My Path to Enabling Lightning Experience

On August 25th, Salesforce announced the new Lightning Experience during a live global broadcast. It was very clear at last year’s Dreamforce that I would eventually need to learn how to develop on the new Lightning Framework — eventually! I literally tossed and turned all night, worrying that I wasn’t going to be able to make the transition. Worrying about all of those URL hacks that I used even with the “not supported by Salesforce” disclaimer. I kept thinking about how wonderful the Lightning Experience will be for our reps and how badly I wanted to be able to just flip that switch day 1.

I went straight home that night and started working through some of the Lightning Experience Trailhead modules. One of the modules, Lightning Experience Rollout, really helps guide you on what things you should consider before rolling it out. It even came with a handy enablement pack, which included a Sample Gap Analysis worksheet. After working through the modules I was able to come up with a tentative game plan.

The first thing that we’ll need to do is identify all of our URL hacks and Javascript buttons. With the enhancements of Flow and the introduction of the Process Builder, we should be able to implement supported alternatives to these buttons. Next, we need to identify all of our Visualforce pages. Testing these out will be a must, especially considering support will still be beta in Winter 16. Identifying which items are not yet supported and which of our users use them, will help to narrow down who should be part of the pilot program.

Now, the fun begins. Learning how to develop on the Lightning framework. Last year, I brought home this awesome book from Dreamforce, “Lightning Components Developer Guide”. I cracked it open a few times, but felt so lost. I didn’t know how to find help, I didn’t know how to debug and I really didn’t understand anything I was doing. I remember at one point reaching out to a friend, Ryan, who helped me figure out it was just a browser cache issue. “DOH”, hours wasted, additional grays added and the only thing I needed to do was clear my cache…

I wasn’t going to let that stop me, lesson learned, keep on keepin’ on. So, I continued working through the book, but unfortunately got stuck again, this time I put the book down and gave up! I tried going back to it, but still couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Since we really weren’t using Salesforce mobile, I figured I had plenty of time to learn. With the unveiling of the Lightning Experience, that time is now!

Today, I am proud to say that I was able to complete the Lightning Components module in Trailhead. The best part is that I actually feel like I’m starting to understand it. I plan on working through the rest of the modules as well as attend as many lightning focused session at DF15 as possible. Having a game plan and so many resources available for learning Lightning, my goal is to have our first set of users on the Lightning Experience by Spring 16 release.


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