8 essential steps to build a great blockchain application

September 10, 2019

Amazon publicly states they want to be the most customer-centric company on earth. So, what are they doing? While they build feedback channels, gather data, and optimize their product suites, they also make use of solutions architects and provide great support to their clients. A solutions architect is somebody who helps a company solve tough technical issues, and helps to make an unhappy client, happy again. Solutions architects are responsible for the design of an application because they have a good mix of technical and business skills, while understanding (enterprise) application architectures and integration approaches. They also need to have people skills and must be able to teach others.

What is a BLOCKCHAIN Solutions Architect?

A blockchain solutions architect focuses on designing blockchain applications. There are blockchain use cases and applications in most industries nowadays. Just a few examples are insurance, supply chain, finance, e-identity, healthcare, and many more. It is important to have a decent understanding of the business case. It’s a happy coincidence that all of our team members have been working in a wide variety of industries, and our solutions architects have been working in multiple roles leading to use cases being discussed within our team. Our solutions architects develop blockchain-based​ ​solutions for the private​ ​and​ ​the public​ ​sector, and engage chiefly in the following tasks:

  • Create technical definitions around customer objectives
  • Provide guidance to stakeholders, about issues related to the solution being implemented
  • Assess business impact certain technical choices are likely to have
  • Train companies on how to avoid security risks with blockchain

Checklist for Blockchain Solutions Architects

Our experience has proven that most of the current live blockchain applications would not have been built at all if the following checklist was used, and many others could need further finetuning to enable a good, long-term solution which is performant, and takes many eventualities into consideration.

  1. Check the requirements of the use-case.
  2. Assess the value proposition of using blockchain.
  3. Compare to centralized approaches and check if existing centralized solutions are more efficient.
  4. Determine the governance model - the actors that write and/or read from the blockchain.
  5. Determine the data modelling - what will be put on the blockchain and what must/should be off-chain.
  6. Determine the transaction model - how is the data set in the blockchain.
  7. Determine user interaction - how are the actors supposed to interact.
  8. Keypair handling - what is the best way to handle the keys.

Having consulted 30+ projects and partners on blockchain solutions architecture, we have built up significant expertise and established our own development cycles. Tip: Take blockchain characteristics into consideration, and be prepared to adapt your existing problem-solving skills from another domain when working with blockchain.

The design of blockchain solutions architecture obviously depends on the project you are working on. A gaming application requires different blockchain solutions architecture knowledge than building a blockchain network.

A secure, well-distributed blockchain network is essential for any project building on top of it. Here are 4 important questions - we’d like to hear your ideas, best attempt at trolling, answers and discussions in the comment section below or through the contact form:

  • What is the minimum number of nodes?
  • How would you distribute the nodes?
  • How would you secure the nodes?
  • What would be the ideal access policy?

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