Configure AEM for SPA Editor

While the SPA codebase is managed outside of AEM, an AEM project is required to setup supporting configuration and content requirements. This chapter walks through the creation of an AEM project that contains necessary configurations:

  • AEM WCM Core Components proxies
  • AEM Remote SPA Page proxy
  • AEM Remote SPA Page Templates
  • Baseline Remote SPA AEM pages
  • Subproject to define SPA to AEM URL mappings
  • OSGi configuration folders

Download the base project from GitHub

Download the aem-guides-wknd-graphql project from This will contain some baseline files used in this project.

$ mkdir -p ~/Code
$ git clone
$ cd remote-spa-tutorial

Create an AEM project

Create an AEM project in which configurations and baseline content are managed. This project will be generated within the cloned aem-guides-wknd-graphql project’s remote-spa-tutorial folder.

Always use the latest version of the AEM Archetype.

$ cd ~/Code/aem-guides-wknd-graphql/remote-spa-tutorial
$ mvn -B archetype:generate \
 -D archetypeGroupId=com.adobe.aem \
 -D archetypeArtifactId=aem-project-archetype \
 -D archetypeVersion=39 \
 -D aemVersion=cloud \
 -D appTitle="WKND App" \
 -D appId="wknd-app" \
 -D groupId="com.adobe.aem.guides.wkndapp" \
 -D frontendModule="react"
$ mv ~/Code/aem-guides-wknd-graphql/remote-spa-tutorial/wknd-app ~/Code/aem-guides-wknd-graphql/remote-spa-tutorial/com.adobe.aem.guides.wknd-app

The last command simply renames the AEM project folder so it is clear it’s the AEM project, and not to be confused with Remote SPA_

While frontendModule="react" is specified, the ui.frontend project is not used for the Remote SPA use case. The SPA is developed and managed externally to AEM and only uses AEM as a content API. The frontendModule="react" flag is required for the project include the spa-project AEM Java™ dependencies and set up the Remote SPA Page Templates.

The AEM Project Archetype generates the following elements that used to configure AEM for integration with the SPA.

  • AEM WCM Core Components proxies at ui.apps/src/.../apps/wknd-app/components
  • AEM SPA Remote Page proxy at ui.apps/src/.../apps/wknd-app/components/remotepage
  • AEM Page Templates at ui.content/src/.../conf/wknd-app/settings/wcm/templates
  • Subproject to define content mappings at ui.content/src/...
  • Baseline Remote SPA AEM pages at ui.content/src/.../content/wknd-app
  • OSGi configuration folders at ui.config/src/.../apps/wknd-app/osgiconfig

With the base AEM project is generated, a few adjustments ensure SPA Editor compatibility with Remote SPAs.

Remove ui.frontend project

Since the SPA is a Remote SPA, assume it’s developed and managed outside of the AEM project. To avoid conflicts, remove the ui.frontend project from deploying. If the ui.frontend project is not removed, two SPAs, the default SPA provided in the ui.frontend project and the Remote SPA, is loaded at the same time in the AEM SPA Editor.

  1. Open the AEM project (~/Code/aem-guides-wknd-graphql/remote-spa-tutorial/com.adobe.aem.guides.wknd-app) in your IDE

  2. Open the root pom.xml

  3. Comment the <module>ui.frontend</module out from the <modules> list

    code language-none
        <!-- <module>ui.frontend</module> -->

    The pom.xml file should look like:

    Remove ui.frontend module from reactor pom

  4. Open the ui.apps/pom.xml

  5. Comment out the <dependency> on <artifactId>wknd-app.ui.frontend</artifactId>

    code language-none
        <!-- Remote SPA project will provide all frontend resources

    The ui.apps/pom.xml file should look like:

    Remove ui.frontend dependency from ui.apps

If the AEM project was built before these changes, manually delete the ui.frontend generated Client Library from the ui.apps project at ui.apps/src/main/content/jcr_root/apps/wknd-app/clientlibs/clientlib-react.

AEM content mapping

For AEM to load the Remote SPA in the SPA Editor, mappings between the SPA’s routes and the AEM Pages used to open and author content must be established.

The importance of this configuration is explored later.

The mapping can be done with Sling Mapping defined in /etc/map.

  1. In the IDE, open the ui.content subproject

  2. Navigate to src/main/content/jcr_root

  3. Create a folder etc

  4. In etc, create a folder map

  5. In map, create a folder http

  6. In http, create a file .content.xml with the contents:

    code language-none
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:jcr=""
  7. In http , create a folder localhost_any

  8. In localhost_any, create a file .content.xml with the contents:

    code language-none
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:jcr=""
  9. In localhost_any , create a folder wknd-app-routes-adventure

  10. In wknd-app-routes-adventure, create a file .content.xml with the contents:

    code language-none
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    The 'wknd-app-routes-adventure' mapping, maps requests to the SPA's adventure route
    to it's corresponding page in AEM at /content/wknd-app/us/en/home/adventure/xxx.
    Note the adventure AEM pages are created directly in AEM.
    <jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:jcr=""
  11. Add the mapping nodes to ui.content/src/main/content/META-INF/vault/filter.xml to they included in the AEM package.

    code language-none
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <workspaceFilter version="1.0">
        <filter root="/conf/wknd-app" mode="merge"/>
        <filter root="/content/wknd-app" mode="merge"/>
        <filter root="/content/dam/wknd-app/asset.jpg" mode="merge"/>
        <filter root="/content/experience-fragments/wknd-app" mode="merge"/>
        <!-- Add the Sling Mapping rules for the WKND App -->
        <filter root="/etc/map" mode="merge"/>

The folder structure and .context.xml files should look like:

Sling Mapping

The filter.xml file should look like:

Sling Mapping

Now, when the AEM project is deployed, these configurations are automatically included.

The Sling Mapping effects AEM running on http and localhost, so only support local development. When deploying to AEM as a Cloud Service, similar Sling Mappings must be added that target https and the appropriate AEM as a Cloud Service domain/s. For more information, see the Sling Mapping documentation.

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing security policies

Next, configure AEM to protect the content so only this SPA can access the AEM content. Configure Cross-Origin Resource Sharing in AEM.

  1. In your IDE, open the ui.config Maven subproject

  2. Navigate src/main/content/jcr_root/apps/wknd-app/osgiconfig/config

  3. Create a file named com.adobe.granite.cors.impl.CORSPolicyImpl~wknd-app_remote-spa.cfg.json

  4. Add the following to the file:

    code language-none
            "https://external-hosted-app", "localhost:3000"

The com.adobe.granite.cors.impl.CORSPolicyImpl~wknd-app_remote-spa.cfg.json file should look like:

SPA Editor CORS configuration

The key configuration elements are:

  • alloworigin specifies which hosts are allowed to retrieve content from AEM.

    • localhost:3000 is added to support the SPA running locally
    • https://external-hosted-app acts as a placeholder to be replaced with the domain that Remote SPA is hosted on.
  • allowedpaths specify which paths in AEM are covered by this CORS configuration. The default allows access to all content in AEM, however this can be scoped to only the specific paths the SPA can access, for example: /content/wknd-app.

Set AEM Page as Remote SPA Page Template

The AEM Project Archetype generates a project primed for AEM’s integration with a Remote SPA, but requires a small, but important adjustment to auto-generated AEM page structure. The auto-generated AEM page must have its type changed to Remote SPA page, rather than a SPA page.

  1. In your IDE, open the ui.content subproject

  2. Open to src/main/content/jcr_root/content/wknd-app/us/en/home/.content.xml

  3. Update this .content.xml file with:

    code language-none
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:cq="" xmlns:jcr="" xmlns:nt=""
            jcr:title="WKND App Home Page"
                        text="&lt;p>Hello World!&lt;/p>"
                        <cq:responsive jcr:primaryType="nt:unstructured"/>

The key changes are updates to the jcr:content node’s:

  • cq:template to /conf/wknd-app/settings/wcm/templates/spa-remote-page
  • sling:resourceType to wknd-app/components/remotepage

The src/main/content/jcr_root/content/wknd-app/us/en/home/.content.xml file should look like:

Home page .content.xml updates

These changes allow this page, which acts are the SPA’s root in AEM, to load the Remote SPA in SPA Editor.

If this project was previously deployed to AEM, make sure to delete the AEM page as Sites > WKND App > us > en > WKND App Home Page, as the ui.content project is set to merge nodes, rather than update.

This page could also be removed and re-created as a Remote SPA Page in AEM itself, however since this page is auto-created in the ui.content project it is best to update it in the code base.

Deploy the AEM Project to AEM SDK

  1. Ensure that AEM Author service is running on port 4502

  2. From the command line, navigate to the root of the AEM Maven project

  3. Use Maven to deploy the project to your local AEM SDK Author service

    code language-none
    $ mvn clean install -PautoInstallSinglePackage

    mvn clean install -PautoInstallSinglePackage

Configure the root AEM page

With the AEM Project deployed, there is one last step to prepare SPA Editor to load our Remote SPA. In AEM, mark the AEM page that corresponds to the SPA’s root,/content/wknd-app/us/en/home, generated by the AEM Project Archetype.

  1. Log in to AEM Author

  2. Navigate to Sites > WKND App > us > en

  3. Select the WKND App Home Page, and tap Properties

    WKND App Home Page - Properties

  4. Navigate to the SPA tab

  5. Fill out the Remote SPA Configuration

    • SPA Host URL: http://localhost:3000
      • The URL to the root of the Remote SPA

    WKND App Home Page - Remote SPA Configuration

  6. Tap Save & Close

Remember that we changed this page’s type to that of a Remote SPA Page, which is what allows us to see the SPA tab in its Page Properties.

This configuration only must be set on the AEM page that corresponds to the root of the SPA. All AEM pages beneath this page inherit the value.


You’ve now prepared AEM’s configurations and deployed them to your local AEM author! You now know how to:

  • Remove the AEM Project Archetype-generated SPA, by commenting out the dependencies in ui.frontend
  • Add Sling Mappings to AEM that map the SPA routes to resources in AEM
  • Set up AEM’s Cross-Origin Resource Sharing security policies that allow the Remote SPA to consume content from AEM
  • Deploy the AEM project to your local AEM SDK Author service
  • Mark an AEM Page as the Remote SPA’s root using the SPA Host URL page property

Next Steps

With AEM configured, we can focus on bootstrapping the Remote SPA with support for editable areas using AEM SPA Editor!