Salesforce open sources Lightning Web Components

Lightning Web Components combines W3C standard Web Components and an HTML templating system

Salesforce has released Lightning Web Components, its JavaScript framework for creating web clients, is now open source, freeing developers to use the framework beyond the company’s own Lightning Platform.

The move could make Lightning Web Components more of a rival to the popular Angular, Vue, and React JavaScript frameworks, which have similar capabilities. A Node.js developer building customer engagement apps on Heroku, for example, could use Lightning Web Components to code a standards-based UI on top of a Node stack.

Introduced in December, Lightning Web Components features a UI framework using standard Web Components that run natively in browsers. Most code is written in standard JavaScript and HTML. As a result, developers on Lightning Platform were no longer constrained to using Salesforce’s Aura programming model, which required learning custom syntax.

Tools can be used with Lightning Web Components such as TypeScript, Webpack, and Babel. Salesforce cited three benefits to the open sourcing of Lightning Web Components:

  • Developers can leverage skills used on Lightning Platform with other platforms and reuse code in multiple contexts.
  • Outside contributions can be made to Lightning Web Components.
  • Developers can explore the code and get a better understanding of it.

Instructions for installing Lightning Web Components can be found on the project website.