Unexpected image missing or broken links after asset move and publish in Experience Manager

When you publish assets before the move operation fully completes, it may result in images going missing or links breaking on the published pages. This article explains the mechanisms behind such occurrences and the potential consequences they entail.

Description description


Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as a Cloud Service


AEM’s behavior varies according to the replication permissions of the user:

  • Users with Replication Permissions : Such users, when moving or renaming a published asset, trigger AEM to update the links on pages referencing the asset to align with the changes. Simultaneously, AEM initiates an Unpublish/Publish cycle for the asset and the pages.
  • Users without Replication Permissions : When a user moves a published asset, AEM updates the links on referencing pages and requests Unpublish/Publish approval from administrators. Once approved, AEM conducts the Unpublish/Publish cycle.

Issues arise when an asset awaiting Unpublish/Publish approval gets published by a user with replication permissions. This premature publishing leads to the asset being unpublished from its original path and republished at the new path; yet the links on referencing pages are not updated, resulting in broken links.

The following illustrates the sequence and possible issues when users with different replication permissions interact with asset move operations.


User A without Replication permission
User B with Replication permission

Initial State on Author and Publish Instances:

On both Author and Publish instances, the asset asset_original.jpg exists and is referenced on PageA.

Step-by-Step Issue Reproduction

Step 1:  User A renames asset_original.jpg to asset_renamed.jpg. The renamed asset is now awaiting approval and is marked as “In Workflow…” on the Author instance. On the Publish instance, the asset remains as asset_original.jpg.

Step 2:  User B publishes asset_renamed.jpg on the Author instance. Consequently, on the Publish instance, the asset is renamed, but PageA still references asset_original.jpg, leading to a broken link.

Resolution resolution

To reduce the risk of broken links due to asset moves, it’s important to quickly approve or complete any pending asset move operations.

In previous releases, the replication queue could get blocked without moving the original assets on the Publish instance. However, as of Release 15977, AEM has been enhanced to move the original assets on the Publish instance and prevent such blockages in the replication queue.

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