Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a powerful tool that allows marketing teams to streamline workflows and respond to consumer trends in a nimble manner. It integrates with numerous Adobe-owned and third-party platforms to help you leverage additional functionalities (e.g., CRM, email marketing, social media marketing, video sharing, etc.) and deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Most clients we work with have many AEM third-party integrations, which enable them to keep the existing tools they love while augmenting their brand experience. In fact, it’s rare that a client would have no integration point at all.
For example, you can integrate an ecommerce platform and payment system to boost online sales, a query system to improve AEM search performance, and an internal LDAP or single sign-on (SSO) to streamline workflows.
To get the most of AEM’s robust functionalities, you need to stay current by upgrading the platform so you can leverage the latest features. However, there’s a risk of these third-party integrations breaking during a software update. For a seamless transition, take the proper precautions to make sure your integrations stay intact during an upgrade.
How to Keep AEM Integrations Intact through Upgrades
Due to the platform’s complexity, there are many moving parts when you update to a new version of AEM. Juggling multiple third-party software integrations can be particularly challenging because of the many variables. Here’s how to keep the integrations intact when upgrading AEM.
Create a Rollout Plan
Make sure your rollout plan covers the process, timeline, resources required, potential outages, stakeholder communication plan, and rollback procedures to support the approach you have chosen for the AEM upgrade (i.e., in-place upgrade vs. new install).
Also, consider if you need to redevelop any custom code and whether the historical data from the third-party applications can be ported to the new version accurately.
Take Inventory of All Integrations
List out all the Adobe and third-party AEM integrations (e.g., OSGi services, data APIs, AEM code overlays, and tight integrations) to get a broader view of the scope and efforts required for the software update and post-upgrade testing.
Check that all the third-party applications are supported by the new AEM version that you’re upgrading to. If an application isn’t supported, you can use legacy code on the AEM platform. Do consider whether an older third-party software is still the best way to meet today’s consumer expectations and if the software upgrade is an opportunity to make improvements.
Develop a Test Plan and Rollback Strategy
Identify the critical functional areas, ensure that all the third-party software integrations are accounted for, and prepare a test plan for the upgrade. Budget sufficient time in the project for fixing bugs in an iterative process until the code is stable.
In addition, create a full backup of your current AEM version, and develop a rollback strategy. This will allow you to revert the software to the current version if requirements aren’t met after the upgrade is performed, so you can minimize costly downtime and disruptions.
Create a Post-Upgrade Checklist
A post-upgrade checklist helps ensure that all critical functionalities are tested and validated before the upgrade is finalized. The checklist should include testing all the Adobe and third-party integrations, as well as executing the test plan once the upgrade is completed.
In addition, monitor system performance and custom log files during development and testing. Evaluate all dependencies at the system console level to ensure that all requirements are met properly and all bundles are marked as active.
Perform Ongoing Maintenance
Scheduling regular maintenance helps ensure that changes made to the third-party software don’t interfere with your current AEM version or break the integration.
Also, keep in mind that as more users integrate a particular application, Adobe often creates an “out of the box” integration for it. When that happens, it’s often advisable to switch from the custom integration to the “official” one to minimize potential issues.
Make the Most of AEM Integrations
Integrations add robust functionalities to your AEM platform and are vital to delivering unique and outstanding customer experience. However, it’s often challenging to keep track of all the integrations and make sure that they play nice with each other during an upgrade.
Working with an experienced and reputable AEM partner can help you focus on getting the most out of the integrations and leverage the latest AEM features to achieve your goals.
An AEM partner can help you plan and execute AEM upgrades so all requirements are addressed and all integrations remain intact during an update. Your AEM partner can also work with you to evaluate whether the current integrations are meeting your business objectives and help you get the most out of the latest AEM features.
Atypical Digital is an Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Preferred Partner specializing in helping enterprise brands leverage Adobe’s AEM platform to optimize their platforms for productivity and efficiency, free up IT-related tasks to make teams more productive, and maximize AEM stability and security.
To see how Atypical Digital can help your brand improve its backend foundation to reduce critical errors during AEM upgrades, contact our knowledgeable team of AEM upgrade specialists today!