Ray Alvarez
Reading time: 5 min
Date: 8th Sep 2020

The Evolution of ARK’s Deployer: Form and Function Coming Together

In a previous post , we took an in-depth look at the new Deployer. However, to truly understand how important this update is, we need to take a step back and look at the changes Deployer has gone through in recent years. From the earliest days of Deployer’s development, the goal was to have Deployer be the embodiment of ARK’s slogan — Point, Click, Blockchain. Let us show you why this revolutionary product is more than just a fresh coat of paint.

Want to be the first to test the all-new Deployer once it comes out? Sign-up to our mailing list on https://Deployer.io

The First Steps Towards Blockchain Deployment

The first version of the Deployer was a lightweight deployment script that allowed developers to create their own ARK-based blockchains. Ideally, this script was for developers, hackers and enthusiasts to set up and explore a blockchain-based on ARK technology. Whether a developer wanted to use the V1 Deployer to learn more about blockchain, build a product or launch their own blockchain, we felt that our technology provided the flexibility necessary to meet those expectations. Additionally, this made the Deployer an ideal tool for hackathons where participants could set up their own custom blockchain and get to work. While practical, this was still a long way away from our vision of Point, Click, Blockchain.

This version of Deployer still required a lot of heavy lifting on the user’s side. In terms of where V1 was in the ARK timeline of products, this was prior to ARK Core V2 so a lot of the improvements brought about by ARK Core V2 were not present in Deployer V1. Additionally, Deployer V1 could only deploy one blockchain network at a time. For example, a mainnet or a testnet network.

We knew that in order to make Deployer into a robust solution within the industry, we needed to simplify a lot of the processes.

Point, Click, Almost Blockchain

Deployer V2 was a major step forward for simple blockchain deployment. This new version of the Deployer which launched in early 2019 had a graphical user interface (“GUI”), a documentation hub and a host of new features capitalizing on ARK Core V2.

The GUI laid out a three-step process for blockchain deployment: Prepare, Customize and Deploy. The prepare step had users read through documentation in order to understand network requirements and blockchain parameters. This step also involved initializing the necessary servers, connecting to the servers, preparing them and lastly creating a GitHub repository. After this was completed, users would move onto the customize step where they would name their blockchain, choose a ticker symbol and configure blockchain parameters such as the number of forgers and block time.

Having a GUI and detailed documentation really helped evolve the Deployer product into a more useful tool for developers and average users. Yet, the process wasn’t optimized. When it came to the deploy step, there were a lot of sub-steps required in the process. Whether it was adding network peers or importing genesis addresses and adding forgers, the process was prone to user-error. We knew that we needed to focus more on what happens after you customize your blockchain. Therefore, we went back to the drawing board.

More Than Just a Fresh Coat of Paint

With the newest version of Deployer, users who recall the previous versions will understand just how far we have come in terms of blockchain deployment. This isn’t just a sleek new user interface and design, the entire process has been overhauled and simplified.

A substantial part of the team’s energy and focus went into what happens with Deployer once you customize your blockchain. The only part of the process that requires you to work outside of Deployer involves you creating an SSH key for your blockchain. Aside from that, the entire process is streamlined. Here are just some of the things that users no longer need to do within the new Deployer:

  • No need to manually create servers via a server provider
  • No need to manually configure servers that were created via server provider
  • No need to manually run install scripts
  • No need to create your own GitHub repository

After customizing your blockchain, Deployer will provide you with server providers and source providers. You can choose from the available list and Deployer does the rest. A users no longer need to manually run installation scripts and can just focus on deploying a blockchain and getting to work. From setting the name of the blockchain to getting the genesis nodes up and running, Deployer requires very little input from the user.

Want to be the first to know when the Deployer Beta goes live? Sign up at: https://Deployer.io

In essence, Deployer provides more than just a better user experience. We’ve created the simplest way to deploy a blockchain. If you want to learn more about the new Deployer, we had a large roundtable discussion with ARK Team members below:

What’s Next?

If the previous versions of Deployer were focused on customizing your blockchain and the new version is about deploying your own, we recognize that there is still a gap in regards to what happens once your chain is live.

Luckily, we have already been hard at work on creating solutions and updates to Deployer that will make managing your live network post-launch easier than ever. Whether its detailed documentation, running a blockchain, distributing tokens or managing nodes — we have you covered. We will be covering these aspects in our next article in the Deployer series. Make sure to sign up for beta access as we continue making Deployer the simplest way to deploy a blockchain.