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Headful and Headless in AEM | AEM Community Blog Seeding

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Headful and Headless in AEM by Adobe

Abstract

Adobe Experience Manager projects can be implemented in both headful and headless models, but the choice isn’t binary. AEM offers the flexibility to exploit the advantages of both models in one project. This document provides and overview of the different models and describes the levels of SPA integration.

Overview
AEM offers powerful tools to manage both the creation of content and its delivery in one platform. This is a traditional “headful” model of content management, where the content authors and developers work on the same platform to deliver the experiences to the content consumers.

AEM can also be used to simply manage content, allowing presentation and delivery of the content to be managed by another platform. This is the “headless” model of content management, where the content authors and developers work on different platforms to deliver experience to the content consumers.

But this need not be a binary choice. AEM offers unprecedented flexibility, allowing you to exploit the advantages of both models for your project.

In a headful or full-stack model, the content is managed in the AEM repository and AEM components based on Java, HTL, etc. are used to render the content for the user experience. In this model, creating the content, styling it, presenting it, and delivering it all happen in AEM.

In a headless model, the content is managed in the AEM repository, but delivered via APIs such as REST and GraphQL to another system to render the content for the user experience. In this model, content is created in AEM, but styling it, presenting it, and delivering it all happen on another platform.

Single Page Applications (SPAs) are often the destination for content delivered headlessly by AEM. However, these SPAs need not be entirely external to AEM. AEM allows you to decide to what degree your SPAs are integrated into AEM. Let’s take an example.

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Headful and Headless in AEM

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