AEM's Content Fragments and Experience Fragments may seem similar on the surface, but each play key roles in different use cases. Learn how Content Fragments and Experience Fragments are similar, different, and when and how to use each.

Content Fragments and Experience Fragments comparison

  Content Fragments (CF) Experience Fragments (XF)
Definition
  • A Content Fragment (CF) is editorial/semantic copy and media. Content Fragments require AEM Component(s) render in an experience.
  • An Experience Fragment (XF) is a group of one or more components including content and layout.

 

Core Tenants
  • Text-based content, often long-form.
  • The text is the canonical content; CF metadata, mixed-media and associated assets are not sufficient to logically represent the the CF.
  • Requires the channel to provide style, layout and design.
  • Content-first, channel-second world view.
  • Defines design and layout of content.
  • May contain content of its own or source from CF's, assets, or elsewhere.
  • Can be used "as is" in channels.
  • Composed of one or more AEM components, to create a cohesive experience.
  • Content and channel considerations equally important.
Variations
  • Within the CF itself, the Master variation acts as the canonical variation.
  • Variations tend to be summarizations of the Master variation.
  • Variations are use-case specific, which may or may not align with channels.
  • Variations are channel or context specfic.
  • Variations are defined more by changes in design, layout and experience than the underlying content.
Re-use
  • Content Fragments can be used in XF via CF components.
  • Sync, Diff and Summarization tooling optimizes CF variation creation and maintenance.
  • Supports translation/localization by AEM.
  • Intended to be re-used; "Single use XF" is an oxymoron. 
  • XF-based Live Copy optimizes variation creation and maintenance.
  • Supports translation/localization by AEM.
Delivery
  • Requires OOTB CF components to render on AEM.
  • Renders on AEM-own channels via OOTB XF component.
  • OOTB support of publication to Facebook and Pintrest.

Content and Experience Fragments working together

Content and Experience Fragments have different use cases as outlined above, and thus, they work together to great effect to optimize web content managent and promote re-use across AEM pages and beyond. The diagram below illustrated how Content Fragments, Experience Fragments and AEM pages all work in concert to deliver maintainable and compelling experiences to users.

Content Fragments vs Experience Fragments
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Supporting materials

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