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Migration to AEMaaCS. All InDesign files next to useless. Local links instead of dam links.


Community Advisor

Dear Community,

i know you contain the best and brightest people the internet has to offer.
Please hear my plea and point me to where i did things wrong,

or even better point me in the right direction to get rid of this huge dealbreaker problem i face with the AEMaaCS. 

We migrated do AEMaaCS - imported all our files via bulk import from an S3 - every 
InDesign file now next to useless.

All links still go to a local filepath.

No other way to update these links except to do it manually, one link at a time.

No viable option, since every manual adjustment represents a potential source of error.


If we check the file in the browser - probably the reference-processing-service or the reference-adjustment-service seems to update the meta information. So if you check an InDesign files details with the meta data editor  - in the "dependencies" point, all the links are listed with the correct DAM path of the linked image.
BUT this is only in the UI.

The InDesign file still links to the local path and does not update its links.
The here the links are to the users harddrive which created the file.
for example:

Macintosh HD:Users:username:documents:001-project-folder:logo.eps
instead of:


So the next person who wants to work with this InDesign file can not work with it unless he repairs all the links, manually, one by one.
Now imagine we have thousands of documents and they contain often more than 500 links.

We are trying to get rid of this with a script, which takes the URL path from the DAM and updates it into the document.
Adobe has not offered any solution, and believe me - we called for help as often and as loudly as one can.
We did not found anybody else who could provide the script.

I am baffled by this. How can this be? Has anybody a simple solution? Is there a solution at all?
I can not imagine that every company after the migration has to update every existing file or start from zero.
This is not only a problem with the initial import - this would reoccur for every file that gets made by a media agency.
There simply must be a way to import your InDesign files into the system and update the InDesign file so the link is not broken.

Currently running:
Adobe InDesign 17.3
Asset Link 3.1.65
AEM RELEASE: 2022.6.7904.20220629T070041ZREGION: WEST EUROPE

But this problem is not new.
First time reported to Adobe via in November 2021. Still not solved. 


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1 Accepted Solution


Correct answer by
Community Advisor

The asset link just got an Update that seems to solve this issue!

View solution in original post

5 Replies


Level 8



Sorry for the current issue you are having. Have you tried to use the AEM Desktop App to relink these files. Here are the details on the AEM Desktop App - 


Where to Download the App



How to Use It




Indesign documents with previously linked files will need to update these files references to point to the new DAM location.


Please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psn4d8xHDW4 It is a bit out of date, but instructive nonetheless.


When you start up the Desktop App, it will create a local virtual drive called "DAM". It may be located under a folder called "localhost".


This is the cache of files downloaded from AEM. Relinking in Indesign is simply a matter of:

  1. Downloading (or "revealing") the DAM Assets to your local cache
  2. Updating the Indesign links to reference the cached location.


The links should now work for all other users who download the Indesign file.


Community Advisor

Hi there,

thank you very much for your reply. I am sorry to say that it does not save us from disaster.
Yes it is possible to connect a missing link. Via mounting the DAM with the desktop manager or simply via the asset link extention.
After installing the adobe asset link, you get an an extra button in the links pannel
"relink from adobe asset link". So it is not impossible to relink images, but you would have to relink them manually, one link after the other, for every document.

This link is not bidirectional like the AEM 6.5 release note says.

Because AEMaaCS seems to be a different breed of DAM.

As soon as the image gets relocated within the structure of the DAM, a link between InDesign and Image gets broken and one needs to repair relink the image again.
What confuses me to the point of despair is that the AEM seems to be able to find all references within the UI - but is unable to write this image URL path straight in the InDesign file - so one could use this information and profit from the Reference-processing-service / Reference-adjustment-service the system already has.

Imagine i receive an InDesign file from a media agency that works for us.
I import this file in the AEM and the AEM does recognize after the processing, that every single image within the file is already located within our dam.
In the preferences - under dependencies - It lists me every image with the correct current location of all those images. 
The InDesign file on the other hand has only broken links, worse, they still link to the local harddrive from that media agency.
With the current system i now have to relink 800 images, manualy, one after the other and i have to do that every time an agency lays hand on a file.

To make things worse, the DAM structure is not based on projects/broschures but on department/range/product.

So to repair a broschure i can not search every picture within the same path. This would take forever and ever with no change of getting finished. 
And in the meantime the AEM UI mocks me with an overview within the reference pannel where every link is shown with the correct path. ;(

Hi Adilos

Were you finally able to find a solution?

Your answer is highly appreciated.



Community Advisor

Hi Marcus, since we have already talked on linkedin, this response is a bit late.
But to have it for everybody else who might stumble upon this tread: 
This was my response...

We found different ways to solve it.
Sadly, from all possible solutions that we have found, the one that we had chosen is not implemented correctly as i write this. 
All of the solutions came with some Pro's and Con's.

My personal favorite (was not chosen):
The company freedomdam (https://freedomdam.com) had developed something that would have solved it all.
In the presentation i saw it was named "The Relinkinator". 100% my type of humor.
This Relinkinator was implemented into InDesign as another Window that gave the user, within InDesign, the option to Check and refresh links,
based on the filename. The user then could see clickable links in a panel to the files that were found on the DAM.
The pannel gave the user multiple options, from what i remember were all the options we could have wished for.
Update, Refresh, Ignore... Something along those lines.
With the clickable link you can have a quick look. Is the file the right one or what was in the timeline of the picture in question...

Another Company that was suggested was Silicone Publishing (https://www.siliconpublishing.com)
They had something similar, but sadly i wasn't invited to the presentation.
This means i can not write anything here about the look or feel of the tool. 
I simply was told that it could have been a viable solution.

We talked a bit more with Adobe about our desperate situation.
Adobe then started to develop a workflow that should do the trick. 
I have tested it on our DEV enviroment. Some issues are left to be fixed and sadly it is currently not implemented on the PROD enviroment.

The solution provided by Adobe now is not a Script for InDesign but a Workflow for the AEM
- which is good, since it can be triggered even by people that do not have InDesign.

This workflow uses media extraction to get the information which is already in the DAM to then create a new InDesign file.
This new file has its links to the dam.

Since the AEM is not able to produce indd files, an additional InDesign Server is needed. 
And since the InDesign Server is not able to overwrite the indd file, it has to create a new file.
This new file can then be downloaded, deleted from the AEM, locally checked, renamed and then gets re-uploaded as a version.

I hope people that have the same issue will have it much easier in the future. 
I still don't believe that this company that i have such a high regard for, adobe, did not have a OOTB solution to this.
And that we use data in such a unique way that the AEM does not work four us.
How many calls we had to explain the problem... I started to wonder what we do so much differently than any other company that uses the AEM Assets.


Correct answer by
Community Advisor

The asset link just got an Update that seems to solve this issue!