Blockchain development differs from traditional application programming in several important ways. In fact, much of the effort goes into additional issues in the first place, such as choosing the most appropriate incentive scheme, desired degree of transparency, specific group permissions, and so on.
Core developers are responsible for the entire development lifecycle of a blockchain application. The life cycle of this process includes the study of its architecture and the definition of use cases for on-chain applications. Blockchain developers also optimize the blockchain database for various systems and applications.
This process is industry proven. Such an organization gives the most effective results. The blockchain application development process consists of eight steps, detailed below.
The first step of this process involves identifying a problem that the blockchain can successfully solve. Using the blockchain when it is not required can be both costly and unnecessary. Therefore, it is very important to identify the real problem that the blockchain can solve.
Each blockchain project uses its own consensus mechanism. The most common are proof of work (PoW) and proof of stake (PoS). Other consensus mechanisms such as practical Byzantine fault tolerance, proof-of-burn, proof-of-activity, and proof-of-capacity can only be adopted if they are better suited to the project.
In this step, focus on designing the user interface of the application. The blockchain chosen will influence the programming language used, which in turn will affect how users interact with the blockchain. An important additional consideration when choosing languages is interoperability.
But what programming language is used for blockchain technologies?
Here are some of the popular programming languages for blockchain developers:
After choosing the language, the blockchain developer must choose the database to work with. MongoDB and MySQL are two popular options.
At this stage, developers must determine which blockchain to build on. This allows you to immediately start development without having to create a blockchain from scratch. The blockchain platform selection process depends on the required consensus mechanism. Pay attention to the problems solved by each consensus mechanism.
Blockchain development often relies on popular platforms designed to simplify the process. These platforms are used by both blockchain development companies and independent developers.
Some of the most common platforms are open source blockchain platforms, such as:
Developers should choose a platform that uses a familiar blockchain programming language. Each platform listed here will facilitate the blockchain development cycle.
It is best to study the capabilities and disadvantages of each platform, which will help determine if a blockchain platform is suitable for a given project.
At this point in the blockchain development process, evaluate the steps taken so far. Plan and prioritize your strategy for a more comprehensive process. This strategy should take into account the characteristics of the chosen platform.
Determine if the blockchain will include specific permissions for target user groups or if it will include the public network. After that, determine if the application will need to use a private or public blockchain network architecture.
Also consider a hybrid consortium or public blockchain architecture. In a permission-based blockchain, a participant can only add information with the permission of other registered participants.
Ultimately, it's worth considering the option that best suits the use case.
Customize key aspects of the application. Make sure permissions, block signatures, address formats, and key management are considered first. These elements cannot be changed after implementation, so it is best to give them the necessary attention from the start.
After this step, start working on the application programming interface (API) of the blockchain application. APIs are used to perform audit functions, generate key pairs, and store or retrieve sensitive data. The choice of blockchain APIs depends on the purpose of the application. These APIs will provide the most value for all users.
The developer must also install the middleware. Middleware is software that connects external systems to the blockchain, thereby providing communication between the components of the blockchain and applications running on it.
Some APIs required by almost every blockchain include:
APIs for digital signatures and hash number generation are also required for data authentication. The developer can use ready-made APIs for blockchain applications or create new ones from scratch. Using out-of-the-box APIs speeds up the development process, while building APIs from scratch provides more flexibility.
The blockchain application development phase can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more. It is important to stick to the strategy and draw up a roadmap. Developers need to understand how much time to devote to each step before moving on to the next steps.
Some questions to ask at this stage:
The goal is to create a timeline and outline a measurable workflow with milestones. Setting milestones helps track a blockchain project from its inception to completion.
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