Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re welcoming back podcast favorite Zayne Turner, Lead Developer Evangelist at Salesforce. We chat Lightning Web Components, a new technology that helps reconfigure how we build Lightning components.
Join us as we talk about what Lightning Web Components means for our implementations and applications.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Zayne Turner.
How Lightning Web Components changes the game.
Lightning Web Components is a new way of building components that lets you apply the experience you already have in other web development technology outside of the Salesforce ecosystem. “Under the hood, some of the standard components you see in the top of the explorer and app builder have maybe been Lightning components for a while now and we didn’t know it,” Zayne says, and the beauty of this technology is that you don’t have to. As Gillian says, you can make a components turducken and it’ll just work and be delicious.
“When we introduced Aura, the web was different,” Zayne says, “there weren’t as many things that the browser knew how to do out of the box so we had to build a lot of it for you.” That meant that it needed to be built custom, which made it confusing for developers because they needed to learn different ways of doing the same thing. It also made things slower. Now that the web is smarter, we can leverage widespread technology to make things easier.
What does Lightning Web Components mean for admins?
For admins, there are a few things that you need to think about with the release of Lightning Web Components. “If you’re wondering what’s going to change when I open up App Builder,” Zayne says, “you shouldn’t have to change anything.” The bigger change is that you help your developers make a better choice, especially with performance or adding new talent with other web development experience.
We can help developers be more efficient by bringing our Admin Magic to the table. If we really understand the business processes at play in a particular situation, we can show them how a particular component fits into the broader landscape. That means a more efficient team that gets more done.
Get your hands dirty.
If you’re looking for how to get your hands dirty and understand what the Lightning Web Components app opens up, you can start with the Recipes sample app. “It shows you how to solve a lot of common problems in 30 lines of code or less,” Zayne says, whether or not you’re a developer. You have so many different ways of doing what you want to do, and it’s valuable to understand what those options are even if it’s not in your normal toolbox.
Coming up, there are the Global Developer Week meetings in February where people can get together to talk about what’s new and where there are challenges. At the end of May, of course, there’s TrailheaDX. Check out your local community group for more information, and there are always great resources available online (and in our show notes).
- Lightning Web Components Launch recoding
- Sample Apps Gallery
- Global Developer Week events
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Full Show Transcript
Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast, where we talk about product, community and careers to help you become a more awesome Salesforce Admin. I’m Gillian Bruce and today we’re welcoming back one of our favorites to the podcast, Zayne Turner Lead Developer Evangelist here at Salesforce. Zayne has been doing a lot of work on Lightning Web Components. Lightning Web Components is an exciting new technology that we launched not too long ago to help reconfigure how we build Lightning components. Now most of this has been focused on the developer audience because it is talking about coding and the frameworks and web frameworks. There are some really cool things about Lightning Web Components that we should think about as admins. Some opportunities for us to help guide new developers in the Salesforce space, help us rethink some of the pieces of our Salesforce implementation and application.
Gillian Bruce: I wanted to get Zayne on the podcast to explain a little bit more about what Lightning Web Components means for us as admins. So whiteout further ado, welcome Zayne to the podcast. Zayne welcome to the podcast.
Zayne Turner: Gillian, thank you for having me again. This is fantastic to be back.
Gillian Bruce: We love having you on the podcast. It’s been too long.
Zayne Turner: It has been too long.
Gillian Bruce: I feel like it’s been a year ish maybe.
Zayne Turner: Already?
Gillian Bruce: Almost, yeah.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: It’s been a while. Well I wanna get you in the pod because there’s this new technology that we put out there that’s a big deal and it’s focused on the dev audience but there’s definitely some admin implications. I wanted to get you on the podcast since you are an expert in Lightning Web Components to talk to us a little bit about what that is, what it means, all of the things. Why don’t we start with what Lightning Web Components?
Zayne Turner: Lightning Web Components is a new way of writing components, I know, go with me here.
Gillian Bruce: Okay.
Zayne Turner: It’s a new way of building interactive user experiences in Lightning. It’s a new way that developers now can choose to build their components. It’s all still Lightning components which gets a little confusing but, it’s essentially we’re giving developers two choices. You can build in what we’re now calling Aura which is what we maybe are more used to by now. The original Lightning component model was Aura. Now we have this new one called Lightning Web Components that is probably easier for people who have experience in other kind of web development technology. It’s going to look more like things you’re going to see outside of the Salesforce world and so we’re giving developers these two new ways of building things that then you can use in Lightning experience.
Gillian Bruce: When we talk about components we say … use the word component for a few things.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: In Salesforce world right? So when I’m an admin and I think of a Lightning component, I’m thinking of when I open App Builder, I see this list on the left that are standard Lightning components, maybe some custom ones that either my developers built and then ones that I’ve gotten from the App Exchange.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: That’s what I think of as a component. Those components are built using the technologies that you just talked about correct?
Zayne Turner: Exactly. And under the hood some of those standard components you see in the top of the explorer in app builder have maybe been Lightning Web Components for a while now and we didn’t know it. That’s the beauty of this technology, is that we don’t have to know it. It could be either or. They can go on to Lightning pages, they can talk to each other. You can put one of this new kind of component inside another component and it should just work.
Gillian Bruce: Cool. So we can a component turducken and we wouldn’t even know.
Zayne Turner: Exactly and you don’t even need to know. It’s just delicious.
Gillian Bruce: I never actually had a turducken, it actually sounds kind of gross. I just like the excuse to use turducken on the podcast.
Zayne Turner: Yeah, when you can, go for it.
Gillian Bruce: Okay, let’s talk a little bit about why we do this at Salesforce because we had … people were already building Lightning components, and they worked.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Why did we change this?
Zayne Turner: We changed if for a couple reasons. One is when we introduced Aura, the web was different. There weren’t as many things that the browser knew how to do out of the box so, we had to build a lot of it for you. Which was great because then we could have all these new experiences in Lightning. That’s the reason we started then this big migration of let’s go to Lightning, it’s better on Lightning, you can do cool stuff. We had to build a lot of custom and then that meant that the way that Salesforce answered a question then maybe a framework like React answered if a different way. It meant for developers it was often confusing, you had to learn all these special unique ways of doing essentially the same thing and it also made it really slow sometimes. The performance of those components that have to do all this special stuff, isn’t really fast.
Zayne Turner: The Lightning Web Components model is taking advantage of the fact that now the web itself is smarter. The browsers know how to do more things, we don’t need to build that our own special way at Salesforce. We can just leverage this widespread technology and do what it is that we know how to do getting metadata there. Having it be really secure. Just focus on those things and then let the user experience parts be as good as the latest web technologies are today.
Gillian Bruce: That’s cool. We can lean on the industry as a whole and then focus on specializing the unique Salesforce pieces of it instead of worrying about all of the stuff underneath it.
Zayne Turner: Exactly. I think it’s exciting for anyone building on the platform however you’re choosing to build. Whether you’re choosing to build in code or you’re someone who’s doing the customizations another way, the exciting thing about this shift in how we’re building is that we’re actually helping shift the way that browsers are working, the way the web technologies are going. Salesforce is now at the table saying this is what we’re learning, this is the direction we’d like things to go in and we’re helping to shape that conversation. So hopefully we’re not sitting here in five years saying, yeah, and we didn’t know how to do anything than and … this is a longterm investment we’re making and also being a part of the standards that everyone is adapting.
Gillian Bruce: That’s awesome, that makes sense. So, it’s this evolution of the industry as a whole and then we here now a core piece of that which is great.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Cool.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Let’s talk a little bit about what the specifically means for Admin. It sounds like from a developer point of view you’re changing the way that you’re building these components, these custom components. From an Admin point of view, you aren’t necessarily building the components but you’re using them in your app. What are some differences that Admins may be going through or maybe need to start thinking about now that Lightning Web Components is the new way of Lightning components?
Zayne Turner: Yeah, I think of a couple things. First is if you’re wondering what’s going to change when I say open up App Builder and want something to be there I wanna be able to customize it and have control over it and the ways that we’ve become used to. The first thing is you shouldn’t have to change anything. You shouldn’t have to change your expectation that is still absolutely possible no matter whether it’s Aura or Lightning Web Components. You should be able to have those customizable web components at your fingertips. I think the bigger change is going to come in the opportunity you have to then help your developers make a better choice. If you’ve noticed components that maybe you’ve built for your org that are really slow, now is the time to start saying maybe we could start migrating pieces of this to this new framework.
Zayne Turner: If it’s a new developer whose maybe come in because now they’re better at web developments, and your company has said great, now why don’t you try this thing that we’ve been told that means you should be good at it but, they don’t understand Salesforce, so it’s going to be even more essential that the people who understand your business and Salesforce then help those developers build it the right way. Make the right decisions about this is how we enforce our business logic, this is how we want it to work, your place at the table is even more central I think.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, and think that’s a really excellent point. The idea, what we have, what I like to call the Admin Magic is that you know the business, you know the business processes, you have this overall picture of how Salesforce is implemented at your company and now when you’re out seeing a developer to build a component or build a specific piece of Salesforce knowing that this framework has changed will help you guide them in the Salesforce land.
Zayne Turner: Exactly and helping them understand how this piece, this component that they’re building fits into the big landscape that you really understand and that you know. You don’t need to write that in code because we’ve already taken care of it with this process or these validation rules, really helping everyone be more efficient.
Gillian Bruce: Another thing I think that’s interesting is as I’ve been learning more about this Lightning Web Components, what it does to open up some opportunities maybe for folks who … Salesforce is the last piece now that developers have to learn. If they already know Java and some of the other languages, they don’t have to get as nitty gritty in order to build a Lightning Web Components from my understanding.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Into Salesforce. That Salesforce piece is just a layer now. In some ways it opens up the opportunity for developers who have not … have looked at Salesforce and think that’s too much. Now maybe they … might be easier for them to enter the ecosystem and become a builder that way.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: In which case us admins, we really have to guide them right?
Zayne Turner: Yeah, being that sherpa of I know this, let me help you understand the pieces of the technology that you don’t yet know. Exactly, that conversation is going to become even more important. I think it’s interesting also people who maybe don’t identify as developers but are I know how to do some HTML or I know how to do these things, I think they’re also going to suddenly discover I understand a lot more about these web components because they’re built on really familiar things. It really isn’t that strange when you start to look at them. Which, I think makes it a whole new world of who’s going to building these things. It’s really exciting.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, one of the things I thought was really cool, we had a Lightning Web Components launch event not too long ago.
Zayne Turner: Yes we did.
Gillian Bruce: And you were a huge part of that.
Zayne Turner: I think you were as well, right?
Gillian Bruce: Well I got to do the fun pre-show part, you actually got to talk about the technology. One of the things that I thought was interesting as someone who is not a developer by any means, I see a code, and I’m like huh? I could really follow along the demos that you and [Christoff 00:10:51] other amazing [crosstalk 00:10:51] evangelists presented because it was more about the idea of here is thing that can do a thing and it doesn’t matter … I think there was one specific part of it where it was like here is a tag and it means the same thing for Salesforce or the general web community.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: You can Google it and it’s going to be the right thing.
Zayne Turner: Yes, exactly. That’s part of that building on standards. When I started learning, so our team of course was getting hands-on with this before we could talk about it publicly because we wanted to be able to talk about it publicly and make sense.
Gillian Bruce: You had to learn about it before you could tell everybody else about it.
Zayne Turner: Right. And we were talking a lot internally about modern web development, modern web standards and I really didn’t … it didn’t mean a lot to me. I was like these are just words you keep saying. What does that mean? It’s those kinds of things that then really made the light bulb go off for me. I was like oh, yeah, I can Google for my answer and find it anywhere or what I build, where I write my code and the way that I structure the markup of the button goes here and the input field goes here, that looks exactly the same then when I open it up in the browser. The fact that we’re getting this should be more standard, more smooth, that’s really where it matters.
Gillian Bruce: I know language is a loaded term when we talk in the dev space but, common terms, common ways to do things.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Which is … yeah. Opening it up for more people to understand.
Zayne Turner: Yeah, exactly and to be effective and to be needed and useful. Which, I think is the magic that we all appreciate.
Gillian Bruce: Totally. We use technology to make our lives easier right? Isn’t that why we do this?
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: I mean no, maybe, I use it …
Zayne Turner: No, that’s why I use it.
Gillian Bruce: You mentioned from an Admin prospective, you really shouldn’t notice any changes when it goes from a traditional Lightning component to a Lightning Web Component, can you talk to us a little bit about what that means for some components you might have on the app exchange because there is a huge number of components that people have installed that do exist on the app exchange which is really cool because you can plug and play, you don’t have to create things from scratch.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: What about those components? Are they shifting? What’s the plan for that?
Zayne Turner: Yeah and it’s the same story there. The partners that are building on the app exchange have the same flexibility of they may have published it in one form but, under the hood, they can go ahead and start migrating the pieces of their app that makes sense to the new model maybe for performance reasons or maybe functional reason but, again, you shouldn’t have to know that difference. We’ve made it so that Aura and the new web components can play together just specifically so that we don’t interrupt what people have already built.
Gillian Bruce: That’s really cool. It should be a pretty seamless experience from that perspective.
Zayne Turner: I mean as seamless as giant change can be but, yes. As much as possible, it shouldn’t be the oh, you spent a lot of time getting good at building this one way, now you throw it all away and start over. That’s not the message which I think to me is exciting.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, that’s really cool. Let’s talk a little bit about maybe some of the cool things that Lightning Web Components opens up. I know we have this incredible sample app gallery that you and your team have built, that’s a great way to get hands-on with some of this technology that pushes and shows all the different things you can do. What are some cool specific examples of stuff you can do now with Lightning Web Components that maybe you couldn’t do so easily before?
Zayne Turner: I think that’s a really great question that I am trying to pick out just one. The recipe sample app which is really the brainchild of Christoff is amazing because as he phrases it, it shows you how to solve a lot of common problems in 30 lines of code or less. It’s really approachable even if you’re not a developer, you just wanna go see how these things work, what they look like. Recipes is a great place to start. There are some recipes that show the fact that with web components now, you have so many different ways of doing what you wanna do and one of the most exciting things that they built in is the fact that now you can do things like import references to your schema. Your fields and your objects. If a developer has used a field in a component, and you’re making a change that might break that component, you’re going to be notified. You’re going to see it.
Gillian Bruce: Yay.
Zayne Turner: The developer’s going to see when they’re trying to use a field that doesn’t exist or they’re referencing it wrong, they’ll see it when their developing the component. You’ll just catch all of these things earlier and I think the thought that the architects behind the framework put into those moments and the thought that they continue to put into how are people using the platform today and how should they use it in this new model is really exciting and it’s really an excellent team that’s thinking about these things.
Gillian Bruce: That’s so cool. That recipes app, I love … I encourage every Admin to at least go check that out because even if you’re not going to code and that’s totally okay because I’m definitely in that camp, but it does, it breaks it down, every tab is an example of different ways you can use this and literally they are recipes.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: So you could just look at it and start to try and figure out what means what. It’s a lot of ways people learn how to do visual for us. You see what other people have built and you edit little things to [crosstalk 00:16:08].
Zayne Turner: Exactly, to make it your own. Exactly and these are all just little starters, little starting points that then you can customize and use in your apps.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, that’s so cool. I am excited about that. Let’s talk a little bit about what’s next. We launched this thing, it’s super exciting, now it’s out there in the world, we’ve got the sample app gallery, what are some of the things coming down the pipe that you’re excited about in this space?
Zayne Turner: I’m really excited and this is where depending on when this airs …
Gillian Bruce: [crosstalk 00:16:39] slash. Safe harbor all those things.
Zayne Turner: So we have our global developer week meetings that are happening in February which is exciting because it’s a time where people can get hands-on and get together with their community and really learn about this new technology together and say I’m excited to build this thing, and see what other people are building and say I’m having trouble installing these things all together in one place. Those are going to be great and I know that several of my team and the product team are going to be all over the world helping support these events. Then of course we have a little party coming up at the end of May.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, we do, do we?
Zayne Turner: Yeah, it’s a tiny one. I don’t remember the name of it.
Gillian Bruce: Does it start with a T?
Zayne Turner: It does.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Zayne Turner: Trail.
Gillian Bruce: Trailhead.
Zayne Turner: Something.
Gillian Bruce: TrailheaDX? TrailheaDX.
Zayne Turner: That’s right, TrailheaDX.
Gillian Bruce: Okay, it took me a while. It’s been over a year right?
Zayne Turner: I know that we’re probably going to have much more there but, those are the things that are on the horizon immediately.
Gillian Bruce: That’s awesome. Yeah, the global developer week events are going to be incredible. I think it’s like 130 plus countries and all kinds of great stuff. If you are listening to this, which will be coming out in a time during this is all happening. Make sure that you check out your local community group and become part of that if you can.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Don’t worry if your local group is not doing something or you’re not near, there is plenty of resources online to get you up to speed. There’s great videos.
Zayne Turner: Definitely.
Gillian Bruce: So much amazing stuff that Zayne, you and your team have put out.
Zayne Turner: Yeah, we have videos on developer.salesforce.com we have a whole channel now that’s the Lightning Web Components video gallery. You can see demos, and you can see how to set up your machine even. We’re going to be adding more videos all the time and then there are several different trail mixes. Hitting Trailhead and there’s a ton of content already there on Lightning Web Components and more even coming soon.
Gillian Bruce: That’s awesome. Well Zayne, thank you so much or sharing your LWC expertise with us on the pod and helping us in the admin world understand what this means for us. It’s very helpful.
Zayne Turner: Absolutely, anytime, I will come back.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, you know I will have you back. It will not be as long between episodes next time. Like I said, thank you again, thank you so much. Oh, before you go.
Zayne Turner: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: You don’t get out of this without a Lightning round question.
Zayne Turner: Oh my, okay.
Gillian Bruce: All right first thing to come to mind, no right or wrong answer.
Zayne Turner: Okay.
Gillian Bruce: All right. It’s spring time in our hemisphere of the world, what is one of your favorite things you look forward to this season?
Zayne Turner: Flowers.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, flowers. Any particular kind of flower?
Zayne Turner: The colorful kind.
Gillian Bruce: That’s good. We like colorful flowers too.
Zayne Turner: I mean I have lived in several different places and anytime I had to live somewhere that spring came really late, it just felt wrong. I miss things being green and things blooming so, yeah, the first there’s … a dandelion could be blooming, and I’m like yes. That’s a flower.
Gillian Bruce: I love it. I remember the first time I lived outside of California, I had seasons, I remember seeing the, not dandelions, the daffodils pop up.
Zayne Turner: Yes.
Gillian Bruce: Through the snow in the ground when I was living in DC and I was like that is so cool. So yeah, I’m a flower child as well.
Zayne Turner: Right, flower children for the win.
Gillian Bruce: That, now Zayne thanks again so much for joining us.
Zayne Turner: Thanks Gillian I’ll see you soon.
Gillian Bruce: I always love having Zayne on the podcast, it’s great to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with her in person about some of these exciting new technologies coming down the pipe. I really appreciated the insight into Lightning Web Components. Now I know us as Admins this may not be something we’re really thinking about as one of our top priorities but, it’s really good for us to know what this means for our implementations, our applications, and I really like how Zayne pointed out some of the things that we should think about. Like guiding new developers into the Salesforce space. This new technology enables developers who haven’t really worked with Salesforce before to work on the Salesforce platforms in a new way. Letting them use the knowledge they already have from their other experience to build Lightning Web Components.
Gillian Bruce: This puts us in a very important position of the Salesforce Admin to guide them on how to use the platform and how our businesses run. Really think about that as you are working with new developers and new developer teams. Also, an opportunity to rethink some of your existing Lightning components, maybe some that are taking a little longer to run than normal. Great opportunity to look at reconfiguring those a little bit to take advantage of Lightning Web Components to make those run faster. Also, thought it was really great because honestly, from an Admin perspective, when you upgrade those components or they switch from traditional Lightning components to Lightning Web Components, we really shouldn’t see a huge effect with the exception of things maybe running quicker and faster.
Gillian Bruce: When for example our app exchange partners upgrade their components that we have used in our applications, we shouldn’t really see a huge difference. Good news there. Not a lot of work on our part but definitely an opportunity to help guide new developers into the Salesforce space. If you wanna learn more about Lightning Web Components I highly encourage you to. We’ve got so many great resources. First of all you can watch the recording of the huge launch event that we did just last week. I got the link there in the show notes. We can see Sara Franklin introduce the technology and then our incredible expert Zayne Turner and Christoff [Conrads 00:22:24] demonstrate how to put this technology to use for your organization.
Gillian Bruce: There’s also a great sample apps’ gallery that the entire developer of Angels’ team has spent a lot of time building for us to get to know this technology. Now even if you’re not interested in learning how to code, which is completely okay, that’s definitely the camp I’m in. It’s a great way to go poke around and see what the capabilities are of some of these new technologies. Especially that recipes app, it’s really cool. You can literally go in and adjust different pieces and different components on a page. It’s very cool technology, I highly recommend you at least take a browse in the gallery of the sample apps. There’s also great developer all week events happening all around the world so I highly encourage you to check those out. They are happening right now for the next few weeks.
Gillian Bruce: I am sure there’s one nearby you so make sure you find one. It’s a great way to go connect with other people in the Salesforce community. Learn more about this technology, ask questions. Get more information. I put the link in the show notes so that you can definitely find your nearest global developer week event. And of course we’ve got a great even coming at the end of may called Trailhead DX and we will have so much more great information there about how to build on the platform. You can sign up at the link in the show notes, you get notified when registration goes live. As always you can find the latest and greatest from the awesome Admin team on admin.salesforce.com where you can find blogs, webinars, events and yes, even more podcasts.
Gillian Bruce: You can find us on Twitter at @SalesforceAdmns (no I), our guest today was Zayne Turner and she’s @zaynelt, you can find myself @gilliankbruce. Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Remember to share it with your friends. Hit subscribe to make sure you get the latest and greatest delivered directly to your platform of device of choice the moment they are released. With that ladies and gentlemen, thank you listeners so much for joining us and we’ll catch you next time in the cloud.