Adobe LiveCycle Support is Coming to End of Life (No longer officially supported by Adobe)
Adobe products and technical support periods are listed here. We’ll save you the search and let you know that LiveCycle version ES4 support is expiring in March 2020, however, if your renewal is coming up (or has come up recently) then Adobe are offering a LiveCycle + AEM License mix but you need to migrate to AEM at some point during the support period.
Why Should You Upgrade?
Other than the fact that LiveCycle support will expire soon and customers are using it for mission critical business functions and processes, AEM offers a lot more than LiveCycle ever did in terms of functionality. The large majority of our clients in Hong Kong are in the financial services industry (Insurance, Banks, Investment etc.) or Government and are using Adobe to on-board new clients (KYC, account creation, etc.), streamline form and document processes, integrate electronic signatures and generate professional documents efficiently. Among other uses. These are often critical parts of their business and operations, hence migrating successfully and getting the right support is vital to ensuring the changes don’t affect business operations. If you’re a LiveCycle customer looking to upgrade to AEM, all of your existing forms and applications will still work with AEM, but you need to be careful with the migration process.
Refactor Your Applications Before Migrating
As the technology evolved with the many product releases from Adobe, some legacy programs/functions may have been deprecated. When migrating, new versions of the software can break your existing deployment because of the dependencies of the deprecated programs/functions. Examining and refactoring your code before migration is an essential step. It’s typically a process of test and fix and it’s made a lot easier (and less error prone) if you already have good documentation and processes in place. Adobe are aware of these challenges and handily provide a tool to detect the complexity of the proposed upgrade and the possibility of incompatibilities. For more information, please refer to this page, it can save you a from a lot of trouble.
Testing and the Processes Around it are Vital to a Successful Migration
The large majority of our clients have a testing environment and sometimes more than one (Sandbox or Test server and UAT (User Acceptance Testing) server). It’s highly recommended you run everything through these types of environments thoroughly for testing the steps, scripts, programs and procedures that will be required when upgrading to AEM. This also presents a good opportunity to review your documentation and development process. These are key to successful change management and ensuring internal teams and vendors are on the same page, working towards the common goal. It also allows new team members (typically developers and project managers) to be added to the team with minimal fuss and to get them up to speed quickly.
What Benefits are Companies Realising That Have Already Migrated to AEM?
Depending on the licensing type you purchase, AEM is a vastly more complete product than LiveCycle and is built for the modern, digital environment we live in. Some key highlights include:
Excellent user experiences for mobile users – Almost everything is now happening in peoples hands on their phones and tablets. Adobe realise this and compatibility with these devices is now much smoother and is built in from the start.
Future Proof Your Processes – Digital, mobile, integrated experiences and less paper. This is what end users expect and AEM delivers it. The integration with the Adobe Experience Cloud range of products is unrivaled too. There is many more benefits to be explored here.
Access more features – The Adobe licensing system for AEM is very modular. You don’t have to choose which features you want to use from the start. They can be added later. This helps with the migration process too. Copy what you have now to make the migration smooth, then add on as you need them.
Adobe Experience Cloud – Experience Manager Forms connects to Adobe Experience Cloud to continually improve digital form and document experiences. For example, AEM Forms works with Adobe Analytics to measure client interactions so business users can easily test and continually improve forms and documents. This can have effects such as reducing the chance of form abandonment or calls to client support.
Can I Just Keep Using LiveCycle anyway?
In a word, yes. But Adobe won’t support it. This means if you have an issue you will need to resolve it internally or rely on an Adobe partner that typically provide annual support packages. Even then, there is limitations. There is also the option to replace LiveCycle with another product or build yourself internally. After having invested so much time and money in Adobe and LiveCycle originally, this might not be the best path.
If you’d like to chat with us about how we do migrations, replacements and support for Adobe products, then head to our contact page or complete the form below.