SolanaFM Developer Portal Deep Dive | by Oderinde Ifeoluwa | Coinmonks | Mar, 2023
Have you ever read an explorer before? Do you really know how to read one? Really??
Perhaps you do know how to read a blockchain explorer, but if you ask the average dev out there they will tell you how much of a hassle it is reading, understanding and making use of one, more so, in the Solana ecosystem.
In this deep dive, we will be looking at SolanaFM Developer Portal, why you want to consider it against other explorers in the Solana ecosystem, its features, and dapps that can be built on top of it.
SolanaFM also known in some quarters as The Graph of Solana, is Solana’s back engine, where data is stored and extracted in a very quick and efficient method for use. It is the friendliest blockchain explorer, providing equitable access to all of Solana’s historical data.
There are two main problems SolanaFM is solving; one is data storage and the other is data extraction. These problems resulted in SolanaFM creating two core tools:
- Indexer: This enables people to gather and access Solana data at a highly efficient rate.
- Explorer: This enables people to view and interact with Solana data.
Over the past few months, this has culminated in the development of the “SolanaFM Developer Portal”: the most extensive indexing platform to help developers effortlessly index and query on-chain data at their fingertips. The SolanaFM Developer portal has 5 main features that make this quite possible to achieve:
Note: To better illustrate this, I am using a @ZetaMarkets transaction on the portal as described here.
- On-demand indexing: Indexing is a data structure technique to efficiently retrieve records from a database based on some attributes on which the indexing has been done. On-demand indexing on SolanaFM allows anyone to retrieve IDLs from Solana to start indexing the program’s data on demand. Apparently, this process takes less than 30 seconds — as a result of each of these indexers capturing all transactions within the IDL’s instructions.
- API Queries: The portal also allows you to query and retrieve data that you’ve indexed so far. For instance, here is an example of what it looks like extracting all @ZetaMarkets transactions invoking the placePerpOrderV2 instruction.
- Webhooks: You can create webhook subscriptions to capture the data that’s important to you. First, you sign up to get the apiKey and use the apiKey in your environment for your REST API calls. With full flexibility in the IDLs your index and the webhooks you specify, you can create the most precise data streams to power your applications.
- Devnet Support: As you’ve probably guessed, there’s also Devnet to fully support development, helping to identify crucial bugs before going on Mainnet.
- Historical indexing (Backfill): This allows for going back in time and accessing the full historical data of chosen IDL. You can create a backfill job and specify the intended block range and the portal will handle the rest.
Note: Backfilling is currently only accessible via Early Access.
The most beautiful explorer you’ve ever seen!
SolanaFM Explorer is likely the most colorful, intuitive, and insightful explorer out there. Here is a highlight of some of the features you’ll see on this beautiful and friendly explorer:
- Solana statistics: This includes the current SOL price (via Binance) against yesterday’s price and Solana’s current market cap.
- True TPS: This is the true transaction per second as dissected by SolanaFM. Solana’s TPS theoretically announced on its whitepaper is 710,000 TPS, but on average it does 3000 TPS. This can then be separated into failed transactions and successful transactions. With the successful transactions further dissected into vote transactions and non-vote transactions. What you see on SolanaFM as True TPS are non-vote transactions, which are transactions that interact with Dapps built on Solana.
- Block: This contains the current number of blocks produced, their details, epoch, transactions and block rewards, and the validator which produced the block.
- You can also see the latest blocks and the nearest Solana nodes to you.
Possible Product features :
Multi-chain Support: I and many others can’t wait to see a multi-chain/cross-chain solanafm that supports the indexing and querying of data from other blockchains aside from Solana. This will definitely help provide more value to devs building tracking/analytic tools across many dapps on different chains. This inevitably helps increase SolanaFM’s market size.
Tools & Dapps that can be built using an innovation like SolanaFM.
These tools and dapps will essentially enable people to make smarter and better decisions. I see more of bots and analytic tools that enhance the different types of tracking: NFT tracking, token tracking, whales tracking… Examples of such tools are Nansen, Messari and Dune analytics amongst many others.
Now, the use cases for such tracking are multi-dimensional, such as;
- Copy trading / social trading tool
- Better KYC and AML tool
All in all, SolanaFM’s mission remains the same which is “Helping all Solana developers/protocol gain access to their selected IDL instruction/event level data without going through the tedious process of setting up & maintaining their data infrastructure.”
And the development of the developer Portal helps achieve this and brings more developers into the Solana fold and the web3 ecosystem.
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