Up ahead: Lightning, Apex and Salesorce learning

I had just gotten back from a 3 day Developer Bootcamp and 2 day conference called TrailHeadDX. Our company is making an aggressive move towards Salesforce and they want all the developers to be all hands on deck. So I am forecasting some Salesforce tutorials or writeups in the coming months. salesforce

So far I am quite impressed with the platform. Especially how they’ve packaged, marketed and presented the whole thing. See, I have only seen Salesforce from the API side of things. I have used open source technology, along with OAuth to communicate with it (specifically Chatter). But as far as actually using Salesforce? The UI? The Admin? Not much.

Salesforce

What is it? It started out as a Customer Relation Management system. Now its a cloud computing application that companies use for many things such as building apps, AI, IoT, Communities, Chatter, APIs – and much more. It has grown to be an enterprise software that is built to provide services to customers.

How does it work? Well, I’m still learning that part.

Who uses it? Big companies, small business, individuals – all over the world.

Lightning

So what is this “Lightning” all about. Well, in summary – Lightning is Saleforce’s component-based “front-end framework”. They encourage everything to be developed using Lightning, they even have migration tips on how to convert the older “Visualforce” pages into it. It’s primary aim is to let “non-coders” to be able to develop apps. So there are pre-built components that you can drag and drop onto a page, configure and done. But if you want to get something custom – that’s where you need the “coders” to step in.

Also, I called it a “front-end” framework because it is not just a JavaScript FW – but the look and feel of it is included as well. Think of it as a Bootstrap and Angular rolled up in one system. It makes total sense – especially in today’s “component” style world. It is based on the open source Aura framework, plus the Lightning Design System.

Yes – it’s pretty cool I must say.

Apex

So Apex is Salesforce’s proprietary programming language. Your Lightning Components are cool – but it won’t do much if it can’t pull data. And this is still done via AJAX to the server – which is written in Apex. Apex is said to be similar to Java. It can access the database, do data manipulation, echo stuff – plus much more.

Conclusion

So there you go. A lot of learning up ahead. I am not sure how much stuff I can write about it since there is already really good documentation on how things are done up in Salesforce’s training site called Trailhead. It also has a good gamification for learning – which I also think is really effective (and addictive). Stay tuned.

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