May 31, 2013

AEM upgrades: why we always run on the latest and greatest

Posted by Paolo Mottadelli

In one of the most recent CQ Gems sessions, Bertrand Delacretaz presented the AEM 5.6 upgrade mechanisms.

What if you wouldn't be able to use the latest and greatest features of your great experience management platform?
Companies using Adobe AEM are keen to use the most recent release as it comes every year with great additions that bring great value to them.

Adobe AEM is designed to make upgrades as natural as possible. And we lead by example!
Our main site drives 2% of the global traffic and it is a critical asset for the business of the company.
was upgraded to AEM 5.6 even before the release was announced.
This is the reference website for AEM documentation and many related technical sources.
is constantly upgraded to intermediate internal releases, and it happens very early and very often in the development process.
For example: this site is currently based on a build which was released internally on May 24 2013: 7 days ago.

There are several reasons why this approach is of immense value for the product and for companies adopting it:

  1. Stability. Being able to upgrade an existing site in parallel with our internal releases gives a lot of additional indications on top of our standard QE process.
  2. Backward compatibility of projects built on the AEM platform. (the website) was built on a previous release but still perfectly runs on this latest build.
  3. Longevity testing. We want our software to pass the "at least 3 months on a real website" test even before any beta release.

This is a critical aspect of the AEM success as a platform to support companies to managing their customer experience, and to continuously deliver more and more value with every new release, adding new content management features, more support for multiple channels, more integrations with the other solutions of the Marketing Cloud and much more.

By the way: this blog is hosted on the same platform as, so the page that you are currently reading is delivered by that May 24 2013 internal build. Isnt't that cool?