Today we’re going to take a detailed look at Super Authors – a categorization of contributors that developers set when assigning permissions during an implementation. Super Authors in AEM have control over various configurations within the environment. The development team sets these configurations to allow non-developers to fine-tune marketing material. AEM super authors can be segmented (grouped) like author contributors based on brand(s) and/or department(s) within an organization.
In general, it’s best practice for AEM developers and architects to keep super authors in mind when solutioning and developing in AEM. Developers can focus on consolidating design and policy configurations at the design dialog level, which will simplify authoring while providing high-level of customization without developer intervention. This article will cover AEM best practices for out of the box (OOTB) functionality for a super author to meet content objectives, content growth, and effectively structure marketing content.
Most companies will create a super author category when they need to create editable templates based on template types. As AEM developers, it is best to design unique template types per page structure rather than specific static templates. This will empower super authors to further extend template types into new editable templates as per their marketing objectives.
For example, you can limit your unique template types to 2-3 that meet most business requirements at the epic level for a website information architecture. From these template types (template of templates), super authors can create additional templates, like various content page types (product, careers, etc.) or experience fragments (blog, press release, newsletters, etc.). This allows for a minimalist, yet strong, developer footprint and (super) authoring to organically expand on template types. Ultimately, designing for super authors allows businesses to pivot and create templates that suit their marketing goals and objectives without involving developers.
To supercharge the above, an AEM developer can leverage the AEM Style System and template policy properties for site/brand-wide design at the template-type level. The AEM Style System allows custom styles to be managed by the super author at the template’s page policy level. Super authors can then define HTML class attributes in the template’s content policy for individual components therefore allowing a content author to utilize pre-defined and managed styles when editing the look/feel of a component on a page.