Lightning fast mobile apps


November 10, 2014

Christopher Nugent

Two weeks ago I was fortunate to attend the Developer Playground at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. I heard about the latest and greatest product developments recently launched at Dreamforce 2014 and those that will available be in the near future. This is the second installment of a five part series on my insights into how customers can benefit from's latest product releases.

I would like to continue where I left off in my last post: Lightning the load and relay more of what I learnt about durning the session. The new Lightning product family was a major theme and requires (or deserves) more than a single post’s treatment. Last time I focused on Lightning Connect, a way to integrate your back office ERP with Salesforce via ‘point and click’ configuration.

In this post I’ll be taking a closer look at the Lightning Components and App Builder and why I think salesforce customers should consider these products as part of your mobility strategy. Lightning Components are effectively the building blocks that you’ll use to build applications in the future. When I say build, I should probably use the word assemble. Because the thing that struck me most about the App Builder was just how much like building a Dashboard it was. Provided you have the components, assembling the app is drag and drop. Pure child’s play.

Returning to the Lightning Components for a second, there are two types:

  • Standard components that are provided by out of the box, and

  • Custom Components, that you can build yourself with the open source Aura framework.

The real world effect of these two parts of Lightning are the ability to rapidly develop enterprise applications for your organisation.

When I worked in industry I was constantly frustrated at the prohibitively high cost of developing a mobile front end for the apps we had built on the Salesforce1 platform. If it was 'x' dollars for the app itself, it would be 'x' dollars again to build the mobile version. Lightning reduces this to a negligible dollar amount if there is any additional cost at all.

If your business wants or needs mobile applications, Lightning Components and App Builder will enable you to rapidly churn out capability like nothing you have seen before. You can access it now in any Developer Edition (DE) Org and general availability is coming in the future.

I would like to thank Michael Meisels (LinkedIn) from for running the session on Lightning and I cannot wait to attend the next Developer Playground.

In my next post I will conclude my focus on the Lightning Product Family with a look at Lightning Process Builder.