I am looking for a good option in terms of adaptability to lightning to embed a external applicaiton in Salesforce UI( A VF page or Lightning component). On doing some research I identified below options:

  1. Use Iframe to integrate UI of external applicaiton
  2. Use canvas app to integrate the UI of external app ( Many links suggest this approach)

Are there any other options/tools that can be used to achieve this end? Is there any drawback of using Canvas app like compatibility with Lightning? Or is it the recommended way to integrate external system's UI?

  • depends, what is the external app supposed to do? maybe there is an option that is lightning ready in the appexchange? maybe you can create a lightning component?
    – glls
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:29
  • I am trying to access an external application like gmail or google maps. I should be able to search account location right there in my salesforce page
    – SfdcBat
    Jul 24, 2017 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


The Canvas API is intended to be used to embed an external application within the Salesforce UI. It works with Classic, Salesforce1, and Lightning, and provides a seamless login experience for the user. It is definitely the recommended approach. You could also use a simple iframe, if you prefer, but depending on what API access you need, it might not be compatible with Lightning (the Lightning session doesn't have API access). I would recommend using the Canvas API.

  • Do you mean if iframe is used with Lightning component it may not have access to Salesforce APIs?
    – SfdcBat
    Jul 25, 2017 at 5:48
  • 1
    @SfdcBat You should be able to use something like force:canvasApp, but you wouldn't want to just use an iframe. There are right ways to do things, so long as you do that you'd be okay.
    – sfdcfox
    Jul 25, 2017 at 12:11
  • can you share any content on user interface integration?
    – Edmondo
    Apr 6, 2021 at 10:51
  • @Edmondo1984 The Canvas API Developer Guide has pretty much everything you need to know, and you can also check out the documentation for force:canvasApp and apex:canvasApp for implementing custom interfaces in Lightning and Visualforce, respectively.
    – sfdcfox
    Apr 6, 2021 at 12:21
  • I have added a more detailed question here salesforce.stackexchange.com/questions/339689/…
    – Edmondo
    Apr 6, 2021 at 12:28

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