An Ocean marketplace app is one of the primary ways that end users use the Ocean network. For example, a data scientist could use a marketplace app to see what assets a marketplace has available. They can use the marketplace app to buy access to assets. Publishers make those assets available.
Note: In the early days of the Ocean network, there won’t be many marketplaces or publishers, so marketplaces will often also act as publishers.
If you want to set up and run a marketplace in the Ocean network, then at a technical level, you must:
- Have assets to offer in your marketplace.
- Get those assets set up to work with Ocean Protocol.
- Develop a marketplace application (app).
- Run your marketplace app in production.
At the time of writing, the following kinds of assets were supported:
- data sets stored in Azure Storage (i.e. with “core.windows.net” in their URL). See the tutorial about setting up Azure Storage to work with Ocean Protocol.
- data sets stored in Amazon S3 storage (i.e. with “s3://” in their URL). See the tutorial about setting up Amazon S3 storage to work with Ocean Protocol.
- data sets stored in on-premise storage. See the tutorial about setting up on-premise storage to work with Ocean Protocol.
Note: You can use all of the above. You aren’t restricted to using only one storage provider.
Support for other kinds of assets (e.g. computing in Azure) is coming.
At the time of writing, we recommend the following steps to develop a marketplace app:
- Do the React App Tutorial.
- Grow your app from there.
For inspiration, check out the source code for Pleuston, a demo marketplace app (also written using React). It has an Apache v2 open source license.
Note that Pleuston is a “serverless” app: it runs entirely in the browser and has no server-side component.
There are many ways to create an Ocean marketplace app. For example, you could use one of the existing e-commerce platforms and frameworks (e.g. WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify). Or you could use a lower-level framework like Django or Vue.js. The main consideration is that you should probably use a programming language with an existing Squid library.
Note: There are examples of how to use squid-py in the Tutorials. squid-py is to Ocean like boto3 is to AWS.
Of course, you could always write your own Squid library in the language of your choice.
The Ocean Mainnet is slated to go live in March 2019.
Before running your marketplace app in production with the Ocean Mainnet, you may want to test it with an Ocean testnet. The Ocean testnets are similar to the Ocean Mainnet. The main difference is that there is less risk on the Ocean testnets.
Of course, there are many other things that must be handled for live production apps:
- Security of the infrastructure where the software is running
- Log aggregation, storage and search
- Handling crashes or other faults
Each of those is a big topic beyond the scope of these docs.