Salesforce releases JavaScript-friendly Lightning to bypass Aura’s limits

Lightning Web Components is a programming model to ease JavaScript coding on the Lightning Platform

Paul Krill Dec 17th 2018

With the introduction of Lightning Web Components, Salesforce.com is extending its cloud application development platform to better support JavaScript developers.

Now in a beta release, Lightning Web Components is a programming model to ease JavaScript coding on the Lightning Platform, which is used to build business capabilities such as credit checks and other reusable processes. The production version is expected in February 2019.

Lightning Web Components supports the ECMAScript 6 (2015) specification, along with some ECMASCript 2016 capabilities, with developers able to use JavaScript features such as classes, modules, and imports. More code is executed on the browser, for faster component performance.

Lightning frees developers building business apps to run on the Salesforce cloud from having to use the company’s Aura modular programming model. With Aura, developers use JavaScript, but they also have to know a lot of custom syntax.  By contrast, Lightning Web Components allows use of standard JavaScript along with a small amount of custom syntax to access features of the Salesforce platform.

Although Salesforce plans to keep developing Aura, it recommends components now be built with Lightning Web Components technology, and will limit some Salesforce innovations to Lightning. Lightning Web Components can run alongside Aura components.

Lightning Web Components can be used with tools Salesforce DX and the low-code Lightning App Builder. Developers using Lightning Web Components also can access services such as:

  • Lightning Data Service, to access Salesforce data and metadata in JavaScript.
  • Lightning Locker, for enterprise-level security for JavaScript code.
  • Base Lightning Components, providing building blocks for development.