An overview of the blockchain development lifecycle

This process is a proven and tested method for blockchain developers in the industry. Organizing the process in this way produces the most efficient and ideal results. The blockchain application development process consists of eight steps, which are described below.

The eight steps in the blockchain development lifecycle:

Define the problem to be solved with the blockchain application

The first step of this process involves identifying a problem that a blockchain can successfully solve. It can be both costly and unnecessary to use a blockchain when it is not necessary. Therefore, it is critical to identify a real-world problem that a blockchain can solve.

Choose the most appropriate consensus mechanism

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 applied if they are better suited to the project.

Choose a programming language and blockchain

Now focus on designing the application user interface. The chosen blockchain on which to build will affect the programming language used, which in turn will affect how users interact with the chain. In addition, interoperability is an additional consideration when thinking about languages. But which programming language is used for blockchain technologies?

Some of the popular programming languages ​​for blockchain developers are as follows:

After selecting a language, a blockchain developer must choose a database to work with. MongoDB and MySQL are two popular choices.

Select a blockchain development platform

At this stage, developers need to determine which blockchain to build on. This allows for immediate development without having to create a blockchain from scratch. The blockchain platform selection process depends on the required consensus mechanism. Note the problems solved by each consensus mechanism.

Blockchain development often relies on popular platforms designed to make the process easier. 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 well-known blockchain programming language. Any platform listed here will facilitate the blockchain development cycle.

It is best to look at the capabilities and drawbacks of each platform, which will help determine if the blockchain platform is a good fit for the project.

Develop a strategy for the rest of the development process

In this step of the blockchain development process, evaluate the steps taken so far. Make a plan and prioritize a strategy for a more comprehensive process. This strategy should take into account the characteristics of the chosen platform.

Start designing the blockchain architecture

Determine whether the blockchain will contain specific permissions for targeted user groups or whether it will contain a network without permissions. Then determine whether the application requires the use of a private or public blockchain network architecture.

Also consider the hybrid consortium or publicly authorized blockchain architecture. In a publicly authorized blockchain, a participant can only add information with the permission of other registered participants.

Ultimately, the option worth considering is the one that best fits the use case.

Develop the blockchain application

Configure the most important aspects of the application. Ensure permissions, block signatures, address formats, and key management are addressed first. These elements cannot be changed once implemented, so it’s best to give them some thought from the start.

After this phase, get started with the Application Programming Interface (API) of the blockchain application. APIs are used to perform audit functions, generate key pairs, and store or retrieve critical data. The selection of blockchain APIs depends on the purpose of the application. These APIs provide the most value for all users.

A developer must also set up middleware. Middleware is software that connects external systems to the blockchain, enabling communication between blockchain components and the apps running on it.

Some APIs required by almost every blockchain include:

Digital signature APIs and hash number generation are also required for data authentication. The developer can use pre-built APIs for blockchain applications or choose to create from scratch. Relying on pre-built APIs speeds up the development process, while building APIs from scratch provides greater flexibility.

Test and release an alpha version of the application

In this step, all the accumulated efforts of the previous steps are paying off and an early version of the project is now ready for testing. At this stage of the development process, focus on the core features. Developers should try to spot potential problems as they arise.

It’s best to start with the bare minimum. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is all that is needed to prove the viability of the blockchain model. Once the application is stable, the developer can choose to include more complex features.

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