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29-09-2020

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Debugging AEM: A Primer by Joey Smith

Abstract

One of the hardest things for me when starting with AEM was learning how to break problems down to figure out the root cause. There are so many moving parts in AEM, and most of them were either unfamiliar territory (Sling, Felix, the JCR), or are unique to AEM itself (things like Granite, Coral, the workflow engine, etc.) So, when I recently was forced to debug a problem which occurs in AEM out-of-the-box, I decided to write a detailed article laying some of the techniques I use to debug AEM when it isn’t doing what I think it should.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who is finding that their “DAM Update Asset” workflow disappears from the “Timeline” view, and you’d like to skip to the end, jump directly to “Restoring the DAM Update Asset Workflow”.

Introducing the Problem
For the past few AEM releases, every few months my end-users would re-open the same internal support ticket. “‘DAM Update Asset’ Workflow is unavailable in the siderail.”

We have a fairly large implementation of AEM Assets, disconnected from any AEM Sites instance, with a number of users who work in AEM every day but aren’t exactly…well, they’re graphics people. They refer to me as their “propeller-head”, so I think I’ll refer to them as my “Luddites”.

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Debugging AEM: A Primer

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