The BrightMEDIA Lightning Bolt Appcelerator is live on the AppExchange. When I tell people this, I typically get asked a couple of questions... 

  • What is a Lightning Bolt?
  • What is involved in publishing one?

About Lightning Bolts

Lightning Bolts originated from Salesforce communities. They were a mechanism to publish a community template and associated processes, flows etc. As time went on, they grew into industry solution templates to speed up the path to live for a customer in a specific industry. Rather than building everything from scratch, a collection of artifacts covers most of the solution, followed by a services engagement to fine tune this to the exact requirements.

Unlike AppExchange applications, Bolts aren't typically installed and configured by a customer with minimal involvement from the vendor. Instead, the Get It Now button generates a request for a call, so the customer can speak about their specific use case with the vendor before installing.

This doesn't mean that a Lightning Bolt is a shortcut to an AppExchange listing, as the Bolt still has to pass the security review and various other measures. The process is somewhat different though. Here at BrightGen we've been through both the AppExchange and Lightning Bolt processes, so are in a good position to compare and contrast the two.

Listing Approval

To list an app on the Salesforce AppExchange, you have to create a business plan, which must be approved. This is a relatively recent addition - so if you published an app a while ago and are considering another, you may find that things have been tightened up somewhat. It's not too arduous, and mostly covers things you should already have thought about or know.

For a Lightning Bolt, you need to submit a video and a datasheet in addition. This is because prospects can't just install your solution directly, so they need a way to see it in action. I'd imagine the approval part is more to check you are using Salesforce assets and branding correctly rather than approving the solution itself.

Security Review

Once the listing content is approved, the package can be submitted for security review. We were keen to try this with a second generation managed package and the results did not disappoint. Making version control the source of the truth and developing in scratch orgs makes it much easier to work as a team. Using the Salesforce Command Line Interface to create, promote and install package versions reduces the manual effort required. Just make sure you check the contents package directory before creating a new version to make sure nothing has slipped in under the radar.

The security review appears to be much the same as for an application listing. The same kind of issues were being checked for and you should expect a couple of failures along the way if you have a large or complex codebase. 

Go Live

Once the package passes the security review, you are all set. Double check the listing contents, hit the publish button and you are live on the AppExchange. You can find ours here.

If you're a Salesforce partner and you have a good idea for an app to support businesses during the coronavirus lockdown, here's the Salesforce COVID-19 Partner Innovation Submission form.

Any other questions? Comment below or email info@brightgen.com.