Tour Salesforce Lightning Experience

November 20, 2017 Appirio

By: Nehal Maheshwari

Thunder is good and thunder is impressive; but it's the lightning that does all the work. Salesforce — the premier CRM platform —  is undergoing evolution from its legacy classic to Lightning. Lightning enablement provides a rich, robust user experience helping the sales user work and close sales faster. The service user can also work cases and close them faster. SF Lightning is a CB Framework, meaning it is leveraged for dynamic customization and SF1 apps.

Key ingredients of Salesforce Lightning:

  1. Lightning Experience

  2. Lightning Component Framework

  3. Lightning App Builder

  4. Lightning Exchange

  5. Lightning Design System

What's all the hype about the Lightning Experience?

With a splendid user interface, Lightning comes with a wide variety of new features and functionalities. With the advancement of the team to mobile, Salesforce Lightning took the incredible features of Salesforce1 mobile app to the desktop.

Let's talk about some of the highlights:

1. Ease of navigation and ability to switch between custom-branded apps.
2. Lightning-fast access to tools like Recent Items and Notes in the utility bar.
3. Ease of access to filter report data and pull out only what's needed.
4. Dashboards with components encompassing both columns and rows.
5.Customizable home pages with out-of-the-box List View features with smarter analytics.


Let’s take a tour of the Lightning Experience

Now is the time to talk about what makes Lightning Experience out of the ordinary.

  1. Navigation: A horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page lets users access recent records — and lists — with just one click. They can also look for what they need with item names instead of icons.

  2. App Launcher: Now you can create the Lightning Apps with custom color and logos using the utility bar. The Lightning app is a complete package of object sets, tabs, and other elements in the navigation bar.

  3. Opportunity: With the ability to manually edit the probability field, you can take advantage of showing quotes to  your customers. The key record details can be displayed on the highlights panel at the top of the page.

  4. The News feature: Now you can share the news with everyone in the organization by posting the news articles on Chatter. This news feature is available on accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, and on the Home page.

  5. Home: A customizable and upgraded home page is provided in the Lightning Experience where the features — like news, performance charts, upcoming meetings, and tasks — can be found. You can do a lot more using Assistant to identify the key issues to work on on a specific day.

  6. Reports and Dashboards: Now you can create your own filters for reports and create amazing dashboards spanning both rows and columns. You can also take advantage of the feature that allows for a report subscription at whatever time —  and date — desired.

Now that we have looked at the advantages of the Lightning Experience, it’s time to assess the needs of your company and turn the Lightning Experience on!

Lightning Component Framework

Lightning Components is a modern UI framework for developing single-page dynamic applications for both mobile and desktop. Backed with JavaScript on the client side, it uses Apex on the server side. It’s a XML markup which uses both static HTML tags and custom Lightning Component tags. It also has a similar tag format to that used in Visualforce, where the tag name is preceded with the namespace. There are various namespaces that can be used like: aura, force, lightning and ui. If you are familiar with the JavaScript framework, learning this deviation will be easy. The concept to really understand is that while building the component, there will be an event-driven pattern followed by JavaScript code. The events fired can further call other components or perform server-side logic.

Let’s take a look at the Lightning component when rendered on a screen.

The Lightning component is nothing but a bundle of code which contains various resources auto-wired to each other like the “.cmp resource”, JavaScript controller, JavaScript helper, etc.

Various domains to deploy Lightning Components are:

  1. Apps can be added to the Lightning Components Framework.

  2. Apps can be added to the Salesforce1 Navigation and Lightning Experience.

  3. Drag-and-Drop components can be created for Lightning App Builder and Community Builder.

  4. Lightning components can be added to the Lightning pages.

  5. Lightning Components can be launched as  Quick Actions.

  6. Override Standard Actions with Lightning Components.

  7. Create Stand-Alone Apps.

  8. Run Lightning Component Apps in Visualforce Pages.

  9. Run Lightning Component Apps on other platforms using Lightning Out.​​


Lightning App Builder: The Lightning App Builder is a point-and-click tool that can put together various components needed by users —  all in one place — by creating custom pages for Salesforce1 and Lightning Experience.

The types of components available are:

  • Standard Component

  • Custom Component

  • Third-party Component

The Lightning App Builder User Interface contains a Header, Toolbar, Lightning Components Pane, Lightning Page Canvas and Properties Pane. A feature to create different Lightning pages like Home Page, Record Page and App Page is also provided. So now that we’ve talked about it, let’s take a look at what Light App Builder can actually do.

Here’s an Account Record page in edit mode in Lightning App Builder:

Lightning AppExchange: Lightning AppExchange is a business app store from Salesforce. Since you don’t need to start from scratch, you can build your apps using the other already built apps as a quickstart. Direct access to AppExchange can be obtained from Setup Home, and the required app can be installed. There are hundreds of free apps distributed as unmanaged packages which are accessible for full modification. Besides these, there are also managed packages that can be obtained. They are maintained and updated periodically by vendors.

Lightning Design System: The Lightning Design System makes it easy for you to build Lightning ready Applications using design features which comply with the Lightning look and feel. The Design System provides the app with clarity, efficiency, consistency, and beauty. It is as simple as using the CSS, which is used for styling. It also owns a huge package of classes which perform the required functionalities.  

It has four variants of resources to style an app:

  1. CSS Framework

  2. Icons

  3. Font

  4. Design Tokens

The Design System can be utilized in, Lightning Pages and Components, Visualforce Pages, Mobile Apps, and Stand-alone Web Apps.

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