Why should you consider migrating from Oracle WebCenter Sites?
Oracle’s premier support for its WebCenter Sites (OWCS) 11g (11.1.1.x) ended in December 2018, and the product roadmap for the latest on-premises OWCS version 12c (12.2.1.x) is obscure and ambiguous. Now is a great time to evaluate alternate options in the Enterprise Content Management space and see how they might be a match for your business needs and requirements.
How Adobe Experience Manager could be a successor to Oracle WebCenter Sites?
Adobe Inc.’s Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a comprehensive content management solution for building websites, mobile apps, and forms. It has been named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management for the 9th consecutive year now.
From a technology stack perspective–
Much like OWCS, AEM is a 100% Java compliant application, but it is largely built using several well-known open-source technologies such as Apache Jackrabbit Oak, Apache Sling, Apache Lucene, Eclipse Jetty, and Apache Felix using the OSGi framework. The ease of learning and talent availability for back-end Java development is relatively higher.
The significant architectural change between OWCS and AEM lies in its data persistence approach. While OWCS uses Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), AEM leverages Java Content Repository (JCR) approach for storing its content in TARs, making it a very lightweight application.
An AEM installation takes one simple Java command and a few minutes to create a new instance manually, as opposed to the several hours that it may take for OWCS and the tedious Middleware installations and configurations.
From a business users’ perspective–
Upon working with both enterprise CMS solutions, our team has realized that AEM is inclusive of all OWCS features that authors, editors, and reviewers may currently be using, plus additional exciting AEM features that will increase the Ease of Authoring, Time to Market, and Customer Engagement for your organization.
The following are popular features categorized by modules that can assist business users in their day-to-day activities:
Digital Asset Management—
While perhaps the biggest missing part of OWCS, AEM’s assets module provides features to capture, store, and manage digital assets through a variety of features. Some of these features include:
Smart Tagging: An artificial intelligence and machine learning-based SaaS solution offering, powered by Adobe Sensei. Smart tagging can be configured to the AEM instance to suggest appropriate meta tags when a digital asset is ingested into the system.
As the algorithm learns the account’s tagging behavior, smart tagging improves suggestions and authors more accurate taggings. This results in a reduction to search times and asset librarian’s costs to manage metadata. This SaaS configuration requires a separate subscription and involves an additional cost.
AEM Desktop App: A Windows/Mac client-based application that connects AEM to the user’s local machine over a mounted network drive. The AEM desktop app provides the ability to work with AEM offline and has seamless synchronization once connected. This is the most useful tool to make color corrections using third-party tools without having to integrate AEM with them.
Adobe Asset Link Extension: Provides seamless integration between AEM and Adobe’s market-leading creative cloud products (i.e. Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Illustrator). By installing this extension, users can perform many options to create, read, update, and delete operations directly from creative tools without needing to upload and download assets manually.
Smart Crop: An AI & ML-based SaaS solution powered by Adobe Sensei. Smart crop automatically detects the focal point in any video or image and crops it, eliminating manual effort in media-editing work. In the eCommerce industry, multi-color swatches are generated from standard product silo photoshoots.
Dynamic Media: A rich media content service that can be accessed via a simple-to-use platform-agnostic URL to cache the delivered content. Dynamic media content is derived from a cache cloud service that can deliver the correct image rendition with appropriate resize and optimization for any requesting device.
Web Content Management—
Core Components: AEM provides several visual components that updated websites use, including out-of-the-box, header, breadcrumbs, side navigation, banners, carousels, teasers, forms, search, etc., empowering businesses to kickstart building their website without having to code! Time and development costs can be saved with core components!
Page Centric In-Context Content: Unlike OWCS, where content is generally broken down to flex asset-types and sub-type models based on HTML mockup and subsequently associated to page assets, content authoring in AEM is done directly on the page, increasing efficiency for content editors. AEM provides both form-based and in-line WYSIWYG editing capabilities for content authoring. For pagelets (i.e. copyrights and T&C pages) where content reusability is critical, AEM’s content fragment models can be leveraged to create page-independent content along with associated media per channel/region variation.
Reverse Publishing: Also known as reverse replication, reverse publishing is a mechanism where content from a delivery instance is published back to editorial. This is mainly useful where community-like features are available on a live site and when user-generated content (UGC) in those platforms needs to be brought back and evaluated for feedback or distributed across lower environments.
Responsive Web Design: AEM manages to achieve RWD by reconfiguring its page layouts and font sizes based on its rendering platform/channel. While RWD in OWCS can be achieved through UI CSS framework only, RWD provides device emulator support for the testing appearance and feel on multiple devices.
Multi-site management: Many enterprises today have multiple brands, operating in multi-regions, and have customers speaking multiple languages. Building and maintaining a website per brand, region, and language can be a long, arduous process. AEM’s MSM feature helps businesses to make websites and copy/reuse content within and across sites. Users can choose MSM to maintain a live relationship between the source and its live copy sites, and any change of content in the source site can keep all its live copies synchronized.
How should you migrate to Adobe Experience Manager?
The bad news is that Adobe does not provide any connectors/tools to help migrate the content from OWCS to AEM. But here’s the good news— we can help eliminate manual procedures with our migration. Inspired ECM can design the AEM Information Architecture for you, thus minimizing human intervention and migrating content and digital assets based on your legacy OWCS System’s Asset Modelling and Site Plan structures. Our team has developed accelerators to automate the migration process for quick and error-free results.