Is AEM a Web Server?

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Larry Thompson

Is AEM a Web Server?

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is a powerful content management system (CMS) that allows businesses to create, manage, and deliver personalized digital experiences across various channels such as web, mobile, and social media. However, it’s important to note that AEM is not a web server itself but rather runs on top of a web server.

What is a Web Server?

Before diving into the topic, let’s first understand what a web server is. In simple terms, a web server is software that handles incoming requests from clients (usually web browsers) and responds by serving the requested files or executing specific tasks.

Web servers are responsible for hosting websites and applications on the internet. They receive HTTP or HTTPS requests and return HTML pages, images, CSS files, JavaScript files, and other resources to the requesting client.

AEM as an Application Running on a Web Server

AEM is designed to run on top of Java-based web servers such as Apache Tomcat or Adobe’s own Java Content Repository (JCR) implementation called Apache Jackrabbit Oak. It leverages the capabilities of these web servers to handle HTTP requests and serve content to users.

When you install AEM on your server, it deploys itself as an application within the chosen web server. It uses the underlying web server’s infrastructure to handle incoming requests and deliver content back to users.

AEM Architecture

AEM follows a modular architecture where different components work together to provide its functionality. At its core, it consists of two main components: the author instance and the publish instance.

  • The Author Instance: This is where content authors and editors create and manage the content. It provides a user-friendly interface for managing web pages, assets, workflows, and more.
  • The Publish Instance: This is the publicly accessible instance that serves content to end-users. It handles incoming requests, retrieves the required content from the repository, applies templates and personalization rules, and delivers the final HTML pages to users’ browsers.

Both the author and publish instances of AEM run on top of a web server. The web server acts as the intermediary between the user’s browser and AEM, handling all incoming requests and passing them on to AEM for processing.

Advantages of Using AEM with a Web Server

Running AEM on top of a web server offers several advantages. Here are a few key ones:

  • Scalability: Web servers are designed to handle large volumes of traffic efficiently. By leveraging a web server’s scalability features, AEM can handle high user loads without compromising performance.
  • Caching: Web servers often include caching mechanisms that can cache frequently accessed resources such as images or static HTML pages.

    This helps improve overall website performance by reducing server load and decreasing page load times.

  • Security: Web servers provide security features such as SSL/TLS encryption, access controls, and firewall protection. By utilizing these features, AEM deployments can ensure data privacy and protect against unauthorized access.

In Conclusion

AEM is not a web server itself but rather an application that runs on top of a web server. It utilizes the capabilities of the underlying web server to handle incoming requests, serve content, and provide a seamless digital experience.

Understanding this distinction is crucial when setting up and managing AEM deployments, as it helps ensure optimal performance, scalability, and security.

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