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Salesforce.com Launches Its Lightning Platform

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Sep. 17 2015, Published 3:14 p.m. ET

Salesforce.com renovates Sales Cloud with Lightning platform launch

On August 24, 2015, Salesforce.com (CRM) unveiled the Lightning platform for its Sales Cloud. The Lightning platform is due to be released in October 2015. The company stated that it aims to bring “a consumer-grade experience that is modern, efficient and intelligent to every Salesforce user on every device—desktop, tablet and mobile.”

The Salesforce Lightning platform for its customer relationship management (or CRM) portfolio includes:

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  • The Lightning Experience, a new customer relationship management tool.
  • The Lightning Design System and the Lightning Components is the customization engine that allows third-party developers to develop apps that can leverage the Lightning platform and user interface. The Lightning design system extends the new interface to apps. A recent study by Forrester Research points to the supremacy of Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) in the mobile application world.
  • The Lightning App Builder builds on the Salesforce 1 application development platform and allows customers to build apps through a familiar drag-and-drop interface.

Salesforce notes that it would be a relatively easier route to build applications on top of its CRM tool.

Salesforce Sales Cloud software was due for redesign

Salesforce has been under some pressure to revamp its Sales Cloud software, and users had complained about its dated user interface. The new interface is designed to work on all screen sizes including desktop computers, smartphones, and the Apple (AAPL) Watch. According to Salesforce co-founder Parker Harris, the Lightning project has been under development for the last seven years: “This is more modern. Most companies are building apps like this.”

Salesforce Lightning is the company’s 48th product release and involved the feedback of 150,000 customers. The uniqueness of this platform is that apart from being used internally and by developers, it will be available to the customers at the same time.

Salesforce targets the app development arena with Lightning experience

Salesforce stated that Lightning is a major reimagining of its comprehensive applications development model. With Lightning, Salesforce aims to dig deeper into the application development process. Through its Lightning design system and App Builder, Salesforce claims that app development time will be reduced, making it a relatively easier task. This includes the integration of back-end files with front-end business process applications.

You can consider investing in the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) to gain exposure to Salesforce. XLK invests about 1.07% of its holdings in Salesforce.

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