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Why We Open Sourced Our JavaScript Framework

Nirankush Panchbhai
Jul 17 - 3 min read

Open source drives our industry forward, kick-starts new careers, and builds trust in the products we create. Salesforce is committed to Open Source — from using OSS projects, making improvements in them, and sharing our most impactful innovations with the community, we want to leave it better than we found it. At TrailheaDX 2019 we gave details on the Salesforce Journey of Open Source Software in the Salesforce ❤ DX session and announced that we are open sourcing the JavaScript framework that powers Lightning Web Components (LWC).

This blog is going to highlight some of the reasons that LWC was also made into an open source project as part of the Salesforce journey. Here are a few key areas where we heard from the community directly:

Working in the open creates transparency

We heard from our trailblazers that seeing the underlying code helps build confidence; open sourcing LWC allows the community to see what is being worked on by the team. The team has worked hard over the last 3 years to provide an enterprise-ready JavaScript framework built on top of Web Standards. Creating transparency and confidence that the community can see the code as we develop aligns with the Salesforce core value of Trust.

Build both on and outside of Salesforce

We have heard from many Salesforce developers that they would love to leverage the same intuitive programming model behind LWC to create standalone applications that can be hosted on Heroku or other cloud platforms with one authoring format based on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS that leverages the power of Web Standards. Building on top of the standards that make up Web Components allows us to both future proof and be backwards compatible.

Find solutions to problems outside of releases

Since all development environments are unique we have found that providing the underlying source can help many developers unblock themselves. A simple example we have heard multiple times is the ability to integrate into different testing and tooling workflows. We have been seeing the community open issues on our LWC repo and starting the helpful cycle of improving the LWC project.

Influence the direction of the roadmap

We have also published our Request For Comments (RFCs) designs on a repository where the community can participate in the direction of more complex aspects of building an enterprise-ready JavaScript framework. Our team encourages the community to participate by reviewing open pull-requests and opening issues to continue design discussions.

Influence the direction of Web Standards and Browsers!

The enterprise ecosystem is thriving and solving really hard, complex problems. With LWC, we want to take our developer community’s voice to web standards organizations such as TC39 and W3C, where Salesforce is a member. We believe that advancing the web is a community endeavor centered around trust, and we trust the community to examine and contribute to our code base, identifying areas where standards could be advanced further. This ability to influence the future of standards enhances the experience of web components for everyone.

We invite you to get started with Lightning Web Components (LWC) by visiting, and to tune into our developer evangelists Heather Dykstra and René Winkelmeyer, who are hosting a webinar Get Started with Lightning Web Components Open Source on August 8th, where they’ll demonstrate how the framework works, and how to use our open source tooling for it.

We are excited to see what you build!

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