Salesforce platform gets a new look and feel

The Lightning interface will be rolled out to the Sales Cloud first, with other services getting updated shortly thereafter.

Look out users, the look and feel of your online apps is about to change.

Salesforce has designed a new interface, called the Lightning Experience, to provide organizations with more flexibility in how they customize their Salesforce-based work processes, said Will Moxley, Salesforce senior vice president.

Users of the Sales Cloud, Group Edition or better, will be the first customers to see the new design. Salesforce will roll out Lightning to its other services over time. It has also launched a new service, Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, based on the Lightning design.

The new look-and-feel builds from the same underlying Salesforce database technologies. Customers will have the option of upgrading immediately to the new look, or holding off until they adjust their work processes to the new design.

Although Salesforce has worked to minimize the amount of work it takes to upgrade to the new design, there might be still be some adjustments organizations may need to make, especially those that have heavily customized their Salesforce services, Moxley said.

The design can work across a wide variety of form factors, including desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.

Salesforce has also released a new set of tools for customizing the Lightning-based services, called the Lightning Design System. The company is offering a set of pre-built components that can extend basic Salesforce functionality, as well as a service for building new Salesforce-based apps.

The new look-and-feel is a big jump for the company, which to date, has upgraded its services in small increments--47 times since the company's launch in 1999.

To build the new interface, Salesforce considered the feedback of more than 150,000 customers.

The Sales Cloud was redesigned to make salespeople as efficient as possible, Moxley explained.

The home page provides a set of information that a sales person may need, including news items about accounts, as well as a set of recommendations to further the relationships with the sales accounts.

Sales people can also launch e-mails, chat sessions, and open files directly from the home page.

salesforce path
The new design provides a richer interface for sales people

The revamped sales Cloud service now features a pipeline board, offering summaries of a sales person's pending and active deals.

salesforce pipeline
The new Lightning interface offers a way for sales people to build a pipeline detailing all sales leads

Salesforce will making the Lightning design available in October, though customers can now try a preview. It will be available for all languages except Arabic and Hebrew. The Salesforce Financial Services Cloud will be offered as a preview until February, when it will go into full release.

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