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Aura Components vs. Lightning Web Components

July 4, 2023

Table of Contents

    Salesforce, the leading customer relationship management software, always focuses on delivering a fantastic customer experience. As part of Salesforce’s dedication to continuous advancement, the platform has endured significant advances in UI development frameworks. This blog compares two powerful UI frameworks: Aura Components vs Lightning Web Components.

    In the ever-evolving landscape of UI development, Salesforce recognized the need for frameworks that offer enhanced flexibility, performance, and developer productivity. To meet these demands, Salesforce introduced Aura Components and later introduced Lightning Web Components, representing a shift towards modern UI development paradigms.

    Are you ready to explore Aura Components and Lightning Web Components in detail? Let’s get started.

    What is Aura Component in Salesforce?

    Aura Components is a framework introduced by Salesforce in 2014 for building dynamic web applications on the Salesforce platform.

    They offer a structured approach to UI development, allowing developers to create reusable and modular components. Aura Components consist of a markup file defining the UI and a controller file handling the component’s logic. They follow the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern and support event-driven programming, enabling flexible and interactive applications.

    Aura Components are compatible with multiple platforms, making them versatile for development. They empower Salesforce developers to create engaging and customizable user interfaces in Salesforce applications.

    Key Features of Salesforce Aura Components

    Here we have outlined the different features of Aura Components:

    1. Code Reusability

    Aura Components inspire code reusability by enabling developers to create self-contained, modular components. These components can be easily reused across multiple parts of the application reducing the developer’s time and effort.

    2. Model-View-Controller (MVC) Architecture

    Aura Components Salesforce is based on Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. It enables the developers to separate the data retrieval and manipulation (Model), the UI rendering (View), and the component’s logic and behavior (Controller). These separations make it easy for developers to organize codes, and maintain and test applications.

    3. Event-Driven Programming

    Aura Components follows event-driven programming enabling the communication and interaction between the components. Events can be created to trigger specific actions to enhance the user experience. For example, let’s say you have a button component that, when clicked, needs to trigger an action in another component. By firing a custom event from the button component and handling it in the other component, you can establish communication and trigger the desired action.

    4. Cross-Platform Compatibility

    Aura Components are designed to be compatible with various platforms, including mobile phones and desktops. This flexibility enables the developers to create UIs that seamlessly adapt to different screen sizes and device types. For example, a component displaying the list of records can easily adjust itself according to the device’s layout and appearance, creating a seamless experience.

    5. Lightning Design System Integration

    Another great feature of Aura Components Salesforce is the ability to easily integrate with the Salesforce Lightning Design System (SLDS), a collection of CSS frameworks and design guidelines. These integrations ensure the user experience is consistent and visually appealing UI that aligns with Salesforce and its design standards.

    6. Server-Side and Client-Side Processing

    Aura Components provide a rational approach to processing data and logic.  These components are capable of managing both server-side and client-side operations.

    For example, with Aura Components, you can execute server-side operations like getting data from Salesforce. At the same time, you can handle client-side interactions like validating the user input or dynamically updating the UI without making server requests, resulting in faster response times.

    What are Lightning Web Components in Salesforce?

    Aura Components is a framework introduced by Salesforce in 2014 for building dynamic web applications on the Salesforce platform.

    They offer a structured approach to UI development, allowing developers to create reusable and modular components. Aura Components consist of a markup file defining the UI and a controller file handling the component’s logic. They follow the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern and support event-driven programming, enabling flexible and interactive applications.

    Aura Components are compatible with multiple platforms, making them versatile for development. They empower developers to create engaging and customizable user interfaces in Salesforce applications.

    Key Features of Lightning Web Components

    Here we have outlined the features of lightning web components:

    1. Lightweight and Fast

    As the name suggests lightning web components are designed to be lightweight and performance-centric. The optimized code of these components ensures faster loading time and improved performance. For example, you can create a lightning web component to display a list of accounts, and the component’s optimized rendering engine ensures smooth scrolling and fast data loading.

    2. Standards-Based Development

    Lightening Web Components adhere to standard web development standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This approach promotes code reusability and compatibility with other web technologies. For instance, you can utilize standard HTML tags and CSS styling to create a lightning web component that renders a customizable form input field.

    3. Enhanced Developer Productivity

    Lightening Web Components come with a robust set of tools and resources to enhance developer productivity. Salesforce provides a user-friendly development environment, code completion, and integrated debugging capabilities. As an example, you can utilize the Salesforce CLI (Command-Line Interface) to quickly scaffold a lightning web component and start developing with ease.

    4. Component-Based Architecture

    Driven by component-based architecture, LWC enables developers to create standalone and reusable components. Another benefit of component-based architecture is that multiple simple components can be blended to create complex user interfaces.

    5. Reactive Data Binding

    Lightning Web Components follow the reactive data binding where changes in the data automatically update the component’s UI. This eliminates the need for manual DOM manipulation and ensures consistent data synchronization. For example, let’s consider a Lightning Web Component that displays real-time data updates such as a live sales dashboard that updates dynamically as new data is received.

    6. Event-Driven Programming

    Lightning Web Components support event-driven programming, enabling communication and interaction between components. You can define custom events and handle them in other components to trigger actions or update UI elements. For example, you can create a lightning web component for a shopping cart that triggers an event when an item is added, allowing other components to respond accordingly.

    You can also read here how Salesforce Lightning is a Revolution Over Classic.

    Aura Components vs Lightning Web Components

    Here we have created a detailed comparison between Aura Components vs Lightning Web Components. Let’s learn in detail how they stand against each other.

    1. Syntax and Structure

    Aura Component syntax follows a markup-based approach using a combination of HTML-like tags, attributes, and expressions enclosed within double curly braces (`{{…}}`). The component’s markup is defined in a (`.cmp`) file, which contains the component’s structure and user interface elements. Additionally, Aura Components have a separate controller file (`.js`) that handles the component’s logic and event handling. The files are organized within a dedicated Aura folder structure.

    <aura:attribute name="message" type="String" default="Hello, Aura!"/>
    <aura:handler name="init" value="{!this}" action="{!c.doInit}"/>

    In this example:

    • <aura:component> tag specifies the Aura Component.
    • <aura:attribute> tag defines an attribute called “message” of type String with a default value.
    • <h1> tag displays the value of the “message” attribute using the expression {!v.message}.
    • <aura:handler> tag sets up an event handler for the “init” event, specifying the controller action to execute when the event is triggered.

    Lightning Web Components, on the other hand, use a modern JavaScript-based syntax using ES6+ standards. The component’s markup is defined in a (`.html`) file, where you write HTML and JavaScript using decorators, such as (`@api`) and (`@wire`), to define component attributes and wire data from Salesforce. The component’s logic is contained within a JavaScript file (`.js`) and is typically written using ES6 modules. The files are organized within a module-based structure.

    Let’s take a look at the following example to gain a better understanding of Salesforce Lightning Web Components:

    HTML File:

    <lightning-button label="Click Me" onclick={handleClick}></lightning-button>

    Javascript (.js) file:

    import { LightningElement, track } from 'lwc';
    export default class MyComponent extends LightningElement {
    @track greeting = 'Hello, LWC!';
    handleClick() {
    this.greeting = 'Button Clicked!';

    In this example:

    • <template> tag contains the HTML markup for the Lightning Web Component, including a <h1> heading and a <lightning-button> component.
    • {greeting} expression represents the value of the “greeting” property, initially set to ‘Hello, LWC!’.
    • The JavaScript code imports the necessary modules (LightningElement and track) and defines the component class MyComponent.
    • The @track decorator ensures reactivity for the “greeting” property, enabling automatic UI updates when its value changes.
    • The handleClick() method is invoked when the button is clicked. It updates the “greeting” property to ‘Button Clicked!’, triggering a UI update.

    The syntax and file structure of Aura and LWC differ significantly. Aura Components rely on a markup-centric approach with separate markup and controller files, while Lightning Web Components embrace a more JavaScript-focused approach with a single file for markup and logic. The use of modern JavaScript syntax and ES6 modules in Lightning Web Components provides developers with a familiar and powerful development experience.

    2. Performance and Efficiency

    Aura Salesforce Components have a complex architecture with an additional abstract layer, resulting in higher initialization and rendering overhead. They utilize a client-side rendering engine and maintain their component tree, which can lead to increased memory usage and slower performance for larger applications. Furthermore, the Salesforce Aura has complex components with nested structures and many dependencies may result in decreased rendering speed and responsiveness.

    Salesforce Lightning Web Components, on the other hand, offer improved performance and efficiency. They follow the simple architecture and streamlined rendering process which results in faster initialization and rendering times. LWC also leverages the capabilities of modern browsers and utilizes a lightweight shadow for efficient rendering and updates. The framework’s optimized JavaScript engine and modular architecture contribute to better performance, especially for large-scale applications or high data volumes. Independent benchmarks and real-world comparisons demonstrate the performance benefits of Lightning Web Components, including faster rendering times, improved load times, and enhanced responsiveness.

    Lightning Web Components outperform Aura Components in terms of performance and efficiency. The simplified architecture, native browser capabilities, and optimized rendering process of Lightning Web Components contribute to faster initialization and rendering times, improved load times, and enhanced responsiveness.

    3. Event Handling

    Salesforce Aura Components rely on the Aura event framework, which follows a traditional event-driven programming model. Event handling in Aura involves defining custom events, registering event handlers, and dispatching events with the help of the Aura event framework.

    Lightning Web Components Salesforce, on the other hand, relies on the more modern approach to event handling. They utilize the native DOM eventing system, making event handling simple and more aligned with the standard JavaScript practices. In Lightning Web Components, event handling involves annotating methods with `@wire` or `@api` decorators to listen to events. The components follow the standard JavaScript event model and utilize standard DOM event types like `click` or `change`.

    The key differences between the two frameworks are in their event models and best practices. Aura Components use a dedicated event framework, while Lightning Web Components utilize the native DOM eventing system. This distinction leads to differences in event-handling approaches, with Lightning Web Components offering a simpler and more efficient model aligned with standard JavaScript practices.

    4. Reusability and Modularity

    Aura Component offers reusability and modularity through the concept of Aura Bundles. Aura Bundles enable the developers to package components, styles, and resources together for easy distribution and reuse. Furthermore, Aura also offers support for features like component inheritance and composition to make it easy for developers to create complex applications by combining and extending existing components.

    Lightening Web Components is also a strong advocate of reusability and modularity. These components are also designed to be standalone, and self-contained, ensuring their reusability at different instances of an application. It also supports modern JavaScript modules, enabling developers to import and export the components as needed.

    Aura and Lightening Web Components both provide a mechanism for reusability and modularity, but they differ in their approaches. Aura Components focus on packaging components as Aura Bundles, while Lightning Web Components leverage modern JavaScript modules for easy import/export and component sharing.

    5. Migration and Compatibility

    When you consider migrating from Aura to LWC, several things are needed to keep in mind. Both frameworks are supported by Salesforce, however, transitioning from Aura Components to Lightning Web Components may require rewriting the existing code. Salesforce provides tools and resources to aid in the migration process, including the Lightning Web Components Migration Assistant and documentation on best practices.

    Furthermore, the Aura Components and Lightning Web Components can coexist within the same Salesforce org. This means that developers can gradually migrate their applications from Aura to Lightning Web Components at their own pace, leveraging the strengths of each framework where necessary. The coexistence of both frameworks allows for a flexible migration approach, ensuring compatibility and continuity for existing applications while embracing the benefits of Lightning Web Components.

    Aura Components vs Lightening Web Components: Choosing the Right Framework

    When deciding between Aura Components and Lightning Web Components for your Salesforce development projects, it’s important to consider various factors. Here are key factors to evaluate:

    1. Project Requirements

    Assess the specific requirements of your project, including complexity, performance needs, and scalability. Lightning Web Components are recommended for projects requiring high performance and flexibility, while Aura Components may be suitable for simpler applications.

    2. Development Experience

    Consider the expertise and familiarity of your development team. If your team is already skilled in Aura Components, it may be more efficient to continue using Aura. However, if you’re starting a new project or have developers who are comfortable with modern JavaScript and web standards, Lightning Web Components can offer a more streamlined development experience.

    3. Long-Term Support

    Salesforce has indicated that Lightning Web Components will be their primary framework moving forward, receiving more enhancements and updates. Therefore, if you’re looking for long-term support and compatibility, Lightning Web Components is a recommended choice.

    4. Ecosystem and Community

    Evaluate the availability of resources, components, and community support. Both Aura Components and Lightning Web Components have their respective ecosystems, but Lightning Web Components benefit from a growing community and a wider range of reusable components.

    Use Case Scenarios and Recommended Framework Choices

    Aura Components Salesforce stands out as the best choice for relatively simple applications with limited complexity and where rapid development is a priority. While on the other hand, for complex i.e. enterprise-level applications where performance and scalability are priorities, Lightening Web Components are the preferred choice. LWC offers optimized performance and modular architecture which makes it the best choice for large projects.

    Why Should You Choose Lightening Web Components Over Aura Framework?

    The comparison of Lightening Web Components and Aura Components suggests that LWC is a superior choice for businesses to develop their Salesforce application. Here we have given you a recap of a few of the factors that outshine the LWC over Aura.

    I. Component-Based Architecture

    The modular nature of the Lightning Web Components enables you to develop your application using reusable and standalone components.

    II. Modern JavaScript Practices

    Lightning Web Components follows modern JavaScript practices such as ES6 syntax and module bundlers. These practices prompt the ease in development and maintainability of components.

    III. Standard Web Technologies

    Standard web technologies like Shadow DOM and Custom Elements ensure the compatibility and interoperability of LWC with other frameworks.

    IV. Improved Performance

    LWC provides performance optimization techniques like lazy loading and efficient data retrieval, to deliver fast and responsive user experiences.

    A Salesforce experimental project DreamHouse was migrated from Aura Components to LWC. This migration resulted in a 2-60% decrease in the Experience Page Time (EPT) of DreamHouse.

    get lwc enabled for your business

    Final Take

    As you explore the world of Salesforce UI development, it becomes evident that Lightning Web Components offer a powerful and modern framework to build dynamic and efficient applications. With their enhanced performance, modular structure, and seamless Salesforce Integration, Lightning Web Components present a compelling choice for developers seeking to create engaging user experiences.

    Furthermore, when I interviewed Salesforce developers to know their perspective on which framework makes more sense, the majority of them recommended LWC. There are common reasons behind each of their recommendations of LWC– improved code reusability, easier debugging, continuous enhancements from Salesforce, and future-proof development experience.

    If you’re looking to embark on your Lightning Web Components journey and need a reliable partner to guide you through the process, look no further than Cyntexa. As experts in Salesforce development, we have a deep understanding of Lightning Web Components and can help you harness the full potential of this framework. Whether you’re starting a new project or migrating from Aura Components, our team is ready to assist you in building exceptional Salesforce applications.

    Take the leap and explore the endless possibilities with Lightning Web Components. Embrace the future of Salesforce UI development and unlock the power of this innovative framework. Reach out to Cyntexa today and let us be your trusted partner on your Lightning Web Components journey.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Aura Components in Salesforce provides businesses with several benefits including efficient data binding, client-side caching, and a powerful event model. Additionally, Aura Components are easy to develop and maintain and are designed to work across all devices and platforms.

    Lightning Web Components offer enhanced performance, modular structure, and seamless integration with Salesforce. They allow for fast and responsive user experiences through techniques such as lazy loading and efficient data retrieval. Additionally, they are interoperable with other frameworks, such as Shadow DOM and Custom Elements, which ensure compatibility.

    Yes, you can use LWC and Aura Components side by side, but Aura is the ultimate parent. An Aura Parent can contain both LWC and Aura components, but an LWC parent can only contain LWC components.

    By leveraging the interoperability between Aura Components and Lightning Web Components, you can migrate from Aura Components to LWC gradually. This allows you to start using the new features of LWC while still leveraging the existing Aura components. You can also use the Lightning Web Components migration tool to help you migrate your Aura components into LWCs.

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