Understand Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

Adobe Experience Manager’s Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) facilitates non-AEM web properties to make client-side calls to AEM, both authenticated and unauthenticated, to fetch content or directly interact with AEM.

Adobe Granite Cross-Origin Resource Sharing Policy OSGi configuration

CORS configurations are managed as OSGi configuration factories in AEM, with each policy being represented as one instance of the factory.

  • http://<host>:<port>/system/console/configMgr > Adobe Granite Cross Origin Resource Sharing Policy

Adobe Granite Cross-Origin Resource Sharing Policy OSGi configuration

Adobe Granite Cross-Origin Resource Sharing Policy (com.adobe.granite.cors.impl.CORSPolicyImpl)

Policy selection

A policy is selected by comparing the

  • Allowed Origin with the Origin request header
  • and Allowed Paths with the request path.

The first policy matching these values will be used. If none is found, any CORS request will be denied.

If no policy is configured at all, CORS requests will also not be answered as the handler will be disabled and thus effectively denied - as long as no other module of the server responds to CORS.

Policy properties

Allowed Origins

  • "alloworigin" <origin> | *
  • List of origin parameters specifying URIs that may access the resource. For requests without credentials, the server may specify * as a wildcard, thereby allowing any origin to access the resource. It is absolutely not recommended to use Allow-Origin: * in production since it allows every foreign (i.e. attacker) website to make requests that without CORS are strictly prohibited by browsers.

Allowed Origins (Regexp)

  • "alloworiginregexp" <regexp>
  • List of regexp regular expressions specifying URIs that may access the resource. Regular expressions can lead to unintended matches if not carefully built, allowing an attacker to use a custom domain name that would also match the policy. It is generally recommended to have separate policies for each specific origin hostname, using alloworigin, even if that means repeated configuration of the other policy properties. Different origins tend to have different life-cycles and requirements, thus benefitting from clear separation.

Allowed Paths

  • "allowedpaths" <regexp>
  • List of regexp regular expressions specifying resource paths for which the policy applies.

Exposed Headers

  • "exposedheaders" <header>
  • List of header parameters indicating request headers that browsers are allowed to access.

Maximum Age

  • "maxage" <seconds>
  • A seconds parameter indicating how long the results of a pre-flight request can be cached.

Supported Headers

  • "supportedheaders" <header>
  • List of header parameters indicating which HTTP headers can be used when making the actual request.

Allowed Methods

  • "supportedmethods"
  • List of method parameters indicating which HTTP methods can be used when making the actual request.

Supports Credentials

  • "supportscredentials" <boolean>
  • A boolean indicating whether or not the response to the request can be exposed to the browser. When used as part of a response to a pre-flight request, this indicates whether or not the actual request can be made using credentials.

Example configurations

Site 1 is a basic, anonymously accessible, read-only scenario where content is consumed via GET requests:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<jcr:root xmlns:sling="http://sling.apache.org/jcr/sling/1.0" xmlns:jcr="http://www.jcp.org/jcr/1.0"

Site 2 is more complex and requires authorized and unsafe requests:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<jcr:root xmlns:sling="http://sling.apache.org/jcr/sling/1.0" xmlns:jcr="http://www.jcp.org/jcr/1.0"

Dispatcher caching concerns and configuration

Starting with Dispatcher 4.1.1+ response headers can be cached. This makes it possible to cache CORS headers along w the CORS-requested resources, as long as the request is anonymous.

Generally, the same considerations for caching content at Dispatcher can be applied to caching CORS response headers at dispatcher. The following table defines when CORS headers (and thus CORS requests) can be cached.

Cacheable Environment Authentication Status Explanation
No AEM Publish Authenticated Dispatcher caching on AEM Author is limited to static, non-authored assets. This makes it difficult and impractical to cache most resources on AEM Author, including HTTP response headers.
No AEM Publish Authenticated Avoid caching CORS headers on authenticated requests. This aligns to the common guidance of not caching authenticated requests, as it is difficult to determine how the authentication/authorization status of the requesting user will effect the delivered resource.
Yes AEM Publish Anonymous Anonymous requests cache-able at dispatcher can have their response headers cached as well, ensuring future CORS requests can access the cached content. Any CORS configuration change on AEM Publish must be followed by an invalidation of affected cached resources. Best practices dictate on code or configuration deployments the dispatcher cache is purged, as it’s difficult to determine what cached content may be effected.

To allow the caching of CORS headers, add the following configuration to all supporting AEM Publish dispatcher.any files.

/cache {
  /headers {

Remember to restart the web server application after making changes to the dispatcher.any file.

It is likely clearing the cache entirely will be required to ensure the headers are appropriately cached on the next request after a /cache/headers configuration update.

Troubleshooting CORS

Logging is available under com.adobe.granite.cors:

  • enable DEBUG to see details about why a CORS request was denied
  • enable TRACE to see details about all requests going through the CORS handler


  • Manually recreate XHR requests using curl, but make sure to copy all headers and details, as each one can make a difference; some browser consoles allow to copy the curl command
  • Verify if request was denied by the CORS handler and not by the authentication, CSRF token filter, dispatcher filters, or other security layers
    • If CORS handler responds with 200, but Access-Control-Allow-Origin header is absent on the response, review the logs for denials under DEBUG in com.adobe.granite.cors
  • If dispatcher caching of CORS requests is enabled
    • Ensure the /cache/headers configuration is applied to dispatcher.any and the web server is successfully restarted
    • Ensure the cache was properly cleared after any OSGi or dispatcher.any configuration changes.
  • if required, check presence of authentication credentials on the request.

Supporting materials

On this page