Top 10 Hottest Features in Adobe Experience Manager 6.2: Assets

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I know it’s been a few months since Adobe Summit 2016 in Las Vegas, but I finally had some spare time to write about the latest features of Adobe Experience Manager 6.2 Assets. As with my other post about AEM 6.2 Sites, this will be a summarization of what was covered in the Summit session titled, “What’s new in Experience Manager Assets: Top-10 hottest DAM features”. I will be using their top 10 list and throwing in my own opinion and notes about each new feature. Special thanks to Elliot Sedegah and Josh Ramirez from Adobe for their presentation.

  1. See More, Do More – As was mentioned in the AEM Sites new features, there is an updated UI, an emphasis on less clicks, and a new search tool to streamline the process. There is still a left navigation rail but it is mostly for other pieces or configurations. You can also get to any of the other Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions from the top right corner with just a single click. Selection mode is pretty nice because it doesn’t force you to click the selection mode first. You are essentially already in selection mode. I really like that they have reduced the number of clicks. And of course: OmniSearch. This is really fantastic. As Josh put it: “You can’t have content velocity if you can’t find your content.” OmniSearch allows you to find what you need faster.
  2. Race to the Cloud – AEM is now faster at uploading (and downloading) files. But because of a new integration with Signiant, your upload of files can go even faster. They didn’t really explain how they did this, only that it was through the Signiant tool. I am left to assume that in order to get this you will need to license Signiant and then have your managed services team configure it. I found this part a bit disappointing because of the lack of clarity. But I guess it’s nice to know that AEM can handle uploads better.
  3. Building Blocks – Content fragments! As I stated in my other article, this is very interesting. You get to treat content as an asset. And that is actually where it is stored as well, within the Assets section of Adobe Experience Manager (the DAM). This has a ton of potential for allowing content authors to be able to create content once and then use it in multiple channels and multiple pages/sites. We have already been experimenting with using content fragments for other customers in unique ways to allow them to reuse content.
  4. Don’t Gamble – Asset rights management and licensing are always problematic. Fadel created a tool that would allow you to actually manage that information in AEM, called the Fadel ARC AEM Connector. This is a nice feature, but again in order to take advantage of this you need to have a license to Fadel’s ARC Connector software (https://marketing.adobe.com/resources/content/resources/en/exchange/marketplace/apps/fadel-arc-connector-for-adobe-experience-manager.html) and then get it integrated with your AEM instance. While nice it is not technically an improvement to AEM Assets. Just a possible add-on.
  5. Smart Tags – This was really neat. They showed an asset getting loaded into the DAM and then it dynamically assigned a bunch of tags to it. They were running through a “Smart Tag Service” which classifies what is going on in the photo. They did that on the fly. Pretty cool stuff. The part that isn’t mentioned here is that in order for this to work you need to have your AEM instance hosted with Adobe Managed Services. I like this new feature. I just don’t like that they don’t bother to tell you that very important detail. It’s a bit deceptive/disingenuous. Also, it is still in beta as of the posting of this article.
  6. Desktop App – Last year they announced the Companion App for creatives and designers to use. This year they have the upgraded version called the “Desktop App”. It allows you check in and check out the image to make modifications or whatnot to it. It helps to keep versions straight and prevents people from working on the same asset at the same time. And it runs on your computer.
  7. Embrace Creativity – Society creates a ton of creative content, and corporations are no different. But how do we share that content around the organization to work together with other groups to take advantage of it? Adobe’s answer is a more tightly integrated Creative Cloud and AEM Assets. Changes made on the assets are instantly updated. It continues to have the ability to make comments to allow people to communicate with each other to collaborate. This isn’t groundbreaking but it does seem to be improved, which is nice.
  8. Brand Portal – “The 1% rule of the internet also applies to your enterprise. 1% are creators, 9% are contributors, 90% are lurkers.” Most people just want to look around and find stuff. This branded portal allows a user to log in, search, and download assets in a secure manner. It even has the capability for you to share them if you have the right permissions. I struggle to see how this is different in a meaningful way from some of the other features, other than a limiting of some of the features of the DAM. This just appears to be a way for members of your organization to be able to see assets within the AEM DAM. You will need to have an admin setup and configure things to get them just right for your organization.
  9. Video – Interactive video has given the marketers the ability to associate specific parts of a video with specific products. This then allows the customer to get more information about the products right within the video or let them click over to a particular site. The method to do the authoring of the video seemed simple, which is nice. This was pretty neat for me to see but I would have liked them to spend more time on this. They were going so fast at this point that they did not have time.
  10. Interactive Media – They did not cover this. : shrug : Check out the release notes if you want to read up about this.

Bonus Feature. Asset Insights – You can now look at the performance of your assets and see how they are performing across your different channels. Using the new Insights view, the system will show which assets are over or under performing thanks to the metrics that are now displayed on each asset. This is a nice improvement to help users know which is doing best.

Assets and Sites are linked together. So having an understanding of the improvements of AEM Assets is just as important as knowing the latest features of AEM Sites. If you would like you should go check out Adobe’s release notes page for AEM Assets 6.2 here: https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-2/release-notes/assets.html. And you can also check out Adobe’s catalog of known issues on AEM 6.2 here: https://docs.adobe.com/docs/en/aem/6-2/release-notes/known-issues.html.