API Suite. Launching our Platform as a Service… | by David Taylor

Launching our Platform as a Service offering means releasing our API suite for developers to build on Next Earth in exchange for payment of platform fees. Before we go into how APIs work, here’s a quick beginner’s guide on PaaS models in general.

PaaS is a term in cloud computing as part of a family of terms: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS all meaning different levels of cloud computing services. In 1998 if you wanted to launch an online service, you needed to take care of everything in-house:

  1. Network
  2. Storage
  3. Servers
  4. Virtual environments
  5. Operation systems
  6. Middleware systems (going beyond the capabilities of the OS)
  7. Runtime
  8. Data management
  9. Applications

These have been the fundamental building blocks for any IT infrastructure for decades. The same applies in Web2 and the same applies in Web3 as well. But cloud computing was revolutionary because it allowed developers to not build everything in-house but “rent” parts of this infrastructure from service providers.

IaaS — Infrastructure as a Service — means that you get the network, storage, servers and virtual environments taken care of by a service provider that you access online instead of having to build your own server room. Everything else has to be done by yourself.

PaaS — Platform as a Service — goes a step beyond and it provides you the operating systems, middlewares and takes care of runtime issues for you. All you have to do is build your own application and handle data management.

SaaS — Software as a Service — is when you even build the application itself with a specific use case, and users can log in online and subscribe and pay a monthly subscription or based on usage, performance, etc.

Web3 didn’t change any of this structure, but the majority of the first elements of this list is taken care of by the Ethereum Virtual Machine and (in our case) the Polygon blockchain.

Dummy texts for illustration purposes

However Polygon’s capabilities are very generic and you need deep web3 technical knowledge to build any applications with specific utility. This is mainly because crypto has a middleware problem: there are no service providers that can provide a de facto operating system for developers.

This is why Next Earth chose the PaaS route: technically we provide an operating system for developers on which they can launch their own dApps via our API connections using any tech stack. This way, developers can build mobile applications, web applications, video games for consoles, using our backend, running on EVM. Instead of having to deal with the basic pains of Web3 development (custodial and non-custodial wallets, permissionless operations, smart contract development), Web2 developers can make use of and leverage the Ethereum Virtual Machine without deep Web3 development.

Developers can get access to our API suite via our Dev Portal, generate their own API keys and start developing. The first API we developed is the Read API providing access to all Virtual Land data including locations, owners, tile data, etc.

Dummy API key. 🙂

We will continuously release new APIs to widen the scope and capabilities of our API suite, starting with the Write API to enable app developers to mint Virtual Land NFTs and sell land via their own applications — essentially becoming a distributor of Next Earth Land.

Then comes the Layer Generation API that will allow developers to generate their own Layers via a simple API call, expanded by the Smart Contract Factory API that will allow them to mint their own dynamic NFTs on their own layer. All of this technology will basically make it 100x cheaper for any NFT project to launch their own collections and immediately lock them to specific locations on Next Earth, providing them additional value while they also bring utility to Virtual Lands (and revenue for Next Earth Landowners).

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