Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is one of the most powerful content management systems (CMS) on the market, usually reserved for enterprise-size companies. On the other hand, Magento has a wide range of options covering any size business needs. Although it was a bit of a shock when Adobe purchased Magento in 2018, it made sense to bring together these digital giants.

Now that these two technologies are under the same parent company, it only makes sense that integrations should become more manageable. With the introduction of the Commerce Integration Framework (CIF), Adobe has dramatically reduced the effort needed to bring ecommerce into your AEM website. Following the Venia PWA concept storefront, you can use the CIF to pull data from an existing Magento 2 backend into an AEM website. Using Magento as a headless ecommerce backend is attractive to existing website owners. AEM websites usually hold a considerable amount of content. Moving is not an option for many. With the growth of ecommerce, websites now need to do more than display content. By giving access to an equally scalable ecommerce solution like Magento, clients can add stores onto existing sites without worrying about existing content.

The CIF is made possible by two main things, AEM CIF Core Components and the AEM Commerce connector.

  • AEM CIF Core Components are like the AEM Sites Core Components that everyone familiar with the product knows and loves. Many of the new commerce components use React to overlay modern, user-friendly interface to interact with user administration aspects of Magento. Mainly these are the account and cart components. Through these React components, users will log in, create an account, and checkout. While extending these components on their own is not terrible, using the standard AEM extension pattern is not entirely possible. Aside from the issue of extending the React components, CIF Core Components are great. The pattern of using both dynamic pages and components means AEM authors have minimal work to do after all product data is in Magento.
  • The Commerce connector bridges the gap between Magento and AEM. It brings products and categories into AEM for authors to use while configuring components.

For now, what you can do with this product in AEM is somewhat limited without major customizations, but Adobe, without a doubt, will take care of that with future enhancements. As of writing this post, the CIF Core Components are on version 1.6 and have several substantial changes that we will go over in another post.