AEM Assets as a Cloud Service Explained

Hemalatha Chockalingam
4 min readMar 3


What is AEM Assets
AEM Assets is a digital asset management system that enables Customer to store, discover, share and distribute digital assets; AEM Assets Essentials is a lightweight edition of AEM Assets. With AEM Assets users can manage, store, and access images, videos, documents, audio clips, and rich media for use on the web, in print, and for digital distribution.

Current Pain point for Customers using AEM Assets

Concurrent ingestion of large number of assets or complex assets is resource-intensive task for an Experience Manager Author instance. The primary instance consumes considerable CPU, memory, and I/O resources when assets are added, processed, or even migrated. Such performance issues impact authoring and browsing experience of end users.

How this problem is addressed with AEM Assets as a Cloud Service

This problem would be solved since we would be doing asset ingestion and processing with asset micro services with AEM Assets as a Cloud Service. Asset micro services provide a scalable and resilient processing of assets using cloud services. Processing of assets is done outside of Experience Manager environment, and saves its resources (CPU, memory) for providing key Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionalities and supporting interactive work with the system for end users.

Assets as a Cloud Service

A cloud-native, PaaS solution for businesses to not only perform their Digital Asset Management and Dynamic Media operations with speed and impact, but also use next-generation smart capabilities, such as AI/ML, from within a system that is always current, always available, and always learning. Experience Manager Assets as a Cloud Service is based on Adobe Experience Manager.

Key facts:
AEM Assets pricing model is based on the number of users and storage. Customer may use up to 500 Light Users. You can buy add on if you need extra users. Asset Micro services runs in the server less Adobe I/O runtime.

Notable changes with AEM Assets as a cloud service

Only Touch-enabled user interface is available. Classic UI is completely removed.

The default workflow DAM Asset Update in previous versions of Experience Manager is no longer available. Instead, asset micro services provide a scalable, readily available service that covers most of the default asset processing (renditions, metadata extraction, and text extraction for indexing). To have customized workflow steps in the processing, post-processing workflows can be used.

High-level architecture
A high-level architecture diagram depicts the key elements of asset ingestion and processing and flow of assets across the system.

The key steps of the ingestion and processing using asset micro services are:

  1. Clients, such as web browsers or Adobe Asset Link, send an upload request to Experience Manager and start uploading the binary directly to the binary cloud storage.
  2. When the direct binary upload completes, the client notifies Experience Manager.
  3. Experience Manager sends a processing request to asset micro services. The request contents depends on the processing profiles configuration in Experience Manager that specify, which renditions to generate.
    Asset micro services back-end receives the request, dispatches it to one or more micro services based on the request. Each micro service accesses the original binary directly from the binary cloud store.
    Results of the processing, such as renditions, are stored in the binary cloud storage.
  4. Experience Manager is notified that the processing is complete along with direct pointers to the generated binaries (renditions). The generated renditions are available in Experience Manager for the uploaded asset.

Ways to upload assets with AEMAACS Assets

  • Using Standard Assets GUI in AEM
  • Via Adobe Asset Link
  • Via AEM Desktop App
  • Custom upload using Open-source upload library & Open-source command-line tool

Assets - supported file formats

Key Adobe file formats produced by Adobe applications and services, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD, Adobe Dimension, and Adobe Acrobat or PDF.

Key imaging file formats:
1) Camera Raw file formats for a wide range of cameras, including Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, Olympus, and other manufacturers (powered by Adobe Camera Raw).

2) Common document formats, including Microsoft Office and Open Document formats.

3) Wide range of video and audio formats.

For detailed file formats kindly refer —



Hemalatha Chockalingam

Tech Savvy | Blogger | Art addict | Wanderlust