Getting Started with AEM CIF Authoring

Last update: 2023-12-04

Get to know about Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) CIF Authoring.

The Story So Far

In the previous document of this AEM Content and Commerce journey, Learn about AEM Content and Commerce, you learned the basic theory and concepts of headless CMS and AEM Content and Commerce.

This article builds on those fundamentals.

Objective

This document helps you understand how to use CIF for Content and Commerce specific authoring. After reading, you should:

  • Understand the concepts of CIF authoring using the Universal Editor
  • How to access product catalog data in AEM using product and category pickers
  • How to access content and commerce data using the product cockpit and AEM Omnisearch

CIF Authoring in the Universal Editor

CIF extends the Universal Editor with capabilities to access the real-time product data without leaving the context:

Open the side panel and select ‘Products’ from the drop-down list.
Select product type

You can browse the product catalog or use the full-text search field to find products.
product type

Products can be dropped on components that support product drops (example product teaser, product carousel) on directly on the page which automatically creates a product teaser component.

Product and Category Pickers

If product and category data is required in commerce components or AEM back-office dialogs, AEM authors can use pickers which are UI elements to comfortably search and select product catalog data.

Product Picker

Clicking the folder icon opens the picker modal UI (for example, product teaser)
product picker

Products can be found either by browsing through the catalog structure on the left or search. Full-text search respects the selected category and limits the search results to this category.
product picker folder

Products with variations are marked with a folder icon that can be clicked to show all variations.
product picker variants
product picker variants open

Category Picker

Works like a product picker. Clicking the folder icon opens the picker modal UI (for example, category carousel)
category picker

Browse the catalog structure on the left and select the category.
category picker

Product Cockpit

The product cockpit is a central place to quickly access the product catalog with all its enriched content. You learn in one of the next modules how to enrich product data with content. For now, let’s focus on accessing product data.

From the main menu, click commerce to see a list of all attached product catalogs.
commerce menu item

This shows a list of all connected product catalogs.
cockpit integrated catalogs

The product catalog shows per default all first-level categories with all products. Clicking a category opens that category with all related products and subcategories, including their products.
cockpit product catalog

You can open the product properties by clicking the property icon. The icon appears by hovering over a product tile.
cockpit product properties

All the product properties are read-only because the data gets loaded in real time from the connected backend. Changing product properties must be done in the backend system which is the system of record. The tab Variants only appear if the product has variations. Clicking the tab displays all variations with its attributes.
cockpit product variants

The remaining tabs show all AEM content that is associated with the product. These tabs are discussed in one of the next modules.

AEM Omnisearch

Using Omnisearch is an easy way to find AEM content using full-text search. CIF extends Omnisearch with full-text search of product catalogs with its associated AEM content.
commerce menu item

Omnisearch runs a full-text search in the commerce backend to find all related products. The result is listed under View All Products. Omnisearch also searches AEM for content that is associated to the searched product. The results are listed under the respective AEM categories. In this example, one Content Fragment is related to the product.

What’s Next

Now that you have completed this part of the journey you should:

  • Understand the concepts of CIF authoring using the Universal Editor
  • How to access product catalog in AEM using product & category pickers
  • How to access content and commerce data using the product cockpit and AEM Omnisearch

Build on this knowledge and continue your journey by next reviewing the document Manage Product Catalog Pages and Templates, where you learn how to build and customize your first product catalog experience.

Additional Resources

While it is recommended that you move on to the next part of the journey–Manage Product Catalog Pages and Templates–the following are some optional resources that do a deeper dive on some concepts mentioned here. However, these optional resources are not required to continue on the journey.

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