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Ken KoellnerKen Koellner 

Lightning and VF, Lightning and Aloha: Two things I need to know/learn.

Now that we have the new Lightning Experience UI, there's a couple things I really need to learn about what's doable with Lightning and VF.  Lightning is really now two things -- Lightning Components/Apps (which you code) and Lightning Experience which is the new GUI you turn on.  I asked about this stuff at Dreamforce last week and really didn't get exact answers.  (The "Experts" in the Dev Zone only knew about using the Lightning styles in VF to make VF pages look like Lightning when not in Lightning.)

Here are what I consider the two BIG questions that everyone is going to want to know--

Our orgs has dozens and dozens of VF pages, typically launched from buttons or links on page layouts.  We'd like to turn on Lightning Experience to get the new UI but can't rewrite all that legacy code at once in Lightning Components.  Can we from Lightning Experience still launch all those VF pages and will they still work?  If so, how?

We are not ready to turn on Lightning Experience but we are continueing to do new development.  We'd prefer to write our new featues as Lightning Components/Apps (not simply as VF with the Lightning styles).  If we leave the legacy Aloha GUI on, could we launch and execute Lightning apps and return to the regular desktop on completion?  If so, how?

If anyone has can concrete into in either area and can offer insight, please follow up on this thread.
First, please keep in mind that Visualforce for Lightning Experience is _beta_ in Winter '16. This means there are definitely limitations, and we fully recognize that those limitations may keep some organizations from being able to enable Lightning Experience in their org, except with limited/targeted populations.

Second, have you gone through the Lightning Experience Developer trail on Trailhead?

Completing the full trail answers a lot of questions that I see asked, here and elsewhere.

Finally, you're asking a couple of specific questions that have answers that are perhaps spread out across a variety of docs, so let me try to answer those at least a little.

1. Regarding the "dozens and dozens" of Visualforce pages, we do expect that many, if not most, Visualforce pages should "just work" in Lightning Experience (LEX). LEX still supports adding custom Visualforce buttons and links to page layouts, so I think you should be able to make everything work. 

Of course, the devil is in the details, and you'll need to test those pages out. And we recognize that that's a potentially tedious and time-consuming process. Unfortunately, today we can't offer you much more than that general and not-very-helpful advice: test, test, test first. Hopefully the LEX Developer trail will help you focus your testing.

2. Regarding doing new development with Lightning Components rather than Visualforce, and how well is that supported, I think there's a couple of good answers. The best, most completely supported answer is to use Lightning Components for Visualforce:

The docs are a little light today, but you should be able to get the basic idea. You can embed an entire Lightning Components application in a Visualforce page using this technique, or just a widget. Dip your toe in the water, or dive in.

Using this approach should let you use your new Lightning Components elements just like you'd use a Visualforce page, because it _is_ a Visualforce page.

There are other options and approaches, but I'll leave those to the Trailhead docs.

Happy trails!
Ken KoellnerKen Koellner

Good response.  Yeah, I know there's a gazillion things to learn and multiple places to look.  Thanks for the pointers to where to get started.  I have a huge amout of research to do and with have to keep getting my regular work done, it's going to take a while to digest it all.  That's on my goals for 2016. I hope to know enough to plan a strategy for our org by mid 2016.

I did hear about Lightning Out allowing Lightning Components in VF.  One thing I'm curious about is if Lightning Components can be used in SF sites.  You have to give the Public Access setting permission to the VF pages in the site.  I'm don't know (yet) if and if so, where you would set access to Lightning Components.

And yeah, this thread could be burst into many many individual questions.  I just want to get the ball rolling.


I like the term "LEx"  Easier to type than "Lightning Experience".  But I'd make the "X" and "x".