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What is Salesforce Lightning

Firstly, Salesforce Lightning is still Salesforce. If you already have Salesforce, your underlying database remains unchanged. If you don’t yet have Salesforce, Lighting is all you will know when you take the plunge! Lightning is both a new user experience and a re-designed platform. The refreshed interface gives users access to great new features, whilst maximising productivity and allowing better decision making based on your data. The re-designed platform also gives administrators and developers a component-based framework for faster and more efficient app development.

New Salesforce customers are automatically set up with Lightning, but existing customers may still be using Classic. If you’re not sure which you have, take a look in the top right of your screen. If you see a link that says “Switch to Lighting Experience” then you are still in Classic and not reaping the benefits of the additional features in Lightning.

When Lightning was first released, our customers had concerns that Classic features were not yet supported in Lightning and delayed their migration, but with every release Lightning not only increases the coverage of Classic features, but delivers great new features only available in the Lightning interface.

Although using Salesforce Lightning is optional, Salesforce.com are driving more users to the enhanced platform from the Winter’20 release. At this point, there will be a rolling schedule to switch on Lightning in customer orgs, and automatically switch users into the Lightning experience. If you are really not sold on the benefits of Lightning yet, you can ensure that your users are not included in this update by checking that their profile permissions for Lightning are not enabled. However… Lightning really is a game changer, and we’d highly recommend taking a closer look at the benefits it would bring.

User Interface:

The user interface has been made to drive efficiencies for users. There are some fantastic features to keep sales people more focused on closing that deal, or for service agents to be able to view more information and respond more quickly to cases. Here are a few of the features we love:

  1. Path - Guide your users through each stage of a process by adding the key fields they should enter and guidance notes. The path is visual, and easy to move to the next step in your process. It’s no longer limited to Opportunities, and you can choose which picklist is used to determine the steps that you want to show as the path.
  2. Kanban - A great visual tool to see your records in a kanban view. Simply drag and drop your records to the next step and update them in real-time, or click into them to see more information. You can also quickly add Activities from the record card to ensure there is a clear plan of action for your customers and clients.
  3. Activity Timeline - Now you can see all of the past and current Activities in the same feed, which makes it really easy to see a complete history of what has happened with your customer or sale.
  4. Navigation Items - No longer are they just “tabs”, now there are loads of actions you can take straight from the item itself - like create a new record or access a recent record, or get straight to the list view you last viewed.

Lightning Platform:

The lightning platform isn’t just there to benefit your users, it also improves the experience of your system administrators and developers by providing enhanced development tools. Here are some of the features you will find:

  1. Customise your Home page and Record Home pages with the Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components. Components are re-usable, so once you have developed them, they are available throughout your org - giving you a more flexible approach to your org design
  2. Lightning Experience Pages - customise your record pages to show the components your users need in the location that makes the most sense, you can also customise the layout using App Page templates. You can also take advantage of Dynamic Lightning Pages and control when a component appears on a page by adding filter conditions and logic in the Lightning App Builder
  3. Themes and Branding - you can now apply your company’s branding, colour and images to make Salesforce truly your own

If you want to know more about what is coming to Lightning, take a look at the Lightning Experience Roadmap here. There is so much more coming to the Lightning Platform and many of these features are for Lightning Experience only.

If you are a Classic user, and want to learn more about migrating to Lightning and planning your migration strategy, read our blog here. Our team are experts in the Classic and Lightning interface and can work with you to migrate to Lightning and take advantage of the new world of Salesforce Lightning.

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