Adobe AEM (CQ5) and OpenText TeamSite: 10 things in common

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Among  enterprise-class web experience management systems, the two most sophisticated systems that are often pitted against each other are HP TeamSite and Adobe Experience Manager. Both Forrester and Gartner rank these products highly and often place them as leaders in the digital experience (aka content marketing/ web experience management/digital engagement/ customer experience management) space.

Technologically, at their core, the products are very different. A developer may cringe to read “similar” and these product names in the same sentence. However, we are going to look at it from the perspective of a business user – a marketer who potentially uses this system versus a technical administrator or developer.

From a business perspective, they tend to serve a similar purpose for a similar audience. They both provide a way to manage, engage and measure digital customer experiences (See Forrester’s Wave report or Gartner’s Magic Quadrant)

In this blog, we talk about the common features between the HP TeamSite and Adobe Experience Manager (previously called CQ or CQ5).

1. Authoring & Publishing:
Both systems have an authoring and a rendering platform. Business Users author content by using a web browser. Content is activated/pushed/published/deployed to a separate runtime environment (server or group of servers) that renders and serves content to web visitors.

2. Page templates:
They both provide page templates and have a rendering process to display content. A Page template could be an empty shell or packed with business+design logic – allowing developers to create the necessary authoring experience.

3. Mobile friendly/Mobile First:
They both allow you to create Mobile versions of a website and provide emulators to preview content in various devices. Of course, client-side Responsive, or RWD is supported by both systems.

For adaptive design – where the server determines the HTML to be sent to the user’s device, TeamSite uses Trilibis. Adobe Experience Manager uses similar HTML tags for rendering device specific content as explained here.

4. Page construction model:
They both use a page ‘fragment model’. You build a webpage from smaller pieces of the page called “Components”. AEM’s Component model is more sophisticated as it allows a rich “clientlib” architecture that allows CSS and JS pre-processors. This means, with the right architecture, you can control and optimize your page footprint for faster performance. TeamSite, on the other hand, depends on client-side logic including newer fameworks like React.js to be used that more or less achieve the same result.

5. Dynamic content:
Both allow you to dynamically pull content from their respective content repositories and transform the content to meet web-page needs. AEM uses OSGi Bundles that allows you to do powerful java based processing, while TeamSite has a POJO like concept using Java ‘externals’. From a business perspective, suffice it to know that they both provide “back-end” frameworks to integrate with other systems.

6. Workflows:
They both provide workflows to meet content governance needs. Their workflow management and development tools are built into the product, requiring no separate installations.

7. Multi-variate Testing:
They both allow you to do MVT and A/B testing. TeamSite has an add-on module called Optimost that lets you create such Tests. Adobe AEM’s Test&Target module achieves the same.

8. Segmentation and targeting:
They both allow you to segment and target audience and provide customizable content depending on business rules.

9. Taxonomy management:
They both allow content to be Tagged. Tagging of content allows easy search and classification of content based on customizable taxonomies.

10. Customizable and (yes) Expensive:
Last, but not least, they are both intended to satisfy complex requirements, as is often the case for large organizations. They are both highly configurable which is both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. The extensible nature of these products and the bells and whistles they provide are also a reason for their high licensing costs.