The new cardano-explorer consists of three components:
cardano-explorer-dbwhich defines common data types and functions that are shared by the following two components. In particular, it defines the database schema.
cardano-explorer-nodewhich acts as a Cardano node, following the chain and inserting date from the chain into a PostgreSQL database.
cardano-explorerwhich serves data from the PostgreSQL database via HTTP.
The explorer is written in a highly modular fashion to allow it to be as flexible as possible.
cardano-explorer-node connects to a locally running
cardano-node (ie one connected to other
nodes in the Cardano network over the internet with TCP/IP) using a Unix domain socket, retrieves
blocks and stores parts of each block in a local PostgreSQL database. The database does not store
things like cryptographic signatures but does store enough information to follow the chain of
blocks and look at the transactions within blocks.
The PostgreSQL database is designed to be accessed in a read-only fashion from other applications. The database schema is highly normalised which helps prevent data inconsistencies (specifically with the use of foreign keys from one table to another). More user friendly database queries can be implemented using Postgres Views to implement joins between tables.
cardano-explorer-webapi is a client than serves data from the PostgreSQL database as JSON via a
HTTP REST API.