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Everybody is talking about Lightning and mobile but I saw not a single webinar and did not read a single word how Lightning and all those new, complex and not yet ready for production frameworks will solve problems of ISVs with existing native apps.

Although Salesforce.com makes us think that we all will only survive if everything is mobile first, there are vendors that have a hard time building state of the art UI with the existing technology Visualforce because it is page/request based.

Sure, the web is open and everything is HTML, so we could just skip Visualforce and use ExtJS or any other hip component framework. But such a shift is only easy on paper and not in reality. And I really like that Visualforce is taking the pain of Javascript, HTML and CSS away from us.

My question or request for opinions is about this:

  1. What should we invest in as ISV or wait for if we want to build better Salesforce.com native UI (no mobile apps)?

  2. Will there be Component Frameworks from other specialized vendors that we can build on like Skuid?!

  3. Will there ever be something like a Lightning for Desktop, a complete redesign of Salesforce.com standard UI?**

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    Lightning also runs on the desktop. The core of Lightning is also what's used for Reporting. I suggest you check docs and collect more facts, perhaps even invest some time in viewing the webinars before drawing lots of conclusions.
    – crmprogdev
    May 6, 2015 at 19:23
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    It would be great if you could point me into the right direction by providing some links to desktop related webinars or tutorial. At least it would be more helpful than suggesting a question vote ;-) May 6, 2015 at 19:25
  • Besides that, alhought I understand that all SE users should hold this forum free of hate speech and to much endless discussion. I strongly disagree that we should immediately shut down every question that is opinion or discussion based and less enthusiastic about the latest and greatest SFDC feature. As far as I know that is the big benefit of an independent platform. May 6, 2015 at 19:30
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    I kind of get where you are coming from. Almost all of my day to day work is developing line of business applications for users who are working from a desk. No one every asks me to make mobile/tablet compatible apps. It might just be the industry's I work with or their lack of interest in supporting mobile platforms. May 6, 2015 at 19:31
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    Try this link developer.salesforce.com/lightning from which you can get to the webinars that took place in March/April. Lightning sits on top of Aura, making it somewhat a bit like Canvas in that you can create whatever UI you want to with Aura as a foundation. There are no VF controllers to build, making it fast for development, (esp for mobile apps). I don't think all of it's features are ready for prime time yet, but believe it's where SF is ultimately going to drive the bus.
    – crmprogdev
    May 6, 2015 at 20:46

2 Answers 2

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At about the 25 minute mark of the Dreamforce 2014 "True to the Core" session, they start showing some slides of the upcoming replacements to the old Aloha desktop UI.

http://dreamforce.vidyard.com/watch/mu8WO3VT9vVAvOzar2PhLA

Now, no dates are promised and if you watch/listen to the entire video, it's clear that it's going to come in dribs and drabs over many years. Additionally, since there hasn't been a shred of documentation produced around best practices for phasing in Lighntning UI to co-exist with existing VF (i.e. UX stuff like CSS for themes, boilerplate responsive design CSS, etc), this is probably even further off into the future than the Dreamforce session hints at.

The Foundation has a customized version of Bootstrap that mimics the SF1 theme, so you can start there. I've never tried using it while writing Lightning Components so I don't know how it plays in that environment where the CSS is narrowly scoped to the LC.

https://github.com/SalesforceFoundation/bootstrap-sf1

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  • Thanks for this insightful answer. I want to hear more from others so I do not yet mark your answer as "the" answer ;-) May 7, 2015 at 11:52
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I would be willing to put down many beers on the bet that Salesforce.com standard UI will be redesigned to match what is today the Salesforce1 App. This will allow a smooth transition from whatever platform you are using (Mobile/App/Desktop/etc...) the only difference would be how you interact with it (Mouse/Touch/etc...). My guess behind this is that in the demo/marketing videos it shows the Lightning Apps running on Desktops/Laptop/Phone/Tablet/Watch and the UI for each looking the same.

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  • Besides that I love the future you draw with that statement...is there any data that supports this? May 6, 2015 at 19:32
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    "Q: Are Lightning Components intended only for mobile? A: Components have been built to be mobile first, but with responsive design in mind. So you can use them for both mobile and desktop (as a standalone app)." developer.salesforce.com/page/Lightning_FAQ and the entire like load Salesforce1 into your browser with the one.app. Also youtube.com/watch?v=8WsU0_ghZ_Q granted it is marketing material but notice how when it zooms out near the end it shows every device looking exactly the same. That also said with the speed of salesforce stuff it might be years.
    – Dan
    May 6, 2015 at 19:43
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    youtube.com/watch?v=2bDG665-wwA Starting at 1:30 and again at 2:50ish. And then again at 3:35 with a key focus on 3:46 "You see our old generation UI framework... right now as we speak we are transitioning away from that old UI to a brand new UI using Lighting Framework" @RobertSösemann
    – Dan
    May 6, 2015 at 19:57

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