Learn how to publish assets and their renditions from AEM Author to AEM Publish.

Before we jump into this video, note that only AEM environments that have been licensed with AEM published support will be able to use the published capabilities. AEM assets only deployments may not have AEM publish available. So double check this before attempting to publish assets.
Assets in AEM are uploaded managed in the AEM author service where dam users, via marketers, creators, or reviewers collaborate on assets. Assets and their renditions can of course be downloaded directly from the AEM author service using the download capability. However, this requires some access to the AEM author service. Alternatively, assets can be shared externally by publishing them to the AEM publish service. Once on AEM publish, these assets in their renditions can be directly accessed via URL. So, in AEM parlance, the terms publish, activate and replicate are all synonyms that need to take content from AEM author and send it to AEM publish. Similarly, the terms unpublished and deactivate are synonyms as well, and mean removing content from AEM publish. So, to publish an asset from AEM author to AEM publish, select the asset or assets to publish, and tap on one of the publish options in the top action bar. There are two ways of doing this. First is quick publish, which immediately cues the selected assets up for publication and pushes them to AEM publish, and second, manage publication, which opens a wizard that allows for some more advanced behavior. First ensure the publish action is selected. Then select when the publication should occur. Selecting now causes the assets to be immediately published to AEM publish, very similar to the quick action, or later it can be chosen where a future date and time can be selected. And when this time is reached AEM automatically publishes these assets. I’ll select a later date and time for now. The second page of the wizard, or the scope, lists all the assets that are part of this publication set, allowing them to be reviewed and optionally removed. If scheduling had been set to the now option this would be the last screen of the wizard, and completing it would immediately publish these selected assets. Since we selected later, a third step in the wizard is presented that collects information about the AEM workflow that manages the schedule of publication. Filling this out is often helpful for others to understand what logical sets of content are part of the schedule of publication. Similarly, the workflow package that contains the list of assets for publication can be optionally saved for posterity as well.
Once an asset is published, the publish icon shows up on its listing.
And it comes available on the AEM published service accessible at the same path it exists on AEM author. We can verify this by clicking into and publish asset, navigating into its renditions, and copying the URL of a rendition. Keep in mind, this is the AEM author URL, so when we place it in a new tab to test it, we need to update the AEM host name to point to its published counterpart. Note that while we’re simply downloading these asset files directly in this video for illustrative purposes, these published URLs can be used for other used cases such as powering websites, mobile apps, or other experiences, or even being made available to other services and systems via custom integrations creating the separation of publish assets on AEM publish and the super set of managed assets on AEM author provides a clean separation between assets that are ready for general use or in other words, published or assets that are still being worked on AEM author. Similarly to publishing, assets that have already been published can be unpublished, or deactivated. The way to do this is similar to publishing. Select the assets and tap the manage publication button.
Ensure the unpublished action is selected.
And just like publish you have two options, to unpublish now, which causes them to be immediately removed from AEM publish, or schedule for them to be unpublished at a later date and time.
Once I’m published, the assets are no longer available on the publish service and indicated as such on their listing as well.
Asset folders too, can be the targets of publication. This is typically used in folder properties that affect behavior on AEM published service need to be published out. Quick publish only publishes folders, configurations and not any assets therein. We can verify this by clicking into this quick published folder, and seeing that none of the assets in the folder are marked as published. Another common use case is publishing all assets of a folder. For this, simply add an asset folder to the selection, tap manage publications, navigate to the scope, select the folder in the list, tap publish references, and from here assets in the folder can be selected for publication.
Clicking into this folder we see all the selected assets have the publish icon, indicating they’ve been sent to AEM publish and available via direct URL. It’s worth mentioning that by default, publish assets are anonymously accessible. Meaning a user does not have to be authenticated to AEM publish service to access them. They simply need to know the URL to the asset or rendition. To protect assets on AEM publish, closed user groups, or for short CUGs, are used to provide AEM publish level permission. These are managed via asset folder properties and can be applied to asset folders to limit access to the assets within those folders.
Keep in mind whenever CUGs change on a folder, those folders must be published for their changes to take effect. -

Ensure you AEM Assets deployment has an AEM Publish service licensed prior to publishing assets.