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  • Writer's pictureJuan Ayala

Partner Day: Adobe Commerce

I got an invite to join 2 other colleagues for an Adobe "Partner Day" event in Austin. Focused on Adobe Commerce. Including the recently announced Edge Delivery front-end for the fastest storefronts.


"I do Experience Manager, not Adobe Commerce." I said. "But that edge delivery stuff crosses over to AEM. Color me intrigued!" So I hopped in the A5CII Mini and took a road trip from Dallas to Austin. These are a few things I learned.


Edge Delivery Services

Yes! I can check off one more thing from my 2024 New Year Resolutions. That is taking a closer look at EDS.


If you do Adobe Experience Manger, I will recommend that you go to https://www.aem.live/ and click on "Create your site". All you need are basic tools. Git, Node, an IDE. And storage such as a Google Drive or a SharePoint folder. Thats it! In 20-30 minutes you will be up and running. And be able to edit and publish document-based content saved in Google or SharePoint.


If you are in the Adobe Commerce space, follow the same tutorial. But use the hlxsites/aem-boilerplate-commerce project instead. This is a fork of adobe/aem-boilerplate. If you understood the tutorial, you will deduce that hlxsites/aem-boilerplate-commerce is live. At https://main--aem-boilerplate-commerce--hlxsites.hlx.live/. You can get this reference commerce site running on your local machine. All there for you to explore!

ℹ️ The starter content from hlxsites/aem-boilerplate-commerce is in Microsoft formats. If you are using a Google Drive, make sure to convert it to a Google formats. This can get done on upload by toggling the option in the Google Drive settings.

Once you have set up one of these two sites, stop and think. You might ask, where is React? Where is Sling & the JCR? What if I don't like GitHub! Who the heck though document-based content authoring was a good idea! These are all good questions. But you have to keep the following in mind. This is all new and still evolving. And the main reason for EDS is to improve the front-end Lighthouse scores. By putting a head on the headless CMS that is as close to the edge as possible.


The Universal Editor

No, document-based authoring is not the future how content storage. It is one of 2 ways to store content, at least for now. And it is simple to transform into the semantic model ingested by EDS.


The second way content can get stored is in AEM. Content can get created and managed the way we all know and love. But you do need to switch over to the Universal Editor.


This is where things get dicey. First, the universal editor is not yet at feature-parity with the regular page editor. Second, it makes more sense to use the Universal Editor on a greenfield project. If you are working with an existing AEM project built on core components, things get harder. You will need to build a transformation layer in App Builder. To transform your existing markup into the EDS semantic markup.


The Universal Editor was not part of the Partner Day, which was about Adobe Commerce. It is still new and I noticed some documentation changes since the last time I looked into it. But it looks like I should be able to continue with a local environment. This is on my to-do list.


API Mesh

This was the most fun part of the Partner Day. I got some hands-on with API Mesh. And got real-time help and insights from the engineers working on these things. Best of all, you can do this on your local machine using Node and an IDE. You don't need access to a workspace project on the admin console.


First, install the AIO plugin and Mesh plugin. Then create an empty folder and init a new Mesh project. Finally create a Mesh config, and run it: aio api-mesh:run myMeshConfig.json.


Ramping up on the Mesh configuration could be a little difficult at first. I'm not going to cover it here. Start slow. Can you mesh two JSON endpoints together? How about a GraphQL endpoint in AEM that returns product descriptions. With a JSON endpoint that returns product ratings? Take a look at some Mesh samples.


Merging content from other sources (or into other systems). This has been a constant need on every AEM project I have worked on. This could get done with Sling servlets. Or OSGi components. API Mesh creates a unified GraphQL endpoint that is as close to the edge as possible.


Conclusion

AEM was CQ5. Adobe Commerce was Magento. Adobe Analytics was Omniture. EDS started off as Helix. All these things have come together to form the AEP. And it is not done evolving. The biggest take-way is this. Even though you might work with AEM, it is only a part of AEP. And understanding the platform is important. If someday you want to call yourself an AEP multi-solution architect.

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