Thinking content means thinking customization. At least for those who’ve heard the bell. But sometimes, one size actually does fit (almost) all, pretty well – and that’s the case with AEM’s Core Components.
They are an essential part of the Adobe Experience Manager and make page creation simple but powerful, while helping you follow all the latest web design best practices. Still, components are very flexible, and developers can create custom ones. But be aware: Custom components are often limited, having only one goal, which means that they commonly can’t be reused.
The core components, on the other side, are of general nature and can be reused, coming out-of-the-box - components for buttons or text, to give an obvious example, will be used all over the whole site. Taking full advantage of AEM core components can actually save your website project – not just in development, but also when it comes to user experience. Let us show you how – and why.
1. Out-of-the-box functionality
Most of the Core Components’ standard functionalities will already do what you expect of them. For example, the Link List component lets you use child pages or custom links for your list.
With Core Components, your developers also don’t have to use precious time on writing the user documentation – and they can focus on what brings your project forward. Core Components are pretty bullet proof; you can expect them to be bug-free. It’s pretty sure that your users won’t experience any functionality problems. But once anything should indeed not be working right, Adobe is prompt to fix problems, or your developers could write a custom fix themselves, if you really cannot wait.
2. Stick to the core
The key to a successful usage of Core Components within your project is to stick to the standard functionality – that will not only save you a lot of time, but, first of all, save you any possible hassle. Core components come already with lots of options and functionalities, so that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You can create most, if not all, necessary assets on your site via Core Components – from text and images to calls to action or content highlights, all fully documented and tested. Your website will go live smoother and sooner without unnecessary changes – and still count with all essentials.
3. But what if you don't?
Let’s assume you want a custom component from scratch, for example for an image. This means you have to analyze carefully what functionality you’re exactly aiming for – and how to get there. Still, the component may not do what you expected it to.
Change of scenery: You’ll take the Core Component for images and decide to take it from there. If the feature you have in mind should really be missing here, remember: Everything is documented! By looking into the source code of the Core Components and reading the documentation, your developers will quickly understand how to extend them with the desired functionality. But be advised once more: Analyze well beforehand whether the Core Component really needs to be extended. Chances are that otherwise, you’ll end up using way more custom components than necessary.
With Core Components, you get a nice package of comprehensive components that already work − and you don’t have to spend much time on defining and developing functionality. But there can be limitations. To add extra functionality, you’ll still end up customizing. Before going for custom developments, analyze carefully what you want, what you need and which functionality may already exist within the Core Components – as they might actually will do the trick for you.