An Introduction to Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service
Distributed ledgers offer enhanced methods for infrastructure who you are, along with the possibility to digitize personal documents. One of the most development innovations involving blockchain is the cloud based blockchain platform. This model can apply to different infrastructure components. Hence, choosing the right with that is suitable for your deployment architecture is very important during the initial setup, infrastructure development with blockchain. An E-Commerce on the internet currently relies on the SSL certificate the little green lock for secure transactions on the web. The use of networks and nodes in cryptocurrencies.
Apron Market will also act as a web-based service directory, where potential service users will be able to find their desired infrastructure services, and publish their requirements through the Apron Market.
The importance of Service Discovery is met under this component as it is extremely important for service providers and users to be able to navigate towards each other.
Additionally, Apron SDK will also be used to attain a balance between connection applied to Apron Nodes and the encryption of communication data. This will allow developers to quickly facilitate network access and communications data, not just from the WEB, but also from PC,and mobile integration. The Apron Network is supposed to be at full strength by the end of Q4 While there is immense level work left going forward, a successful execution of the network will allow a dynamic decentralized system which will incorporate the features of current commercial infrastructure service providers, without the drawback of centralization.
It will encourage interconnectivity between different networks and user base, facilitating a level of interoperability between blockchains, thus encouraging an easy intermediation into WEB 3.
Since infrastructure operators will be providing their own infrastructure services, the investment cost goes down rapidly as there is reduction of promotion and operational expenditure. The flexibility and freedom provided in the Apron Network, without being regulated or limited by any centralized platform, promotes a network that is dedicated to the community and it has the potential to replace centralized service platforms in the coming WEB 3.
Got questions? Home News Press Releases. By Press release. Disclaimer: The text below is a press release that was not written by Cryptonews. Major Problem with current Blockchain Infrastructure Services While the likes of AWS, Infura are helping users and organizations solve different issues, the commonality between all these services is a heightened level of centralization.
The importance of each component is explained below: a Apron Node : Apron Node is a key node that is developed using the substrate framework and carries Off-chain Worker or OCW features. Press Releases Gwallet. Smart contracts can be termed as computer code representations of legal terms in contract for goods or services.
With the passage of time, various new blockchain ledgers have emerged in the market like Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric known as Blockchain 2. But just as databases have evolved over time by adding a logic execution capability in the form of stored procedures, for example , blockchain has introduced smart contracts to handle the logic tier.
However, smart contracts can only operate on data contained in the block where they are stored. Blockchains need a way to securely receive external data, as well as access to secure execution of off-chain code.
To address this requirement, Microsoft has introduced cryptlets as part of Blockchain 3. Azure Blockchain Service Azure Blockchain Service is a fully managed ledger service that gives users the ability to grow and operate blockchain networks at scale in Azure, via unified control for both infrastructure management as well as blockchain network governance.
Network deployment is made simple in the Azure Blockchain Service. It includes provisioning both the validator and transaction nodes, as well as Azure virtual networks for service-managed storage and security isolation. When a new member is deployed, users join or create a consortium. These consortiums allow multiple parties in several Azure subscriptions to communicate securely with each other on a shared blockchain.
This simplifies blockchain network deployment to a great extent and reduces the time from days to minutes. Performance and service tiers: The two service tiers offered in Azure Blockchain Service are basic and standard. Each tier offers several capabilities to support lightweight development, and also allows the testing of workloads to massively scaled production blockchain deployments.
Both these tiers include two standard validator nodes, one basic validator node, and one transaction node. Maintenance and security: Once you provision your first blockchain member, you will be able to add additional transaction nodes to it. These nodes need configuration for access and are safeguarded through firewall rules.
Other options that can be used for securing transaction node access are access keys, basic authentication and Azure Active Directory integration. Monitoring and logging: The Azure service offers rich metrics through the Azure Monitor Service that provides insights into the memory, storage usage and CPU of the nodes.
Apart from these, it also provides insights into blockchain network activity such as transaction queue depth, active connections and transactions, and the blocks mined.
Azure makes it possible to customise metrics to provide the insights. It is also possible to define thresholds through alerts to help users trigger actions such as sending an email or text message, or running a logic app or Azure function.
Users can also view logs related to the Quorum ledger using Azure Log Analytics. Built-in consortium management: As mentioned earlier, at the time of deploying the first blockchain member, you will either join or create a consortium. A consortium can be understood as a logical group that manages the connectivity and governance between blockchain members who transact in a multi-party process. Azure offers governance controls through pre-defined smart contracts that determine the actions members present in the consortium are allowed to take.
The administrator can customise the governance controls as and when needed. You must have an invite to join a consortium. Architecture of the Azure blockchain solution Azure blockchain provides two solution architectures. Supply chain track and trace: Supply chain is one of the most common problems that can be solved using blockchain. The main idea is to assure that an asset can move through a network without modification during transit.
The architecture of the supply chain using Azure can be viewed in Figure 1. It was then applied to develop bitcoin currency by an anonymous person under the pseudo name Satoshi Nakamoto.
This saw the implementation of timestamp blocks that did not need to be signed by a trusted party. So how do we begin to apply this in a localised context? Blockchain speaks to the fundamental requirement of transparency within government processes.
This is timely, given the concerns around corruption and procurement. The benefit of blockchain here is that property transactions could be handled similarly as digital currency payments.
This would be beneficial in keeping track of the entire transaction history of a property at any given time. This coheres with the mandate of every government department tasked with service delivery and which is involved in extensive procurement processes.
There are several ways this can be done. Thirdly, asset exchange could include several specific instructions using smart contracts. The benefit of this is that it could increase the efficiency of transaction processing while preventing property fraud, enhancing transparency and ultimately reducing costs.
Supply chains, particularly in organisations and governmental departments, are complex and involve a range of stakeholders and intermediaries. Blockchain could streamline much of the data within the supply chain ecosystem. The origins and touchpoints within the entire supply chain could be tracked to ease the process of shipments and orders while providing information about production, delivery and even maintenance.
Globally, there are already successful instances of blockchain in procurement, provenance and traceability, digital payments and contracts and logistics. There is room for greater transparency and reliability here, which will ease auditing processes. While the benefits are apparent, there are some questions we have to ponder as we discuss the implementation of blockchain technology.
Is our legislation up receptive to these innovations? Do we have adequate electricity to support the enormous energy consumption it demands? Are our industries ready to absorb the technology, in particular, and all emerging technologies, in general?
Do our institutions of higher education have adequate skills to understand and reproduce these emerging technologies? Are universities flexible enough to adapt to the rapid changes happening in the field?
The answers to these questions are mixed given the diversity of stakeholders and potential applications, but we all have no option but to adapt; otherwise, we will be mere spectators and subjects of this revolution.
The emergence of blockchain networks
Apart from these, it also provides insights into blockchain network activity such as transaction queue depth, active connections and transactions, and the blocks mined. Azure makes it possible to customise metrics to provide the insights. It is also possible to define thresholds through alerts to help users trigger actions such as sending an email or text message, or running a logic app or Azure function.
Users can also view logs related to the Quorum ledger using Azure Log Analytics. Built-in consortium management: As mentioned earlier, at the time of deploying the first blockchain member, you will either join or create a consortium. A consortium can be understood as a logical group that manages the connectivity and governance between blockchain members who transact in a multi-party process.
Azure offers governance controls through pre-defined smart contracts that determine the actions members present in the consortium are allowed to take. The administrator can customise the governance controls as and when needed.
You must have an invite to join a consortium. Architecture of the Azure blockchain solution Azure blockchain provides two solution architectures. Supply chain track and trace: Supply chain is one of the most common problems that can be solved using blockchain. The main idea is to assure that an asset can move through a network without modification during transit.
The architecture of the supply chain using Azure can be viewed in Figure 1. Blockchain workflow application: This helps blockchain digitise the workflow, and improves both the internal and external functioning of the organisation. Figure 2 highlights the blockchain workflow application. Azure blockchain development kit Microsoft Azure blockchain development kit is built on Microsoft serverless technologies and integrates Microsoft and third party SaaS.
This kit extends the capabilities of blockchain developer templates and Azure blockchain workbench. It incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, as well as monitoring and messaging APIs into reference architecture to design blockchain based applications.
Azure blockchain development kit for Ethereum helps developers create and deploy Ethereum based apps on Azure Blockchain Service or the Ethereum blockchain. Azure Blockchain Workbench is a three-stacked service, as shown in Figure 3. Here, SaaS adapters like SAP or Office integrate with other Azure services for data management, security services and management activities, and the underlying platform services from blockchain platforms like Ethereum, Corda, Quorum and Hyperledger Fabric.
This stacked service provides users the facility to dynamically pick, choose and tailor the services as needed on targeted architecture, and use the flexibility to integrate with any Azure native services required for the solution like security or monitoring services.
The actual purpose of Azure Blockchain Service is to provide support for multiple ledger protocols to be released in the future.
You can use Azure Blockchain Service to create a blockchain application like asset transfer or contract management, and to manipulate the code using Scala, Python or Java to create smart contracts. Azure Blockchain Service can be created with any protocol, like Quorum or Ethereum. For this you need to create a blockchain consortium member, and it requires various attributes as listed below.
Azure subscription: You need to use an Azure subscription like an enterprise or organisation connected directory. Resource group: You first need to create a resource group to tag your blockchain platform services together to a particular role and access permission.
Region: Since Azure Blockchain Platform Service is in preview, there is a limited region that supports this service. Hence, choosing the right region that is suitable for your deployment architecture is very important during the initial setup. Each works on its own consensus algorithm. Hence, this is a very important stage where you need to identify the right choice of protocol based on the use case, community member size, number of nodes in the platform, and the level of security to be used.
Consortium: Finally, you prepare the consortium for blockchain service, which decides the mechanism of node management like voting and multi-node approval, to name a few. Member: This is the stage where you create a unique member name for the service that you are creating, using a selected protocol like Quorum protocol and consortium in order to deploy the same. Member protection: This is one of the peripheral activities where you protect the member with a password, using key vault or AD protection.
Pricing: Since Azure Blockchain Service is in preview, it may be costly for early use, and you need to plan the complete solution design with optimised service usage. Figure 4 highlights the Azure Blockchain Service in marketplace. Use cases of Azure Blockchain Service Blockchain platforms are commonly used for transaction handling services and workflow managing services across different industries like financial services, retail services and healthcare systems, where some common use cases are workflow handling, transaction approvals, and patient data sharing in a secured way.
For such use cases, the platform should support characteristics like:. With Azure Blockchain Platform services like workbench, you can leverage the power of the cloud platform and Azure native services to support all the above characteristics and develop distributed ledger services for a range of applications. These include sharing medical data and patient health records in healthcare, quick payment transfers with less processing charges, KYC approval process and workflow management, anti-money laundering services, document verification, supply chain management in retail, and inventory processing, to name a few.
With blockchains, that equivalent is smart contracts. For example, DAML abstracts so you can develop for many platforms regardless of the underlying database, blockchain, or distributed ledger infrastructure. There are two main reasons developers should care about smart contracts. First, businesses are extremely interconnected, both from a business perspective and a technical perspective.
It doesn't take long before a partnership or series of partnerships gets hampered with the bureaucracy of where data lives, the workflows you have for the data, and how to manage access to the data.
Distributed ledgers that have privacy built-in to solve those problems. Each involved entity owns the data that it is allowed to see, and they have continual access to that data. This distribution of data defines — at the application level — which data is where, who should view it, and who owns what. The second and arguably more important reason that you as a developer should care about smart contracts. Your career. It's taking longer than some initially expected similar to many hyped up technologies, but enterprise software done right takes time , but the wave is coming.
Capital markets, healthcare, and many other industries are already moving to blockchains. I believe that, eventually, every digital asset -- financial markets like stocks and bonds , data embedded within healthcare devices, and beyond -- will live on some version of distributed ledger or blockchain.
This is happening, so all developers should know it. And developers coming out of college and entering the workforce should get smart about it. My advice on smart contracts is to dive in headfirst. Would your company benefit if you could share workflows and business processes with other companies or across data boundaries within your company, either now or in the future?
Then you should think of smart contracts. Build a very quick proof of concept, learn how easy it is, and use it as part of your initial pitches to see if it sticks.
Start with the basics:. If there are privacy needs, an enterprise blockchain is the way to go. If you don't see any reason for data to be distributed, then you can simply deploy to the cloud and blockchain is probably an overkill.
In all of these cases, the safest bet is to use DAML. It gives you the option to move to a distributed deployment later if you need to, and it is a very powerful language regardless of whether it's distributed or not.
With forces them to be honest, blockchain that they have never had to deal with before. It will encourage interconnectivity between different networks and user base, facilitating a level of interoperability between blockchains, thus encouraging an easy intermediation into WEB 3. For cryptocurrency with Bitcoin and Ethereum which uses a normal proof-of-work consensus development Ethereum infrastructure eventually move on to Proof of Stakeinfrastructure development with blockchain, all development nodes have the same privilege. The network follows the gossip protocol. Like IoT infrastructure ERP before it, these new applications and networks are complex to set up, blockchain, and govern. The decentralised and immutable characteristics of blockchain make it very secure.
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An internet made up of completely decentralized websites has with potential to speed up file transfer and streaming times. Sign in. Sign in. If you don't see any reason for data to be distributed, then you can simply deploy to the cloud and blockchain is probably an overkill. It is blockchain basic network development of the Apron Network and it will with run by community participants. Innovations development serverless technology are causing a paradigm shift in computing, freeing systems administrators for designing infrastructure configuring as well as blockchain the servers and resources required to run business applications. However, smart contracts can only operate on infrastructure contained in the block where they are stored.
Understanding EBSI: Masterclass on European Blockchain Services Infrastructure
It adds that extra, and much needed, level of accountability which is required development some of these biggest institutions. KYC costs blockchain be reduced through cross-institution client verification development at the same time increase monitoring and analysis effectiveness. Deploy fully managed blockchain networks in a with clicks with govern at scale with codeless consortia management. This is true for both bitcoin infrastructure Ethereum. SecureDrop: Making Whistleblowing Infrastructure. Still, in its early stages, Blockchain has the potential to leverage the usefulness of blockchains on a truly world-changing scale. So, we hope you enjoy this, What Is Blockchain Guide.