If you want to create your first Tezos dApp (~ decentralized Application) you will have to learn how to deal with different kind of challenges. Depending on your use case, you might have to learn how to write, test and deploy a smart contract. In most cases you need to be able to let the dApp user connect with an existing Tezos account through a wallet, for instance the Temple wallet. And in some cases you want to query or fetch information which is already stored within the ecosystem. For example, you are building a website showing all collected NFTs of a user which got minted by the use of certain smart contract (for example via objkt.com or teia.art).
There are different APIs to consume / fetch data, but quickly it will become obvious, that not every API was designed to satisfy your use case. When it comes to NFTs, there are differences in the metadata as well, even though there are certain token standards. So if you want to work with NFTs from different marketplaces, then more effort is needed to harmonize the data connected to the requirements of you dApp.
These are some of the reasons why people started to work on case related Indexers and (GraphQL) Apis with the effect that developers can query such data more easily to build dApps connected to certain usage areas. For Tezos NFT space one the early indexer initiatives was coming from @marchingsquare who built the hicdex.
If you want to dive a bit deeper: with the dipdup framework, specialized indexers can be realized. Indexers as such are not only used to prepare the data for certain use cases, they also help to overcome certain architectural bottlenecks to achieve a more scalable usage (for instance in the area of analytics). Read a general intro about it on wiki.tezos.com.
A new and very promising approach is the TezTok Indexer. It allows developers to work on use cases connected to NFTs based on different smart contracts & marketplaces such as Versum or Objkt. Via graphiql.teztok.com the Api can be explored and queries can be tested.
“The indexer aggregates and stores an event history for all tokens. Every time a new event occurs on a token, the indexer processes the event history and re-creates a token model along with listings, offers, tags, and holdings.”via TezTok
Projects like HicDex or TezTok are important for the community, because solid Indexer and API implementations will help developers to build services on top without having to worry too much about how data can be fetched connected to existing Tezos smart contracts. Some dev folks might be more front-end / UI savvy and don’t want to invest much time and brain into the aspects already solved by indexers and use case related APIs. And I would say that the Tezos dApp space would overall benefit from the fact, that not everyone have to start from zero, but instead can focus on service design, feature quality or usability.
Users will implicitly benefit if more builders (of all kind) will be empowered to create dApps based on a solid toolset in the ecosystem. In the Tezos ecosystem there are many people who are willing to help each other and there are already many tools and SDKs etc. But still I’d say it’s true that most of the work requires a certain tech background. It is about time that more people are able re-use best-practices to focus more on the final use case and the user experience, so that barriers can be lowered for new users / consumers / companies and to allow a wider community of people to contribute based on individual skills and interest. This will strengthen the relevance of the space.
In sum that is why projects like TezTok are important steps into the right direction. Those projects will help to create a more usable, sustainable and finally more valuable ecosystem.
Kudos to the TezTok-Team!
- TezTok on Twitter
- Docs repository with examples on github
- TezTok discord
- Live-Feed built on top of TezTok