Set up Asset Templates with AEM Assets and InDesign Server

Last update: 2023-06-27
  • Created for:
  • Intermediate

Asset Templates allows marketers create, manage and deliver digital assets for digital and print. Creating marketing brochures, business cards, flyers, ads and post cards are much easier with Asset Templates when integrated with InDesign server. Configuration of InDesign server with AEM is covered in this section.


In this video, we will be discussing about how we can install and integrate InDesign CC server to work with Adobe Experience Manager. The InDesign server can be integrated with AEM assets. So that the files created with InDesign files can be uploaded to AEM assets. Different rendition so that the InDesign files can be generated, and all media files are extracted. For example, video is stored as assets within AEM.

To get started, let’s go ahead and install the InDesign CC server.

Also make sure your AEM instance is up and running.

Step one. We should download and install the InDesign CC server from the following webpage. Click on the InDesign CC server download option and log in using your Adobe ID or enterprise ID.

Select the latest InDesign version available and click on the “Download” option.

Once a download is complete, navigate to the folder where you have the DMG file and click open it and proceed with the installation steps.

Step two. Once the installation is complete, navigate to the applications folder where you have installed the InDesign server and launch the InDesign Server from the terminal using the following command.

Once a command gets executed, you should be able to see the servicing SOAP request in the port number 806 message on your console.

At this point, your InDesign server is up and running.

Step three. Let’s navigate back to the browser and open a new tab and go to Tools.

Click on the cloud service’s configuration and then select the cloud proxy service configuration.

Click and open the ideas proxy worker configuration and then click on the ideas worker edit option, and make sure the ideas port has the same port number on which your InDesign and server is running.

To fully upload files to AEM assets that you have created with Adobe InDesign, a secure DAM proxy is used. A proxy worker is used to communicate with the Adobe InDesign server, where scripts are run to extract metadata and generate various renditions for AEM assets.

The proxy worker enables the two-way communication between the InDesign server and the AEM instance in a cloud configuration.

Therefore, we might need to update the DAM asset workflow. This is only necessary if the default values are not appropriate for your instance.

Open AEM home page in a new tab and click on “Tools”, then “Workflow”, “Models”, and then select the DAM update model.

Make sure you have the InDesign media extraction in the workflow model step, and check the default values and scripts.

Now, we have successfully completed the integration, and let’s explore how to upload InDesign files to AEM and see how the media extraction and storing takes place.

Open a new tab and navigate to the AEM homepage. Click on the AEM homepage and select “Navigation”. Click on “Assets” and then choose the template.

Select the travelling folder, and then click on the “Create” option to upload a file.

Select the InDesign file from your desktop and click “Upload”.

If you navigate back to the console, you should be able to see various scripts getting executed when we upload an InDesign file to AEM.

Various renditions with the InDesign file are created, which includes the XHTML, IDML, PDF, and XML.

Images are also extracted from the InDesign file and stored under JCR content.

Let’s see where all the exported content lives in CRXDE. Open a new tab and navigate to the AEM homepage. Click on the Omni search and search for CRXDE.

And, from the search result, navigate to CRXDE.

Click on the content, DAM, templates, traveling, and now, you should be able to see the recently uploaded InDesign file.

JCR stores metadata, different renditions, and assets for the original InDesign file, which is extracted with the help of an InDesign server.

Let’s open the PDF rendition for the InDesign file in a new tab and check out how it looks.

XML rendition stores all tag information associated with the InDesign file. Let’s open the XML rendition and check out the existing tags in the InDesign file.

The page one title is a tag, and “traveling through mountains” is a text value associated with the tag. Let’s open the InDesign file and find out the tag utilities and how each field is mapped to its respective tag.

Click on “Window”, “Utilities”, and then select “Tags”. You should be able to see a tag panel.

The page one title is a tag and “traveling through mountains” is a text value associated with the tag. When you click on the page one title tag, you can notice that the text field gets highlighted with a specific color. Designers can create and assign tags to objects in the InDesign file.

Tag objects are later used by marketers to edit content while creating assets based on this InDesign template.


AEM must be connected to a running InDesign server when the INDD template is uploaded. Part of the initial processing on the INDD file requires InDesign server.

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Starting InDesign Server

# macOS command

$ /Applications/Adobe\ InDesign\ CC\ Server\ 2017/InDesignServer -port 8080

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