Latest news, useful features and tips for your Salesforce

Lightning: The Power of Rebranding Part1

June 3, 2015

Lightning is a new generation of Salesforce1 platform which includes powerful tools for developers, administrators and business analysts. Focusing 100% on Salesforce, we made a complete research of the Lightning tools available. To cover all aspects of this progressive platform, we divide our Lightning research into two parts.
Let’s have a look what we found.

Lightning Components

The Lightning Component is a UI framework for developing progressive web apps and devices. It’s also a modernized framework for building single-page applications. Some view Lightning Components as a re-branding of ‘Aura on the Platform’ which was an open source product for a long time that Salesforce used for the realization of its own internal user-oriented  components. In its Summer’15 release, Salesforce created a Lightning Components Developer’s Guide which allows users to get more updates of useful tools.

Interesting fact: Salesforce1 was built on Aura-components, allowing users to update and make bulkheads easily.

A separate component or a number of components can serve as a fundamental element for Lightning Apps, which include:

1) Single Page Applications
2) Dashboard-style Applications
3) “Point” applications to solve particular task

Lightning Components consist of 3 main types:

 – Standard Components (built by Salesforce),

 – Custom Components (built by customers, developers), and

 – AppExchange Components (built by Partners).

The Salesforce Developer’s Portal allows users to get started using Lightning Components with the help of Quick Start pdf.

Hints to improve: Salesforce warns its customers to follow the updated information on new tool availability. Customers who purchase Salesforce’s solutions should base their buying decisions on features that are currently available.

 Lightning App Builder

The Lightning App Builder helps administrators and developers simplify the development process by creating custom App Pages for Salesforce1. There are 4 main purposes of Lightning App Builder:

1) To create full applications with drag-and-drop components including objects, fields, reports, partner components, and page layouts;

2) To build custom Salesforce1 mobile apps with responsive design for any business process;

3) To leverage templates and forms for quick deployment; and

4) To preview applications built and optimize iteratively.

Hints to improve: In spite the fact that it’s generally available, the Lightning App Builder is also available on developer’s orgs upon formal request.

Salesforce developers prepared two great resources for us where we can learn more about the possibilities when using the Lightning App Builder.

Lightning Connect

The most significant thing about Lightning Connect is its ability to totally accelerate a real time integration. Sounds really cool, doesn’t it? Lightning Connect enables users to seamlessly integrate data direct from other systems into Salesforce.

Lightning Connect is used with the following parameters:

1) If you are integrating with a service that supports OData 2.0.

2) If you plan a ReadOnly integration.

3) If you are planning to represent an external data in Salesforce (for this, there are various possibilities: a sheet views, related sheets, pages details), but not working with data directly.

Interesting Fact: Lightning Connect is a rebrand of "External Data Objects", which allows you to interact with external data sources that implement the OData spec as if they were regular Salesforce SObjects.

More information about Lightning Connect, you can consult the following resources:
1) Lightning platform commercial guide in pdf
2) Feature Demo short videos and webinar

Hints to improve: And even though Lightning Connect is generally available, there are limitations in usability of this tool, including:

1) Support features require special licenses.

2) External objects are available in read-only mode.

3) External objects can not be saved in Salesforce. To render the data, you have to query a request to the external resource through a web service. This approach produces dependence of the work acceleration (especially in large orgs) on measures of functional use – as a consequence of the limits on the number of requests per hour.

To recap, Lightning is a new generation of Salesforce1 platform. Salesforce has launched innovational tools to simplify the development process. In the second part, we will discuss what we’ve observed and researched on the Salesforce1 Lightning platform.

We hope you find this article on the Lightning Salesforce1 platform useful. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave us a comment or email us at marketing@codeswat.com

Thank you for staying with us!