Developers: Salesforce open sources framework so you can build apps on any platform

Salesforce is open sourcing its Lightning Web Components Framework, the company announced at TrailheaDX 2019.

Salesforce is leaning on low-code to bring more platform access to its admins Low-code orchestration allows businesses to get a minimum viable product out the door fast and customize it to the user's needs, Salesforce's Tony Colon told TechRepublic at Dreamforce 2017.

Salesforce is open sourcing its Lightning Web Components, the framework that allows developers to build apps on the Lightning Platform, the company announced on Wednesday at its TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco. Open sourcing the framework will allow developers to create web components on the development stack of their choosing, according to a press release.

The Lightning Platform powers millions of Salesforce apps, the release noted.

"The Lightning Platform has long served millions of enterprise developers building the apps that underpin today's connected experiences," Ryan Ellis, senior vice president of product at Salesforce, said in the release. "With Lightning Web Components now open source, we're empowering the community to build standards-based applications on any platform, and inviting them to help us define what the future of enterprise software looks like."

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Open source software has become increasingly popular in the enterprise, according to a recent RedHat report. Only 1% of enterprises dismiss the importance of open source software, the report found, and industry use of such software is expected to reach parity with proprietary software within two years. Barriers to open source include security and compatibility, which can create a gap between companies seeking digital transformation and developers expected to code these projects, Salesforce noted.

Open sourcing Lightning Web Components represents Salesforce's attempt to bridge that gap, allowing developer teams to recruit from larger talent pools to code and iterate on apps that businesses can trust more quickly, according to the release.

An open sourced Lightning Web Components will allow developers to code with the same standards-based framework to build applications on any platform, using any tools and open languages of their choice, the release noted. This will also let a community of enterprise JavaScript developers to contribute to the open source code and drive web standards forward for everyone, it said.

However, Salesforce is a bit behind other enterprise software players including IBM, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Oracle, which all already have some kind of open source strategy, as noted by ZDNet's Larry Dignan.

"Open source software empowers developers to examine source code and enhance it with contributions based on their own insights and experience," Arnal Dayaratna, research director of software development at IDC, said in the release. "By open sourcing Lightning Web Components, Salesforce is giving enterprises the ability to take advantage of the enhanced innovation enabled by open source software and accelerate application development at a time when the demand for digital solutions exceeds the supply of developers to produce those solutions."

Developers in an Enterprise, Unlimited, Performance or Developer Edition organization can get started with the open source platform now by visiting https://lwc.dev/ and https://github.com/salesforce/lwc.

For more, check out Salesforce tackling bias in AI with new Trailhead module on TechRepublic.

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By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.