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Extending Adobe Edge Delivery Services for performant search
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Extending Adobe Edge Delivery Services for best-in-class search

In October 2023, Adobe released a major update to Adobe Experience Manager Sites with new Edge Delivery Services and document-based authoring. Algolia is very excited about these innovations and the benefits they bring to digital organizations:

  • Improved speed and performance of AEM Sites
  • Easier document-based authoring for publishers
  • An extensible framework that integrates seamlessly with API-first, best-of-breed solutions

Algolia and Edge Delivery Services go hand-in-hand for a few reasons:

Improved speed and performance:

  • A Deloitte study shows that even a slight 0.1-second change in load time can result in an average 8% increase in conversion on retail sites and a 10% increase for travel sites.
  • With Edge Delivery services, AEM sees a drastic improvement in speed and performance, leading to better Lighthouse scores and SEO.
  • But you can’t have a fast site with slow search. Speed of search is key to this cutting edge experience, and can be hard to achieve when you need to understand complex queries, and surface relevant results at scale. Algolia delivers a relevant and personalized experience, providing recommendations and search results in a matter of milliseconds, and is also optimized for mobile first experiences and for the largest volume of records and index changes. Users that select the search bar are the most engaged with an intent. A slow or irrelevant search is very likely to cause not only a bounce of the session, but an overall negative impression of the brand, while maintaining speed can be a true differentiator and revenue driver.

Extensibility:

  • In close collaboration with the Adobe product team, we were able to build an extension on top of the Edge Delivery Service in a matter of days. This is a testament to the way the solution has been architected, and the importance of composability.
  • Being API-first, Algolia makes it easy to index content from any source, and create a frontend search experience using API Client Libraries or frontend libraries in all major frontend languages (Javascript, Angular, React, etc.). We can easily bring these libraries into ‘blocks’ within this framework, and then provide Algolia’s speed and dynamic search experience to the AEM frontend. All of the customization capabilities of Algolia’s components are still valid within the Edge Delivery Services and allow developers to create unique search and discovery experiences.

Federated search:

  • Edge Delivery Services can be used with any source of content and any commerce platform. Algolia can easily bridge these sources of content, from Google Docs, Excel, Sharepoint, or any platform or database – and create a unified search experience. Bringing together pages, blogs, articles, videos, products, FAQs, help desk articles, and more.

AI for search that understands:

  • Algolia’s AI search leverages end-to-end AI to guide the user, surfacing the right thing to the right person at the right time. Algolia’s technology includes semantic search, query understanding, and optimized relevance, to improve the KPIs most important to your organization (dwell time, average customer value, total customer value, etc.).
  • Algolia provides a dashboard that allows publishers to configure and test the way search results will be displayed on the page, based on relevance, business inputs, and AI that learns about user behaviors to optimize engagement.

Check out our demo site with Algolia on Edge Delivery Services here!

So how does this work?

In a quick proof of concept, we added Algolia Autocomplete and InstantSearch to the WKND demo frontend:

On the backend, this autocomplete was added by an author to the navigation bar by simply adding the autocomplete ‘block’ on the Google document:

And to go one step deeper, this block was built simply by embedding Algolia’s autocomplete.js UI library:

We also built the search results page with federated results, including both ‘Articles’ and ‘Product’.

When toggling to the Products-specific results page, we can see the dynamic faceting that we have added to the left panel.

This was again configured in a word document:

This was defined as an ‘instant-search’ block that is powered by Algolia’s InstantSearch library. The InstantSearch library provides a configurable search experience that can be tailored to business requirements.

This was just one approach, but it is up to you as the developer to create Edge Service blocks with the level of granularity that makes sense for you. For example, the “Instantsearch” block could be split into multiple blocks that could be reused in different ways.

Conclusion

Algolia enables users of Edge Delivery Services to seamlessly integrate  advanced search functionality into AEM, ensuring optimal speed, performance, and federated search experiences. Ultimately, Algolia improves product conversion rates, enhances discovery and engagement of content, maximizing investments.

Collaborate with us!

  • This can be taken so much further, by simply adding more features of Algolia’s rich frontend library into the Edge Delivery Service framework.
  • As you explore our Github library and build upon it, feel free to share back with us at adobe-algolia-solutions@algolia.com as we would love to collaborate with you.

Meet us at Adobe Summit this March 26-28th in Vegas!

Let us know if you are coming by signing up here!

If you are interested in learning how Algolia integrates into the Adobe Experience Manager Sites, read more of our Adobe x Algolia Integration Blog Series parts 1-6 here:

  1. How to ingest AEM data into Algolia
  2. How to integrate Adobe Launch with Algolia to power personalization 
  3. How to integrate Adobe Analytics with Algolia to rank search result
  4. Algolia Recommend for Adobe Commerce
  5. Algolia powered search for AEM front-end
  6. Immersive eComm experiences on AEM
About the authorsDebanshi Bheda

Debanshi Bheda

Global Alliances Director - Algolia
Sajid Momin

Sajid Momin

Senior Director, Integrations @ Algolia

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