Salesforce Lightning – To Switch, or Not To Switch, That Is The Question

Fans of Salesforce have all startled at the news of switching from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning.

Maximizing sales. Exploring new, cool features. Being a part of the big change from the very beginning. It all looks like something many would rush into. After all, it’s “a re-imagined platform designed to maximize sales“, available at no additional costs – for free.

Now, who wouldn’t jump right on that? To begin with, everyone who heard Salesforce saying that the Lightning experience is a completely new way to sell.

So, let’s just pause right there for a second.

The new interface will change some things radically. Your project requirements are the only ones to tell which UI you should rely on…

Handle your Salesforce activities in parallel for a while?

It could be one of your first thoughts. But when you have to choose between your intuition and what Salesforce Co-Founder Parker Harris has to say about it, we suggest you go for the latter. In his opinion, switching between instances will only prove counter-productive for your employees. It will slow you down even more.

You will need employees equally competent navigating and using two different user interfaces. Plus, it will be frustrating to wait for the other user interface to load any time when you need to switch from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning.

Forget about Lightning for a while and stick to your Classic version?

Again, no matter what intuitive project management app for Salesforce you have at hand and how easy it feels working with it, you cannot ignore the change.

Instead, you should:

  • Familiarize yourself with Salesforce Lightning;
  • Acknowledge the major changes and the Classic vs Lightning differences;
  • Ensure that all or, at the very least, most of the features daily required by your users will be available in the new version;
  • And only then consider migrating.

We’re here to help you with the first two steps. Read on and you will discover the most important aspects of this new major transition.

What’s new with the Salesforce Lightning interface?

The new platform comes with a new, intelligent home page. Salesforce has also implemented a flexible dashboard layout and relevant account insights. Enriched with intuitive navigation menus, report filters, an opportunity board and action-first workplace, looks like it’s all been optimized for accounts and contacts.

Nevertheless, is this for you? Will you still need all this novelty? Even more importantly, will you still have access to the old features that were so important for your way of work?

While we cannot answer all these questions for you, we can pinpoint some of the aspects you can’t afford to overlook:

  • Reports

    Features not available in Lightning:

Joined reports

Schedule Report Refreshes – Scheduled report refreshes from Salesforce Classic continue to work in Lightning Experience. Instead of scheduling report refreshes, users can subscribe to reports in Lightning Experience.

Print Reports – Not an option but users can still print reports using their browser’s print function.

Add to Campaign

Accessibility Mode for the Report Builder – Users with Accessibility Mode turned on must switch to Salesforce Classic to create and edit reports.

Follow Reports – To follow reports, users must switch to Salesforce Classic. But, if Feed Tracking is enabled for Reports, then Chatter feeds are available in Lightning Experience.Follow Reports – To follow reports, users must switch to Salesforce Classic. But, if Feed Tracking is enabled for Reports, then Chatter feeds are available in Lightning Experience.Territory Hierarchy Filters

Features available with limitations in Lightning:

Tabular Views of Historical Trend Reports – Historical trend reporting with charts is supported in Lightning Experience, but tabular views of historical trend reports aren’t available.

Export Reports – Reports exported from Lightning Experience never include a disclaimer that reads “Confidential Information – Do not Distribute” in the report footer. The disclaimer is excluded even if you disable the Exclude Disclaimer from Exported Reports setting in Setup.

Filters – Row limit filters, Historical field filters, and Standard filters (except for date, picklist and string filters) are available when building or editing a report in the Salesforce Classic report builder, but aren’t shown in the filter panel when viewing a report. Even though you don’t see the filters, they still filter the report.

Subscribe to Reports – In Lightning Experience, users can subscribe to reports, but can’t set notification conditions and can only receive report results via email.

  • Dashboards

    Important note: You can’t edit a dashboard in Salesforce Classic after it’s been created in Lightning. Instead of editing a Salesforce Classic dashboard in Lightning Experience, consider cloning the dashboard and editing the clone. That way, you can still edit the original dashboard in Salesforce Classic.

    Features not available in Lightning:

Joined reports

Schedule Dashboard Refreshes – Users can’t schedule dashboard refreshes in Lightning Experience, but scheduled dashboard refreshes from Salesforce Classic continue to work in Lightning Experience.

Visualforce Components on Dashboards

Link from a Dashboard Component to a Website or Email Address

Accessibility Mode for the Dashboard Editor – Users with accessibility mode turned on can still create and edit Lightning Experience dashboards, but for a fully accessible experience they must switch to Salesforce Classic.

Features available with limitations in Lightning:

Follow Dashboards – In Lightning Experience, users can’t follow dashboard components. Users only see dashboard feed activity (like posts) in their Lightning Experience feed. To follow dashboard components, users must unfollow the dashboard in Lightning Experience, switch to Salesforce Classic, and then follow the dashboard in Salesforce Classic.

  • List view options

    You don’t go to a new page to create a list view. Instead, you stay on the same page and give the list view a name in a popup dialog box. You add filters to customize your list with a panel that slides out on the right side of the page. You will no longer be able to grant visibility based on user role or membership status. All your users, internal and external, partners included, will have access. So, you can expect an all-or-nothing approach. While the list views are still available in the Lightning version, they display and behave differently, the only restrict options remaining “All” and “My”.

    Features not available in Lightning:

Following records directly from a list

Sharing list views with groups

Some mass actions, including modifying or deleting multiple items in a list at once

Custom actions

Drag-and-drop scheduling for account, contact, and lead list views


The printer icon icon to create a printable view of a list

Navigation through list views has changed. Because list views have infinite scrolling, you can’t specify the number of records to show per page. Also, you can’t navigate through pages with arrow buttons, and you can’t jump to a specific page of results. Jumping to records with names.

  • Product schedules

    You will no longer be able to create the default Product Schedules when adding a product with Schedules to an Opportunity. You should expect to see these revenues excluded from any revenue report. Tough revenue forecasting, we… forecast. Simply put, the product schedules are no longer available in Lightning. When your reps add a product with an established revenue or quantity schedule, the established schedule is added to the opportunity line item.

  • Navigation menu

    You’ll have to forget how it feels selecting a Marketing App and having all objects related on the same screen. Prepare to deal with a new, icon-based Navigation menu, your only navigation options being the App Launcher and the… Search bar. The navigation menu is a new feature of the Lightning Experience, represented through a vertical bar on the left side, with icons representing objects listed on it. The old representation of tabs spread across the top of the screen, from Salesforce Classic, is no longer available.

    In the improved experience, the vertical menu on the left side of Lightning Experience becomes a horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page Your users can navigate to any items in the navigation bar just like before, but now they can also access other apps, including Lightning apps that you can brand and customize.

    In Salesforce Classic, you use tabs to access objects like Accounts, Leads, etc.. Tabs also serve up other features, such as Chatter. In Lightning Experience you can complete actions, access recent records and lists directly from the navigation bar, and switch between apps that have custom colors and branding.

    Use the App Launcher to open apps in both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience. In Lightning Experience, the App Launcher is always accessible in the navigation bar and shows your custom apps with custom branding. If you’re looking for an item that’s not in your current app, you can still find it in the App Launcher in Lightning Experience. You can also search the App Launcher to more quickly find the item or app you’re looking for.

  • Packages

    Dupecatcher, Conga, MailChimp or other packages previously installed from the Salesforce AppExchange – you will have to make sure they’re all compatible with Lightning. Your System Administrator won’t be too happy about it… Most Luckily, many apps are already Lightning ready. To verify a particular app, look for it on the AppExchange listing and see if it has the “Lightning Ready” sash on it. One notable difference is that for the packages created in Classic you will not be able to assign licenses to users when running in the Lightning version. To do so, you will have to switch back to the Classic version.

  • Email templates

    You will no longer be able to use the templates previously created via the Setup menu in the Classic version, nor to use your new, Lightning templates in the old, Classic version. Long story short, emails created in the Classic version will not be accessible from the Lightning version or the other way around.

    The new Lightning Experience introduced a new way to create and manage your Email Templates. Email Templates are now created and managed from the Email tab on the account, contact, lead and opportunity records in the new Lightning Experience UI. Users are able to insert merge fields and Load and Save Email templates from within the new Lightning Experience Email Author.

We’ve only listed six significant differences between Salesforce Lightning and Classic. And it doesn’t stop here. Expect to deal with other features relating to custom JavaScript buttons, AppExchange apps with Custom Objects, Visual Force Pages, Customizing tabs etc. that are NOT supported.

Feeling even more confused and looking for more information? It’s ok, you’re not the only one. Salesforce thought about that too, which is why it has developed a step-by-step plan for everyone interested.

Salesforce’s recommended strategy for transitioning to Lightning

Learn, prepare, and engage is their game plan’s motto:

          1. Learn:

          • Watch their introductory videos;
          • Visit the detailed resources from Trailhead;
          • Review the most important features by comparison;
          • Enable the Lightning Experience in your sandbox to use it yourself and test it;
          1. Prepare:

          • Do a thorough analysis of your own org;
          • Put together a rollout strategy;
          • Join Salesforce’s special group on release readiness;
          1. Engage:

          • Start training your team on working with it;
          • Officially enable the Lightning experience.

All these detailed steps and the linkable resources for every single stage are available here.

Before you rush into making any changes with the project management tool for Salesforce or the project management app for Salesforce Classic that you’ve been using, take some extra time and read this detailed guide on how to roll out Lightning for your org.

When will Salesforce officially dismiss the Classic UI?

Salesforce Lightning became available on the 17th of October, 2015, once with the Winter ’16 release. More than one year later, there is still no conclusive information in the public domain as to when will the Classic version become unavailable.

Moreover, Salesforce’s list with 10 things to know about Lightning Experience, lists as no. 6 that “You can continue to use Salesforce Classic. There’s no timeline for end of life.“.

All these considered, you still have time to familiarize yourself with the new platform. You can make some isolated experiments and, if you just can’t seem to work through your entire business process by relying solely on the new interface, consider:

          • Dividing your employees in two, having some departments working in Classic and other departments working in Lightning;
          • Designating your system administrator to experience with the new interface and gather all the relevant information regarding the transition.

Despite Salesforce steadily shifting its marketing strategy to talk mostly about the Lightning Editions, the feature gap between the two versions is still here. Sure, it closes down with every new release, but we have a long way ahead.

On the other hand, we, personally, just couldn’t sit around and wait for it…

The new, revamped Inspire Planner

Customize interface

You may think you’re not ready for it yet, but our intuitive Salesforce-native project management app is ready for Lightning. And we made sure it will soothe the transition and make things easier for you too. As you can imagine, we are eager to share this new, updated UI with you.

Inspire Planner is a user-friendly project management app for Salesforce