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kautuk_sahni
Community Manager

14-09-2020

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AEM - an upgrade to 6.5 - how? by Krzysztof Ryk

Abstract

Is it worth upgrading to 6.5?
Shortly speaking: yes. 6.5 is an evolved version of 6.4 that brings many improvements and bug fixes, including:

● Headless CMS,

● SPA improvements,

● Core Components upgrade,

● Remote DAM & Sites Authoring sync,

● Adobe Asset link Extension with AEM Assets,

● Adobe Stock integration,

● AEM Desktop App 2.0.

You can find a complete list here.

These changes are important, that’s for sure, but are they worth investing time and money to upgrade? That’s an open question.

What is, however, unquestionable is the fact that AEM is going to the Cloud. For some customers, it may be a very attractive and beneficial move. The one that will not be possible without updating to 6.5.

Last but not least, Adobe has just released AEM Service Pack 6 (!), so we are now on 6.5.6. Given that 6.5.0 was released in April 2019, it is a very mature and stable version of the product.

What is your current version of AEM?
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That is a crucial question. Depending on the answer, you may get a gut feeling of how complicated the upgrade process will be.

Adobe has recently made a lot of significant changes in AEM:

● 5.6 -> 6.0 was a revolutionary step (CRX was replaced by Jackrabbit Oak, therefore, you have to migrate CRX2 repositories using the crx2oak tool)

● 6.3 introduced a new format for SegmentNodeStore which also requires a repository migration (including downtime)

Each of these significant changes introduces another level of complexity to the upgrade process. To cut a long story short:

● 6.4 -> 6.5 will not be a problem, in-place is possible

● 6.3 -> 6.5 should be fine, in-place is possible

● <6.3 -> 6.5 (especially 5.x -> 6.5) will be a challenge, in-place may not be possible

AEM upgrade is not a task, it is a project
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As you probably remember from my previous article, the AEM upgrade is not a simple task and has to be carefully planned. What I did not mention last time is that even if you plan the process well, it will still take a significant amount of time to execute it. Adobe confirms that in the upgrade documentation: Upgrading AEM is a multi-step, sometimes multi-month process.

The older your current version of AEM is the more complicated and longer the process of the upgrade will become, and unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

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