It’s a pretty exciting time to be a developer – especially a Salesforce developer. Salesforce recently debuted Salesforce Lightning at their annual Dreamforce conference, which I was lucky enough to attend, and see what they had in store for those interested in business apps.
The Lightning update promises value for both developers and business users alike.
Salesforce Lightning, a collection of tools and technologies which includes the Lightning Component Framework and the Lightning App Builder, is being touted as the next generation of the Salesforce1 Platform.
Salesforce began using Lightning internally prior to the public release to develop their Salesforce1 Mobile App. They first built the Lightning Component Framework (a UI framework for developing dynamic web and mobile apps) and then built the UI for Salesforce 1 using Lightning Components. Components are pieces of apps that can be broken down and assembled into new apps. Now, Salesforce’s goal is to have partners and customers create their own components and apps.
Lightning App Builder For Business Apps
With the Lightning App Builder Salesforce allows you to build responsive enterprise applications for a variety of devices including mobile, desktop, and wearables such as smart watches. Developers and business users can create off-the-shelf apps or apps from custom-made components. The app builder will be released in beta February 2015.
With the app builder, I can essentially create (using Lightning Components and the flexibility of Salesforce) the perfect enterprise app for any client or for my company to use internally. This ought to make my clients very happy because I will be able to get the app up and running in a relatively short amount of time.
For Business Users
Business users are going to love how simple it is to create apps. Salesforce allows you to build custom interfaces without having to write code. You can even visually create the app using the drag and drop components.
Lightning Components are reusable, self-contained user-interface elements used to create Salesforce apps. From these, you can quickly and easily create apps for the custom CRM system you want.
I saw some pretty cool examples of the custom components. For example, Salesforce demo’d a pH meter and a real time temperature monitor. Each of these were then added to a full-blown application. Both examples were built with AngularJS (an open-source web application framework), which means developers can create more flexible components.
For Business Users
Components, although created by the developer, allow business users to create their own apps easily or use robust apps made by the developer. For example, the temperature monitoring component also had a notification app that would alert a smart watch if the temperature went above a certain threshold.
Overall, I am excited about using Lightning components. As more companies want to create custom apps there were be plenty of opportunities to create really cool solutions that truly add value. Salesforce is making it possible to create the ideal CRM system for any device.