CQ5 Introduction

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By Uday 923 days ago

What is CQ5(a.k.a AEM)? 

AEM stands for Adobe Experience Manager, it is an Enterprise Web Content Management tool which helps enterprise companies to create, manage, and optimize digital customer experiences across every channel, including web, mobile apps, digital forms, and communities. With the ability to deliver next-generation experiences across both online and in-person interactions, you can increase demand and build lasting brand loyalty.

It is a role based web application or a tool, which helps business users with little technical or no technical knowledge to create and manage website content. Following are common functionalities provided by CQ5:

        - Indexing and Searching the content
        - Workflows
        - Integrating with LDAP for authentication and authorization
        - Versioning of the content
        - Integration with third party tools like E-Commerce products, Social Media products etc
        - Inline editing of website content for business users
        - Adapters to get information from different repositories
        - Document Management
        - Localization

Following are some of the well known content managetment tools:
        - OpenText Web Experience Manager
        - Joomla
        - Drupal
        - Interwoven


Adobe acquired a company called Day Software on 28 July 2010, which developed a Web Content Management product named CQ. Couple of years after acquiring the company, Adobe changed product name from CQ to AEM. So from CQ 5.6 version it is called AEM 5.6.

Use Case

Lets go through a Use Case to understand Adobe CQ5/Adobe AEM better. A famous online News Paper company publishes more than 200 articles per day along with thousands of digital assets like images, videos, flash etc. In order to publish news on Time Company has to hire hundreds of technical resources to manually update the site with news and related digital assets. Sometimes it would be very tough for business users to co-ordinate with technical resources to make news live on time. Even though how cautious company is, chances of committing mistake is very high and manual process to publish news is always tedious job both for marketers and technical resources. Apart from publishing news, managing historical content and digital assets is one of the most challenging task. So solution to all these problems is content management tool, which helps business to concentrate on writing article rather than working on how to make my article live.


To fulfill needs of a Company Adobe CQ5/Adobe AEM provides following web consoles:


Websites Access all the pages in your website; create, edit, and delete pages; start a workflow;
activate and deactivate pages; restore pages; check external links; and access your user inbox.
Digital Assets Using this console you can manage digital assets (like create, delete, update etc), also this console provides "drag and drop" functionality which is very much useful and saves lot of time, you can drag and drop images, documents etc
Tools Manage packages, designs, importers, workflow templates and scripts, replication
agents and upgrades.
Security Manage users and permissions. If you have configured external LDAP then all LDAP users will be synced and shown here.
Workflow Manage pages that are in a workflow, create new workflow models using an easy to use graphical user interface.
Tagging Manage your tags and taxonomies.



On a high level lets understand how a business user/author makes his article live. Author works in what is known as the author instance which is nothing by Adobe CQ5/Adobe AEM instance. Using Websites console which is nice graphical user interface, author creates his article and include necessary digital assets using Digital Assets(DAM) console


Depending on author personal access rights are configured he can perform many tasks, including amongst others:

  • generate new content on an existing page
  • edit existing content
  • create new pages using predefined templates
  • move, copy or delete pages
  • activate (or deactivate) pages
  • participate in workflows that control how changes are managed; for example. enforcing a review before publication

When author thinks article is ready to be published to the Publish instance(Publish instance is also a Adobe CQ/Adobe AEM instance but user cannot edit content in Publish instance). For a normal internet site, this is located inside the demilitarized zone; in other words, available to the internet, but no longer under the full protection of your internal network.

To optimize performance for visitors to your website, the dispatcher(s) implements load balancing and caching. It is caching and/or load balancing tool which also helps to protect your publish instance from attack. It cache responses from publish instance, to increase the responsiveness and security of your externally facing published website.

On the published website visitors can post comments related to the individual pages. Functionality for posting comments is developed within CQ and assigned to pages, either individually or by using templates.