Headless Development for AEM 6.5 Sites

Learn how AEM 6.5’s powerful headless capabilities like Content Models, Content Fragments, and the GraphQL API work together to enable you to manage your experiences centrally and serve them across channels.


Headless implementation is increasingly becoming important for delivering experiences to your audience is, wherever they are and regardless of channel.

Headless implementation forgoes page and component management as is traditional in full stack and hybrid solutions and focuses on the creation of channel-neutral, reusable fragments of content and their cross-channel delivery. It is a modern and dynamic development pattern for implementing web experiences.

AEM Implementation Models

Comparing Headful and Headless

This document focuses on the full headless implementation model of AEM. However headful versus headless need not be a binary choice in AEM. Headless features can be used to manage and deliver your content to a variety of endpoints while also enabling your content authors to edit single page applications. All in AEM.


See the document Headful and Headless in AEM for more information.

AEM 6.5 and Headless

AEM 6.5 is a flexible tool for the headless implementation model by offering three powerful services:

  1. Content Models
    • Content Models are structured representation of content.
    • These are defined by information architects in the AEM Content Fragment Model editor.
    • Content Models serve as a basis for Content Fragments.
  2. Content Fragments
    • Content Fragments are instantiations of content models.
    • These are created by content authors using the AEM Content Fragment editor.
    • They are stored in AEM Assets and managed in Assets Admin UI.
  3. Content API for delivery

Your First Steps with AEM Headless

There are a number of resources available for your to get started with AEM’s headless features. They are intended for different use cases, but all give a solid overview of AEM’s headless features.

Resource Description Type Audience Est. Time
Headless Developer Journey For users new to AEM and headless technologies, start here for a comprehensive introduction to AEM and its headless features from the theory of headless through going live with your first headless project. Guide Developers new to AEM and headless 1 hour
Headless Getting Started Guide For experienced AEM users who need a short summary of the key AEM headless features, check out this quick start overview. Quick Start Developers, Administrators with AEM experience 20 minutes
Getting Started with AEM Headless hands-on tutorial If you prefer a hands-on approach and are familiar with AEM, this tutorial dives directly into creating a simple headless project. Tutorial Developers 2 hours

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