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A Complete Guide To Salesforce Lightning Development Performance Best Practices

Rajat Kesarwani

By Rajat Kesarwani| Thursday, September 30, 2021 11:20 AM | 4 min read

Lightning (Salesforce Lightning) is a component-based framework for app development from Salesforce that is aimed at simplifying processes for those business users who do not possess much programming experience. Lightning consists of the collection of tools and technologies behind a significant upgrade to the Salesforce1 Platform, the company's mobile app development platform. Generally, Lightning Components run at the client-side, in a single page and alongside other components that work on the same data. Want to know how these characteristics impact performance and what are the best ways to optimize the performance of Lightning Development components? You’ve reached just the right place. Read on to find out!

Data Caching

Application composition is an extremely efficient way of building apps by assembling self-contained components. However, should you approach these components without proper planning, their autonomous nature can end up having an adverse impact on performance. For instance, if all the components you build make their own isolated calls to the server to retrieve the data they need, you’ll most likely find yourself at the receiving end of numerous redundant server calls. Subsequently, this can dramatically impact performance.

This is where client-side data caching can come to your rescue. By sharing data among components, it can significantly reduce the number of server round-trips, thereby improving the performance of your Lightning components by leaps and bounds. The Lightning Component Framework has two built-in mechanisms for client-side caching (storable actions and Lightning Data Service). On top of that, can also implement a custom caching solution.

Data Retrieval

Listed below are some data retrieval best practices that you can implement to improve the performance of your Lightning Development components.

  • Before you make a call to the server, ensure that there is no option remaining using which data can be obtained.
  • To the best of your abilities, attempt to pass data between components with the help of events, attributes, or methods. Try avoiding getting into the practice of retrieving the same data in different components. The Lightning Data Service also allows you to efficiently share data between components.
  • Lazy load occasionally accessed data. If you think there’s some data that the user will never ask for, don’t preload it. Combobox data which have minimal chances of being opened by the user, and data hidden behind a tab the user may not click are examples of such instances.
  • Avoid making a call to the server to filter or sort data that you already have at the client-side.
  • Consider combining several requests (actions) in a single composite request.
  • Cache data when possible.

Data Binding

Bound and unbound expressions using which one can establish a connection between UI elements and attributes.

  • Bound expressions facilitate an implementation of bidirectional data binding. It also offers a convenient and powerful abstraction. But, it comes at a cost: The framework has to set up two event listeners for each bound expression. As a result, when there is a large number of bound expressions, the performance may suffer significantly. Moreover, bound expressions also create an entanglement between the model and the view. This makes your code harder to maintain and issues harder to debug in non-trivial situations.
  • Since unbound expressions don’t maintain event listeners, they can have a positive impact on performance. However, they may not be the right solution for use cases where the UI has to be kept in sync with a changing model.

Component Instantiation

Showing every available piece of data and every available tool on the screen just in case the user may need it is generally not considered a good UI practice. Moreover, it can hamper the performance of your application by a significant margin. Hence, today’s interactive design guidelines favour progressive disclosure.

Progressive disclosure is an interaction design technique frequently implemented in human-computer interaction that aims to reduce confusion, clutter, and cognitive workload. As a result, it helps in maintaining the focus of a user’s attention This improves usability by presenting only the minimum data required for the task at hand. In Lightning Experience, it’s easy to implement progressive disclosure and defer the data or features that aren’t essential to the task at hand.

Lightning Data Service

Lightning Data Service provides a managed record approach. The framework is responsible for managing records- fetching them from the server when requested the first time, storing them in a highly efficient client cache, sharing them between all components that request them, and sending changes to the server. Lightning Data Service also handles progressive loading which is to say that it only loads the requested fields. Should another component happen to subsequently require an additional field, this field would be loaded transparently and added to the record in the cache. In contrast to storable actions that can cache any type of response returned by an Apex method, Lightning Data Service only caches discrete Salesforce sObjects.

Remove Dependencies On Unneeded Libraries

Before you decide to use a third-party library in a Lightning component evaluate whether that library is really going to contribute to the overall performance. DOM manipulation libraries such as Query and UI libraries viz. Bootstrap or jQuery UI, in particular, may no longer be needed when working with the Lightning Component Framework.

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Rajat Kesarwani
About the Author Rajat Kesarwani is the CEO of Dreamstel Technologies. With over 15 years of experience in maintaining business relations with esteemed companies across the US and Australia, Mr. Kesarwani has earned an excellent reputation in the IT industry. He has been offering advanced technology services to businesses that require any kind of IT solution. His expert services at Dreamstel includes developing and introducing next-generation apps and spreading awareness about Salesforce. His objective is to reach out to companies in need of advanced technology solutions, and he has been successfully moving ahead in the right direction to do so, through Dreamstel Technologies.