Inside Lightning Components: The Fastest Way to Build Apps

By Kim Honjo

Everything and everyone is connected. We have evolved from connected terminals, to LANs, to the Internet of Things where billions of connected things are connected to just as many people. Data is being generated at unprecedented quantities and apps are quickly becoming the go-to solution for IT teams looking to connect and collaborate on that data. It makes sense — the way people interact with companies has changed dramatically. Both customers and employees have grown to expect companies to deliver easy, personalized, and on-demand experiences that evolve with their needs. Apps help deliver those experiences by connecting data with engaging interfaces, on any device. According to recent Salesforce Research, 79 percent of IT teams are currently developing apps for customers, partners, and employees. By embracing new technologies and accelerating innovation, businesses are propelling their way to the digital era.

And they need to evolve and innovate in order to thrive in today’s connected world. Too many experiences are disconnected with fragmented user experiences, multiple development environments and disconnected apps. Lightning connects all Salesforce products with one powerful platform, creating a single, connected experience for every user, and Lightning Components speeds that connection to customers by quickly scaling development to keep up with the demand for apps.

Greased Lightning

Lightning Components is our UI framework that builds apps using modular components to help our customers move faster. At Salesforce, we used it to build the Salesforce1 Mobile App, Lightning App Builder, Lightning Community Builder, and Lightning Experience.

But the reason why Lighting Components help IT deliver apps quickly are the components themselves. Components are the standard building blocks for apps using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Once upon a time, developers needed to create apps from scratch with code. Now, with Lightning Components, both developers build components and business users can build apps without code using Lightning’s drag-and-drop tools, for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. That’s not to say that you should get rid of all your developers. Rather, now developers can focus on solving the high-value problems that fascinate them. Your business users can go faster and use and reuse the components that your developers build as well as components from Salesforce and the Lightning Exchange, which helps everyone in your organization deliver apps faster.

These components ensure that a consistent Lightning user experience is delivered across devices.

What’s Getting IT From Zero to App in a Flash

Lightning Components has got a lot of great features that helps you build apps quickly. Here’s a quick look at the features speeding your delivery.

Out of the box functionality. Kick start building apps with an out-of-the-box set of components. You don’t have to spend your time optimizing apps for different devices as the components take care of that for you. Components are encapsulated, which gives component builders the freedom to change internal implementation details while the component’s public shape remains unchanged.

Smart performance. The Lightning Component framework uses a stateful client and stateless server architecture that relies on JavaScript on the client side to manage UI component metadata and application data. The client calls the server only when necessary, and the server only sends data that is needed by the user to maximize efficiency. Using JSON to exchange data between the server and the client, the framework intelligently utilizes your server, browser, devices, and network so you can focus on the logic and interactions of your apps.

Events-driven programming. The framework uses an event-driven programming for better decoupling between components. You can write handlers that respond to interface events as they occur, which may or may not be triggered by user interaction. Any component can subscribe to an application event, or to a component event they can see. This makes is possible for components built by different parties to work together seamlessly.

Rich ecosystem. Creating business-ready apps has never been easier and made accessible in the Salesforce1 Mobile App, Lightning Experience, Lightning App Builder, and Lightning Community Builder. Additional components are available in the Lightning Exchange, and you can similarly publish your components and share them with other users.

Ready to get started? Get to know Lightning Components by trying it out on Trailhead.

Click here to download 2016: The Year of Lightning, and learn more about how Salesforce can help you succeed.


Originally published at www.salesforce.com.

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