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Compare Lightning Experience to Salesforce Classic

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain what Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic are.
  • Describe how Lightning Experience helps your business users be more productive.
  • Explain why pages perform differently in Lightning Experience than they do in Salesforce Classic.

You Can Help Lightning Experience Help Your Users Go Faster

If you’re a Salesforce admin, you know that Salesforce has two different desktop user interfaces: Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic. Maybe you already made the move to Lightning Experience, or maybe you’re planning to roll it out to your company soon. Either way, you want your users to benefit from all the speed and power that the modern new user interface has to offer.

In this module, you learn which factors impact Lightning Experience performance. You also learn how to optimize your network, your users’ devices and browsers, and your org configuration to keep everything running at top speed.

Users Expect More from Business Applications

When we developed our previous user interface, Salesforce Classic, we optimized it for data entry and record keeping: retrieving records, editing them, and saving them back to the cloud. 

In the last decade, the consumer web has changed, and so have expectations for how web applications work and what you can do with them. We built our new user interface—Lightning Experience—to meet those expectations. 

Lightning Experience is designed for action. It lets you build experiences that help your users be more productive. Take a look at the examples below. 

Lightning Experience Opportunity Workspace

The Lightning Experience opportunity workspace helps your sales reps work their deals faster and smarter. 

Lightning Experience Opportunity workspace.

You can also customize it to support your company’s sales process. Add guidance for your reps, highlight key information, and create custom actions so reps can update records—and close deals—fast. 

Kanban View

The Kanban view organizes a set of records into columns, so your reps can track their work at a glance. 

Kanban view of a list of opportunities.

Reps can quickly move records to the next stage, just by dragging the opportunity card.

Rich User Experiences, Built with Lightning Components

Here’s how Salesforce developers made the Opportunity workspace, Kanban view, and other Lightning Experience features so awesome: they used Lightning components. The Lightning Component framework, based on modern web standards such as HTML5 and CSS3, supports client-side JavaScript and server-side Apex controllers. In a nutshell, that means that developers can build rich apps that respond to user input, time, events, and data updates. Take a look at these Lightning Experience benefits.  

  • Pages are dynamic.
  • Users can control how they view data on the page by changing the display density.
  • Admins can build pages quickly with standard and custom components.
  • Developers can apply business logic right on the user’s device, saving time.

Page Performance in Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience

So now you know that Lightning Experience is designed to increase your users’ productivity. What does that mean for performance? Let’s look at how web pages are rendered in each user interface. In Salesforce Classic, web pages are generated by the server (your instance of Salesforce), and then they’re rendered on the client (your user’s desktop or mobile device). In Lightning Experience, pages are loaded on your user’s device progressively, component by component. 

Because components can contain subcomponents, which sometimes load after the parent component, it’s not always simple to measure when a page has finished loading. We use a metric called “Experienced Page Time,” or EPT, to express the page load time that end users experience.

Salesforce defines EPT as the time when a page starts loading to the time when no activity has occurred for at least two frames (about 33 milliseconds). We need two extra frames to catch asynchronous activities, such as data transfer or user interaction. You’ll learn more about EPTs in the next unit of this module.

Factors That Impact Lightning Experience Performance

As an admin, you can optimize Lightning Experience performance for your users. Here are key points to keep in mind. 

  • Because the Lightning Experience pages load progressively on the client, it’s sensitive to the performance of your user’s browser and device.
  • Lightning Experience requires many web exchanges to render a page, as data moves between server and client, so it’s sensitive to network latency.
  • More complex pages with many custom fields or components are slower to render.

In the next unit, you learn how to measure your org’s EPT. When you know how your pages are performing, you have the information you need to spot problems and start fixing them.


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