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The Central Migration Bridge (CMB) service lets you use a core set of Central Server functions in the AEM Forms environment. You can continue to use the input data files that you have been using with Central, while bringing your forms and other processing into AEM.

The CMB service is not intended for general Output use case. It is aimed for those who have a Central Output Server implementation and are migrating to AEM Forms. To use the CMB service, you require a valid license for Central Pro Output Server 5.7/5.7.1.

Installing the CMB service package

To be able to use the CMB service, perform the following steps to install the CMB package from the Software Distribution:

  1. Ensure that the AEM Forms add-on package is installed. For information about installing the add-on package, see Installing AEM Forms add-on package.
  2. Open Software Distribution. You require an Adobe ID to log in to the Software Distribution. Download the package to your machine.
  3. Log in to http://[hostname]:[port]/crx/packmgr/index.jsp. The default udername/password is admin/admin.
  4. Upload and install the downloaded package

To know more about package installation, see How to Work with Packages.

CMB operations

CMB provides Central Tranformation and Central Data Access operations to convert legacy assets to XML for processing using AEM services and workflows.

Central Transformation operation

The Central Transformation operation converts structured text and overlay text to acceptable formatted data. The Central Transformation operation converts data created in ASCII format, including fixed length, character-delimited, overlay, XML, and Central-proprietary field-nominated format. It converts such data to XML or field-nominated format.

This operation also provides a scripting capability that you can use to modify an existing data file. Here are some applications for this scripting capability:

  • Modify the data into a format that you can merge with a form design.
  • Transform existing data, such as dates, from MM-DD-YYYY to DD-MM-YYYY format.
    The operation accepts a string representing command-line options that are passed to the Central JFTRANS command.
    The Central Transformation operation runs the Central JFTRANS command (Central Transformation Agent). This operation uses the jftrans.ini file in the same way that Central Pro uses it.

Central Data Access operation

The Central Data Access operation provides access to certain elements of a field-nominated data file (DAT file). It extracts the ^ field, ^ global, ^ form, and ^ job commands from the data file and transforms them into an intermediate XML document. 

Note: The Central Data Access operation does not fully convert field-nominated data files into an equivalent XML representation. Instead, it converts specific elements into an intermediate XML representation.

Installation considerations

The CMB service interacts directly with the Central Pro (version 5.7/5.7.1) executable files. You must have Central Pro installed on the same server as AEM Forms. However, it is not a prerequisite to installing AEM Forms. In other words, you can install Central Pro after installing AEM Forms. Consult the Central Pro documentation set for installation instructions.

Configuring Central Pro Installation directory for CMB

By default, the CMB service uses the default Central Pro installation path. If Central Pro is installed in a different location, update the Central Install Directory configuration for the CMB service through the Configuration Manager in Felix console.

After installing the CMB package, if Central Pro is not installed in the default location, do the following to point AEM to the correct directory:

  1. Log in to the Felix console (http://<aemserver:port>/system/console/configMgr).

  2. Click OSGi> Configuration.

  3. Search for AEMFD OutputCentral Service.

  4. Click Edit.

  5. Type the path to the Central Pro installation directory.

  6. Click Save.


CMB provides operations that fork corresponding Central Pro executable as a separate process with suitable command line options. CMB APIs expose the most frequently used command line options as an input parameter to the operations. This component uses the existing Central Pro installation from the same machine where AEM Forms is installed.

The following is the general execution sequence for the APIs:

  • Take input from the user and convert them into relevant command line options.
  • Create a process using ProcessBuilder and pass all command line options.
  • The result contains the output and several metadata files.
  • Return the result to enable the user to pass it to the next step of the orchestration.

CMB service also provides the centralDataAccess operation that allows you to convert the ^JOB card in the incoming data file and some other job options into XML format to make them easier to read and use from within AEM. You can configure the number of bytes centralDataAccess will process from the start of the data file. However, it should be kept as low as practical.

API Name



Method Description Parameters
CentralResult centralTransformation(Document inDataDoc, Document inDataModelDoc, String inIniFilePath, String inAllOtherOptions) This method invokes the jftrans command in Central Pro
  • inDataDoc: Data file (.data)
  • inDataModelDoc: Data definition file
  • iniFilePath: iniFile
  • inAllOtherOptions: Passed as is to command
Document centralDataAccess(Document inDataDoc, int inMaxBytesToProcess) Converts data models (.dat) file to XML, which can be used to read values using xpath
  • inDataDoc: Data file (.data)
  • inMaxBytesToProcess: Maximum number of bytes to process. Subsequent data is ignored.

API Name


Parameter Description
Document logDoc Log file
Document responseDoc jetform.rsp file
Document traceDoc Trace document that can be passed to API again as preamble
Document resultDoc //formatted output doc (pdf/pcl)