Sling RepoInit: a Handy Tool to Manage Content and Users in AEM

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AEM Manage tool

Managing the initial repository state can be hard because it involves setting up code, configuration, content, and more. This is a lot to cope with when we need to complete several tasks in advance, such as creating service users, creating groups, setting up ACL permissions, and pre-creating/updating content. Repoinit (Apache Sling Repository Initialization) is a tool to help configure all of this in one place.

The advantages of Repoinit include:

  • Keeping the environments in sync in terms of initial and basic configuration
  • Speeding up local environment setup for developers
  • Creating resources at startup so they’re built into the logic from the beginning

Enable Repoinit in AEM

To enable Repoinit, OSGi configuration for factory PID in one of the project’s configuration folders. Since it’s an OSGi configuration, it is easy to have a set of scripts for author and publish run modes, along with different environments such as Stage and Production. For example,, config.publish,, and config.publish.stage, etc. use a descriptive name for the configuration like

These configurations have two optional fields:

  • A multi-value references field with each value providing the URL (as a String) of raw Repoinit statements
  • A multi-value scripts field with each value providing Repoinit statements as plain text in a String

Apache Repo

Note 1: this service presents a challenge when you’re resolving the references. Each reference is expected to be in the form of a URL, and OSGi supports exposing bundles as URLs. However, when Apache Felix resolves a bundle’s URL in the URLHandlersBundleStreamHandler, it expects the URL host to be the UUID of the bundle, not a stable ID such as the Bundle’s Symbolic Name. You can find out how to resolve this issue here.

Note 2: When configuring script properties, it is easier to define them in the .config file than it is to define in the JSON-based .cfg.json format, since scripts are typically multiline.

Configuration file example: /apps/my-app/

Repoinit vs. Ensure Authorizable

Ensure Service User config:
/ui.apps/src/main/content/jcr_root/apps/site-com/config/com.adobe.acs.commons.users.impl.EnsureServiceUser-user-1.xml (this is the config for user-1 only; for user-2 we will need to create a separate xml config)

Equivalent Repoinit script:

create service user user-1, user-2

Content Management: Repoinit vs. OnDeploy Scripts

Imagine that we need to create a “/path/A” resource and update the existing one under “/path/B”.

The OnDeplyScript might look something like this:

And this is a script which does the same thing:

These are just a few examples of how we used Repoinit for our project; find more ideas about what you can do using Repoinit here.

Author: Iryna Ason