What can developers expect from Salesforce Lightning 2016 Release?

salesforce lightning for developers

Salesforce began its journey in transforming cloud computing about 16 years ago under the leadership of Marc Benioff and Parker Harris. Covering over 48 product releases and hundreds of outstanding features, they have managed to build an empire of over thousands of satisfied customers. In September 2015, Salesforce announced the arrival of The Lightning Experience which is set to enter the market in October 2016. Salesforce Lightning consists of three dimensions introduced to resurrect the previous paths of CRM:

  1. Lightning Experience: Applicable across platforms (tablet, mobile, and desktop), the Lightning Experience brings to your table progressive, effective, and intuitive experience of CRM. The pre-existent customizations can be altered and applications can be built with ease using the Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components.
  2. Lightning Design System: Every step undertaken by Salesforce towards its ultimate project of CRM-rebirth is directed by the values of precision, performance, coherence, and beauty. These values are actualized in the Lightning Design System through the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The primary task of the design system is to arm the user with the tools required to create components conducive to their projects.
  3. Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components: Initiated into the cult of Salesforce world in 2014 and made accessible around 2015, the Lightning App Builder has been constructed to stimulate the developer to formulate apps using the Drag-n-Drop visual circuit of Lightning Components. This includes recyclable app building units ranging from singular UI elements to muscular micro-services. This circuit is integrated smoothly into the Salesforce1 Platform.


Lightning Experience

The inception and development of Lightning Experience has spanned over many years, starting with Salesforce1 Mobile App and its substratum, Lightning Framework. This provided the anatomy for transforming the realm of desktop computing. The seed for Lightning was found in the imaginative scenario of what Salesforce could have created if back in 1999, it had been equipped with the series of technology it has created today. Lightning was the answer to this.

The main idea of Lightning Experience was to improvise the fundamental core-sales features that sales teams utilize on a daily basis. The staple need for every sales group includes the need for tools which would make their work more productive and push their business to greater heights. So, Salesforce Lightning moved steps ahead in creating an efficient machine than simply an inventory of contact data.

New features in the Lightning Experience include:

  • Activity Feed which will tell the users the real-time happenings and the required tasks
  • Contextual Hovers which will let you glance at relationship with a customer not having to navigate through multiple pages
  • Opportunity Board is a newly introduced feature which gives a holistic image of all the deals and also has Drag-n-Drop option to play around with each stage comfortably
  • Dynamic Dashboard which can be personalized to over nine columns.


The Setup Page where Admins spend a major amount of their time has been given a facelift with capacity for logical classification of all data. To the above four major features are over 50 Sales Cloud pages and 20 entirely refurbished qualities.


How does the Lightning Experience help developers

The Developer Trail mentions 5 modules which facilitate developers with smooth transition into the Lightning Experience. Since the Lightning Experience supports Visualforce with more detailed nuances, the developers have the power to execute more UI customizations using the Visualforce pages or Lightning Components. The Discussion Forums of Developer Salesforce mention over 50,000 queries about the different obstacles (Apex Code Development, Formulas and Validation Rules, .NET Development, APIs, and Integration) one could face which enable the developer to thoroughly troubleshoot any issues.



Lightning Design System                             

The Lightning Design System is an evolved kin of Enterprise UX. The developers can easily create apps which are compatible with the new Salesforce Lightning without reverse circuiting the user interface as customer CSS. Moreover, the new Design System mark-up will give you the sensation (look-n-feel) of Lightning without having to write any CSS. Developers will notice that the Design System is customized for tailoring Salesforce apps. Contrasted with other design systems like Twitter Bootstrap and Foundations, developers will find that the interface does not over-emphasize defaults like margins and paddings which are essential for marketing sheets. Thus, it will allow you to stipulate the precise layouts you desire while syncing with the Lightning UI. The Lightning Design System is continually updated and so long as the latest version of the structure is being used, the pages will stay compatible with the Salesforce UI modifications. The four aspects which make the Design System a treat for developers include the CSS framework, icons, font, and Design Tokens. The icons include PNG and SVG while typography forms an integral part of the product.


Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components

The Lightning App Builder is your personal robot in producing visually effective and aesthetic apps without coding through the tailor-made Lightning Components. The Lightning Component circuit is a user interface framework for creating dynamic web-apps for both mobile and desktop machines. The client and user are bridged through multistoried component development. On the client side, JavaScript is used while Apex is utilized on the server side. The benefits of using Lightning Component for developers include:

  • The brilliant tool-box that allows to form apps without having to continually optimize them (since the framework automatically implements optimization)
  • The self-sufficient ecosystem of components (usable through the navigation menu)
  • The functionality between the client and server (where the server is only summoned when required- for instance, to retrieve data/ metadata)
  • Infrastructure which is fueled through events for improved dissociation amongst components
  • Development time-line where delays are avoided due to across-the-platform efficiency of components
  • The cross-browser syncing of the apps as the component structure backs latest browser capacities like CSS3, HTML5, and touch.


The Lightning Components are, as the Salesforce Developer forum mentions, “self-contained and reusable units of an app” built on open-source Aura structure. These building blocks range from single lines to the complete app. While the framework has in-built components, the developer can organize and set up components depending on needs of the app. The components are furnished to form HTML DOM elements in the browser. The developer is also equipped to build intricate UI components which are embedded with other components (like CSS, web-enabled codes, JavaScript, and HTML).  The Developer Console comes with options to create or optimize different Lightning tools: application, component, event, and interface. The sidebar on the console brings forth client-side assets which are included in the component sets: component, controller, helper, style, documentation, and renderer. The Lightning Components can be used for formulating standalone applications, for building Lightning Components for Salesforce1, for generating Point-n-Click Components for the Lightning App Builder and for personalizing Salesforce1 with the Pilot Lightning Extensions.

Do explore Salesforce Lightning and make the best out of it.

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Author : Sahana Rajan Date : 04 Nov 2015