Under the Lightning brand, Salesforce.com is re-architecting its Force.com public platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud. The new label emphasizes the fact that Force.com is undergoing significant changes at both technology and design level. Lightning stands for the "next-generation" Force.com, with the platform being gradually made available over a number of Force.com releases.
Lightning is a label applied to a variety of next-gen features and tools. The lack of distinction between the "wood" (Lightning as next-gen Force.com) and the "trees" (various Lightning features and tools) may cause some confusion. This is compounded by the fact that some of these tools, such as Lightning App Builder, are brand new, whereas others, such as the Lightning Schema Builder, are rebranded versions of older tools.
The Lightning brand/label is as prominent in Salesforce's marketing as the Salesforce1 brand. The company combines the two at times, talking about Salesforce1 Lightning App Builder, for example. Both relate to diverse technologies, tools, and themes. For Salesforce to not only describe them independently from one another, but also in combination, is complicated. The company has not done so as convincingly as it should have, which is a problem because both are promising in very different ways. One of the main reasons for this lack of clarity is that Salesforce does not distinguish between the two brands/labels as much as it should. When it talks about new Salesforce1 Platform developments, for example, the company mostly means Lightning Force.com developments. Similarly, not all Force.com developments are Lightning-branded; some are Salesforce1-branded (namely the Salesforce1 mobile application).
Ovum expects Salesforce's Lightning messaging to be clarified in the next few months, to more clearly distinguish the various components of the brand and to clarify its relationship with Salesforce1.
Force.com: How Salesforce's Core PaaS Solution is Evolving, IT0022-000397 (July 2015)
Salesforce1: Evaluating Salesforce's New Unified PaaS Platform, IT0022-000396 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Selecting the Right Development Approach, IT0022-000398 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Managing the Development Process, IT0022-000399 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Security Considerations, IT0022-000423 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Leveraging Analytics and Community Services, IT0022-000424 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Selecting the Appropriate Mobile Application Services, IT0022-00042 (July 2015)
From Force.com to Heroku: Finding The Right Balance, IT0022-000436 (July 2015)
Force.com Development: Integration Services and Marketplace, IT0022-000437 (July 2015)
Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Digital Marketing Platform, 2015–16, IT0020-000135 (July 2015)
SWOT Assessment: Salesforce Marketing Cloud, IT0020-000124 (June 2015)
"Microsoft and Salesforce’s special relationship starts to bear fruit," IT0021-000090 (June 2015)
"Salesforce platform attempts to disrupt corporate HR," IT0020-000121 (May 2015)
"The Sage and Salesforce global strategic partnership gives small businesses a big digital leg-up," IT0020-000119 (May 2015)
"Heroku supports mobile app development with new Elements marketplace," IT0022-000347 (April 2015)
"Salesforce elevates its digital service with intelligent routing capabilities," IT0020-000104 (March 2015)
SWOT Assessment: Salesforce1 Platform, IT0022-000230 (March 2015)
"Salesforce embraces third-party enterprise file sync and share solutions," IT0021-00005 (December 2014)
"Philips and Salesforce join forces behind a new connected healthcare platform," IT0011-000323 (July 2014)
Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst, Ovum Software
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