comes in-built with machine learning and intelligence as default features. This means that the service keeps learning and evolving based on the projects being provided by the users. Also, users are continuously provided with insights to achieve their business goals as the code, content, and configurations provided by customers are constantly vetted against the best practices by the service itself. Furthermore,  the platform keeps making itself better by auto-implementing silent roll-outs and evolving.

Limitations of AEM as a Cloud Service

DAM Upgrade Workflow

The major performance bottleneck will be faced by DAM (Digital Asset Management) customers. You will witness this while bulk-uploading assets in a single author instance. As a direct result of this, the performance of the entire author instance degrades almost instantaneously due to the DAM upgrade workflow. But Adobe recently brought about a fix to this problem. Introducing asset microservices for serverless asset processing.

This was powered by Adobe I/O. Now, when an author uploads an asset, it will be directed to the cloud binary storage. As a result, Adobe I/O will trigger and leverage renditions.

Developers don’t have direct access

The AEMaaCS is being managed by Adobe completely. Therefore, it takes away direct access from developers/dev-ops.

Users have to pay attention to test-driven coverage

To be able to deploy AEM leads, the only way is to push it through the cloud manager, after which it follows very strict CI/CD pipeline quality checks. Therefore, users now have to pay attention to test-driven coverage, with at least 50 percent test coverage.

AEMaaCS Vs. Traditional AEM: What’s new and What’s different?


Unlike the AEM 6.5, the AEM as a Cloud service is now capable of dynamic scalability. The platform is continuously scaled based on actual ongoing traffic and activity. It uses a lot of modular applications and has instances that run solely when needed. Not only that, but it avoids downtime for maintenance tasks by having an author cluster as default.

Cloud manager

Adobe cloud manager is integral to the continuous approach of AEM as a Cloud Service. It is capable of controlling all the instances of your updates at all times. Instead of updating your cloud service as soon as the update is launched, you can queue the update for later via pipelines provided by the Adobe Cloud Manager. The cloud manager is capable of: 

      Creation and management of new programs.

      Creation and management of AEM environments in these programs.

      Receive notifications on the important lifecycle events for these components.

      Creation and management of pipelines.


Starting and managing projects with AEM as a cloud service has become considerably straightforward. This is due to the following changes made by Adobe in this version-less iteration of AEM. 

      Baseline AEM images have now been optimized for particular use-cases.

      A plethora of manual configuration tasks have been made redundant.


Not only that, but now the platform goes through an assessment phase to ensure that they have met all the prerequisites. It goes through checks to comply with: 

      Legal requirements

      Contractual agreements

      Technical requirements

Operations and performance

A majority of tasks in the AEMaaCS have been completely automated. These operations are completely monitored and reported by the platform, and infrastructure is alerted if need to be. Topologies have now been optimized for maximum resilience and heavy load tasks have been moved out of core AEM instances. They are now handled by microservices.

Bottom Line

AEMaaCS has undergone a massive improvement with the implementation of cloud services. It is always on, always current, always at scale, and always evolving. The cloud-based platform undergoes continuous fixes with zero downtime to give optimum performance to customers at all times. So about time you make the switch to AEM as a Cloud Service for all your content management needs now!




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