Working with Content Fragments

With Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a Cloud Service, Content Fragments allow you to design, create, curate and publish page-independent content They allow you to prepare content ready for use in multiple locations/over multiple channels, ideal for headless delivery.

Content fragments contain structured content:

  • They are based on a Content Fragment Model, which predefines a structure for the resulting fragment.
  • The structure can range between:
    • Basic
      • For example, a single, multi-line text field.
      • Can be used for preparing straightforward content for use in page authoring.
    • Complex
      • A combination of many fields of varying data types, including text, number, boolean, data and time, amongst others.
      • Can be used either for preparing more structured content for page authoring, or for delivery to your application.
    • Nested
      • The reference data types available allow you to nest your content.
      • Tends to be used for delivery to your application.

Content fragments can also be delivered in JSON format, using the Sling Model (JSON) export capabilities of AEM core components. This form of delivery:

  • enables you to use the component to manage which elements of a fragment to deliver
  • allows bulk-delivery, by adding multiple content fragment core components on the page being used for API delivery

Content Fragments are stored as Assets. They are now primarily managed with the Content Fragments console, though they can still be managed from the Assets console. This section covers management from the Assets console.

This and the following pages cover the tasks for creating, configuring, maintaining and using your content fragments:

The number of communication channels is increasing annually. Typically channels refer to the delivery mechanism, either as the:

  • Physical channel; for example, desktop, mobile.
  • Form of delivery in a physical channel; for example, the “product detail page”, “product category page” for desktop, or “mobile web”, “mobile app” for mobile.

However, you (probably) do not want to use exactly the same content for all channels - you need to optimize your content according to the specific channel.

Content fragments allow you to:

  • Consider how to reach target audiences efficiently across channels.
  • Create and manage channel-neutral editorial content.
  • Build content pools for a range of channels.
  • Design content variations for specific channels.
  • Add images to your text by inserting assets (mixed-media fragments).
  • Create nested content to reflect the complexity of your data.

These content fragments can then be assembled to provide experiences over a variety of channels.


Content Fragments and Experience Fragments are different features within AEM:

  • Content Fragments are editorial content, with definition and structure, but without additional visual design and/or layout. They can be used to access structured data, including texts, numbers, and dates, amongst others.
  • Experience Fragments are fully laid out content; a fragment of a web page.

Experience Fragments can contain content in the form of Content Fragments, but not the other way around.

For further information see also Understanding Content Fragments and Experience Fragments in AEM.

Content Fragments and Content Services

AEM Content Services are designed to generalize the description and delivery of content in/from AEM beyond a focus on web pages.

They provide the delivery of content to channels that are not traditional AEM web pages, using standardized methods that can be consumed by any client. These channels can include:

  • Single Page Applications
  • Native Mobile Applications
  • other channels and touch-points external to AEM

Delivery is made in JSON format using the JSON Exporter.

AEM Content Fragments can be used to describe and manage structured content. Structured content is defined in models that can contain a variety of content types; including text, numerical data, boolean, date and time, and more.

Together with the JSON export capabilities of AEM core components, this structured content can then be used to deliver AEM content to channels other than AEM pages.


See Headless and AEM for an introduction to Headless Development for AEM Sites as a Cloud Service.


AEM also supports the translation of fragment content. See Translating Assets for further information.

Reusing Content Fragments with MSM for Assets

When accessed through the Assets console you can use MSM and create Live Copies for your fragments.

For further details see Reuse Content Fragments using MSM for Assets.


If you want to use MSM (which creates copies of Content Fragments), then any Unique constraints should be removed from any Data Types used in the respective Content Fragment Models.

Content Type

Content fragments are:

  • Stored as Assets:

    • Content fragments (and their variations) can be created and maintained from the Assets console.
    • Authored and edited in the Content Fragment Editor.
  • Used in the page editor by means of the Content Fragment component (referencing component):

    • The Content Fragment component is available to page authors. It allows them to reference, and deliver, the required content fragment in either HTML or JSON format.
  • Accessible using the AEM GraphQL API.

Content Fragments are a content structure that:

Fragments with Visual Assets

To give authors more control of their content, images can be added to and/or integrated with a content fragment.

Assets can be used with a content fragment in several ways; each with its own advantage(s):

  • Insert Asset into a fragment (mixed-media fragments)


    Visual assets inserted into the content fragment itself are attached to the preceding paragraph. When the fragment is added to a page these assets are moved in relation to that paragraph when in-between content is added.

  • Associated Content

    • Are connected to a fragment; but not a fixed part of the fragment (see Constituent Parts of a Content Fragment).
    • Allows some flexibility for positioning.
    • Are easily available for use (as in-between content) when using the fragment on a page.
    • See Associated Content for more information.
  • Assets available from the Assets browser of the page editor

    • Allow full flexibility for selection of an asset.
    • Allows some flexibility for positioning.
    • Does not provide the concept of being approved for a specific fragment.
    • See Assets Browser for more information.

Constituent Parts of a Content Fragment

The content fragment assets are made up of the following parts (either directly or indirectly):

  • Fragment Elements

    • Elements correlate to the data fields holding content.
    • You use a content model to create the content fragment. The elements (fields) specified in the model define the structure of the fragment. These elements (fields) can be of a variety of data-types.
  • Fragment Paragraphs

    • Blocks of text, often multi-line, that are delimited as individual entities.

    • In the Rich Text and Markdown modes, a paragraph can be formatted as a header, in which case it and the following paragraph belong together as one unit.

    • Enable content control during page authoring.

  • Assets Inserted into a Fragment (Mixed-Media Fragments)

    • Assets (images) inserted into the actual fragment and used as the internal content of a fragment.

    • Are embedded in the paragraph system of the fragment.

    • Can be formatted when the fragment is used/referenced on a page.

    • Can only be added to, deleted from, or moved within, a fragment using the fragment editor. These actions cannot be made in the page editor.

    • Can only be added to, deleted from, or moved within, a fragment using Rich Text format in the fragment editor.

    • Can only be added to multi-line text elements (any fragment type).

    • Are attached to the preceding text (paragraph).


      Assets can be (inadvertently) removed from a fragment by switching to Plain Text format.


      Assets can also be added as additional (in-between) content when using a fragment on a page; using either Associated Content or assets from the Assets browser.

  • Associated Content

    • This is content external to, but with editorial relevance for, a fragment. Typically images, videos or other fragments.

    • The individual assets within the collection are available to be used with the fragment in the page editor, when it is added to a page. This means that they are optional, depending on the requirements of the specific channel.

    • The assets are associated to fragments via collections; associated collections allow the author to decide which assets to use when they are authoring the page.

      • Collections can be associated to fragments as default content, or by authors during fragment authoring.
      • Assets (DAM) Collections are the basis for the associated content of fragments.
    • Optionally you can also add the fragment itself to a collection to aid tracking.

  • Fragment Metadata

    • Use the Assets metadata schemas.

    • Tags can be created when you:

      • Create and author the fragment

      • Or later:

        • By viewing/editing the fragment Properties from the console
        • By editing the Metadata when in the fragment editor

    Metadata processing profiles do not apply to Content Fragments.

  • Master

    • An integral part of the fragment

      • Every content fragment has one instance of Master.
      • Master cannot be deleted.
    • Master is accessible in the fragment editor under Variations.

    • Master is not a variation as such, but is the basis of all variations.

  • Variations

    • Renditions of fragment text that are specific to editorial purpose; can be related to channel but is not compulsory, can also be for ad-hoc local modifications.
    • Are created as copies of Master, but can then be edited as required; there is usually content overlap between the variations themselves.
    • Can be defined during fragment authoring.
    • Stored in the fragment, to help avoid scattering of content copies.
    • Variations can be synchronized with Master if the Master content has been updated.
    • Can be Summarized to quickly truncate the text to a predefined length.
    • Available under the Variations tab of the fragment editor.

In-Between Content when Page Authoring with Content Fragments

In-between content:


The in-between content is page content. It is not stored in the content fragment.

Required by Fragments

To create content fragments you need:

  • Content Model

    • Are enabled using the Configuration Browser.
    • Are created using Tools.
    • Required to create a fragment.
    • Defines the structure of a fragment (title, content elements, tag definitions).
    • Content model definitions require a title and one data element; everything else is optional.
    • The model can define default content - if applicable.
    • Authors cannot change the defined structure when authoring fragment content.
    • Changes made to a model after dependent content fragments have been created, can impact those content fragments.

To use your Content Fragments for page authoring you also need:

  • Content Fragment Component

    • Instrumental to delivering the fragment in HTML and/or JSON format.
    • Required to reference the fragment on a page.
    • Responsible for layout and delivery of a fragment; i.e. channels.
    • Fragments need one or more dedicated components to define layout and deliver some or all elements/variations and associated content.
    • Dragging a fragment onto a page in authoring will automatically associate the required component.

Example Usage

A fragment, with its elements and variations, can be used to create coherent content for multiple channels. When designing your fragment you need to consider what will be used where.

WKND Sample

The WKND Site samples are provided to help you learn about AEM as a Cloud Service.

The WKND project includes:

  • Content Fragment Models available under:

  • Content Fragments (and other content) available under:

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