Created

Jan 17, 2013

Package Share and the Adobe CQ Package Share Contest

Posted by Andrew Savory

In today’s post and video I'd like to cover three things:

               - Packages

               - Package Share

               - The Adobe CQ Package Share contest

Packages

If you've been using Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe CQ for a while, you may have come across them. A package is just a zip file of content in a special format: a file system serialization of the repository. A package contains a group of files and folders that you have selected, as well as meta information from the repository, including properties and configurations for those files and folders. A package can include any content or project-related data from your repository.

Packages are a great way to bundle up the features and functionality of your site, which you can then import into a new site or even share with others.

For example, say you've been working on a development server at your company, but you really want to do some testing locally. No problem. Download your work as a package, and install the package in your local copy of Adobe Experience Manager.

Or maybe you want to deploy some content from a development server to live: you could use packages for this, too.

Perhaps you want to add new functionality that someone else has created: you can go ahead and download the package from Package Share and plug it right in to your own copy of Adobe Experience Manager.

Some examples of packages include an iOS device simulator; hotfixes for Adobe Experience Manager; or custom Search Engine Optimization components.

How do you create packages? The easiest and quickest way to get started with packages is the Package Manager. The Package Manager manages the packages on your local content repository installation, and also allows you to build them. The Package Manager is found from the "Packages" link on the right-hand side of the Adobe Experience Manager front page. When you open the Package Manager, you will see all the currently-available packages on your local copy of Adobe CQ.

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To create a new package, click on "Create Package" at the top of the screen. In the dialog box that pops up, enter a suitable package name - for example "My Test Package", a version number - for example "0.0.1", and select the group name - either your company name, or "my_packages". After clicking on OK, you will have an empty package.

Let's add some content to the package. Click on "Edit" on the left of the menu below your package name.

The first step is to add some metadata, for example a description and a thumbnail. This helps other people to find your package and to understand what it does, so make sure you describe your package's purpose and functionality.

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The next step is to add some files. You do this by adding filters. A filter is a way of selecting a group of files you want to include in the package. Remember, a package can contain components, content, or anything else in the repository, including other packages. Click the filter tab, then "Add filter". Navigate to a folder (for example /apps/geometrixx) then click OK, then click Done. 

You can have many filters, so go ahead and create another, for example a javascript library such as /etc/clientlibs/foundation/jquery. In real life, you would not need to include foundation libraries, as they will be available in any Adobe CQ install. Click Done, and finally click Save.

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You can check to see what's included in your package by clicking More, Coverage - verify the list includes the files (and metadata) you want.

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Finally, click "Build", and confirm by clicking "Build" again. After a few moments, you should see your package is built (the log shows something like "Package built in 761ms"), and the Package Manager now shows your package size, the filters used, and has a link for you to download it.

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It's as easy as that! Try downloading the package and opening it on your local machine to see what it's made up of. If you've ever used the vlt tool, the content should look familiar.

Of course, there are other ways to manage content packages, for example:

* Using the direct CRX interface

* CURL on the command line - an option that allows package actions to be automated.

For more information, see http://dev.day.com/docs/en/cq/current/administering/package_manager.html

Now you know how to create and download packages in Adobe CQ5.

Package Share

Package Share is a centralized server made publicly available to share content packages, like the one you just created. It includes packages such as official hotfixes, feature sets, Adobe CQ5 updates or CQ5 content generated by other users. You can also use it to upload and share packages within your company.

Here's what Package Share looks like today …

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From Package Manager, click on Package Share in the top menu bar. You'll need to sign in with your Adobe ID, and once you're logged in you'll see a list of available packages. When you download a package, it becomes available in your local Adobe CQ instance within Package Manager, from where you can install it.

You can add your own packages to Package Share. In Package Manager, you'll see "Share" to the right of your packages: if you click that, then click Share and confirm, your package will be uploaded. If you go back to Package Share, you should see it listed in Recent Packages. It's REALLY easy!

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You can also see your package by searching for it. Note the importance of specifying Author, Version, and other metadata.

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Contest

Finally, news of a great contest. You've seen how easy it is to make packages, and how easy it is to upload them to Package Share. How would you like the chance to win a brand new MacBook Pro by doing just that?

All you have to do is come up with a neat idea for a package - maybe a set of forms, maybe a handy JavaScript library, something that people might commonly need to use.

Create a package, and upload it to Package Share, and you could be in with a chance of winning a shiny new MacBook Pro.

See the contest page for more details and complete rules.

Also, check out my colleague Chris Nguyen’s recent post, which delves further into the contest.