Cloud CRM company Salesforce wants to help developers push out mobile apps at lightning speed. Salesforce1 Lightning aims to make that possible by letting just about anybody build apps for devices across multiple platforms -- including smartphones, phablets, wearables, desktops and laptops.
Salesforce pointed to facts and figures to prove the need for its latest innovation. Eighty billion apps were downloaded in 2013, according to eMarketer, and that number is expected to hit 160 billion by 2017. According to IDC, there has been a 70 percent decrease in the time needed to bring applications to market. And it’s not just about apps, as Salesforce sees it, it’s about engaging apps that tap into real-time business data that delivers actionable insights.
“Salesforce finds itself at the center of one of the most disruptive transformations in the IT world in 35 years,” said Robert Mahowald, program vice president, SaaS & Cloud Software at IDC. “Many Salesforce customers report that they are reducing development cycles and delivery times to build and deploy new applications, allowing them to get to market faster with new products and new applications.”
Need for Lightning Speed
Lightning is aiming to define a new era of platform as a service (PaaS). For starters, Lightning is delivering a user interface for every Salesforce app that is optimized for any device. The platform includes framework, components, an app builder, a process builder, a community designer, and a schema builder.
A key part of the platform is the Lighting App Builder that lets business users -- not just developers and IT staff -- build apps with point-and-clicks tools. Meanwhile, the Lightning Process Builder lets business users build enterprise workflows and visually automate complex processes. For example, you can send follow up e-mail reminders, submit pricing approval requests, and assign tasks or get more complex with tasks like employee onboarding, vendor procurement and order fulfillment.
“The role of IT has changed dramatically. We can't bury our heads in the back office, we have to look to the future in different ways,” said Toby Lester, Vice President of Technology, Architecture and Innovation at Brown-Forman. “With Salesforce1 Lightning, we can build apps quickly for any business need.”
Natural Evolution of Salesforce1
Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis who is at Dreamforce this week, told us Lightning is a natural evolution of the Salesforce1 platform. He said the new product “accentuates and draws attention” to the need for a true cross platform cloud to support more than just one mobile client.
“It’s really about empowering IT, DevOps and even business users to build out applications much more easily and much more rapidly to take advantage of and to fulfill the need for truly mobile cloud-born apps,” Shimmin said.
“It’s very expensive to develop mobile apps for many different platforms -- iOS, the many versions of Android, BlackBerry, Windows, etc. With Lighting, Salesforce hopes to make it easier and faster to build mobile applications that from the get-go that will run across all of those different mobile platforms,” he said.
The Lightning Framework and Lightning Schema Builder are now generally available as part of the Salesforce1 Platform. Other components of the solution will come to market in February 2015. The Salesforce1 Mobile App Action Bar is expected to be generally available in November 2014.
Posted: 2014-10-17 @ 12:13pm PT
There is nothing really new with Lightning. Our customers have been building business apps codelessly on Snappii for 4 years now