Developer's Tools In Algorand

Developer tools are a necessity for developing on a platform like Algorand where you can develop Dapps, services, smart contracts, assets, etc. A priority of the Algorand blockchain platform is to provide all developers with not only a suitable environment but also provide grants to assist developing. The Developer Ambassador Program rewards developers for creating developer-related content such as articles, solutions, tutorials, and videos. In this article, I will provide a brief description of each of the developer tools available on the Algorand platform.


SDK (Software Development Kits ):

SDK or Devkit of the Algorand platform will help you create and deploy an application on the Algorand blockchain by using languages such as  Javascript, Java, Python, and Go. Algorand also has a community-powered Rust SDK and .NET SDK so there is no need to build from scratch, just kick-start your development by installing the SDK.

The Algorand SDKs offer both standalone and network-connected development functionality. The full set of supported features and example code in each of the SDKs is available on the Algorand developer website.  You can visit the overview page to get all the detailed instructions on how to install your favorite SDK.


API (Application Programming Interface):

You do not need to host your infrastructure to interact with the Algorand network because the Algorand API allows you to connect both the test net and main net as a developer. Algorand's use cases are growing in defi, openfi, traditional finance, public sector, and beyond. In June 2020, Algorand introduced the V2 API for algod and deprecated the V1 API. Both APIs remain functional to allow developers time to transition their application code to the fully supported V2 endpoints. Developers can check out the API V2 Migration Guide for more information. {Reference-1,2}


Indexer:

An indexer is a tool that can search for transactions, accounts, assets, and blocks on the Algorand blockchain. The Algorand indexer is refined using parameters that allow searching based on transaction and balance amounts, time-based searches, round-based searches and transaction type searches, and signature searches {Reference}.

The Algorand indexer is used to get approved blocks from a local Algorand node, adding them to a PostgreSQL information base, and serving an API to make accessible an assortment of arranged queries {Reference} {Install the Indexer}.


Algorand Studio:

Algorand Studio, developed by ObsidianLabs, is an IDE to develop Algorand Smart Contracts (ASC1) for the Algorand Blockchain. It includes TEAL code editor and compiler, PyTeal integration, Algorand node, keypair manager, and block explorer. The IDE can also help to construct Algorand transactions, including atomic transfers, multi-signature transactions, Algorand Standard Assets (ASA) creation/transfer/destroy, and direct and delegated contract executions {Reference}.


Sandbox: 

The Algorand Sandbox helps with node creation and configuration because Sandbox has several helpful commands for containerization and process management. With the help of Docker, it is super easy to create and configure an Algorand node {Reference}.


CLI Tools (Command-Line Interface):

A command-line interface (CLI) helps to process commands to a program. Using CLI tools is more productive and also opens doors to various approaches.


Algorand has also various types of CLI tools like goal, diagcfg, key management daemon (kmd), and algokey.


GOAL is the CLI for interacting Algorand software instance and helps you to interact with Algorand blockchain.  diagcfg metric facilitates the control and management of Algorand metrics. diagcfg telemetry facilitates the control and management of Algorand logging. The Key Management Daemon (kmd) is a low-level wallet and key management tool. It works in conjunction with algod and goal to keep secrets safe. algokey is a CLI for managing Algorand keys.


TEAL (Transaction Execution Approval Language):

This is a bytecode based stack language used to write stateful and stateless smart contracts. When a smart contract gets attached to the transaction, the program has read-only access and no one can rewrite the transaction.

The program created using TEAL should be short and run in-line along with all important checking like signature checking, transaction balance rule checking, etc {Reference}.


PyTeal:

This is a python language binding for Algorand Smart Contracts (ASC)  that facilitates Python developers to write a smart contract in python language that later can compile to TEAL. 

Python is a universal language for developers, so PyTeal helps to remove the complexity during coding and also helps the adoption of Algorand. You can visit the PyTeal overview page.


Conclusion

I wrote this article to give you a little information regarding all the existing important tools available to developers who want to develop an app and service on the Algorand platform. I hope this article has all the pieces of information you need and this article serves as a good introduction to developing on Algorand. You can visit the developer page for a thorough analysis of all developer tools which can assist you to kick start your development career on the Algorand blockchain.