Constructing a Session in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM)

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), as a content management system, depends on sessions to interact with its Java Content Repository (JCR). A session in AEM represents a single atomic access to the repository and is used to perform operations like reading, creating, or deleting nodes. Here, we will explore the process of creating a session in AEM.

Key Takeaways

  • A session in AEM represents a single atomic access to the JCR, used for operations such as reading, creating, and deleting nodes.
  • Creating a session involves acquiring a resource resolver, adapting it to a session, performing operations, and ultimately closing the session.
  • Understanding how to create and manage a session is crucial for interacting with the JCR and managing your content in AEM.

Understanding Sessions in AEM

In AEM, a session encapsulates both read and write access to the underlying content repository. It’s essentially a per-user, per-workspace context in which operations can be performed. It’s important to remember that sessions are expensive resources. Therefore, they should be handled carefully — opened when needed, and closed as soon as possible.

Acquiring a Resource Resolver

In AEM, a ResourceResolver is a key service used to resolve resources. Before creating a session, we need to acquire a ResourceResolver:

  1. Get ResourceResolverFactory: Inject or get an instance of ResourceResolverFactory.
  2. Create a Map of Authentication Information: Typically, for administrative privileges, we use ResourceResolverFactory.SUBSERVICE.
  3. Get ResourceResolver: Use the getServiceResourceResolver() method of ResourceResolverFactory to get a ResourceResolver.

Adapting Resource Resolver to a Session

Once we have a ResourceResolver, we can adapt it to a Session:

  1. Adapt to Session: Use the adaptTo() method of the ResourceResolver to get a Session.

Performing Operations with the Session

With the Session, we can now perform operations on the JCR:

  1. Read Nodes: Use the getNode(path) method of the Session to read nodes.
  2. Create Nodes: Use the addNode(path, nodeType) method of a Node to create nodes.
  3. Delete Nodes: Use the remove() method of a Node to delete nodes.

Saving and Refreshing the Session

After performing operations, we need to save the changes and refresh the Session:

  1. Save Session: Use the save() method of the Session to persist changes.
  2. Refresh Session: Use the refresh(false) method of the Session to refresh it and sync with the repository.

Handling Exceptions

While working with sessions, exceptions may occur, which should be properly handled:

  1. Catch Exceptions: Surround your code with a try-catch block to catch any RepositoryException.
  2. Log Errors: In the catch block, log the exception using a logger.

Closing the Session

Finally, after we’re done with the session, we need to close it:

  1. Close Session: Use the logout() method of the Session to close it.
  2. Close ResourceResolver: Use the close() method of the ResourceResolver to close it.


Constructing a session in AEM is a crucial process that enables interaction with the JCR. By understanding sessions, acquiring a resource resolver, adapting it to a session, performing operations, saving and refreshing the session, handling exceptions, and closing the session, you can effectively manage your content in AEM. This process ensures that your operations on the JCR are performed in a secure and controlled context, enhancing the robustness and reliability of your content management operations.

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