Adobe Experience Manager Core Capabilities

Adobe Experience Manager (formerly CQ) is an enterprise content management system that enables content publishers to easily create and assemble content—including integrated asset management, and publishing with proper governance utilization approval workflows. Experience Manager consists of proprietary modules built on an open technology stack to address common enterprise content needs. One of AEM’s key abilities is that it seamlessly integrates with other pieces of the Adobe Marketing Cloud.  

What sets Adobe Experience Manager apart is the flexibility and customization capabilities it offers. If implemented correctly, it can streamline the content and assets management processes, enabling marketers to target audiences with more accuracy. Sites and Assets are the most common reasons for purchasing AEM. But along with these Capabilities, Adobe Experience Manager also provides: Communities, Forms, and Apps. Let’s take a closer look at the complete set of Capabilities included in the AEM Solution.


One of the most common problems marketers and IT teams face is working in unison to create and manage assets and content. And I can’t blame them—it can be a highly complex process, and that’s what Adobe Experience Manager is there to help address. The Sites Capability in Adobe Experience Manager allows authors to create interactive, multichannel experiences on any device, so it’s not a coding nightmare every time IT needs to make a change or marketing needs to add content. Clients use Sites to reach audiences faster with the content that matters to them. Some of the main features of Sites include:

  • Streamlined publishing process on all devices with different sizes
  • Content structure for full-text and metadata-based search in both the author environment and on the front end
  • Content Authoring (including versioned content, drag-and-drop components, DAM integration, etc.)
  • Multi Site Manager
  • Language Manager
  • Tag Management
  • Integrated Workflows for content and development resources
  • Users/Groups
  • Personalization Tools


Today, marketing is all about creating personalized experiences for different audience segments. To make that job easier, AEM Assets (also referred to as the Digital Asset Manager, or DAM) can help you turn original assets into interactive digital experiences that connect you to a target audience on a more meaningful level. However, there’s a huge time factor to consider. Getting your message to market fast can be just as important as the message itself. The DAM has a universal enterprise asset repository, allowing you to store website assets in one place and make them readily available to all AEM authors for updates. And to make things more convenient, Assets handles a variety of file types including images, PDFs, Word documents, spreadsheets, video, audio, and more. Some of the main features of Assets include:

  • Creating various versions and renditions of your original assets upon upload
  • Enabling consumers to get a close-up of your products with 360-degree views and color swaps
  • Asset comments and annotations
  • Managing metadata, renditions, and workflows
  • Ability to integrate with the Adobe Creative Cloud


Adobe Experience Manager Communities provides a simple way for marketers and subject matter experts to publish content to a community as well as allowing the community to share amongst themselves through forums, blogs, and learning management. Communities lets you get up close and personal with your audience without all the noise found on traditionally overcrowded social sites.

Communities allows you to publish and manage content for access by members across devices and channels. It also enables you to deliver content on desktop and mobile in live and on-demand formats—fostering knowledge exchange and feedback across communities (comments and comment management, ratings, tagging, and profile info). The features in Communities enable you to efficiently manage and track content effectiveness and learner progress; for example, content workflows for people doing training/certification. Some of the main features of Communities include:

  • Full control over what content appears where and when
  • Social login that enhances personalization through profile data
  • Building social support for sites, forums, calendaring, and blogs
  • Out-of-the-box blog and forum components available to use
  • Badge components to attach to social profiles for gamification
  • Pre-set-up blogs and forums page types
  • Leveraging the built-in user system of AEM or integrating with third-party systems to allow users to participate from a variety of user systems


Forms offer specific and customizable means of gathering information from your audience, giving you insight into the customer journey, and are a great way to build in-depth consumer profiles. However, keeping track of numerous forms can be time consuming and costly. Using AEM Forms lets you create and access forms on your desktop, tablet, and mobile device, measure customer interactions with forms, and use that information to improve communication and engagement. Forms can be used as a standalone system or integrated with AEM Sites to build adaptive forms. 

AEM Forms also integrated LiveCycle into its capabilities, a form-based document management system. LiveCycle was mainly used to build applications that automate a broad range of business processes, so that forms created in Adobe Experience Manager Forms will get routed into its management system—significantly reducing the need for developers. Some of the features of Forms include:

  • Create and manage online forms more securely
  • Personalize and optimize consumer forms to deliver engaging content across multiple channels
  • Render form templates to print, PDF, or HTML5
  • Trace document usage to understand customer interaction
  • Design your own custom user experience. (ex: Author, Manage, Engage, Analyze)
  • Pre-built, out-of-the-box form templates


It’s no secret that apps are increasingly becoming the go-to when it comes to mobile interaction. Adobe Experience Manager Apps allows you to deploy native apps to mobile devices across all mobile platforms and takes care of the otherwise convoluted deployment to various app stores. However, authoring new content or updating your current content on mobile apps takes time—time that consumers don’t have. Apps allows you to change content fast as well as repurpose assets from other channels. There’s a high demand for developers to create interactive and immersive mobile apps that can account for various analytics—helping businesses gauge consumers interested with their brand. Some of the features of Apps include:

  • Storefront management across all the mobile app stores
  • Push notifications
  • ContentSync – allowing content updates to your app without forcing an update through the app store
  • User permissions for editing and app review
  • A robust set of plug-ins that developers can use
  • The ability to reuse and repurpose assets to help you create interactive experiences on apps


Adobe Experience Manager is a comprehensive CMS with Capabilities spanning from Web and mobile sites, Assets, Communities, Forms, and Apps. And while these parts can be used on their own, when combined with other Solutions from the Adobe Marketing Cloud they can help create truly immersive digital experiences on multiple levels. And the best part is, all the Capabilities of Adobe Experience Manager are integrated in a dashboard that gives you the ability to manage multichannel experiences across all devices. To find out what Adobe shared at Adobe Summit 2015 on some of these Capabilities, check out this post on our sister site, and to learn more about the features, functions, and ins and outs of Adobe Experience Manager, subscribe to this section of the MarketingCloud41 blog.