What is Salesforce Lightning

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Lightning has really expanded since it was originally introduced at Dreamforce 2014. Originally, Lightning was introduced as a couple of different products that were all sort of related because they had the same incredibly new looking UI.

Lightning Process Builder was designed to allow admins to intelligently do a lot of things that previously required developers to do in apex before and after triggers.

Lightning components was just a proprietary JavaScript framework, css framework, and series of UI components. The Salesforce Mobile App has apparently been using Lightning for a few years. The rest of this article really focuses on Lightning Components, and Lightning App Builder.

By bundling up JavaScript, html and css developers can create custom Lightning Components which can be added to nearly any page within Salesforce and even in the mobile app. Custom Lightning Components can be created also be distributed by the Salesforce AppExchange. I developed my first one a few months ago. By utilizing custom components and bundling them together in Lightning App, admins can build really powerful custom systems for their users.

How does Lightning Work?

Lightning uses JavaScript controllers, extensions, html, and css and generates the page on the client side instead of on the serverside. Visualforce rendered pages on the server and did a lot of requests back to the server to request changes for the page.

Although it was possible to only change certain elements of a visualforce page, this was rarely done and had to be done in JavaScript using AJAX requests.

Lightning will be a good thing in the future, it will us developers to create better user experiences for our users, but we need to spend time learning javascript.

Resources for Learning Salesforce Lightning

There’s quite a few resources available for learning the different parts of Salesforce Lightning. Trailhead is a really resource for learning it.

Salesforce has some pretty good trails on Trailhead for developers and administrators. Get Started with Lightning Experience is the resource for Administrators. Develop for Lightning Experience is a really good resource for Developers.

Author: Brian Cline

Brian is a programmer living in Niagara Falls with ten years of development experience. He is passionate about automation, business process re-engineering, and gamification. For the last six years or so, he has been working with Salesforce and JavaScript.

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