Simplify smart contracts development with the Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

The SettleMint IDE is a powerful tool that simplifies the development and deployment of your blockchain application, turning any developer into a blockchain developer. It includes smart contract templates that form the foundation for practically any blockchain use case. It also includes compilation & migration scripts that drastically simplify deployment of your application to the relevant blockchain.

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What is the SettleMint IDE?

It’s a ready-made workstation, built by SettleMint, that assists developers in the building of unique and powerful blockchain applications. Every IDE instance is right there in your browser, meaning you don’t need to install any tools.

The problems with status quo blockchain development

Not only does every blockchain protocol use a different programming language, but each protocol also requires the use of different tools for the compilation and migration of contract code, be it smart contracts, CorDapps, or ChainCode. Further, the tools developers must rely on to build within this environment are rapidly evolving. As new libraries and versions of debugging tools come out, there are inevitably compatibility issues. Developers thus face a constant battle to stay on top of new versions, move back and forth between developer tools, and reconcile compatibility issues. The result: increased chance of error and wasted time.

Additionally, when you start developing on one blockchain protocol, you’ll begin using the libraries and tools associated with that blockchain. This will end up working against you when you want to develop on a different blockchain protocol for a different use case. The reason is that you’ll tend to re-use what you know due to your lack of knowledge of the other blockchain protocol. The result: increased likelihood of being “locked in” to whatever blockchain protocol you started with.

How the SettleMint IDE helps developers

SettleMint brings all the needed tools for blockchain development together into a simple, lightweight, integrated environment that you can run right there in your browser. All the needed tools and libraries are up to date and compatible, meaning developers don’t have to worry about installing tools and libraries for development and debugging. Further, since we’ve already configured the IDE for you, there are some elements - such as deploying on your blockchain - that are managed entirely by the IDE. This means that you do not have to waste your time learning all the details of all the blockchains. This also has the effect of preventing blockchain “lock in.”

Ultimately, with the SettleMint IDE, developers are freed to focus straightaway on the business logic of the blockchain application they want to build. The SettleMint IDE thus lowers the barrier to entry for blockchain development and frees developers to build more powerful blockchain applications.

SettleMint IDE

What are the key features of the SettleMint IDE?

1. Lightweight
The SettleMint IDE is based on Code OSS, which is the basic open source version of Visual Studio. This means it is lightweight enough to be deployable in a browser window. Therefore, developers can code on any device that supports a browser and literally nothing needs to be installed.

2. Powerful smart contract templates
Every fresh instance of the SettleMint IDE contains a set of smart contract templates that form the foundation of your blockchain application. These templates are the result of years of R&D from SettleMint. They are designed to accommodate, with a minimum amount of customization, practically any use case.

3. Unlimited customization potential
Because the SettleMint IDE is based on Code OSS, it retains access to the extensive marketplace for extensions. This makes it easy for developers to add any powerful feature they want.

4. Readymade scripts for compilation and migration
When development is complete, you can use SettleMint’s scripts to compile the code and migrate your application to the relevant blockchain protocol from right there within the IDE. These scripts alone save dozens of hours of work. By taking care of all the actions post development - such as code compilation, contracts migrations, and contract testing – these scripts allow you to focus squarely on the business logic you want to implement. The end result will be added value for your blockchain application.

How the smart contract templates work

Example smart contract templates are included for the most commonly used applications. For Ethereum, as an example, the included templates are as follows: 

  • “Bill of Lading” and “Drug Package” for supply chain use cases
  • “Bonds,” “Currencies,” and “Stateful Bonds” for finance-oriented use cases
  • “Vehicle,” “Plot,” and “Expense” templates as additional examples that can be integrated into any use case
  • “Identity Contract” for identity management (also provides utility for any use case).

The above smart contract templates are built using the principal smart contract design patterns. These are:

1. State machines
A state machine is a model that can enclose a task into a number of sub-tasks. To proceed from one state to the next, an action or transition is necessary. SettleMint uses state machine visualization to simplify the development and enforcement of complex processes.

You can find more detail on how SettleMint uses state machines, including state machine visualization, here.


2. Tokenisation
The term tokenization typically refers to the activity of representing tradeable assets, both physical and non-physical, in the form of a token that lives on a blockchain. Tokens can be used to represent just about anything, from stocks and bonds, to shipment assets and packages.


3. Digital twins
The term digital twin refers to the digital representation of a physical being or object. When a physical object has been “digitized” and is represented in a blockchain-supported system, participants have the power to track and control that object according to the predefined rules of their network. This can unlock coordination between participants and improve operational efficiency.

Stitched together and with light customization, the templates provided by SettleMint form the foundation for practically any use case that can occur.

Further, every smart contract template is based on the latest stable standards for the respective blockchain protocol, and SettleMint constantly ensures everything is up to date. For example, the “Currency” template for Ethereum is based on the ERC20 token standard for fungible tokens.

Compilation and migration scripts

The SettleMint IDE provides readymade scripts for compilation of your code and migration to the relevant blockchain protocol. For example, for Ethereum, the NPM (node package manager) scripts available include:

  • Compile
  • Lint
  • Test
  • Migrate
  • Migrate:reset
  • Middleware

For Corda, you have the following readymade scripts at your disposal:

  • Gradle:build
  • Corda-cli
  • Test
  • Upload:jars

Using these scripts is a simple matter of making minor tweaks, doing basic testing, and clicking to deploy – and you can do it all from right there within the SettleMint IDE.

Conclusion

As described in this article, the primary goal of the IDE is to accelerate blockchain development (and more precisely smart contracts development) by providing your IT team with the ideal development environment. This environment, already configured and endowed as it is with a wide variety of templates and scripts, will empower you to focus squarely on what is necessary: the logic that is needed to define your business on chain towards improving coordination and streamlining operations.

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