Salesforce.com Launches New Low-Code Lightning Tools

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Salesforce.com today announced two new low-code tools for the Lightning platform, Object Creator and Flow Builder, as well as updates for its AppExchange.

The first of these tools, Lightning Object Creator, allows users to transform spreadsheets into modern apps with clicks, not code. “If you think of the experience of going into a car dealership, and you want to take a car for a test drive, often you’re greeted with a paper form and you have to fill out that paper form as a customer, hand it over to the dealership, and then the dealership probably has some admin in the back office who is entering that customer information into a spreadsheet,” says Hugh Minson, director of platform product marketing at Salesforce. “All of the customer information is often captured in that spreadsheet, people are sending around different versions. There’s lots of process around the data that’s in the spreadsheet.”

With Lightning Object Creator, the user can upload that spreadsheet file and within a few minutes have it converted into a powerful app with the Lightning platform’s capabilities baked in, such as search and mobile functionality, he says.

Lightning Flow Builder allows users to automate processes for customer or employee experiences. Additionally, new Lightning Flow Actions—prebuilt, reusable components for industries and specific use cases available via AppExchange—deliver deeper functionality to automated processes such as a video player or the ability to accept credit card payments. “Lightning Flow Builder is a low-code tool that lets end users automate complex business processes with drag-and-drop functionality,” Minson says. “If you think of that same [car dealership], think about all of the processes that happen on the employee side where they’re relying on the data in that spreadsheet, and they might be emailing each other, speaking to each other, [and] updating the spreadsheet. With Lightning Flow Builder you can take a lot of those processes and automate them, and with Lightning Flow Actions you can bake these solutions from third parties into those processes.”

AppExchange also now boasts smarter recommendations, including a “Recommended for You” page with suggested solutions based on information such as customer location, install history, and profile data.

“All of these announcements are continuing our journey down this democratization of application development path where we’re empowering anyone—people who can code, people who can’t code—to be a part of the application development story and solve complex business challenges that face their organizations,” Minson says.

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