How to make a Decentralized App?
In this blog, we have tried to create a step-by-step guide on how to make a decentralized app. Blockchain has become quite the rage in today’s world. With over 900 Decentralized Apps around already and counting, with each of them set to disrupt specific industries. “How to make a Decentralized App” is something that everyone’s looking the answer for. With the market cap for cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies having touched the $800 billion mark, everyone has been looking into how to make a Decentralized App for themselves.
That’s not all.
It is estimated that banks will save about USD 8-12 billion annually if they start utilizing blockchain technologies. In 2017, the average investment in blockchain products and projects was USD 1 million. The global blockchain market is expected to rise to a whopping USD 20 billion by the time 2024 rolls around. Every major company in the world is looking to explore blockchain, and we don’t blame them. The decentralized nature of the tech has everyone talking about it, potentially because it can reinvigorate a feeling of trust and faith in the economy and its dealings.
Decentralized Apps or DApps are basically solutions implemented in blockchain to various real-world problems, which arise from the constraints of centralization and censorship. The decentralized nature of DApps removes the need for middlemen and intermediaries for transacting purposes on a network, and it is this very fundamental feature that has made DApps such a raging prospect in the tech world.
Some common features that you must keep in mind during your DApp development –
- As the name suggests, all application operation records and data must be stored on a public blockchain, accessible to all participants of the network.
- The participating entities in the network must adhere to some predecided proof of value protocols, such as Proof of Work currently used by Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- Open source. All governance of the app must be done by a consensus of participating entities, and the source code must be available publically.
- Participants who successfully carry out proof of value operations must be suitably rewarded by issuing them with new cryptocurrency.
In this article, we provide comprehensive steps for you to create your very own DApp.
DISCLAIMER. We’ve taken the example of a project running on the Ethereum blockchain here, for the sake of simplicity, and because it is currently one of the most popular networks out there. For other platforms, such as Crypti, you can create your own private sidechain on which your app works. Without further ado, let’s get started.
Before anything else, planning and organization is important before you kickstart your project to make a decentralized App on Ethereum Blockchain. Decide on what kind of an application you want to build, what purpose you want it to solve, and on what blockchain will it work. It is important to keep in mind that it is a decentralized app, so the services and storage facilities you choose must also work in a decentralized manner, in accordance with your DApp.
Some of the potential technologies one can look into-
- Database and hosting. This includes the blockchain (Ethereum Blockchain, in this case) that you’re going to work on, and also, the file servers and hosting that you’re going to use in order to sustain your DApp. A good example here is IPFS, which is a decentralized file storage system.
- Smart contracts. The Smart Contract Languages like Solidity can be used to code smart contracts, and at the frontend, you must look into options to integrate these contracts with your interface.
- Domain name and development servers. The domain name can be of a decentralized kind, but mostly it is easier to go with a normal domain hosting service provider.
- This is to use the application after development. Again, this is Ethereum Blockchain-only, other options for other platforms do exist. As stated before, we are considering an Ethereum blockchain. As an example, one could consider building apps on the stellar blockchain, to develop financial services which do not include support of wallets such as Metamask.
In the setup phase, you must plan out what sequence of operations you have to carry out. This phase in the process to make a decentralized app would usually be followed by the coding of smart contracts, frontend app creation, taking the app online and then using the final app. Sure, depending on your needs, you could tinker with the steps, but this is the sequence that we are going to follow.
Once you’ve done all the setting up work…
Smart contract coding for creating your own dApp.
This is one of the most crucial parts of when you set out to make a decentralized app. Here, you are going to code the contract that is the main working entity of your platform, and it must be done correctly, as people may risk losing real money if this part of the code is vulnerable or glitched. You can have also get your doubts about Ethereum smart contract development here at this forum.
Now that you are figuring out how to make a Decentralized App, one thing to note here is that this procedure may change over time, with developments and advancements in the future, on the protocol level. Since nothing is static in the world of Blockchain, it would not be wise to take the following information as something that would work, for example, 5 years down the line. However, considering the current protocols and developments, it is certainly what works at this point in time.
A smart contract is one that includes information about the involved parties, the terms of the contract and initiation conditions. The only difference is that smart contracts can get executed automatically, once the terms of the contract are satisfied. The update that a definite smart contract has been executed then is propagated throughout the blockchain network. Analyse your project. Find out what are you trying to achieve through the app, and what exactly must be done from the technical standpoint. Once all this is decided, choose a language, like Solidity, to code your smart contract.
Usually, the process goes like this. For simple make a DApp, node.js is downloaded and then, for instance, if you are looking to work on the Ethereum blockchain, you can install the development framework Truffle, which is followed by installing all the tools and add-ons that you may require for your app. The main solidity contracts file is one with an extension .sol, after preparation of which, you can successfully start to formulate the basis of your app. For other networks like Crypti, one can make use of the interface crypti-cli for DApp development.
Gas and Gas Costs Considerations for your dApp.
The concept of Gas and Gas costs is nothing new today when it comes to the Ethereum Blockchain. And since this very blog Ethreum Centric, it is of utmost importance for us to explain the gas and gas costs considerations regarding dApp development.
Gas is the amount of fuel that is needed for the execution of a transaction. Also, the term transaction has a broad meaning too. Deploying your smart contract, or running an already existing function qualifies for being a “transaction”.
Now, whenever a transaction is taking place. A code needs to be executed, which happens on the computer of the person who is mining the transaction. In order to incentivize the participants for sharing their computational power, the transaction is charged with “gas” which totally depends upon a myriad of factors regarding the transaction itself.
The gas prices are paid in ether, which makes it important for you to have sufficient balances when you set out to create a dApp. One key point to note here about this aspect of dApp development is that you need to structure your smart contract in such a way that the gas costs are minimal.
Creating the frontend
Once you’ve coded in your smart contracts, the next job is to create the frontend for the Decentralized App. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to consider here-
For other networks, the node interaction methods may be different. It depends on how the blockchain works, and what policies it uses. After you develop the frontend, you can now connect the smart contract that you coded in the previous step to the frontend of the DApp. The Remix IDE can be used for this purpose, with the contract ABI being used to tell the IDE what features the contract has.
Also read: Why 2018 belongs to Blockchain?
Remix is, again, an Ethereum product. You can find other platforms for your network, if suitable. After you’re done with the “smart contract linking” part of your project to make a DApp, complete and maintain any jobs that may be needed in the frontend development, test the app, and iron out any glitches or bugs that might have crept in.
Making the app go live online
Once all developmental work is completed, all glitches have been ironed out, and your decentralized app is ready to make it big on the global online scene, all that remains is to deploy it using a hosting service and making it available for the world in your initiative to make a Decentralized App. When it comes to Decentralized App development. Since the very nature of our app is decentralized, it would make sense to host it on a decentralized file sharing system. IPFS (Interplanetary file system) is one such platform that can provide you free decentralized hosting as long as you want.
Once you install the IPFS app on your machine, a simple set of commands need to be run, to generate peers, to generate hashes for your content, and all that good stuff. Once you publish the content on a network, you’ll get a URL that you can use to view and use your amazing DApp! Congratulations, you have managed to make a Decentralized App which is now successfully online!
Now that the Decentralized App that you made in Ethereum Blockchain is live, you can perform routine maintenance tasks, but first, you could go for a custom domain in order to give your DApp more of that authenticity and authority about it. Services like GoDaddy will provide you with great solutions to your domain related problems.
Once all is said and done, play with your app, check for any bugs, fix them, and if you’re willing to (and your app works on the Ethereum blockchain), publish it on the main Homestead network! This is all you need to know about making your very own DApp!
Now, as we discussed before, this guide was entirely based on Ethereum Blockchain. However, a number of other platforms for smart contracts development and tools to make a decentralized app have sprung up in the recent months. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Other Platforms to Create a dApp.
In this part, we are going to discuss the various platforms you should explore if you are wondering how to make a dApp. We will be discussing the pros and cons of each and every platform so that you can make an informed decision for your dApp development project. So, let’s start with the best option after Ethereum which can be used as a smart contract development platform when you’re creating a Dapp. Yes, NEO!
NEO is another platform which has increasingly been used by developers to create a dApp based on this platform. While planning on how to make a dApp, it is important for any blockchain developer worth his salt study this platform diligently. NEO Blockchain is supported by programming languages such as Python, Java, and C# which makes it easier for the developers already acquainted with these technologies to make a dApp even more simpler. Programmes written in these languages are compiled into the form of instructions for the NEO virtual machine. It can also be said that the developers have started to prefer NEO as the platform to make a dApp because of the fact that 90% of the developers who know these programming languages don’t need to learn any new programming languages. However, there are a few factors that aren’t perceived to be so great about NEO as a platform to make a dApp. First one being a product of Chinese private company OnChain, which often leads people in the decentralized community accuse NEO of being centralized to some extent. Not only this, the expensive deployment costs because of the smart contracts is a problem too.
Cardano was envisioned as a dApp platform which will be built on the scientific peer-reviewed research which makes it potentially scalable, safer and advanced than other alternatives. However, his very property also implies that it will be long before the developers are able to witness an extensive version of Cardano as a platform for dApp development. Cardano is said to be dual-layered solution with the first one being the account layer which is supposed to act like a ledger and it will have the basic transaction details for each cryptocurrency in the dApp. The second one would be a control layer which is used to manage the database linked with the smart contract of any given dApp created using the Cardano platform.
Is this all a bit too much for you? Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Sodio’s team of 20+ talented blockchain developers will ensure that you get your own DApp, customized to suit your needs, and competitive enough to deal with the intense competition. We offer development solutions for a variety of needs, and we also develop smart contracts to assist you with your DApp. We’re here to help you with any inquiries you have on your way to make a Decentralized App.
More from our Tech Blogs:
- Difference between Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain
- Problems in Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
- How to make a Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange
- How to do a Successful ICO
GET IN TOUCH!