Comparison between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic

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Comparison between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic

Salesforce is a powerful and versatile Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that has evolved over the years to meet the changing needs of businesses. One significant transformation was the introduction of Salesforce Lightning, a modern user interface and framework designed to enhance user experience and productivity. In this blog, we will explore six key differences between Salesforce Lightning and its predecessor, Salesforce Classic.

6 Differences between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic

Organizations evaluating their CRM strategy often face the decision of Salesforce Lightning vs Salesforce Classic, weighing the modernized user experience of Lightning against the familiarity of Classic’s traditional interface. Here’s a list of 6 key differences to help your decision:

1. User Interface: Classic vs Lightning

The most noticeable difference is the user interface. Salesforce Classic has a more traditional and tab-driven interface, while Salesforce Lightning offers a more dynamic and visually appealing experience. Lightning provides a responsive design that is optimized for various devices, making it more user-friendly and accessible. The Lightning Experience allows users to navigate seamlessly through the platform with its customizable and interactive dashboards.

2. Lightning Design System

Salesforce Lightning introduces the Lightning Design System (LDS), which is a set of guidelines and components for creating unified and responsive applications. It enables developers to build applications with a consistent look and feel, ensuring a seamless Salesforce lightning experience across all devices. This design system includes reusable components, patterns, and guidelines for creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing interface.

3. App Builder: Empowering Users with No Code

Salesforce Lightning takes a giant leap forward with the introduction of the Lightning App Builder. This tool empowers users with little or no coding experience to create custom applications using a drag-and-drop interface. In contrast, Salesforce Classic relies more on traditional development methods, making it less user-friendly for those who are not proficient in coding.

4. Record Pages and Components: Personalization in Lightning

In Salesforce Lightning, the concept of record pages and components replaces the traditional page layouts in Salesforce Classic. Lightning Record Pages allow for greater personalization and flexibility. Users can customize their workspace by adding various components, such as charts, lists, and related records, providing a tailored experience based on individual preferences. This dynamic approach to page layouts enhances user efficiency and engagement.

5. Transition and Training in Salesforce Lightning: 

Migrating from Salesforce Classic to Lightning may require some training and adjustments. Lightning offers a new way of working, and organizations need to ensure that their users are proficient in leveraging the enhanced features. Salesforce provides resources like Trailhead, a learning platform, to help users make a smooth transition to Lightning. It’s essential to invest in Salesforce training to maximize the benefits of the Lightning Experience. Training users will also help them understand how to use  Salesforce Lightning better. 

6. Integration and Compatibility: A Unified Ecosystem

While both Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic coexist in the Salesforce ecosystem, Lightning is the future. Salesforce continues to invest in Lightning, and new features and enhancements are primarily developed for this platform. As a result, organizations using Lightning can take advantage of the latest innovations and ensure compatibility with future updates, making it a more future-proof choice.

5 Similarities between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic

While Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic exhibit significant differences, it’s important to recognize that they share several core functionalities that make Salesforce a robust CRM platform. Here are some key similarities between the two:

1. Unified Data Model

One of the fundamental similarities is the underlying data model. Whether using Salesforce Lightning or Salesforce Classic, the core structure of the CRM database remains consistent. This means that objects, fields, and relationships defined in one interface will seamlessly carry over to the other. This unified data model ensures data integrity and consistency across the platform.

2. Security Model

Both Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic adhere to the same security model. This includes features such as role hierarchy, profiles, and permission sets that allow administrators to control user access to data and functionality. The robust security architecture ensures that sensitive information is protected and that users only have access to the data relevant to their roles and responsibilities. Read more about Salesforce Data security for deeper insights. 

3. Automation with Process Builder and Workflow Rules

Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic provide powerful automation tools, such as Process Builder and Workflow Rules, to streamline business processes. These tools enable users to automate repetitive tasks, trigger actions based on specific criteria, and ensure a consistent and efficient workflow. The automation capabilities are consistent across both interfaces, allowing users to leverage these features without any disparity.

4. Reports and Dashboards

Both Salesforce platforms offer robust reporting and dashboard capabilities, allowing users to analyze and visualize data to gain insights into their business performance. The reporting functionality, including report types, filters, and charts, is consistent between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic. This ensures that organizations can maintain their reporting standards and continue to derive meaningful insights, regardless of the interface used.

5. Integration Capabilities

Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic provide extensive integration capabilities, allowing seamless connectivity with third-party applications and systems. The integration features, including APIs and connectors, are not dependent on the interface. This ensures that organizations can integrate Salesforce with other tools, platforms, and databases seamlessly, regardless of whether they are using Lightning or Classic.


To sum it up, the transition from Salesforce Classic to Lightning represents a leap towards a more modern, intuitive, and efficient CRM experience. The shift involves not just a change in the user interface but a transformation in how users interact with and customize the platform. While the user interface and some advanced features differ between Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic, the core capabilities that make Salesforce a leading CRM platform remain constant. Organizations can confidently choose the interface that best suits their needs, knowing that they will still have access to the robust features that define Salesforce as a powerful CRM solution.

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