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Monday, August 1, 2016

8 Great Features of AEM 6.2

AEM’s recent upgrade to 6.2 is offering both marketers and developers a bunch of new features, most of which were developed as a direct result of user requests to Adobe. Here are a few of the best:

  1. Search: The enhanced search feature is both intuitive and user friendly. The more robust function, now moved to the top nav bar for even easier use, can significantly improve the author experience when creating new pages. You can add items right from the search into your new page.
  1. Templates: With this latest version, authors can create templates. But the beauty is – there are controls that can be put in place to dictate who can do what. AEM’s new intuitive interface can allow your business to scale faster, without the risk of authors tinkering where they shouldn’t, by empowering the business users to create pages from templates newly designed on the fly.
  1. Content: Authors can generate content, independent of templates, which can allow for more creative, collaborative thinking. Authors can even work with text fragments that can be assembled into bigger content pieces. Then they can use the new Asset Insights to know how that content is performing.
  1. Social: The updated version of AEM is more powerful in connecting communities, and gives you a greater, more intuitive, capacity for reusing content across channels. In addition, there is a component to capitalize on user generated content, through newly developed forums, blogs and calendars, helping to keep your message fresh and authentic. And you can identify your ‘top user experts’ through a simple algorithm.
  1. Personalization: It’s true that 75% of consumers say they are frustrated by generic marketing messages. The demand for a one to one connection is real and you’ve got to provide useful messaging. The tighter 6.2 integration with Adobe Target allows you to test and target digital content quickly, so you can deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. And better yet, you can geographically define ‘areas’ of your site to drill down even further.
  1. Forms: AEM forms lets you set up a form template that has specific content styles and layouts that you can then apply across any of the forms on your site. In addition it includes a concept called Form fragments. Which allows authors to easily use components of a form throughout the site such as an address block, signature or income details. In addition, 6.2 gives users the ability to output an interactive PDF form to fill out and submit. AEM forms also includes integration with e-sign for document signature and verification.
  1. Repository: In the latest version, Adobe has added some better performance and scalability with an enhanced data repository. It includes better support for a more enterprise level database system in the form of MongoDB Enterprise 3.2. In 6.2 they also have added support for s3 with a crx2oak migration tool. Allowing users to more easily transition to Oak. Addition of search enhancements like Faceted Search, Suggestions, Spellchecker and more.
  1. References: Let’s face it, Adobe does not have a great reputation for learning resources or support. But they are trying to change that with this latest release. They have created a reference site for developers that contains their best practices and some best in class components. It allows you to see how things work in AEM without having to spend a lot of time on your own figuring things out. You can download the AEM Package or review the source code.

Overall, Adobe has made some great enhancements to the upgrade and they are covered more in depth in some of the Summit presentations, available to watch online. And make sure you check back to our blog as we continue to offer great tips on successfully working in AEM from both a developer and a marketing perspective.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The 5 Hardest AEM Concepts for New Developers

Even experienced developers struggle when trying to transition to the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) platform (formerly Day CQ5). Once you fully grok AEM, it can be a joy to develop against; the APIs are generally straightforward and it makes presenting content easier than any other platform I have encountered. So why do so many developers have trouble ramping up on AEM? AEM turns traditional WCMS products on their head. No other CMS really works in a similar manner and developers usually struggle with getting over their pre-conceived notions of how a CMS should work. Here are some of the most common concepts in AEM which trip up many new developers. 1 YOU ARE BUILDING STATIC HTML ...or at least you should be. Unlike most CMS systems, AEM comes with its own caching system, the Dispatcher. The dispatcher is an Apache Httpd module which proxies and caches static HTML and assets served by CQ Publishers. This significantly increases the number of requests which can be served and decreases the load on the publisher. The major impact of this is components must be created to be cachable manner and should not require server side logic to be executed with every request. If that is not the case, a single component can require the entire page to not be cached and the entire page be rebuilt for every request. Of course, most projects will require components which require server-side logic and developers will need to use tools such as AJAX and SSI to create sites which have server side logic but still enable caching. 2 OSGI & BUNDLES WILL SAVE YOUR PROJECT Often when projects start working on AEM, they start with developing JSPs exclusively. This is partially driven by the examples available for AEM as well as the training provided. Putting logic in JSPs can work for small, simple projects, but it usually results in the overall complexity of the site spiraling out of control and a quick decline in code quality as the project size grows. Fortunately, AEM provides a robust, flexible service framework in OSGi. By using OSGi, developers can separate the business logic from the presentation logic, provide modularity and reduce the code complexity. Creating OSGi Bundles for a project's service code does require some additional work, however it will save time in the long run. If you have not built an OSGi Bundle already for your project, please watch our webinar on AEM Maven Build and Deployments . 3 THERE ARE MULTIPLE WAYS OF DOING EVERYTHING IN AEM AEM is an amalgamation of a number of different open source projects, naturally it also exposes a number of different APIs and concepts for developing applications. Just from an API standpoint, AEM has the JCR, Sling and CQ APIs and the various APIs offer different development and architectural methodologies, often with overlapping functionality. For example, say you need to invoke code when content changes, you could use a JCR Observation Listener, Sling Eventing or CQ Workflow Launchers. The same situation applies for creating and reading content, responding to requests, creating automated tasks and many other common development activities in AEM. The important thing for newer AEM developers, is to keep in mind there are options and to make sure the approach they have chosen is the best, not just the first one they found. 4 AEM IS NOT JUST A CMS IT'S A WEB APPLICATION FRAMEWORK Many older CMS tools such as EMC Web Publisher, Alfresco, Fatwire or TeamSite rely on baking flat content which is then published to a web server. This serves to fundamentally de-couple the Content Management platform from the application serving the website. AEM works completely differently, AEM provides both the Content Management platform as well as the application server and both of which use the same underlying application and architecture. For pure-CMS types, this is a pretty shocking adjustment. It requires a more integrated skillset with both back end and front end skills to effectively adjust to developing on the AEM platform, since the CMS is so intertwined with the web application. Additionally, this presents a number of performance concerns and architectural questions which are normally not handled by CMS developers. It requires adjusting from a mindset of generating and pushing content to a black box into a mindset of generating and serving content and handling all of the complexity of the web. 5 AEM IS NOSQL Most developers come into AEM from a database-driven background, see tools like JCR-SQL2 and think, "oh, this works like a Relational Database". This is, unfortunately, completely wrong. AEM is based on the Java Content Repository model, which is much closer to a NoSQL database than a Relational Database. It has very different performance characteristics than a Relational Database, but also offers a much richer and more flexible data model. The blinders which come with the Relational Database mindset often either leads to developers attempting to map table-based data structures into AEM or adding excessive node type constraints. Mapping table-based data directly is problematic, as AEM does not handle large number of child nodes gracefully and you lose the value in understanding the relationships and hierarchy of your content. Excessive node type constraints limit developers freedom and generally provide little value beyond runtime exceptions.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 features you should know about Google's latest Android iteration - Tech2

Android 5.0 Lollipop: 10 features you should know about Google's latest Android iteration - Tech2

Android L is finally here – and it’s not Key Lime Pie or Licorice.
Google has named it “Lollipop”, keeping up with it’s dessert-name trend.
The new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system has landed first on the
latest Nexus devices – Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player.

Android chief Sundar Pichai had earlier said this is the largest and
most ambitious release on Android to date. Here are best features
announced in the latest Android OS:

1. Pick up where you left off: Similar to Continuity in iOS 8,
Lollipop lets you pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos,
apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be
immediately accessed across devices.

2. Multiple device compatibility: Lollipop will
support devices with different screen sizes including wearables such as
smartwatches, TVs and cars. According to Google, it is designed to be
flexible, so that it can work on all your devices and customised for
your needs.

3. Material Design: In order to maintain a
consistent design experience across all Android devices, Lollipop uses
the Material Design interface across devices it runs on.With Material
Design, elements can dynamically shrink and expand, there’s more white
space between elements, and gives a 3D appearance overall. While we are
yet to try it out ourselves, Google claims that the new design is more
intuitive and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

New, improved notifications
New, improved notifications
4. Updated camera: Lollipop makes it easier to
support features like burst mode and fine settings tuning. You’ll be
able to capture full resolution frames around 30fps, and shoot in raw
formats like YUV and Bayer RAW. There’s also support for UHD 4K video
playback, tunneled video for high quality video playback on Android TV
and improved streaming. Lollipop adds professional features to control
settings for the sensor, lens and flash per individual frame.

5. Battery settings: There’s a new battery-saver
feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful
if you’re far from a power outlet. It’s also easier to manage your
power usage. The OS adds a feature which gives the estimated time left
before you need to charge and, when it’s charging, it tells you
approximately how much time it will need to charge before it’s ready to

6. Improved security: Share your device securely
with guest user mode, create multiple user accounts to enable friends to
log in on your device. In either case, no one will be able to access
your private files. There’s Android Smart Lock to secure your phone or
tablet by pairing it with a trusted device like your wearable or even
your car. Google has enforced the SELinux security module for all apps
to give better protection against vulnerabilities and malware.

7. Updated notifications screen: You can now view
and respond to messages directly from your lock screen, or hide
notifications for sensitive content. Turning on Priority mode through
your device’s volume button will allow only certain people and
notifications get through.You can also choose to avoid calls from
interrupting the game you are playing or the movie you are watching.

8. New Quick Settings: The updated Quick Settings on
the notification screen has new handy controls such as flashlight,
hotspot, screen rotation and cast screen controls. While these settings
were not on older stock-Android devices, they may already be present on
other customised Android devices. Similarly, you can manually adjust
the brightness for certain conditions, while adaptive brightness will
kick in based on ambient lighting.

9. Smoother experience: Google uses a new runtime on
Android (called ART), which claims to improve app performance, battery
life and responsiveness. Google claims that the new OS improves
Android’s performance by four times. It compacts background apps and
services so you can do more at once. There’s also support for 64-bit
chips now.

10 Tap and Go: Tap and Go for NFC devices lets you
set up your new Android phone or tablet instantly by simply tapping it
to your old one. Whenever you get a new Android phone or tablet, you can
sync your apps from Google Play automatically from any of your old
Android devices.

As with all OS updates, there are minor improvements on the camera,
video and audio experience, along with better multitasking, performance
and battery life. Overall, Lollipop will provide a smoother user
experience, more usable apps and services and help you manage bloatware.
Google has also announced it will re-enable microSD card writing
support and segmentation of firmware for older devices.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First impressions: Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone out in India for Rs 16,499 - Tech2

First impressions: Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone out in India for Rs 16,499

Finnish smartphone company Jolla
has finally launched its Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone in India and the
device is available only on Snapdeal for a price of Rs 16,499. The phone
is available in Poppy Red, Keira Black and Aloe colours.

As far as specifications are concerned, the Jolla Sailfish OS has a
4.5-inch qHD screen with IPS panel and Gorilla Glass 2, it’s got a
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 system-on-chip with a 1.4GHz dual-core
processor, an 8 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

iOS 8 also comes with bucket of security fixes - CNET

iOS 8 also comes with bucket of security fixes - CNET

Apple published a long list of iOS 8 security changes on Wednesday as the operating system update got delivered to users. While Apple credited many independent security experts, it continued to not differentiate bugs by severity and buried the fix to a major vulnerability.
The most notable fix of the Apple Knowledge Base list -- more than 53 vulnerabilities long -- was hidden at the bottom of the list separated from the other vulnerabilities as a "note" that read, "iOS 8contains changes to some diagnostic capabilities."
The note linked to another new Knowledge Base article, which detailed changes to the diagnostic tools in iOS 8. Previously, the tools had allowed people with unauthorized access to iOS's encryption keys to connect wirelessly to the iPhone or iPadand extract sensitive information including text messages and pictures -- without having to unlock the device.
The "backdoor" was revealed at the Hope-X conference in July by independent security and forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who has devoted much of his research to iOS. The vulnerability affected around 600 million iOS devices and could be exploited by anyone, from parents to ex-lovers to government agencies, who paired a computer with the target iOS device until the iOS device was wiped.
At the time, Apple denied that the diagnostic tools were a backdoor created with "any government agency." There was also much debate among security experts as to whether the flaw even met the standard definition of "backdoor." But today, Apple updated the diagnostic tools to prevent that kind of persistent remote access. The company did not credit Zdziarski for exposing the problem, although it did credit other security researchers for finding other bugs on the list, including Zdziarski for another, unrelated bug.
Zdziarski wrote an open letter to Apple about his concerns and said that he worried that Apple buried notice of the bug fix because of the company's ongoing rocky relationship with independent security researchers.
"If it's a small bug that doesn't seem to directly affect several million people, it winds up in the security release notes," Zdziarski told CNET. "If it is a major issue, such as the trust dialog box, or gotofail, it winds up getting downplayed."
Zdziarski is referring to another flaw repaired in iOS 8 that allows users to untrust all previously trusted computers. Like the diagnostic tool fix, it was only mentioned in the Notes section of the vulnerability list.
"For these vulnerabilities to have existed in iOS 7, they could have been big risks to diplomats, executives, even Tim Cook," he said.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
Nevertheless, Zdziarski did cheer Apple for rapidly addressing recent security concerns, including the iCloud breach and the diagnostic tools problem.
However, these repairs aren't likely to reach people who refuse to or can't upgrade to iOS 8 since Apple rarely offers security updates for older versions of iOS. The full list of vulnerabilities covers nearly every aspect of how iOS operates, from the kernel to Bluetooth functionality to Safari's WebKit engine to how account data gets managed.
Aside from the diagnostic tool flaw, the worst of them would allow a hacker to run malicious code on your iPhone or iPad after gaining root access.
Other major flaws repaired in iOS 8 included tracking by Wi-Fi MAC address, Apple ID information available through a hole in the sandbox, user credentials open to anyone with a privileged status on the network, and a vulnerability that could allow an attacker with local access to the phone to install unverified apps without permission.
One WebKit bug was fixed last December in Safari for Mac, noted CNET sister site ZDNet, but only fixed in iOS today.
While many are heralding the era of a kinder, gentler Apple, those cultural changes have yet to extend to the security community.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Google launches Android One smartphones at Rs 6,399

Google launches Android One smartphones at Rs 6,399

Tech giant Google today launched its
much-awaited Android One smartphones, priced at Rs 6,399 onwards, in
India in partnership with domestic handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and
Spice, a move that will further fuel the fiercely competitive
multi-billion dollar market here.


India is the first country where the US-based firm's Android One
devices are being launched. Roll out across other markets like
Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka will
follow in the coming months.


Google is also expanding Android One programme with Acer, Alcatal OneTouch, Xolo, HTC, Lava, Intex, Asus and Lenovo.


It has also roped in Qualcomm for the chipsets.


Micromax will sell its handset Canvas A1 on Amazon, while Spice Dream
UNO will be available on Flipkart and Karbonn Sparkle V on Snapdeal.


These phones are available for purchase through online channels in
India from today and at retail stores across India from early October.


Besides, to help drive data usage Google has partnered with Airtel for free data.


"India is one of the fastest growing Android markets globally. In
2013-14, it saw more than 3 times growth. Internet can have a
transforming effect. The intent is to take Internet to the next billion
people," Google SVP (Android, Chrome and Apps), Sundar Pichai told
reporters here.


Declining to comment on future pricing of the handsets with new
partners, Pichai said the idea is to give multiple choice to consumers.


In June, Google announced its 'Android One' initiative to bring in
under-USD 100 handsets aimed at bringing the next one billion population
to the Android operating system ecosystem.


The dual-SIM devices will sport a 4.5-inch screen with a quad core
MediaTek processor, 1 GB RAM and 4 GB internal storage, which can be
expanded to 32 GB. It will feature a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 2 MP
front camera with replaceable battery and built-in radio.


Analysts feel Android One will lead a fiercer competition in the
mid-range smartphone market with firms offering better experience at
price points in the range of Rs 6,000-10,000.


Gartner Principal Research Analyst Vishal Tripathi said Android One
devices will be under Google's control thereby ensuring a standard
hardware and software specs, which in turn will lead to a better
experience for the consumers.


"Besides, it will also help to consolidate the highly fragmented
smartphone market in India. No doubt competition will intensify due to
this launch," he added.


Greyhound Research CEO Sanchit Vir Gogia feels Android One is going to be a game changer in India.


Google's goal is to reach the 5 billion people in emerging markets,
including a billion in India. This gives them an edge as compared
Microsoft, Apple and Blackberry, he added.


"Android One gives Google tighter control over the Google OS which
means standardised UX. Support for seven regional languages is going to
be a solid plus over competitors – this will not only help consumers use
vernacular, it is also likely to help promote apps in regional
language," Gogia said.


On the competition to Android One, Gogia said Google can expect
competition but none has the wherewithal like Google to be as aggressive
and invest heavily in the ecosystem.


FireFox and Tizen are competition but far from reaching critical
volumes. Firefox (in partnership with Spice and Intex) launched two new
smartphones, priced below Rs 2,300, aimed at those looking to upgrade
from feature phones to smartphones, he added.


"Both Microsoft and Apple are not eyeing this market at all, so we can
safely expect Google to pretty much own this market. Eventually, Android
One will touch Tablets as well," he said.


The launch is also important for the e-commerce partners as electronics
-- especially mobile phones -- are one of the highest selling items on
e-commerce sites.


Motorola and Xiaomi have successfully launched their smartphones on
Flipkart, while players like Spice and Micromax have sold devices on


ECommerce sites see about 4 million queries per day in India for
smartphones and in two years, one in four phones are expected to be
bought online.


Google also said that Newstand, which provides digital version of
newspapers and magazines, will come to India from tomorrow and has added
30 new Indian publications.


According to research firm IDC, smartphone sales in the country grew
almost three-fold to over 44 million in 2013, buoyed by affordable
devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn.


In the second quarter of 2014, 18.42 million smartphones were shipped
in India. Though Samsung is the leader with a 29 per cent market share,
Micromax (18 per cent), Karbonn (8 per cent) and LAVA (6 per cent) are
close competitors.


Android One should be playing in the volume sweet spot of the India
smartphone market, Mohammad Chowdhury, Leader Telecom at PwC India,


"This market will generate 80 million plus shipments this year and so there is a lot to play for," he added.


Any new smartphone play in India today has to offer a better user
experience especially for video, and control features that allow users
to cap data usage in the background through apps that otherwise keep
running, Chowdhury said, adding if Android One phones can do this, there
is a better chance to succeed.


While Android is the dominant operating system globally, other OS' like
Windows and iOS (Apple) are also gaining traction. Also, newer
platforms like Firefox and Tizen may emerge as strong challengers to
Google's platform.


Google's attempts also hold importance as it aims to capture a larger share of the entry-level segment.


Last week, Firefox (in partnership with Spice and Intex) launched two
new smartphones, priced below Rs 2,300, aimed at those looking to
upgrade from feature phones to smartphones.