After his fifth time creating a customized calendar for objects in Lightning, Salesforce Demo Engineer, Randy Grewal realized that there was a use case to kickstart app building with responsive, reusable Lightning Components, created with Lightning App Builder. Hence, the AnyCalendar Lightning Component was born. Allowing you to drop a calendar into Lightning Experience or Napili Template Communities, Randy built this component to enable customers — via point and click — to select a standard or custom object and customize the calendar display options.

“The calendar has multiple views: day, week, month, and list; which can be customized via point and click,” shared Randy about the component. “Use it to create, edit, and view records directly from the calendar while showing off Lightning Experience or a Community.”

Randy has built components and apps before, but never live on AppExchange, and available to Salesforce customers. Because he unlocked this exciting achievement, I sat down with Randy to learn more about his experience building components (and to learn his deepest, darkest app secrets). Read on to hear this inspiring story with #appy advice.


Hi Randy. Tell us about your role at Salesforce.


Randy Grewal: As a Demo Engineer for Q Branch (think James Bond), we are behind the scenes stretching the platform to do amazing things to prove to customers that we can meet their needs.

We’re prototyping all of the time. We consult with Solution Engineers and Account Executives to fill product gaps and create tailored apps for specific customers. It is part of our V2MOM (Think yearly goals) to publish at least one AppExchange app this year, because ultimately we want to drive customer success. Therefore, I am constantly developing in Salesforce.


So your constant development helped you notice the gap to create AnyCalendar?

RG: There were many cases where a calendar was required to work with objects other than just events. I knew I had to make this reusable. Salesforce makes it incredibly easy to develop at lightning speed. AnyCalendar took me 45 hours of development time. That’s unheard of. Using the new Lightning data service, the standard server for Lightning components, I built a previous component in five minutes, which would have typically taken two hours.


How did you get started with Salesforce and building apps and components? In other words, what’s your story?

RG: I was originally in Sales, and not the best at it. I did a web development bootcamp and in nine weeks, I learned how to code. I came to Salesforce two years ago and started cranking away from day one. So, in two years and nine months, I was able to build full fledged apps like AnyCalendar. Salesforce empowered me to learn and use so many different technologies.


Why did you build a component over an app or something else?

RG: Lightning components are amazing. You can use them in Communities, Visualforce, LEX and more. They’re very useful. Plus, Salesforce has a vast community of developers and admins. It’s easy to ask questions and search for answers. Lastly, admins can find plenty of free components available on AppExchange. Salesforce Labs is a great place to start, since everything our team publishes is free. You don’t have to build from scratch.


What is a best practice when it comes to using a component?

RG: Read and follow the instructions in Community Builder and Lighting app builder. You’ll find all of the information for the fields you need when you click on the component. Icons tell you exactly what to place, and where. It’s all drag and drop and point and click.


What tips do you have for admins looking to build components?

RG: Publishing AppExchange apps and components will save so much time for admins and developers. With all of the new features for Lightning development, admins with little coding experience can build robust apps and Lightning components. So spin up a developer org and start taking trails on Trailhead. Check out the component reference section of the Lightning Component Developer Guide. You’ll find prebuilt tags to drop into a Lightning component.

Also, since Salesforce has a vast community of developers, someone, somewhere likely already wrote the code you're looking for. You can use it as is, or make it fit your particular use case. It’s so easy to get up and running. Within my first three months, I was completely comfortable coding, and Trailhead makes it even faster. Dive in headfirst.


Any new apps or components we should anticipate from you? What’s next?

RG: There are many more AppExchange apps on the way from our team. I will be making a full feature app based on AnyCalendar, with more of an end to end scheduling solution. Stay tuned!

We want to thank Randy for his time. Get the exciting (and free) AnyCalendar Lightning component today on AppExchange, and appy building.