Lightning Apps and the App Manager

In a previous post, we covered Dynamic Forms. In this #LightningFlap, we explore the capabilities of Lightning Apps and the App Manager. 

Table of Contents

What is an App?

An App in Salesforce is a collection of Tabs grouped together. Each Tab provides access to different areas of the system (e.g. Accounts, Contacts, Reports, Dashboards, etc). This helps users navigate to what matters to them. For example, a Sales User would likely want easy access to Opportunities, whereas a Service user may need Cases.  

Screenshot of Apps within Lightning
Annotated Screenshot of Apps within Lightning Experience

Apps are not new. However, Lightning Experience has enhanced them. This post covers how to create a Lightning App and some features to explore.  

 

What are the benefits of Lightning Apps over Classic?

You may be wondering what the benefits of Lightning Apps are. Here are some key benefits over Classic: 

  • Greater branding flexibility (e.g. select the App’s colour)
  • ‘Supported Form Factors’. This allows us to control access to the App by device type. We can optimise our Apps to suit different devices.
    • Desktop and Phone 
    • Desktop
    • Phone 
  • Access to the Utility bar (Desktop only) (click here for more info)
  • Greater personalisation options for the Navigation bar, such as ‘Temporary Tabs’ (click here for more info)

How do I create an App in Lightning?

Screenshot of how to access Setup
Screenshot of how to access Setup

Creating an App in Lightning is easy in the Lightning ‘App Manager’. This can be found in Setup:When in Setup, type ‘App Manager’ into either ‘Search Setup’ or ‘Quick Find’ and click on the result.

App Manager shows all Apps within your Org. There are a number of standard Apps (e.g. Sales). However, what you see will depend on what has been created/installed. You may also see various ‘Classic’ Apps, shown in the ‘App Type’. 

Screenshot of the App Manager screen
Screenshot of the App Manager screen

 

We shall now walkthrough how to upgrade a Classic App and how to create a Lightning App from scratch. 

Upgrading a Classic App

Upgrading a Classic App to Lightning is easy. This results in a new ‘Lightning’ version of the App being created. The original Classic App is not changed. Follow these steps. However, as always, try this in a Sandbox first, not Production!

  1. Access the App Manager (see above)
  2. Locate the App you want to upgrade. This should have an App Type of ‘Classic’. Here, we shall upgrade the Classic ‘SFDC Penguin App’. Click on the ‘action’ drop down and select ‘Upgrade’
    Accessing the 'Upgrade' action for a Classic App
    Accessing the ‘Upgrade’ action for a Classic App
  3.  A pop-up will appear. This explains some benefits of upgrading to Lightning. It also provides the opportunity to rename the App. The message will include a warning about the number of allowed Apps. To see more on limits, please refer to this article. When ready, click ‘Upgrade’.
    Screenshot of the 'Upgrade My Custom App to Lightning' screen
    Screenshot of the ‘Upgrade My Custom App to Lightning’ screen
  4.  Clicking ‘Upgrade’ will result in a new Lightning App being created. This will be displayed in the App Manager. It can now be used/customised as a Lightning App!
To customise/edit the new App, select ‘Edit’ from the Actions for your App. You will then be able to follow the steps outlined in ‘Creating A New Lightning App’ below. 

Creating a new Lightning App

To create a new Lightning App, follow these steps:

  1. Go to ‘App Manager’ (see How Do I Create An App In Lightning) and click ‘New Lightning App’
  2. A wizard will open. Add a Name, description and branding. You can override the org’s default image/colour by ticking ‘Use the app’s image and color instead of the org’s custom theme’. Lastly, you can preview how the App will look in the App Launcher. When ready, click next
    Lightning App: App Details & Branding setup
    Lightning App: App Details & Branding setup
     
  3.  On the next step, you will select the following settings. In this example, we shall select ‘Console’, ‘Desktop and Phone’, ‘Setup’ (Full) and keep App Personalisation options available. Click Next:
    • Navigation Style (Standard Navigation or Console Navigation)
    • Supported Form Factors (Desktop and Phone, Desktop or Phone)
    • Setup menus (whether full Setup or Service Setup is first)
    • App Personalization Settings (disable personalisation of Tabs and creating temporary Tabs)
      Lightning App Setup: App Options
      Lightning App Setup: App Options
  4. Next, select if you want a Utility Bar (Desktop only). If you click ‘Add Utility Item’, you can select from various components. Options include ‘Out-of-the-Box’ items, third party (installed) and custom components. Engage your users and understand what would help them. Click here for more information.