Building Apps with Salesforce Lightning Bolt: A Discussion with Todd Mitchell

We recently sat down with Avionos Platform Architect, Todd Mitchell to discuss his experience building Salesforce Lightning components using the Lightning Bolt framework. His work was recently highlighted at this year’s Dreamforce Conference during the Community Cloud Keynote. We chatted with Todd about the potential of Lightning Bolt, the uses behind CloudCraze’s eCommerce Lightning Components, and how these solutions can enable sales teams. Avionos: In simple terms, can you describe to our readers what Lightning Bolt is? Todd: Lightning Bolt is a framework which allows you to quickly build customized Community solutions. It builds on Salesforce’s Lightning Templates for Communities where you can build a community using a template, create pages, and add out-of-the-box or custom Lightning components to those pages. Now, Lightning Bolt provides a way to create custom themes to provide your own template to the community. It also provides more out-of-box Lightning components, has the Lightning Design System built into the community for use in custom components or themes, and allows you to package up your application to be shared. Avionos: What was your experience like working on the Lightning B2B Commerce app that was showcased at Dreamforce? Todd: I had done this a year ago for Dreamforce when they first introduced Lightning Templates for Communities. At that time, we built some CloudCraze eCommerce Lightning components that could be inserted into the community template. This time around, it was built on a specific purchasing scenario where an account representative could quickly create an order for a customer based on previous orders. Avionos: How has that evolved since last year to now? Todd: It’s been interesting to see how it’s evolved. I’m able to build Lightning Components quicker with the use of the Lightning Design System and make them look good without a lot of effort. Also, we’re able to make use of out-of-the-box components to do things that we previously had to develop ourselves. With the custom themes, we’re able to provide a unique look to the company that would be using the application. In addition, once you create a community solution with Lightning Components and custom themes, you can package it up to share or reuse. Avionos: What was it like to see your work being displayed at an event with such a wide reach? Todd: It’s always fun to work with new technologies, especially when you create something for an event that has the exposure of a Dreamforce keynote. Avionos: What other use cases can you see Lightning Bolt serving? Todd: I think Lightning Bolt can serve any use case where someone wants to quickly create and publish a community solution, especially if you want to take that solution and share or reuse it. There are already a lot of partner examples that are in the works that serve a lot of different purposes that will be available on the AppExchange. Todd Mitchell is a Platform Architect for Avionos. He has over 15 years experience as a Software Engineer and Consultant. He lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his Wife and two teenage boys. 

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