AEM Headless CMS Developer Journey aem-headless-developer-journey

Welcome to the documentation for developers who are new to Adobe Experience Manager headless CMS!

Learn about the powerful and flexible headless features, their capabilities, and how to use them on your first headless development project. This journey provides you with all the information you need to develop your first headless application.

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Introduction introduction

The Headless implementation of AEM uses Content Fragments Models and Content Fragments to focus on the creation of structured, channel-neutral, and reusable fragments of content and their cross-channel delivery. To achieve this it forgoes page and component management as is traditional in full stack solutions. It is a modern and dynamic development pattern for implementing digital experiences.

This guide leads you through headless implementation topics in AEM so when you are done you can:

  • Have a full understanding of what headless content delivery is and its benefits.
  • Understand AEM’s headless features and how they work together to deliver a headless experience.
  • Take the first steps implementing your first AEM headless project.
If you prefer to learn by doing and have existing knowledge of AEM, visit the AEM Headless tutorials, which are organized by API and framework and are available in the Additional Resources section at the end of this document.

Audience audience

This journey is designed for the developer persona, laying out the requirements, steps, and approach of an AEM Headless project from a developer’s perspective. The journey defines additional personas with which the developer must interact for a successful project, but the point-of-view for the journey is that of the developer.

The following are the personas that interact in this journey.

Role in This Journey
Developer (target audience)
Has experience developing headless applications which consume content from different sources
Target audience of this journey
Content Author
Creates and manages content that is delivered headlessly
Content Authors create content that the developer delivers headlessly.
Manages the base setup and configuration of AEM
The developer works with the administrator to make configuration changes needed for development.
Content Architect
Analyzes the requirements for the data that must be delivered headlessly and defines the structure for this data
Developers work with the content architect to understand the structure of the data and requirements for delivering it headlessly.

The Headless Developer Journey the-journey

We will cover many topics in this journey, which will provide you with the foundational knowledge of headless in AEM.

Although you can go directly to a particular part of the journey, many concepts are built on ones in previous articles. Adobe recommends that you start at the beginning and progress sequentially.

AEM Headless Developer Journey
This document
Learn about CMS Headless Development
Learn about Headless Technology and when to use it.
Getting Started with AEM Headless as a Cloud Service
Learn about AEM Headless prerequisites
Path to your first experience using AEM Headless
Setup your development environment and learn how to integrate a simple app with AEM Headless
How to model your content
Learn how to model your content structure.
How to access your content via AEM delivery APIs
Learn how to use GraphQL queries to access your Content Fragments content.
How to update your content via AEM Assets APIs
Learn how to use REST API to access and update your Content Fragments content.
How to put it all together - your app and your content in AEM Headless
Learn how to take your AEM Project and prepare it for going live with the AEM Headless SDK.
How to go live with your headless application
Learn how to deploy the application live and take your local code in Git and move it to Cloud Manager Git for CI/CD pipeline.
Optional - How to create single page applications (SPAs) with AEM
Explore how to combine headful and headless delivery and learn how you can create editable SPAs using AEM’s SPA Editor framework.

What’s Next what-is-next

Get started by checking out the next article: Learn about CMS Headless Development.

Choose Your Own Adventure choose-your-path

Do you prefer to learn at your own pace? Check out these options:

  • If you prefer to continue to learn about headless concepts and AEM’s headless technologies, you should continue your AEM headless journey as recommended by next reviewing the document How to Model Your Content as AEM Content Models where you learn how to model your content structure in AEM.
  • If you prefer to learn by doing, you can jump to the Getting Started with AEM Headless hands-on tutorial where you will jump directly into AEM Headless development by implementing a simple project to expose AEM headless content.

Additional Resources additional-resources

Documentation journeys show you how AEM solves a business problem by providing a narrative that guides you through related processes and features. A journey illustrates how multiple features work together to serve a single business need.

Check out these additional journeys for more information on how AEM’s powerful features work together.