Main screen of the MARINER app. Users can search all Ocean Protocol data marketplaces from here.
Results from a search using the MARINER app. Contains a list of data assets which can be sorted by different criteria.
Data assets can be added to favorites by swiping to the right in the MARINER app.
List of favorite data assets in the MARINER app. A data asset can be removed from the favorites list by swiping to the left.
Information screen of the MARINER app. Accessed by pressing the "MARINER" text in the main screen.
One of the goals of Ocean Protocol is to have hundreds or thousands of data marketplaces built on the protocol. Using the search functionality of every single data marketplace to find a data asset can be a time-consuming and laborious procedure if the data buyer does not know which marketplace to search. Furthermore, not all data buyers might be aware of every marketplace's existence. MARINER aims to provide a simple way to search for all data assets published on Ocean Protocol, regardless of data marketplace. Additionally, it strives to lower the barrier of entry for the general population by providing access to all Ocean Protocol data assets with only a couple of taps.
What it Does
MARINER is an Android app that allows users to search, browse through and bookmark data assets published on all data marketplaces - it currently supports the Commons Marketplace, with more marketplaces to be added as they release. It is connected to the Pacific Network of Ocean Protocol. Users enter a query and the app searches the Ocean for matching data assets. Users can then sort these assets based on the default order, data asset name, date, author or price. After clicking on a data asset, they are taken to the corresponding marketplace to view additional information and consume the asset. Additionally, users can add data assets to the list of favorites by simply swiping the asset to the right. The list of favorite data assets can also be sorted based on the above criteria. Finally, if the user taps on the "MARINER" text at the top of the app, they are taken to the information screen, where they can also see a collection of famous quotes about data, and how many data assets were returned to their queries up to that point.
How MARINER was Built
MARINER was built for Android in the Java programming language. It was built using the Android Studio environment. It supports Android phones and tablets, although the user interface is optimized for phones. MARINER adheres to Material Design guidelines. It's compatible with Android versions 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and above, meaning that it supports 99.4% active Android devices: https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards
The main challenge while building the app was how to design the entire user experience to include as much information about the data assets as possible, while still providing a clean and minimal user interface, with every UI element working fluidly. Additionally, to allow for the fast sorting and re-displaying of the data assets when rotating the device, information about the data assets is cached into a local database, which was a time-consuming part of the development process to implement.
The accomplishment I'm most proud of is that the MARINER app works fluidly and provides the initially set functionality.
I've learned that Ocean Protocol offers a simple way to fetch information about data assets published on the protocol via their Agent interface (REST API). I've also gained experience about designing an effective user interface for browsing through varied data.
What's Next for MARINER
MARINER currently supports the Commons Marketplace. As new marketplaces will launch, they will be added to MARINER to allow universal data asset search. Additionally, the search functionality will be upgraded by providing filtering by tags, categories, marketplaces, etc., as well as further options for sorting the data assets. Finally, a data asset spotlight functionality will be added to give attention to interesting data assets.