Microsoft is giving developers new tools for developing blockchain solutions with the introduction of the Azure Blockchain Development Kit. The first initial release comes with a focus on connecting, integrating and deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks.
‘The Azure Blockchain Development Kit is the next step in our journey to make developing end to end blockchain applications accessible, fast, and affordable to anyone with an idea. It is built atop our investments in blockchain and connects to the compute, data, messaging, and integration services available in both Azure and the broader Microsoft Cloud to provide a robust palette for a developer to realize their vision,” Marc Mercuri, principal program manager for blockchain engineering, wrote in a post.
According to the company, the toolkit is built off of its serverless technologies, blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench. Some of the capabilities the kit extends includes key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs.
“These tools have become the first step for many organizations on their journey to re-invent the way they do business. Apps have been built for everything from democratizing supply chain financing in Nigeria to securing the food supply in the UK, but as patterns emerged across use cases, our teams identified new ways for Microsoft to help developers go farther, faster,” Mercuri wrote.
For connecting, the kit aims to help organizations, people and devices to connect to the blockchain. The kit includes samples for SMS and voice interfaces, IoT device, mobile clients, backend systems and data, bots and assistants and web clients.
For integrating data and systems, the kit tackles documents and media, and smart contract interaction. The kit includes a set of logic apps for hashing files and file related metadata, and smart contracts for files and a file registry. “Businesses are using blockchain and smart contracts to facilitate multi-party processes. Blockchain also delivers real-time transparency of the states and events of those contracts to appropriate participants,” wrote Mercuri. “End to end blockchain solutions require integration with data, software, and media that live ‘off chain.’ External updates and events can trigger actions on smart contracts. Smart contract events and state changes can then trigger actions and data updates to ‘off chain’ systems and data. These external systems and AI will also need the ability to query attestable data from smart contracts to inform action.”
In addition, the blockchain app development kit includes integration samples for legacy apps and protocols, data, SaaS and registers. Microsoft also announced the release of Logic Apps and Flow Connectors to extend amples to Ethereum, Corda, and Bitcoin.
For deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks, the kit will provide guidance on delivering blockchain developers in DevOps. The company announced the white paper DevOps for Blockchain Smart Contracts. Accompanying the white paper will be an implementation guide on how to implement CI/CD for smart contracts and infrastructure as code.