A collection includes content that appears in the app. As a standard example, a collection can be an issue of a magazine that includes multiple articles. However, a collection can be more than that. A collection can also contain articles, banners, other collections, and in the future items such as videos.

To create or edit collections, you must sign in using an Adobe ID that has content rights for the project.

Content Organization video

Content Organization video
Create the navigation of the mobile app by structuring the content. (4 min)

Creating a collection

Creating a collection requires content creation permissions.

  1. In the On-Demand Portal (https://aemmobile.adobe.com), click Content & Layouts, and then click Collections.

    Depending on your project settings, you will see either a single “default” collection or “default tablet” and “default phone” collections. These special collections, called top-level collections, determine which content appears in your app, which item is the home screen, and which items appear in the top-level structure.

  2. Click Create to add a collection.

  3. Specify a Collection Title, and specify other metadata as described later in this article.

    For Collection Name, type a name that is unique within the project. Do not use spaces.

    Before you can publish a collection, you must specify a Product ID and use the Images tab to upload a collection image.

    Collection Properties
  4. Use the Layout tab to assign a layout to the collection.

    The layout help determine the appearance of the collection browse page. For details, see Creating cards and layouts.

  5. Preflight the collection to preview it. Publish the collection if you want it to appear in your production app.

    Before you can view the collection in your app, make sure that you set up your top-level nav collection, as described later in this article.

    For details, see Previewing project content for AEM Mobile or Publishing content for AEM Mobile apps.

Collection Metadata settings

Collection metadata is important in the AEM Mobile workflow. Some metadata options, such as Collection Title and Abstract, can appear in the app menu and in card metadata fields. Other metadata options, such as Reading Position and Collection Open Default, affect app behavior. And other metadata options, such as Collection Importance and Department, can be used to determine how collections are mapped to cards.  

Collection Name This option is used only for internal reference.

Collection Title This option can appear in the app menu and in cards.

Collection Short Title If specified, the Collection Short Title is used in the app menu.

Abstract Specify a collection description.

Short Abstract Specify a shorter collection description.

Product ID You can either create a Product ID or select a Product ID that was already created in the Products & Subscriptions section of the Portal. Every collection must be associated with a Product ID. The Product ID is especially important if the collection is not free. For retail collections, the associated Product ID must match the Product ID value specified in the store, such as the iTunes App Store. See In-app purchases and subscriptions for AEM Mobile apps.

The recommended format for Product IDs is reverse DNS, such as com.company.app.collectionname.

If your project includes a large number of Product IDs, only the 300 most recent Product IDs appear in the drop-down list. If the Product ID you want to use does not appear in the list, type the name of the existing Product ID.

Department/Category You can use the Department and Category options to help divide your app into sections.

Keywords Keywords are primarily used for mapping collections to cards. For example, you can map a large card to any collections with a keyword value of "featured." In the future, the plan is for keywords to be used for searching within the app, allowing your users to filter collections by the keywords you specify.

Internal Keywords Internal keywords are used only for internal purposes, such as mapping cards to collections. Internal keywords will not be exposed to app users.

Reading Position If you choose Remember, the reading position is maintained when a users exits and returns to the collection. If you choose Reset, the reading position is cleared when a user exits and returns to the collection.

Enable Horizontal Swipe to Navigate Content If you select this option, users can swipe left and right to navigate to the next article. If you turn off this option, users must tap navigation buttons to move to the next article.

This option can also be used to prevent users from swiping to display additional top-level items. If you deselect this option for the top-most collection in your top-level collection, users cannot swipe to a different collection; instead, they must tap a card to navigate.

Do not confuse this option with the "Horizontal Swipe Only" option that appears when exporting InDesign articles. The "Horizontal Swipe Only" option determines whether pages of the exported InDesign article are displayed horizontally or vertically.

Allow user to save collection to their device If you select this option, and if users have access to a collection, they can tap an icon in the upper right corner of the browse page to download the collection explicitly. Contents of a downloaded collection will not be purged even if users reach the maximum of 300 MB of content stored in cache. Users can tap the icon to make the collection purgeable again.

When you enable explicit downloading in a collection, only the articles in that collection are downloaded, not the articles in sub-collections.

Collection Open Default If you choose Browse Page, the collection opens to a browse page that contains cards that represent its content. If you choose Content View, the collection opens to the first article in the collection.

Note that even if Content View is selected, the collection browse page appears if the collection is accessed through the top-level collection, such as tapping an item in the app menu. The collection must be accessed through a card or navto link in order to open to the first article.

Collection Importance This option is especially useful for mapping cards to collections. For example, you can map collections with a high importance to larger cards.


Adding items to a collection

You can add articles, banners, and other collections to a collection.

  1. In Content & Layouts, click Collections, and select a collection.
  2. Click Add Content to add items to the collection.
  3. Select the items you want to add, and click Add.

The items are added to the collection in the order in which you selected them. These items will appear in the collection.

Click the plus icon to add items to the selected collection
Adding items to the selected collection.

You can also use the Content Map section of the Portal to add items to a collection.

A collection can include a maximum of 450 items.

Reordering or removing items in a collections

You can click the arrow next to a collection to view a quick preview of the collection's contents. To rearrange or remove items in a collection, you need to go into edit mode.

  1. To edit a collection's contents, double-click the collection, or select the collection and click the Edit Content in Collection icon.
  2. Drag the arrows in the right column to change the order of items. Select an item and click the minus icon to remove the item.

You can also use the Content Map section of the Portal or reorder and remove items in a collection.

Double-click a collection to edit its contents. Drag items to change their order
Double-click a collection to edit its contents. Drag items to change their order.

Uploading collection images

Use the Images tab to upload a required thumbnail image and an optional background image to the collection. The thumbnail image can appear as one of the cards on a collection layout, allowing users to tap the thumbnail image to open the collection.

You can also add a background image that can appear when the collection browse page is displayed.

The images you specify will be centered, scaled, and cropped to fill the card image area.

  1. In Content & Layouts > Collections, select the collection you’re working on.
  2. Click Edit, and then click the Images tab.
  3. Click Upload, and then double-click the file you want to use for the thumbnail image or the background image.
  4. Click Done.

See Optimizing content for AEM Mobile apps.

Use the Images tab to upload images
Use the Images tab to upload images.

Understanding top-level nav collections

When you create a project, you indicate whether you want to use the same top-level collection for phones and tablets, or use different top-level collections for phones and tablets. These default collections determine top-level content. The items you add to top-level collections have the following behavior:

  • Items added to the top-level collection appear in the app menu.
  • The top-most item in the top-level collection appears when the app is launched. This item is sometimes called the "home" collection or "initial launch" collection.
  • If the top-most item is an article, the article will appear when the app is launched. We recommend that you use a collection instead of an article for your initial launch.
  • When any item in the top-most collection is displayed, users can swipe left and right to cycle through top-level content by default. To disable swiping between top-level content, you can deselect "Enable horizontal swipe to navigate content" in the top-level collection properties.
  • If a collection is set to "Content View" and added to the top-level, that collection will be displayed as a browse page when accessed from the top level—either through the App Menu or swiping in the top level. When that collection is accessed through other methods, such as tapping a card or hyperlink, Content View is honored.
  • Articles added to the top-level collection in an iOS or Android app are prevented from being purged from memory when the cache is full. Therefore, all articles in the top-level collection are still available for viewing even if the device is offline.
Top-level items appear in the app menu.

Using Content Map

With the intuitive Content Map interface, you can drag and drop items to add, delete, and reorder content. Manage top-level swiping and provide a clear visual representation of your app structure for phone, tablet, and web viewer.

All items in the top row are “top-level” and shown in the app menu. The first item in the top row is what users see when they first launch the app.

Drag and drop content from the lower section to add it to the structure.

Drag and drop items from the lower section into the upper section to create the app structure.

Click the + icon below a collection to expand it; Shift-click the + icon to expand the collection without collapsing others.

Shift-click the + icon to expand multiple collections.

To remove an item, hover over the item and click the X in its upper right corner.

Move or reorder an item by dragging it in the upper section. Drag an item between items to add or move. Drag the item onto a collection to add it to the collection.

When dragging and dropping, the blue highlight indicates where the item will appear.

Customize structure view using these methods:

  • Use the zoom controls in the upper right corner.
  • Toggle thumbnails on or off.
  • Use Filter option in upper struture to show only collections. Use the Filter option in the lower pane to control which items are available (similar to filtering in Content/Collections sections of Portal).

Content Mapping video

Content Mapping video
Use Content Map to rearrange, add, and remove content and determine the organization of the app. (5 min)

Editing the top-level nav collection

Items you add to the default collection become top-level content. Top-level content items appear in the app menu. The top-most item in the top-level collection is displayed when the app launches. This top-most item is sometimes called the "home" or "first read" content. It can be either a collection or an article, making a collection the top-most item is recommended.

  1. Create collections and any other content that you want to appear in the app.

  2. In Content & Layouts > Collections, click the “default” collection (or "default tablet" or default phone"), and then click Edit.

  3. Click the Images tab, click Upload under Collection Image, and specify any image.

    The image you specify for the top-level collection does notappear in the app; however, at this time, it’s still required.

  4. With the default collection selected, click Add Content.

  5. Select the collections you want to add, and click Add.

    Make sure that the top-most item in the top-level collection is what you want to display when the app launches. The top-most collection is sometimes called the “home” collection. Double-click the collection title to reorder items.

  6. Click the Preflight icon to preview the app content.

Sorting and filtering collections in the Portal

For information about sorting and filtering collection items, see Managing articles for AEM Mobile: Sorting and filtering.