What does AEM as a Cloud Service changed in the release cycle of AEM?

In today’s article, I decided to take a closer look at the AEM releases roadmap and end-of-life matrix to see what vision Adobe has for the future product upgrades.

First of all, Adobe launched AEM as a Cloud Service which became an additional product stream (next to on prem version) in their portfolio and got a dedicated upgrade cycle.

So, at the moment, we do have three “streams” of AEM (as a product) that Adobe supports:

  • AEM 6.4 (on prem = not as a Cloud Service)
  • AEM 6.5 (on prem = not as a Cloud Service)
  • AEM as a Cloud Service

Let’s take a closer look at these.

AEM 6.4

This version has already almost three years (it was released on Apr, 4 2018) which according to Adobe’s strategy on version support will reach the end of core support on Apr, 30 2021 and the end of the extended support period two years later. Adobe is planning to release two more versions of Cumulative Fix Packs:

  • CFP 3 Nov 26 2020
  • CFP 4 Feb 25 2021

No surprise, 6.4 will not be supported by Adobe after 2020 (or 2021) as it was replaced by 6.5.

AEM 6.5

Compared to 6.4, the situation is a little bit more atypical when it comes to 6.5. Normally, we would expect that Adobe will support it till Aug 2022 (as it was released in 2019), but according to the Products and technical support periods there is no end date of core (and extended) support period. What happens instead?

“Service packs for AEM 6.5 will continue to be released quarterly. AEM 6.5 is the foundation for the continuous release approach. The most recent six service packs on AEM 6.5 will be supported.”

So it looks like AEM 6.5 is the last version of “named” AEM and has become a basis for any future updates that will be delivered quarterly through Service Packs.

More frequent updates are actually a very good news to us developers, as we can update the code incrementally and cyclically. Less frequent updates usually means a lot of things to rework.

Is it good for the customers? I think so, as long as the cyclical updates are planned in the project’s roadmap and the budgets for those activities are safe.

The only question that remains unanswered: is AEM as a Cloud Service going to be the only way to host AEM and on prem option will not be available? We probably need to wait a little longer to find the answer.

AEM as a Cloud Service

AEM as a Cloud Service is a completely different story. Monthly releases bring new features and more significant changes to the product, whilst critical updates might be available every single day. Since the upgrade process is managed directly in Cloud manager – you may consider looking at my previous article.

The upcoming releases for AEM as a Cloud Services are as follows.

You might be interested in my previous articles about the AEM upgrade: (why & when, the upgrade plan, how).

Sounds interesting?
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