A Content Editor’s First Glance at Adobe Experience Manager

Content editor @TBSCG, Brian creates pages for the agency’s clients mainly using Adobe Experience Manager. What does his job consist of and how does he achieve the creation of a page? He explains everything one wants to know when using AEM as a content editor.

I began using Adobe Experience Manager with in April 2015. My primary task was to build out detail pages for our client’s product, which is video games. The Java developers and system admins who had implemented the CMS were able to simplify this process for me in a number of ways.

When building out a new page, there is a template that was developed to use for whatever kind of page I would be building, typically a standard game page, but occasionally a page for a bundle or another product. Once on the page, there are other options to customize the page based on a routine formula developed in adherence to the client’s preferences. Some values, however, are generated on every game page. There is a separate core record for the game page that we build to enter this kind of information including platform, ESRB ratings, descriptors, genre, release date, and regional localization. There is a part of the DAM that generates images on the page to accompany this information as well, for example, the images that coincides with the ESRB rating, platform as well as any retailer logos.

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The “sidekick” is a hovering toolbar that allows the user to edit the page features and settings. One of the things I’d use this tool for is to open the page’s properties to link the page to its corresponding core record, however, in most cases this is already done. AEM usually recognizes the title that I’ve entered for the game and links the appropriate core record to the game page, barring any user error or variation in title entry. The sidekick is also useful for opening and editing the page’s metadata for optimizing how it is searched for on the client’s website, and uploading cover art for the game that will appear on a “GameFinder” page.

With a typical game page, there is an understood method of how to select background images, header size, number of page sections, size of font, and selection of retail buttons. Game developers will sometimes have specific requests for how they’d like their game’s page to look. At this point, all of the aforementioned variables are highly customizable to suit the developer’s needs. I generally will manipulate images in Photoshop to fit appropriately into the page sections that require digital assets, like the header background, or the listing photo with the game’s cover art. I’ll upload the assets into Adobe’s DAM and at this point I’m able to drag and drop them onto the page. The DAM assets appear in a sidebar, and the last photos uploaded are the first to appear, so it’s not difficult to find the images I need. Our client also has a YouTube channel with trailers for newly released content. Video assets on game pages can be placed exclusive of the DAM by simply adding a video box component and entering the video’s ID from YouTube, and AEM will generate that video on the finished page.

Once I’ve built out the page to the appropriate specifications, there is a publishing section in the UI, where with a couple of clicks I roll the page out to Canadian locales, activate (push live on the American server), and localize to Latin American and Brazilian locales. All of those pages that are rolled out and localized will inherit the content and properties of the master page, but that inheritance is easy to break for any specific page section to edit only one regional or sub regional localized version. In past experiences, I’ve not usually had publishing authority, however where this process has become so simplified, there doesn’t seem to be all that much that can go wrong. Pages are active in seconds usually, and if there is a problem, they can be deactivated instantly until edited again. Once the page has been rolled out to Canada, the content is translated and an XML file is built with that content. CQ has a localization dashboard that is incredibly simple to use; where the XML file is uploaded and the page is generated in the production environment. Barring any last minute requests for editing, I would push the page live.

My introduction to enterprise level CMS was with Teamsite/Livesite in November of 2014. I had actually studied political science in college, and didn’t even know that I was interested in IT until I started on that first project. Since then, I’ve gotten to work with Magnolia as well. These are such powerful tools, and I’ve had the chance to work on some pretty cool projects in my time with TBSCG. I look forward to more!