How to Create dApps on Solana?
Solana is a popular Ethereum alternative. It has extra-low transaction fees, impressive transaction processing speed, and high scaling potential. It has a lot of advantages, including more straightforward dApps development compared to Ethereum. Solana functions on Rust, C, and C++ programming languages.
This article will tell you about the blockchain's benefits for blockchain project launch and the process of creating dApps on Solana, namely its features, steps, technology stack, and cost.
Solana is an open-source platform designed to be a scalable, secure, and utmost decentralized environment for tokens, smart contracts, dApps, NFTs, and other blockchain solutions. Anatoliy Yakovenko, Greg Fitzgerald, and Eric Williams launched the start-up in 2017. Anatoliy and Greg are programmers who worked for Qualcomm, and Eric Williams is a doctor of elementary participle physics who worked for CERN (the large hadron collider).
From the technological perspective, the Solana ecosystem is a technology cluster that works with the protocol to boost speed and scaling. The ecosystem employs the Proof-of-History (PoH) protocol. This protocol is a decentralized clock; the idea is so simple that everyone is wondering why it was not invented before. The decentralized clock integration makes the blockchain function significantly more effective.
Proof-of-History is not just another consensus mechanism; it is a unique synchronization algorithm designed for Solana. The main task is to set a single time stream of events and put timestamps on each block without complex, time- and energy-hungry computing, like the Bitcoin and Ethereum chains. Thanks to the timestamps, the validators can work on the transactions faster, which reduces the network strain and enhances Solana’s bandwidth.
Furthermore, the project team developed the LLVM (Low-Level Virtual Machine) protocol that helps compile smart contracts and applications coded in other languages for WASM: C, C++, C#, Go, etc. LLVM allows transferring smart contracts and applications from WASM networks (Dfinity, EOS< Polkadot, Eth2) into Solana.
So, it is much easier to find experienced professionals for Solana development, and the cost of their work will be much lower compared to Ethereum.
Mempool is the waiting zone where initiated yet not approved transactions wait for validation. One of the tremendous Solana benefits compared to Ethereum, Bitcoin, BSC, Avalanche, and Tron is that there is no ‘’wait zone’’ on Solana. Since the transactions on Solana are processed at outstanding speed, there is no queue. These queues are typical for Ethereum and Bitcoin; therefore, the users have to compete, thus increasing the transaction fee.
A shared ledger system has a specific task: recording, storing and transferring data. Depending on the ledger, fulfilling the mission will require different resources. For example, let’s imagine a blockchain with one million active users. When a block is created in the network, all participants must receive the information, which requires massive data transfer between them. The more participant, the bigger the traffic. This may result in issues with scaling, which will slow down or stop the system if the traffic volume is more significant than the bandwidth of the blockchain.
Turbine protocol, which functions like torrent networks, helps Solana solve this issue. It splits each block into numerous bits so that each node downloads a part and distributes it to other participants. This approach reduces the load on the network since data is transferred in smaller volumes from one participant to another without involving the network’s limited bandwidth. Moreover, the Turbine also eliminates data redundancy, which increases the safety of the network.
Developing decentralized applications on Solana usually involves several steps: initiating the project, searching for a developer, developing the smart contract and interface design, testing, and deployment. You can read the brief description of each stage below.
Launching any startup, including dApps on Solana, starts with defining the project's concept and business targets. Before searching for a developer and beginning the development, you must specify the purpose of your application and its target audience. Not only that but the clearer you understand the logic of your application, the easier it will be to find the right talent to implement your idea.
The second step of developing dApps on Solana is finding a skilled blockchain developer. Moreover, the developers must have experience launching blockchain solutions in your sector. For example, if you want to create a cryptocurrency exchange, you will require a developer with similar projects in the portfolio. Likewise, if you wish to make a blockchain platform for tracing supply chains, find someone with experience in this sector.
Speaking of the programming skills, the development team must meet the following criteria:
You must consider the following things within the plan:
Solana smart contract development requires:
If that's not your option, you'll need to develop an effective user interface with a pleasant and intuitive design and navigation.
The creation of such an interface usually takes place in several stages:
1. Creating the low-fidelity wireframes — it is a simple sketch of the interface design illustrating the main elements and functions.
2. Creating high-fidelity wireframes — designing the detailed user interface as seen by end-users.
3. Developing clickable prototypes — application design where all components, including buttons, transfers, animations, videos, etc., function, yet the main process is still unavailable.
Remember that initiating a smart contract through the user interface takes some time since the blockchain transactions are not instant. A good idea will be to add an animation to the interface to show that the process is going and the application is not frozen. Also, adding integrations with popular cryptocurrency wallets will make the registration more accessible, which is a good idea.
You should also consider that the users might want to study your application before connecting their crypto wallets. So, do not hide your functionality and application design. A solution will be creating a text or video instruction with a detailed description of functions.
If you are building a dApp that requires massive data storage or you plan to run other features beyond the capabilities of blockchain or smart contracts, then you will need a central server part. Such a server part will connect to smart contracts and the application interface so that clients can offer additional features to you, the business owner (to manage your dApp), and to users.
As with any other project, before you offer your app to users, you must thoroughly test it to remove critical bugs and errors and achieve the proper performance and high level of security. Every new build of your decentralized app and smart contracts must go through a quality control process.
In the case of running dApps, this means not only standard testing procedures (functional, regression, cross-platform, usability, security, and performance testing) but also smart contracts testing, which involves using a test network to verify its functionality and security.
As a final step, you need to deploy your app, which includes adding a smart contract to the blockchain, adding mobile apps to the App Store and Google Play marketplaces, and switching the internal portal to a working environment. In terms of maintenance, it's more of an ongoing process. Even though the smart contract will remain unchanged, you still have to update the user interface, making it more user-friendly.
The cost of building blockchain-based Solana solutions depends mostly on complexity and developer location. For example, launching an ordinary cryptocurrency wallet will cost $25,000 (Eastern Europe) to $70,000 (North America), while establishing a complex NFT platform will cost you from $35,000 to $100,000. Here are more detailed calculations of the cost of creating an NFT trading platform on Solana.