Customize AEM CIF Core Components

The CIF Venia Project is a reference code base for using CIF Core Components. In this tutorial you will further extend the Product Teaser component to display a custom attribute from Adobe Commerce. You will also learn more about the GraphQL integration between AEM and Adobe Commerce and the extension hooks provided by the CIF Core Components.


Use the AEM Project archetype when starting your own commerce implementation.

What You Will Build

The Venia brand recently started manufacturing some products using sustainable materials and the business would like to display an Eco Friendly badge as part of the Product Teaser. A new custom attribute will be created in Adobe Commerce to indicate if a product uses the Eco friendly material. This custom attribute will then be added as part of the GraphQL query and displayed on the Product Teaser for specified products.

Eco Friendly Badge Final Implementation


A local development environment is required to complete this tutorial. This includes a running instance of AEM that is configured and connected to an Adobe Commerce instance. Review the requirements and steps for setting up a local development with AEM as a Cloud Service SDK. To follow the tutorial completely, you will need permissions to add Attributes to a Product in Adobe Commerce.

You will also need GraphQL IDE such as GraphiQL or a browser extension to run the code samples and tutorials. If you install a browser extension, make sure it has the ability to set request headers. On Google Chrome, Altair GraphQL Client is one extension that can do the job.

Clone the Venia Project

We will clone the Venia Project and then override the default styles.


Feel free to use an existing project (based on the AEM Project Archetype with CIF included) and skip this section.

  1. Run the following git command to clone the project:

    $ git clone
  2. Build and deploy the project to a local instance of AEM:

    $ cd aem-cif-guides-venia/
    $ mvn clean install -PautoInstallSinglePackage,cloud
  3. Add the necessary OSGi configurations to connect your AEM instance to an Adobe Commerce instance or add the configurations to the newly created project.

  4. At this point you should have a working version of a storefront that is connected to an Adobe Commerce instance. Navigate to the US > Home page at: http://localhost:4502/editor.html/content/venia/us/en.html.

    You should see that the storefront currently is using the Venia theme. Expanding the Main Menu of the storefront, you should see various categories, indicating that the connection to Adobe Commerce is working.

    Storefront Configured with Venia Theme

Author the Product Teaser

The Product Teaser Component will be extended throughout this tutorial. As a first step, add a new instance of the Product Teaser to the Home page to understand the baseline functionality.

  1. Navigate to the Home Page of the site: http://localhost:4502/editor.html/content/acme/us/en.html

  2. Insert a new Product Teaser Component into the main layout container on the page.

    Insert Product Teaser

  3. Expand the Side Panel (if not already toggled) and switch the asset finder dropdown to Products. This should display a list of available products from a connected Adobe Commerce instance. Select a product and drag+drop it onto the Product Teaser component on the page.

    Drag + Drop Product Teaser


    Note, you can also configure the displayed product by configuring the component using the dialog (clicking the wrench icon).

  4. You should now see a Product being displayed by the Product Teaser. The Name of the product and the Price of the product are default attributes that are displayed.

    Product Teaser - default style

Add a Custom Attribute in Adobe Commerce

The products and product data displayed in AEM are stored in Adobe Commerce. Next add a new attribute for Eco Friendly as part of the product attribute set by using the Adobe Commerce UI.


Already have a custom Yes/No attribute as part of your product attribute set? Feel free to use it and skip this section.

  1. Login to your Adobe Commerce instance.

  2. Navigate to Catalog > Products.

  3. Update the search filter to find the Configurable Product used when added to the Teaser component in the previous exercise. Open the product in edit mode.

    Search for Valeria Product

  4. From the product view, click Add Attribute > Create New Attribute.

  5. Fill out the New Attribute form with the following values (leave default settings for other values)

    Field Set Field Label Value
    Attribute Properties Attribute Label Eco Friendly
    Attribute Properties Catalog Input Type Yes/No
    Advanced Attribute Properties Attribute Code eco_friendly

    New Attribute form

    Click Save Attribute when finished.

  6. Scroll to the bottom of the product and expand the Attributes heading. You should see the new Eco Friendly field. Switch the toggle to Yes.

    Switch toggle to yes

    Save the changes to the product.

  7. Navigate to System > Tools > Cache Management. Since an update has been made to the data schema we need to invalidate some of the Cache Types in Adobe Commerce.

  8. Check the box next to Configuration and submit the cache type for Refresh

    Refresh Configuration Cache Type

Use a GraphQL IDE to Verify Attribute

Before jumping into AEM code it is useful to explore the GraphQL Overview using a GraphQL IDE. The Adobe Commerce integration with AEM is primarily done via a series of GraphQL queries. Understanding and modifying the GraphQL queries is one of the key ways in which the CIF Core Components can be extended.

Next, use a GraphQL IDE to verify that the eco_friendly attribute has been added to the product attribute set. Screenshots in this tutorial are using the Altair GraphQL Client.

  1. Open the GraphQL IDE and enter the URL http://<commerce-server>/graphql in the URL bar of your IDE or extension.

  2. Add the following products query where YOUR_SKU is the SKU of the product used in the previous exercise:

        filter: { sku: { eq: "YOUR_SKU" } }
        ) {
            items {
  3. Execute the query and you should get a response like the following:

      "data": {
        "products": {
          "items": [
              "name": "Valeria Two-Layer Tank",
              "sku": "VT11",
              "eco_friendly": 1

    Sample GraphQL response

    Note that the value of Yes is an integer of 1. This will be useful when we write the GraphQL query in Java.


    More detailed documentation about Adobe Commerce GraphQL can be found here.

Update the Sling Model for the Product Teaser

Next, we will extend the business logic of the Product Teaser by implementing a Sling Model. Sling Models, are annotation driven “POJOs” (Plain Old Java Objects) that implement any of the business logic needed by the component. Sling Models are used in conjunction with the HTL scripts as part of the component. We will follow the delegation pattern for Sling Models so that we can just extend parts of the existing Product Teaser model.

Sling Models are implemented as Java and can be found in the core module of the generated project.

Use the IDE of your choice to import the Venia project. Screenshots used are from the Visual Studio Code IDE.

  1. In your IDE, navigate under the core module to: core/src/main/java/com/venia/core/models/commerce/

    Core location IDE is a Java Interface that that extends the CIF ProductTeaser interface.

    Already a new method has been added named isShowBadge() to display a badge if the product is considered “New”.

  2. Add a new method, isEcoFriendly() to the interface:

    public interface MyProductTeaser extends ProductTeaser {
        // Extend the existing interface with the additional properties which you
        // want to expose to the HTL template.
        public Boolean isShowBadge();
        public Boolean isEcoFriendly();

    This is a new method we will introduce to encapsulate the logic to indicate if the product has the eco_friendly attribute set to Yes or No.

  3. Next, inspect the at core/src/main/java/com/venia/core/models/commerce/

    The delegation pattern for Sling Models allows MyProductTeaserImpl to reference ProductTeaser model via the sling:resourceSuperType property:

    @Via(type = ResourceSuperType.class)
    private ProductTeaser productTeaser;

    For all of the methods that we don’t want to override or change, we can simply return the value that the ProductTeaser returns. For example:

    public String getImage() {
        return productTeaser.getImage();

    This minimizes the amount of Java code an implementation needs to write.

  4. One of the extra extension points provided by AEM CIF Core Components is the AbstractProductRetriever which provides access to specific product attributes. Inspect the initModel() method:

    import javax.annotation.PostConstruct;
    @Model(adaptables = SlingHttpServletRequest.class, adapters = MyProductTeaser.class, resourceType = MyProductTeaserImpl.RESOURCE_TYPE)
    public class MyProductTeaserImpl implements MyProductTeaser {
        private AbstractProductRetriever productRetriever;
        /* add this method to initialize the productRetriever */
        public void initModel() {
            productRetriever = productTeaser.getProductRetriever();
            if (productRetriever != null) {
                productRetriever.extendProductQueryWith(p -> p.createdAt());

    The @PostConstruct annotation ensures that this method is called as soon as the Sling Model is initialized.

    Notice that that the product GraphQL query has already been extended using the extendProductQueryWith method to retrieve the additional created_at attribute. This attribute is later used as part of the isShowBadge() method.

  5. Update the GraphQL query to include the eco_friendly attribute in the partial query:

    private static final String ECO_FRIENDLY_ATTRIBUTE = "eco_friendly";
    public void initModel() {
        productRetriever = productTeaser.getProductRetriever();
        if (productRetriever != null) {
            productRetriever.extendProductQueryWith(p -> p

    Adding to the extendProductQueryWith method is a powerful way to ensure additional product attributes are available to the rest of the model. It also minimizes the number of queries executed.

    In the above code theaddCustomSimpleField is used to retrieve the eco_friendly attribute. This illustrates how you can query for any custom attributes that are part of the Adobe Commerce schema.


    The createdAt() method has actually been implemented as part of the Product Interface. Most of the commonly found schema attributes have been implemented, so only use the addCustomSimpleField for truly custom attributes.

  6. Add a logger to help debug the Java code:

    import org.slf4j.Logger;
    import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
    @Model(adaptables = SlingHttpServletRequest.class, adapters = MyProductTeaser.class, resourceType = MyProductTeaserImpl.RESOURCE_TYPE)
    public class MyProductTeaserImpl implements MyProductTeaser {
    private static final Logger LOGGER = LoggerFactory.getLogger(MyProductTeaserImpl.class);
  7. Next, implement the isEcoFriendly() method:

    public Boolean isEcoFriendly() {
        Integer ecoFriendlyValue;
        try {
            ecoFriendlyValue = productRetriever.fetchProduct().getAsInteger(ECO_FRIENDLY_ATTRIBUTE);
            if(ecoFriendlyValue != null && ecoFriendlyValue.equals(Integer.valueOf(1))) {
      "*** Product is Eco Friendly**");
                return true;
        } catch (SchemaViolationError e) {
            LOGGER.error("Error retrieving eco friendly attribute");
        }"*** Product is not Eco Friendly**");
        return false;

    In the above method the productRetriever is used to fetch the product and the getAsInteger() method is used to get the value of the eco_friendly attribute. Based on the GraphQL queries we ran earlier we know that the expected value when the eco_friendly attribute is set to “Yes” is actually an integer of 1.

    Now that the Sling Model has been updated, the Component markup needs to be updated to actually display an indicator of Eco Friendly based on the Sling Model.

Customizing the Markup of the Product Teaser

A common extension of AEM components is to modify the markup generated by the component. This is done by overriding the HTL script that the component uses to render its markup. HTML Template Language (HTL), is a lightweight templating language that AEM components use to dynamically render markup based on authored content, allowing the components to be re-used. The Product Teaser, for example, can be re-used over and over again to display different products.

In our case we want to render a banner on top of the teaser to indicate that the product is “Eco Friendly” based on a custom attribute. The design pattern for customizing the markup of a component is actually standard for all AEM Components, not just for the AEM CIF Core Components.


If you customize a component using the CIF product & category pickers like this Product Teaser or the CIF page component make sure you include the required clientlib for the component dialogs. See Usage of CIF product & category picker for details.

  1. In the IDE, navigate and expand the ui.apps module and expand the folder hierarchy to: ui.apps/src/main/content/jcr_root/apps/venia/components/commerce/productteaser and inspect the .content.xml file.

    Product Teaser ui.apps

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:cq="" xmlns:jcr=""
        jcr:description="Product Teaser Component"
        jcr:title="Product Teaser"
        componentGroup="Venia - Commerce"/>

    Above is the Component definition for the Product Teaser Component in our project. Notice the property sling:resourceSuperType="core/cif/components/commerce/productteaser/v1/productteaser". This is an example of creating a Proxy component. Instead of copying and pasting all of the Product Teaser HTL scripts from the AEM CIF Core Components, we can use the sling:resourceSuperType to inherit all of the functionality.

  2. Open the file productteaser.html. This is a copy of the productteaser.html file from the CIF Product Teaser

    <!--/* productteaser.html */-->

    Notice that the Sling Model for MyProductTeaser is used and assigned to the product variable.

  3. Modify productteaser.html to make a call to the isEcoFriendly method implemented in the previous exercise:

      data-sly-test="${isConfigured && hasProduct}"
      <div data-sly-test="${product.showBadge}" class="item__badge">
        <span>${properties.text || 'New'}</span>
      <!--/* Insert call to Eco Friendly here */-->
      <div data-sly-test="${product.ecoFriendly}" class="item__eco">
        <span>Eco Friendly</span>

    When calling a Sling Model method in HTL the get and is portion of the method is dropped and the first letter is lowercased. So isShowBadge() becomes .showBadge and isEcoFriendly becomes .ecoFriendly. Based on the boolean value returned from .isEcoFriendly() determines if the <span>Eco Friendly</span> is displayed.

    More information about data-sly-test and other HTL block statements can be found here.

  4. Save the changes and deploy the updates to AEM using your Maven skills, from a command line terminal:

    $ cd aem-cif-guides-venia/
    $ mvn clean install -PautoInstallSinglePackage,cloud
  5. Open a new browser window and navigate to AEM and the OSGi console > Status > Sling Models: http://localhost:4502/system/console/status-slingmodels

  6. Search for MyProductTeaserImpl and you should see a line like the following:

    com.venia.core.models.commerce.MyProductTeaserImpl - venia/components/commerce/productteaser

    This indicates that the Sling Model has been properly deployed and mapped to the correct component.

  7. Refresh to the Venia Home Page at http://localhost:4502/editor.html/content/venia/us/en.html where the Product Teaser has been added.

    Eco Friendly message displayed

    If the product has the eco_friendly attribute set to Yes, you should see the text “Eco Friendly” on the page. Try switching to different products to see the behavior change.

  8. Next open up the AEM error.log to see the log statements we added. The error.log is located at <AEM SDK Install Location>/crx-quickstart/logs/error.log.

    Search the AEM logs to see the log statements added in the Sling Model:

    2020-08-28 12:57:03.114 INFO [com.venia.core.models.commerce.MyProductTeaserImpl] *** Product is Eco Friendly**
    2020-08-28 13:01:00.271 INFO [com.venia.core.models.commerce.MyProductTeaserImpl] *** Product is not Eco Friendly**

    You also may see some stack traces if the product used in the teaser does not have the eco_friendly attribute as part of it’s attribute set.

Add Styles for the Eco Friendly Badge

At this point the logic for when to display the Eco Friendly badge is working, however the plain text could use some styles. Next add an icon and styles to the ui.frontend module to complete the implementation.

  1. Download the eco_friendly.svg file. This will be used as the Eco Friendly badge.

  2. Return to the IDE and navigate to the ui.frontend folder.

  3. Add the eco_friendly.svg file to the ui.frontend/src/main/resources/images folder:

    Eco Friendly SVG added

  4. Open the file productteaser.scss at ui.frontend/src/main/styles/commerce/_productteaser.scss.

  5. Add the following Sass rules inside the .productteaser class:

    .productteaser {
        .item__eco {
            width: 60px;
            height: 60px;
            left: 0px;
            overflow: hidden;
            position: absolute;
            padding: 5px;
        span {
            display: block;
            position: absolute;
            width: 45px;
            height: 45px;
            text-indent: -9999px;
            background: no-repeat center center url('../resources/images/eco_friendly.svg');

    Check out Styling CIF Core Components for more details around front-end workflows.

  6. Save the changes and deploy the updates to AEM using your Maven skills, from a command line terminal:

    $ cd aem-cif-guides-venia/
    $ mvn clean install -PautoInstallSinglePackage,cloud
  7. Refresh to the Venia Home Page at http://localhost:4502/editor.html/content/venia/us/en.html where the Product Teaser has been added.

    Eco Friendly Badge Final Implementation


You just customized your first AEM CIF component! Download the finished solution files here.

Bonus Challenge

Review the functionality of the New badge that has already be implemented in the Product Teaser. Try to add an additional checkbox for authors to control when the Eco Friendly badge should be displayed. You will need to update the component dialog at ui.apps/src/main/content/jcr_root/apps/venia/components/commerce/productteaser/_cq_dialog/.content.xml.

New Badge Implementation challenge

Additional Resources

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