As a former member of the Trailhead team, I am hesitant to write this, but I think it is an important thing for people to be aware of. If you have been using Trailhead for longer than a year, then you need to be aware of these pretty serious limitations.
While you can retake challenges for badges and projects, you cannot do so for Superbadges. More importantly, once you complete a badge, you have no way of knowing that the content for that badge may have been significantly updated. As in, all the content you understood when you completed the badge, is no longer relevant.
As I am sure you are aware, Salesforce does major releases three times a year. When they do, they prepare comprehensive release notes and the Trailhead authors are instructed to review these notes and update their content as necessary. That part is great. What is not great is that you as a consumer of Trailhead content have no way of knowing that the content was updated (without revisiting EVERY badge you have earned to examine the content).
The badge itself just indicates that it was completed on a certain date. As in the image below of a badge I completed in 2015. This badge has since been significantly updated and the content that was once relevant when I completed the badge is VERY different.
How do you know that you are aware of the latest features and updates to the platform? Well, it is up to you to pick through the release notes and then cross reference any Trailhead content that you may have completed. Nice, right?
Just wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this (what I consider to be) serious limitation. I hope the team is actively addressing it. I would say I know, but they don’t talk to me since I left the team.
This will be the first of a series of posts I will be doing over the next few weeks. They will all lead up to the introduction of my new course titled, “Customizing Salesforce with Lightning Aura Components” from Pluralsight. This course is a total re-write of my most popular course (so far), “Customizing Salesforce with Lightning Components: Getting Started“, which was released back in 2017. It will focus on using the new modern toolset that Salesforce offers as part of Salesforce DX.
Understanding the Lightning Component Framework
Lightning components (now called Aura components) were introduced in 2014. At that time, the web standards that existed offered only a limited amount of what developers needed and that is why Salesforce built them on top of the Aura Framework. It was basically, to compensate for what the standards lacked.
Flash forward to 2019 and a LOT has changed in the web development world. That is why in 2019, Salesforce announced the release of Lightning Web Components (LWC’s). It was also at that time that the original Lightning Components were renamed to Aura Components. They co-exist and are completely interoperable with LWC’s.
Who Should be Building Aura Components?
It probably will not surprise you to know that Salesforce developers are perfect for this, but what you might not realize is that so are junior Salesforce developers.
Where Can Aura Components Be Used?
This includes App pages, Home and Record Pages, and even a new Embedded Service Page. The embedded service page will not be covered in this course, but the app and home pages will.
salesforce mobile app
In late 2019, Salesforce launched a new and completely redesigned Salesforce Mobile App. You can learn more about it by visiting the New Salesforce Mobile App Quickstart in Setup. This will be covered in the final module on “Creating Components for Salesforce Mobile”.
These other areas are beyond the scope of this course, but just so you are aware, there is also:
Inside Visualforce pages
On other platforms such as Heroku, using Lightning Out
Anatomy of an Aura Component Bundle
An Aura component can be made up of several physical files that reside in what is known as a component bundle. Even though there are 8 files that can make up a component bundle, most simple components will only need to access a couple:
Component or Markup file – Uses a .cmp file extension and is a required file and there can only be one per bundle. All markup must be encased in an <aura:component> tag and can include references to other components.
Creating an Aura Component Bundle
The easiest way to create an Aura component is using the online Developer Console. This will be covered only once in this first module. The rest of the course will cover creating bundles using the new modern toolsets.
You can access the Developer Console by logging into a Developer org, click the gear icon and select Developer Console.
This will launch a new window and from here, you can go to File -> New -> Lightning Component.
The initial component I will show viewers how to build is very simple and will be used by Salespeople to update their cell number. From the New Lightning Bundle dialog, you only need to enter the name “updateCellNumber” and select the Lightning Tab and Lightning Page checkboxes in Component Configuration. And finally click Submit.
The component markup will be very simple to begin with and will include 3 Lightning Base Components. as the course progresses, this component, along with others will be expanded upon.