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  • Writer's pictureTony Nelson

A Quick Guide to Get You Ready For Lightning

Hi, I am Ikou Sanuki, a Certified Salesforce MVP and a member of the Salesforce Developer User Group (Tokyo) with many years of Salesforce implementation experience.

After coming back from Dreamforce in September, I have been busy giving out presentations to share the new technologies and understandings I have learned at the event.

So, remember at Dreamforce, we were all excited to hear about the new concept of AppCloud and Lightning announced by Mark Benioff and Parker Harris. It is going to dramatically change the UI experience of Salesforce and the way we are going to build the applications. Are you ready for the Lightning era?

For those of you who are still not certain about it, this blog is for you. I would like to give you a quick and easy summary of the fundamental concept of Lightning and how we should perceive it.

Four Elements of Lightning

There are four elements that structure Lightning. Let’s understand what they are:

  • Lightning Components

  • Design System

  • Lightning Experience (LEX)

  • Lightning AppBuilder

Lightning Components

Salesforce defines Lightning Components as “the self-contained and reusable units of an app. They represent a reusable section of the UI, and can range in granularity from a single line of text to an entire app.”

The picture above best describes the idea of Lightning Components. Lightning Components are a set of Building Blocks that build an app. They can be found on the AppExchange Component Market Place, provided by Salesforce or by the third-party vendor.

By the way, we have one out called the “Multi-view Calendar”. It is free to use from the AppExchange.

Lightning Design System

Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS) is something to remember if you are going to create your own components. It is similar to Google’s Material Design; a library of Design Guides, CSS framework and UI samples to help you build components that help you make outstanding user experience applications for enterprise use that works on any platform.

Lightning Experience(LEX)

The longer you have used Salesforce (with the good old gray UI), the more surprised you are to see the new User Interface known as the Lightning Experience (LEX). It is cool and intuitive. The page made by multiple layouts of components is responsive, very modern usability which you would expect to see on services for consumers.

Lightning AppBuilder

What should we do with the components? How do we put them on the page? Easy! Leave it to the Salesforce Lightning AppBuilder. Salesforce pictures the components as “Nuts and Bolts”, they can be seamlessly mashed up by using Lightning AppBuilder and create a responsive page for any device.

Implementation With Lightning

The picture above describes the implementation process with Lightning. First, download the Salesforce Lightning Design System(SLDS)to create components. Developers can upload their Custom Components on the AppExchange site.

Standard Components provided by Salesforce and Custom Components provided by third parties can be found on the AppExchange as well.

The System Admins can shop around on the AppExchange and download the components that best suits the requirement. Using the Lightning AppBuilder, the admins can mix and match those components to create a responsive customized Lightning page for the end-users.

The great thing is that it is going to take less time and less energy to deliver apps to the end-users!

Getting Ready For Lightning

Let’s round it up. Here are the points to think about when you are going to get ready for Lightning.

For End-Users:

  • Decide when is the best time to release the service (avoid busy times!)

  • Test before releasing it

  • Provide good training and documents

For Independent Software Vendors (ISVs):

  • Adaptation to Lightning Experience

  • The best time to apply the new Lightning Design (System)

  • The best time to provide the components

For System Implementation Partners (SIs):

  • Know that customization is just one of the methods to achieve goals

  • Be able to choose the best method to achieve goals

  • Study information and facts

It is wise to think thoroughly about when to release Lightning into your organization. The dramatic change by Lightning will “stimulate” the users. Remember, it is in the hands of the system admins to bring the transition into success. Good luck!

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