Nowadays there are no Java developers who do not know about Spring and probably there are no Java applications that are not developed in Spring. But in the early days of Java development, there was not such a framework like Spring. Every Java developer had to develop applications from scratch. This means that he had to write the application framework and all the basic functions such as logging and security control. Applications developed this way usually do not have good quality. And it is often a nightmare to upgrade such applications.
Spring framework appeared several years after Java programming language became available. It provided an application framework based on service oriented programming method. It can integrate easily various opensource modules that provide specific functions. Based on Spring framework, a developer can incorporate various function modules and only focus on developing business logic. Applications developed this way are more robust and can be maintained much more smoothly.
In today’s blockchain era, we also need something like Spring to support developers to develop DApps quickly and in a reliable way. This is especially in view of the fact that the high development entry barrier is affecting the wide adoption of blockchain technology.
The de facto blockchain developers select today is still Ethereum. Ethereum is the first in its category. It has a significant lead over other competing blockchains. Such an advantage definitely has helped it to win support from developers. More development tools have also appeared to aid developers. But, as more applications start to run on Ethereum and especially since some of them are becoming very popular, the problems of Ethereum are also becoming more apparent. Ethereum 2.0 is expected to solve some problems. But its upgrade cycle is long and the actual improvements remain to be seen. If we view it from software development management perspective, it is much more difficult to migrate existing applications to a new framework. Expected and unexpected issues will appear in the migration process. Some issues may cause the entire migration process to fail. In comparison, it is much easier to develop applications on an entirely new framework.
There are now many blockchain technologies in the market. Every blockchain technology wants to become the next Ethereum. Developers have to choose from these blockchains to develop their apps. Among all the selection criteria, ease of development is an important one. If there is a tool like Spring that can help developer improve his productivity, this tool can definitely affect his selection decision.
Such a blockchain, first of all, should have a well designed framework with a reasonable structure, well defined roles and responsibilities, communication within the framework, and function assignments. It should enable different components to work seamlessly together. And also, it should make the development process much easier. For a developer, he should be able to use this framework to integrate specific functions that are already available in the market. He only needs to develop specific business logic. For example, a digital asset trading DApp developer should be able to call upon basic services such as identity identification and asset registration, he only needs to write specific trading logic.
Among all public chains in the market, whichever that can provide the above functions has a better chance to be the next Ethereum. Although some public chains provide the above functions, Polkadot seems to be the one that is being widely adopted and its functions are very similar to those provided by Spring.
First of all, Polkadot has a very nice framework design. It is composed of relay chain and parachains. Each of them has its own distinctive functions. The relay chain provides basic security and communication services. Parachains are used to develop specific functions. Such a design supports the separation of infrastructural service and function services. It therefore provides a very strong foundation for scalability.
Secondly, Polkadot significantly lowers the development entry barrier with Substrate. One main reason for slow adoption of blockchain technology is the development difficulty. This is especially the case in comparison with internet application development. In the early days of internet, developer can even use NotePad to write HTML pages and can deploy it very easily. Now that Substrate makes it much easier to develop blockchains, this will help speed up the adoption of blockchain technology.
Thirdly, based on the current development process in the market, there is already a huge number of DApps being developed on Polkadot. This demonstrates the acceptance of Polkadot by the development community. Of course, Web3 Foundation’s financial support is also a critical factor.
In summary, it looks like that Polkadot is becoming the Spring framework for blockchain development.