When the Salesforce Lightning Experience was first announced, I was so excited to play around with this new interface and start customising the layout like never before. But when I actually started diving in, a lot was restricted, and there was barely anything you could customise without code. But these days are long gone!
For a few releases now, Salesforce have given us a whole host of standard lightning components to play around with. Admins with any experience background can now start customising their pages on Salesforce using the Lightning App Builder, to provide a more contextualised view for their users.
If you are unfamiliar with Lightning Components, let me give you a quick flavour. Essentially any of the “boxes” you see on the image to the right, is a component. They can perform various tasks like show reports, list views, or just some text to say hi. There are three types of lightning components..
Standard – Out of the box components provided by Salesforce.
Custom – Custom components that are developed by yourself by your own developers
Managed – Components downloaded from the AppExchange, in the exact same way you would an application. (Great post by Brent Downey on his favourite here)
Over the past few releases, Salesforce have been providing us with a lot of standard components which can be dragged and dropped straight into your users hearts. Unbeknownst to me, I’ve missed quite a few of these from each release, which is why I assume that a lot of other Trailblazers out there might not have heard of them. Before taking a look at some of the available standard components, lets have a quick look at where they can actually be implemented.
Home Page – Components can firstly be added to any home page within Lightning. As per the image on the right, components can be added that are most relevant for a user when they first login. A massive bonus to this is that home pages can be created per profile, meaning sales users can have sales information, and support users can have support information.
Record Page – Secondly components can be added to any record page for an object. Components can also be added to a tabs component (More about this later)
App Page – App pages can also be created for your custom Lightning Applications. Similar to home pages, but these can be created specifically for apps you have created.
Ok now your up to speed on the type of components as well as where these components can be placed, let’s dive into what they can actually do for your business! This list will include some of the most exciting new components, there are a lot of components that Lightning users will already be familiar with as they are added to the page layout by default (So we won’t be covering these). These include Performance Chart, Assistant, News, Recent Items, Today’s Events, Today’s Tasks & Top Deals. But there is so much more!
First component up is the report chart component. As you might have guessed from it’s name, this gives you the ability to add a chart that you have added to a report, directly onto your page. This applies to all three of the available Lightning pages and is effective on all of them. Giving your users the ability to see a relevant chart on the home page can kick start their day with data that is relevant to them, such as the image above showing a support manager the types of cases that have come in today.
Reports on record pages can also be filtered, which means that you can add a generic report onto the page layout, but filter it depending on the record you are looking at! If you would like to know how to create your own report chart, check out the tutorial here.
Staying on a similar tangent to the previous report chart component, the dashboard component allows you to place an entire dashboard within your lightning pages. Bear in mind with this component, it will bring over all components attached to the dashboard, this can be limited with the “Max Height” parameter.
Flow has been solving complex requirements ever since it’s inception, and now this continues in Lightning! With the flow component, you can now add visual flow components directly on the page layout. Giving your users the ability to have a wizard style component that can walk them through a step by step process. Anyone familiar with flow knows how effective this feature is to take automation to the next level. Here is a simple example to the right.
A simplistic but potentially powerful component. Rich text simply allows you to input a combination of text and images into a component that can be displayed anywhere. This is EXTREMELY powerful with the all new dynamic components feature that allows you to show/hide components based on field data (More about this later).
Another great component that is effective to add on a home page or app page, a list view. This can provide a list of dynamic records with a fixed list view for different users.
The path component is probably something all of you veteran lightning users are familiar with, as it features on the standard Opportunity layout. The path component gives users a way to visually see how far along a certain process a record is, whilst showing helpful instructions and fields along the way (Guidance for success). It’s used within Opportunities to show how far through a sales process a deal is, but it can be applied to other objects as well. Path is currently enabled for opportunities, leads, campaigns, contracts, orders and custom objects. Path is really easy to implement, try it here with this tutorial.
A very interesting and high potential component that allows you to add a tab interface to your record pages. You are probably already pretty familiar with this component as a tab like interface is available on most objects. However since just over a year ago, you can create your own tabs and add as many components as you like to each one!
Items to Approve
A great component to add to the home pages of individuals that have to approve steps in an approval process. Can also be added to it’s own custom app page as demonstrated below..
Finally last but not least, we have the new Quip component that was added as part of the most recent Winter ’18 release. If you are unfamiliar with Quip, then check out this introduction post. After several demos at Dreamforce and with the announcement of Live Apps, I am most definitely sold, and you should be too. The Quip component allows you to add Quip documents to records, as well as created new ones right from within Salesforce. A must for any existing user.
I hope this article has been informative and you have discovered a few new components you haven’t heard of before. What combinations of components have you used to create something amazing? Let us know in the comments below!