Hello friends, hope you are doing fine and enjoying your life. In today’s article, I am going to discuss decentralized applications that are abbreviated as dApps. With the invention of blockchain technology and afterward Ethereum, the idea of decentralized applications has gained a lot of attention. So let’s get into the details and learn what a dApp is.
Decentralized Applications (dApps)
- An application built on a decentralized platform such as Ethereum is called a Decentralized Application(dApp).
- A dApp generally consists of a backend and a frontend.
- The backend of a dApp is a smart contract mostly written in solidity language.
- The front end of a decentralized application is the user interface. The user can interact with the application using the frontend.
- Smart contracts available on Ethereum are open for anyone. So, a dApp can use the smart contracts present on Ethereum other than its own backend.
- Now l am going to give you the similarity and differences between a centralized application and a decentralized application in the next section.
Centralized vs Decentralized Application
In the traditional internet system, there is a central server and various computer systems connected with it. The backend program of centralized applications runs on that central server. While in decentralized applications, the backend program runs on a decentralized network. I have discussed the decentralization concept in my previous articles.
The front end of a centralized application can be written in various languages such as HTML. The front end of the application connects the user with the functionality of the backend. Similarly, in decentralized applications, the front end can be written in any programming language and that will help the user in interacting with the backend.In the upcoming section, I am going to discuss smart contracts. We have already discussed them before. So we will try to make a connection of a dapp with smart contracts.
- A smart contract is simply a program that is controlled by its logic.
- The logic given in the code controls the execution of the smart contract.
- It is deployed on the Ethereum network by an account.
- The backend of a dApp is written in the form of smart contracts. Thus, smart contracts control the execution of a dApp.
Features of a dAppIn this part of the tutorial, I will talk about the characteristics of a DApp that make it so useful. These are listed below:
- As a dApp runs on a decentralized platform, it is independent.
- No central authority controls it. A dApp is controlled by the backend logic.
- The output of the dApp is known. It will always produce the same result with the same conditions.
- The dApps are open source and available for anyone. The dApp’s operation is autonomous.
- Dapps provide transparency, trust and audibility. The data is secure and accessible to anyone.
- As Ethereum is Turing complete, a dApp on Ethereum is Turing compatible.
- All dApps on Ethereum virtual machines are executed independently in a virtual environment.
- Any errors in one code do not break the functions of the rest of the network.
- While using or deploying a dApp, the user does not have to provide his real identity and that helps in privacy.
- Data is secure and immutable in dApps. No hacker or malicious entity can change the data.
- When a decentralized application is deployed on the peer-to-peer network, it is available for everyone.
- Not like traditional systems, where a failure in the central server makes the app unavailable.
- A dApp is uncensored as no party has control over it.
- A dApp is able to create digital assets.
- A dApp can create a new currency.
- A dApp allows you to use the functionality of decentralized systems in any application.
- Any node can use a dApp and connect to the Ethereum network.
Tools for Developing dAppsA variety of tools are available for developing dapps. Some of them are listed below:
- Programming Language
- Web3 Library
- Development Frameworks
- Integrated Development Environment
- Ethereum Network
- A programming language for writing smart contracts is needed while developing a dApp.
- The most common one is solidity.
- Vyper and LLL are two other options for writing contracts.
- The development framework helps you in performing operations such as compilation, ABI generation and testing etc.
- The most common development framework is Truffle. It is node-based and the most used one.
- IDE or Integrated Development Environment also helps in dApp development.
- The Remix is an online IDE that you can use from your web browser. It is the most convenient option.
- You can also use the Visual Studio extension for solidity.
- While testing your dApp, you need some development blockchain where you can quickly deploy your contracts and test them.
- Ganache is the tool for that facility. It creates a local blockchain on your system.
- While working on the dApps, you have the option to deploy it on the network of your choice.
- For example, while testing you can use the test network.
- There is no value of ether on the test network, so you can easily test your dApp.
- Ether has value on the main Ethereum network, named Mainnet.
- A wallet is a software application that is used for keeping track of the balance and managing keys.
- Various wallets are available with different functions and security levels. The common one is Metamask, a web-based wallet.