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5 Best Frameworks For Developing Decentralized Applications

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Decentralized applications are autonomous applications that run on peer-to-peer blockchain networks. These applications function similarly to traditional applications, providing functions or utility to users. This article aims to discuss the top five frameworks for developing decentralized applications:

  1. Hardhat
  2. Embark
  3. Brownie
  4. Truffle
  5. OpenZeppelin

1. Hardhat

Hardhat is a JavaScript-based framework for developers to test, compile, deploy, and debug decentralized applications based on the Ethereum blockchain. Hardhat uses the Ethers.js library to interact with the Ethereum Blockchain and its ecosystem. Hardhat assists developers in managing tasks inherent to developing decentralized applications and smart contracts. Hardhat has an in-built Ethereum network designed for development and focuses on high-end debugging to provide developers with the necessary tools to understand where the application fails.

Features:

  • Hardhat has a flexible and customizable design.
  • Ether is the default library for Hardhat.
  • Hardhat can easily deploy contracts, run tests, and debug Solidity code.
  • Hardhat is used for Solidity debugging, providing stack traces, console logs, and error messages.
  • Hardhat is designed for professionals.

Advantages:

  • Hardhat is popular with over 15k users on GitHub, ensuring that community support is easily available.
  • Hardhat provides console.log for faster debugging.
  • Hardhat allows users to build their scripts and plugins.
  • Hardhat supports typescript.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited documentation for experienced developers, with a focus primarily on beginners.

2. Embark

Embark is a popular framework for developing decentralized applications. It streamlines the development process by providing a set of tools and functionalities. Embark is not for smart contract deployment and testing, but rather for front-end development and an end-to-end suite of tools.

Features:

  • With Embark, developers can build advanced decentralized applications.
  • Embark has a Web UI dashboard that gives an overview of all processes controlled by Embark.
  • Cockpit’s explorer can be used to review any smart contract easily.
  • Embark has service monitoring and real-time deployment.

Advantages:

  • By using Embark, developers can manage various types of chains like private net, testnet, etc.
  • Embark has a dashboard that tracks information such as the state of contracts.

Disadvantages:

  • Errors may occur while installing Embark.

3. Brownie

Brownie is a Python development and testing framework for smart contracts targeting the Ethereum Virtual Machine. It supports Viper, which is a Python smart contract language similar to Solidity. Brownie is used for debugging, testing, and deploying smart contracts.

Features:

  • Brownie has a built-in console for project interaction.
  • It uses pytest for contract testing.
  • Brownie supports ethPM, which is a package manager for managing any smart contract system.
  • Brownie can be imported as a package and used within regular Python scripts.

Advantages:

  • Brownie provides full support for Solidity and Vyper, which are smart contract languages.
  • Brownie is based on Python.
  • It is easier to deploy a local blockchain.
  • Whenever an error occurs, Brownie stops and shows the error in the console, warning the client.

Disadvantages: 

  • Only the Python programming language is used in the Brownie framework.
  • It does not support the JavaScript language.

4. Truffle 

Truffle is a widely used tool for developing and testing smart contracts on Ethereum. It offers a testing framework that simplifies the development process for Ethereum developers. Truffle has three components: Truffle, Ganache, and Drizzle, and it supports JavaScript.

Features:

  • Truffle provides better smart contract management.
  • Automated contract testing is available
  • Truffle supports package management.
  • Truffle has an interactive console for effective communication.
  • It offers tight integration with other Ethereum development tools.

Advantages:

  • Truffle is more popular than other frameworks such as Hardhat and has an active community support.
  • The migration feature of Truffle is similar to deploying, which makes it easier for developers to deploy their contracts.
  • Truffle uses web3.js, which is the first JavaScript API for Ethereum and is widely used.
  • It has a beginner-friendly setup, which makes it easy for developers to get started.

Disadvantages:

  • Truffle can be slower than Hardhat in some cases, which may affect the speed of the development process.
  • Testing and debugging in Truffle can be difficult compared to the Hardhat framework.

5. OpenZeppelin

OpenZeppelin is a secure framework that provides tools for writing, testing, and deploying decentralized applications (dApps) on Ethereum. It offers built-in upgradable smart contracts and uses Solidity programming language for developing smart contracts. The ERC20 library is also included in OpenZeppelin, which makes it easier for developers to create token contracts that track fungible tokens.

Features:

  • OpenZeppelin focuses on security and provides top-notch security features for smart contracts.
  • It has a modular approach and is an open-source platform with an active community of developers.
  • OpenZeppelin has created standards like ERC20, which simplifies the process of creating token contracts that track fungible tokens.
  • It allows for editing and upgrading of contracts.

Advantages:

  • OpenZeppelin provides upgradeable contracts, which enables developers to improve and update their contracts as required.
  • It provides high-end security, reliability, and risk management features for contracts.
  • OpenZeppelin provides security inspection based on the developer’s request and applies security precautions to verify whether the ‘dApp’ is secure or not.
  • It offers implementation and suggestions after pinpointing possible errors in the code.

Disadvantages:

  • The drawback of upgradeable contracts is the privileged role that is in charge of handling this upgrade, which may raise security concerns.

Last Updated : 20 Apr, 2023
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