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SALESFORCE LIGHTNING: IMPROVING THE CORE PRODUCT?

Wednesday 6th April 2016
Following Launch has Salesforce Lightning Improved the Core Product?
After its launch in October 2015, Salesforce Lightning made waves in the business and sales industry. The latest iteration of the CRM software promised a completely new Salesforce experience, maximising the productivity of sales representatives and featuring analytics and in-line intelligence to help further drive sales precision. The combination of Lightning Experience, Lighting Design System and Lighting App builder (a tool, customisation engine and app builder, respectively) promised to improve the core sales features that are used every day by those in sales roles around the world. With better productivity and faster processes on the table, how has Salesforce Lightning impacted the sales community, and has it actually improved the core product?

The impact on end users
The end users of Salesforce Lightning are largely sales representatives, who typically use CRMs on an everyday basis. The software is integral to the management of contacts and processes, so understandably those using it demand a product that offers high performance and a simple user interface.

The response from sales reps on the new iteration of Salesforce has been largely positive. The new homepage has been described as a ‘sales rep’s dream’, offering a new dashboard, sales pipeline features and an updated user interface. Users can quickly check their goals, access Top Deals and get reminders about tasks and accounts, offering an effective one-stop shop to manage contacts and workloads. The customisable dashboard was implemented after overwhelming demand from users, offering the ability to add up to nine columns, as opposed to the previous limit of three.
 
One of the best improvements from a user’s perspective is the addition of a customisable highlights panel, which has proven helpful in keeping track of status records. The Activity Feed keeps users up to date on movements in an account and what the next steps are, while clever contextual hover updates allow reps to get more information on customers without opening up separate pages in the application. 

What developers think
While sales reps have been mostly complimentary of the new Salesforce Lightning platform, developers have been slower to laud the software. The first upgrade eliminated a number of processes that devs had previously relied on, making it more difficult to adapt to the changes. For example, hacks such as using Javascript to improve the user interface aren’t supported in Lightning Experience, and there can be glitches when you’re moving between supported and unsupported features.

Lightning also doesn’t support multiple browser tabs, and the static URL redirection lacks efficiency compared to previous Salesforce versions.

However, the new system is clearly faster and layouts have been simplified, including the appearance of the object and field definition sections. As the interface draws heavily from standard modern web technologies, developers may find it easier to develop for a variety of devices and screen sizes, which is an obvious advantage in the age of the tablet, mobile and smart watch.

What do you think?
Salesforce Lightning is relatively new on the market, and users and developers alike are still discovering new elements of the platform. Let us know what you think about it!

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