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We've implemented couple of lightning based projects involving medium usage of LDS.

So far our approach is to build any UI is

  1. Check the requirements from business

  2. Consider possibilities within LDS for e.g if to track stages(Case etc), we know slds provides something called 'Path' and some ready made component is already available.

  3. Produce Prototype and present to customer for approval

  4. Use LDS to build the sites.

Now customer has created their own team, which will conceptualise and build propotypes. They said. we'd like create NEW UI of an external facing site which could be extermely rich in UI and as per latest web standards and asking us to confirm, Salesforce LDS is best and can support any UI, which their UI-team will be proposing? They would like to prepare beforehand and prepare team with right skills at the earliest.

My questions:

  1. Is there something which can't be built using SLDS ? I mean any limitations? I mean anything possible with custom CSS classes, can be developed using SLDS? I mean can we say SLDS is fit for anything ?

  2. They are saying developing UI layer/Backend layer should be separate tasks and should go hand in hand. But we find it hard in lightning. For e.g components front end need to have some code (attributes, aura:if /aura:iteration etc) so front end atleast needs to be revisited to add these, even if succeed in building some broader out layer of components separately. It can't be totally separate. Also some mark ups

Will there be any advantage in building UI totally out of Lightning and involving custom CSS ?

Thanks for any help/view points in this.

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Answer to first question:

So... yea and no. Yes there are probably thousand of things you can't build using ONLY SLDS. Lightning Design system essentially is CSS Framework which is also web (javascript) framework (so lex,react,angular etd) agnostic. That means it can be used anywhere where we want.

And why no? Because as I said before its CSS framework which can be extended however we want. It's build with BEM standard, is kinda easy to use and it's documented pretty well.

Second statement.

You're right but only in case that you're developing using SLDS in LEX context. Probably it would be possible to somehow build front and backend separately but that kinda development would be stripped off all of the advantages of lightning component/lightning web component development.

Last question: Again it depends, currently I can see three advantages of using SLDS outside of lightning (or Salesforce itself) context

  1. If someone would have requirement to create frontend that have look and feel similar to Salesforce Lightning, LDS would be best choice to do that
  2. Its constantly developed, that means it would be updated in future with probably some more features or component blueprints etc
  3. Its being used. so eventual bugs, issues are reported and well if you use Salesforce you can check how it looks in action

But the biggest question is: Why actually someone want to use LDS outside Salesforce? If its meeting business requirements, why not. If not: choose diffrent tool.

Also it's good idea to read FAQ section of LDS and visit their GitHub

  • Thanks for responding back!. I guess my main worry is - Today if we say, Lightning can be used and tomorrow if customer present any UI-prototype, which we're not able to meet with lightning, then it could put the complete project in trouble. How can we decide in the beginning itself ? What should we ask them ? – curious_techy Jan 18 at 20:36
  • So reality is that probably there isny any css framework that will meet all of your clients requests in its original form. Whatever you choose, you'll need to create some css by yourself. What you should ask them? Obviously what they want to have. But still if that project would not be connected anyhow to Salesforce, use something else IMO. Besides that I'm afraid that your question start to be to broad and unfortunately doesnt fit this stackexchange purpose. – user1974566 Jan 18 at 20:46

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