Alright, so I am going to start off by admitting that I was horribly skeptical of Lightning when it first came out. What was worse is that the more people tried to explain it to me the harder it became to understand. I am not saying that the people who were giving the demo’s and the walk throughs weren’t doing a good job. It was just that for me at least they weren’t telling me how it could apply to things I already knew. What did I know? Visualforce. Here are 5 tips I would have given myself, a Visualforce Dev, about Lightning.
1.) Don’t Just Enable Lightning, Actually Use It.
In order to understand why you should be developing Lightning Components you need to first understand what all the fuss is about. Check out the new page editor to see how you can build your new component so that it fits well. Gone are the 2 column page layouts of the past. Lightning has tabs in tabs in tabs! Flexibility is key in today’s world and so the pages need to be flexible too. With Lightning components you no longer need to have a StandardController attribute in your page tag in order to display it on a records page layout, build it so that it can be used anywhere!
2.) You Don’t Have to Start From Scratch.
One of the most common reasons I have heard for companies not making the move to Lightning is the amount of custom work that exists in their current environments. Converting all those custom Visualforce pages into Lightning Components is going to be expensive and time consuming right? Actually that is wrong. By loading those pages in an iframe on a custom Lightning Component they can now use them almost anywhere. On almost any page.
3.) 3 Words, Lightning Design System.
Have you seen all the changes they have made to the way Salesforce looks in Lightning Experience? Well along with Lightning comes the new Lightning Design System. What’s great is that it is not limited to just Lightning. So if you are following my advice from above ,and you are using iframes, now you can really complete the mirage with the same look and feel of the Lightning Experience by adding the right class tags to your current Visualforce masterpieces.
Want to find out more and see some really neat examples?
4.) Implement This!
Alright so if you have made it this far you’re doing pretty good if I do say so myself, that is, unless you just made a Lightning Component, added an iframe to an updated beautiful looking Visualforce page, and tried to add it to a page layout. I know what you’re thinking. Where’s my Lightning Component? Well in order for the component to be available to a record page or a community page or a user’s home page you need to allow access to those types of interfaces.
Want to make your component available as a tab in Lightning Experience or SF1?
Want to use it with a Custom Action?
For more examples you can check out the Lightning Components Developer Guide. https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.lightning.meta/lightning/components_using_lex_s1.htm
5.) Just Because It’s Different Doesn’t Make it Bad.
So I am going to end by reiterating that I was horribly skeptical of Lightning when it first came out. Why do we need this new stuff? I’ve barely got a handle on the current stuff. The thing is, you do need this new stuff, and I am no longer skeptical. With the number of new technologies available to us on the Salesforce platform and its continued growth with, Salesforce1, Wave, Lightning, and Einstein, it’s important that the interfaces and the way we interact with our data adapts with them. In order for us as developers and the companies we work for to continue to be on top of the emerging trends the tools we use need to change as well.