The Salesforce community is a powerful tool to collaborate with clients or partners within the same work environment. You can offer your clients a DIY (Do It Yourself) environment in which they can create their own cases and review the statuses, but also update their own contact details or consult the entire Knowledge base. 

This leads to clients being able to increasingly help themselves, so as to relieve the pressure on the internal organisation. With Partner Community it’s for example possible to work on opportunities together with partners. It’s almost like gaining an external sales department.

Communities allows you to use a number of different templates: Koa, Kokua, and Napili. The difference between these templates can be found in the arranging of the pages in the Community (see image 1). Be advised that Salesforce will be retiring its community templates with the release of Summer ’16. The templates can then still be used, but no support will be given. Whether the templates will be replaced by newer ones is officially unknown, but it looks as though they might be.

Image 1 Community Templates

Following the Winter ’16 release, pages can now be more styled and designed after your own taste. It’s now also possible to make and build components yourself in order to add them to a Communities page. By enabling Lighting Components you are now able to display extra data (components) on a page.

Community Builder

You are required to update the templates in order to use the Lightning Components. Only then will they be compatible with the Lightning technology. Lightning technology has better performance and delivers a richer visual experience on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Updating also enables the opportunity to optimise your Community to be more efficient and more effective by making use of the Community Builder.

Note: The Winter ’16 versions of Koa, Kokua, Napili and Lightning Experience all make use of the same background technologie, but Salesforce Communities is not supported on Lighting Experience (Salesforce Classic).

Navigate via Topics

It’s also possible to navigate via the topics. As seen in image 2, this is possible by using the Salesforce Navigation Menu. It also works in the mobile versions, albeit with a collapsed menu for layout purposes (image 3).

Image 2 Community in browser

Image 3 Community op mobile devices

Improvements to the Napili Template

Most changes have been made to the Napili Template. Adjustments can now be made with more precision in order to make the pages as efficient and effective as possible. This template by large offers the most options to expand on the standard functionalities.

Image 4 Listview Featured Products

Napili allows you to decide which list views will be visible. This goes for custom objects and accounts, cases and contacts. Using the Navigation Menu Item, it’s possible to select a default list view, so that the user sees the preferred view automatically when logging in (image 4)

The Custom Record Detail Page (image 5) shows the record highlights on top. Number 1 is the headlight. Number 2 shows both the details and the feed post. Using Lightning Components, we can optimally build up the Communities.

Image 5 Custom Record Detail Page

Language settings (Napili)

It might be good to know that Salesforce automatically adopts the language settings of the browser. This is changeable to English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai. See image 6.

Image 6 Choose language

Other improvements:

  • There are three new case detail pages:
    • Base Case Details
    • Chatter Case Details (shows primarily the feeds) (see image 7)
    • Record Details (Napili)

Image 7 New Chatter Case Details

  • Knowledge users can also vote on articles within Salesforce;
  • See user expertise based on profiles;
  • Show or hide user activity in a record;
  • User profile Napili.

Image 8 User profile Napili

  • User profile Koa en Kokua;

Image 9 User profile Koa en Kokua


The new release is clearly focused on the look & feel (GUI). The appearance of the platform as a whole has been made more contemporary and is more in tune with the experience that users have elsewhere on the internet. The Community templates look more like a website as opposed to a ‘system’. The Community environment is very tweakable using Lightning Components, enabling you to offer your client the experience you desire.