September is here and with it the Salesforce Winter ‘17 Release Notes. Here is a countdown of my top 5 favorite features:
Developers can now create lightning components and are able to navigate to other lightning components. This allows us to create complex multi-step wizards in Lightning without trying to cram all of our code into a single Lightning Component. This was a key feature that has been missing in Lightning, the introduction of which will enable developers to move away from Visualforce.
A number of basic UI components have been made available for your Lightning Apps. Now adding things like tooltips, button menus, and loading spinners to your app are as simple as dropping the right tag into your code. Every front-end developer has spent hours rebuilding the wheel (or figuring how to steal it from GitHub and make it work in their app) with basic components like these, and this will add a minor boost in productivity.
Setting up External Objects is an efficient and easy way to get around building complex ETL Integrations which are often complex and result in data that is minutes, hours, or days out of sync. Alternatively, External Objects always display the latest data in your other systems, and the introduction of the ability to view this data in reports make it a much more compelling alternative to ETL integrations. This feature does come at an extra cost, and there are some restrictions & performance implications that you should look into before deciding whether or not to purchase it.
Another principle use for ETL integrations is to expose data from your internal systems to Customers or Employees outside of your core Salesforce user group. You can now expose data from External Objects in Salesforce Communities and get around the need to actually load this data into Salesforce. Be aware that this feature is not available for high-volume external data sources, so you will need to evaluate your data volume and consult Salesforce Support before utilizing this feature. On the plus side, it comes with Lightning Connect.
One of the key issues with the Lightning Experience from the get-go was the lack of core Salesforce functionality that is needed to make it truly production menu. Exciting new features were prioritized, while mandatory features like customizable apps were left out. While the ability to create custom Lightning Experience Navigation menus was introduced in Spring ’16, administrators could only assign 1 per profile. Now administrators can create numerous apps, allowing their users to access more than 1 app like they are able to in Salesforce Classic. Additionally, admins can now migrate Salesforce Classic apps to the Lightning Experience and easily view which apps are Lightning Apps. This is a critical step for existing Salesforce customers to be able to migrate to the Lighting Experience.
About the Author
Brock has been a Developer at Silverline since June of 2013. As a Force.com Certified Platform App Builder and Administrator, Brock keeps up to date with every Salesforce release.