Salesforce is one of the companies with its own low code and no-code platform. The Lightning platform can be used free of charge by almost all customers. Salesforce solutions are easy to build with new features and possibilities. This applies not only to developers, but to all users.
Salesforce provides four major solutions to enterprise companies: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud. These four primary services form the basis of Salesforce and are good products in themselves. However, Salesforce is an actor in an enterprise playing field, and the needs for a solution vary enormously there. That is why these products are already fairly modular. There are also dozens of additional services that can make the solutions even better in order to expand them further.
However, it has become clear that this is not enough. Companies always have wishes that fall outside standards, and that often means that another customer is dissatisfied. Ultimately, it must be possible to customise solutions for each customer. On the other hand, the solutions must remain generic products that can be further developed and form the basis of any customer environment. We don’t want to go back to the days when everyone was messing around in the source code and where updates and migrations become more or less impossible.
Salesforce App Exchange
Salesforce’s SaaS solutions have already been built in a highly modular way to meet these requirements. The metadata configuration already allows a lot of changes to be made. It is then possible to run applications on top of that, which just add the feature or functionality that is needed for a specific company. Salesforce also has an application store for this, the App Exchange. Earlier this year we wrote that the Salesforce App Exchange has more than 7 million apps and more than 4.3 million active developers. These applications are available for free or for a fee. For some of the most popular features, an app is now available. For others, a company may have to build them or have them built.
From developers to business users
For developers, there is the Heroku cloud platform. This allows them to develop applications in their own programming language, to run on top of the Salesforce platform. Of course, this is already a great expansion of the possibilities, but Salesforce wants to involve the daily user, the business user, in the Salesforce platform and in the software that has to be worked with on a daily basis. The platform can still be improved in many companies, and the business user knows more about this than the developers in the company. With the Lightning platform, Salesforce has built both low-code and no-code environments with which applications can be developed.
This allows features and functionality to be added to the Salesforce platform. These applications can also be shared with other users via the App Exchange, sometimes for a fee.
The simplicity of no-code and low-code
It is good to think about the simplicity of no-code and low-code. Involving business users in application development sounds like a no-go. Some examples of Salesforce applications that are feasible for every user:
Lightning Object Creator
The Lightning Object Creator makes it possible for any user with spreadsheets to build an application from those, simply by clicking and without writing any code. This is a real no-code builder. In this case, the spreadsheet serves as the basis for the data on which is being worked. Then you can indicate what kind of data it is, which fields are required and to which data in Salesforce it should be linked, for example to a certain customer or product.
Lightning Flow Builder
With Lightning Flow Builder, it is once again possible to build an application where you don’t have to write any code. The Flow Builder is a lot more extensive than the Object Creator. With the Flow Builder you can record a complete process that a user, employee or partner has to go through. Various screens, data and services from external parties can be used. Conditions can be set before someone is allowed to go to the next step or screen. A good example of a possibility is the onboarding process of a new employee, where he or she first has to fill in all his or her data. He or she must then go through the necessary training and agree to certain terms of business. Then, the user is definitively created and gets access to the building and the relevant company data for his or her function.
In this way, it can be determined whether someone has watched a training video, whether approval has been given under certain conditions and whether all data has been entered correctly. Of course, this is only one example. It can also be applied to customers who, for example, want to submit an extensive support question, or if a customer wants to place an order for a SaaS solution that requires specific data.
Lightning App Builder
The Lightning App Builder is really focused on improving existing Salesforce products, e.g. by building screens where you can determine exactly which data is displayed and how. This allows you to filter certain data or add functionality that is specific to your company. You can also add data from an external source, so employees don’t have to switch between two applications or screens to get a complete overview of a particular case. For example, when the company sends a lot of packages to customers, the track and trace information of a specific customer is then displayed directly at the customer data. This way you can make a process much more efficient.
Within a Salesforce product, for example, these applications can be loaded as an extra tab or as a primary tab. This can be configured as desired. It is also possible to build an application that only provides limited information and functionality. Think of a customer portal where the customer can view his invoices, but is not allowed to change his data, or e.g. an employee on the road. He or she does want to see the essential customer information he or she needs for his or her appointment, but all unnecessary information can be omitted. For example, there are no overloads of information that have no added value to the purpose of the appointment. The applications can also be converted into mobile applications that can then be rolled out to employees or added to the iOS App Store or Android Play Store for customers. The possibilities vary widely. In addition, most can also be built without the use of code.
The demo below gives a brief impression of what is possible:
Salesforce’s capabilities are limitless
Salesforce already offers many out-of-the-box products that companies gratefully use and pay for each month, amongst other things because sales departments benefit so much from the Sales Cloud. The possibilities of the Salesforce products can already be called extensive by default, but they go much further with the addition of the Lightning platform. Every customer can develop custom applications to make their processes more efficient, employees can work better and more effectively, customers are more satisfied, and the company results are also better as a result. For most customers, the Lightning platform can also be used at no extra cost. If your company is a Salesforce customer and is looking for opportunities to innovate, then the Lightning platform is certainly one of the possibilities to look into further.