Reusing Content: Multi Site Manager

You are reading the AEM 6.1 version of Reusing Content: Multi Site Manager.
This documentation is also available for the following versions:  AEM 6.2 

Use Multi Site Manager (MSM) to use the same site content in multiple locations. To make efficient use of resources, create content once and re-use the content in other areas of your site or in other sites. MSM maintains relationships between the source content and the copies so that when you make changes to the source content, the copies can be synchronized with the changes. 

A typical use case that MSM supports is to reuse content in several multinational same-language sites. For example, the English section of the Geometrixx Demo Site sample is created for customers in the USA. Most of the content in this site can also be used for other Geometrixx sites that cater to English-speaking customers of different countries and cultures. The following structure can be used for sites for the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia:

     |- geometrixx
         |- en
     |- geometrixx-gb
         |- en
     |- geometrixx-ca
         |- en
     |- geometrixx-au
         |- en

Code samples are intended for illustration purposes only.

Note that you can also use the Reference component to reuse a single page or paragraph. However, MSM is more flexible and allows fine-grained control over what content is synchronized and when.

Live Copies

An MSM live copy is a copy of specific site content for which a live relationship with the original source is maintained. The live relationship ensures that changes that occur to the source can be sychronized with the live copy. In the previous example, /content/geometrixx/en is the global master site in English. To reuse the content of this site, MSM live copies are created:

  • The content below /content/geometrixx is copied below the /content/geometrixx-gb/, /content/geometrixx-ca/, and /content/geometrixx-au/ nodes.
  • Subsequently, when authors make changes to pages below /content/geometrixx, MSM synchronizes the changes to the live copies.

Synchronization rules, called rollout configurations, determine which properties are synchronized and when the sychronization occurs. 

Live Copy Sources

Any page or branch of pages can be used as the source of a ive copy. When you create the live copy from a page, you can manually synchronize the live copy with the source. This synchronization pulls changes from the source to the live copy.


Optionally, you can create a blueprint that identifies the source pages that are reused in live copies. When a blueprint defines the source, you can synchronize changes by pushing them to the live copy. 


Rollouts and Rollout Configurations

A rollout is the central MSM action that synchronizes live copies with their source. You can perform rollouts manually or they can occur automatically:

  • To manually perform a rollout, use the Rollout command on a blueprint, or the Synchronize command on a live copy.
  • Specific events can cause a rollout to occur automatically.  

A rollout configuration determines when and how a live copy is synchronized with the source content. A rollout configuration consists of a trigger and one or more synchronization actions:

  • A trigger is an event that causes the live action synchronization to occur, such as the activation of a source page. MSM defines the triggers that you can use. 
  • Synchronization actions are performed on the live copy to synchronize it with the source. Example actions are copying content, ordering child nodes, and activating the live copy page. MSM provides a number of synchronzation actions. You can use the Java API to create custom actions.

Rollout configurations can be re-used so that more than one live copy can use the same rollout configuration; several rollout configurations are included in a standard installation.

Cancelling Synchronization

Each page and component in a live copy is associated with its source page and component via a live relationship. The live relationship enables the synchronization of live copy content from the source. When editing a page, authors can cancel the synchronization of a component. When synchronization is cancelled, the live relationship is suspended and synchronization does not occur for the component. 

Cancelling synchronization is useful when content needs to be customized according to the context. For example, to translate the English Geometrixx Demo Site to French, you could use MSM to create a live copy, and send the live copy to the translation service. However, after creating the livecopy, you cancel synchronization for all pages so that synchronizations do not overwrite the French translation.

You can also detach a live copy from its blueprint to remove all connections. However, this action is permanent and non-reversible.

General Tasks

The following steps describe the general procedure for using MSM to reuse content and synchronize changes to live copies.

  1. Develop the content of the source site.
  2. Determine the rollout configurations to use. MSM installs several rollout configurations that can satisfy a number of use cases.
  3. (Optional) Create a rollout configuration if required.
  4. Determine where you need to specify the rollout configurations to use and configure as required.
  5. (Optional)  Create a blueprint that identifies the source content of the live copy.
  6. Create a live copy
  7. Make changes to the source content as required. You should employ the normal content review and approval process that your organization has established.
  8. Roll out the blueprint, or synchronize the live copy with the changes. 

Customizing MSM

MSM provides tools so that your implementation can adapt to the exceptional complexities that can exist when sharing content:

  • Custom Rollout Configurations
    Create a rollout configuration when the installed rollout configurations do not meet your requirements. You can use any available rollout trigger and synchronization action.
  • Custom Synchronization Actions
    Create a custom syncrhonization action when the installed actions do not meet your specific application requirements. MSM provides a Java API for creating custom synchronization actions.

Best Practices

The MSM Best Practices page contains important information regarding your implementation.