What is most valuable?
- Its flexibility and customization ability.
- Ease of initial setup and complete set of features to support digital marketing initiatives.
- Wysiwyg editor for content creation is very powerful.
- Strong workflow for automated content processing.
All these features help companies create powerful web applications that can then be customized and maintained by marketers with little involvement from IT.
How has it helped my organization?
My organization provides expert services to other organizations implementing AEM based solutions. Our clients usually tell us the main benefit they achieved is a faster time to market content, both in sites and other content processing like creative workflows, while also making the life of their marketing and business users easier, making them independent of their IT departments to roll out new content.
What needs improvement?
The product is in constant evolution, with several key areas being improved in each iteration. The Assets capabilities of CQ5.4 were basic and with trouble scaling, but that has changed significantly in newer versions where the Asset module has received a lot of focus and is currently one of the best solutions for Digital Asset Management out there.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have found occasional issues with stability but those were, in general, caused either by custom developed code or issues in the implemented architecture. When the application is installed in servers without the necessary requirements in terms of hardware specs, users may experience slow page loads and perhaps even systems not responding.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No problems with scalability. There are many ways to scale AEM instances horizontally (and of course, vertically), some of them require more configuration than others, but they all have good support.
How are customer service and technical support?
Support from Adobe is good and responds in a timely manner. Their ticketing system works and is useful to get to the bottom of the problems. One thing to have in mind is that Adobe provides support only for the base AEM application, and not for custom code development to extend and/or customize its functionalities.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Being in a consultant company solely dedicated to Adobe CQ / AEM, this is not applicable.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup is very easy and straightforward. The application comes in the form of a JAR or WAR file for easy deployment with various tools and systems. Using the JAR you can have the application up and running in five minutes, just by double-clicking/executing the file (it requires users to have Java installed, but that is a pretty common requirement these days).
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Keep solution architecture easy to avoid unnecessary license costs. Start with the basic licenses to solve your immediate needs, and only increase them if the project really requires it.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I have worked with other similar solutions that solve parts of the complete set of solutions AEM provides, but none of them has the ability to handle so many of those areas in an integral way. For web site and content management, in general, sample tools are Drupal, Joomla and Wordpress.
What other advice do I have?
Start small and plan your first set of objectives clearly, leaving all the “nice-to-haves” for a later phase. Starting this way will help companies get a sample of the benefits, and get familiar with the tool in general. After the first phase, they may find things that they thought they wanted are not really required or can be achieved in a better, more efficient way in the AEM world.
Another useful suggestion is to avoid trying to recreate your current solution using AEM; rather, try to look for new and different ways to achieve the same results that take advantage of AEM’s features.