Microsoft unveils blockchain toolkit to accelerate innovation
Its new Azure Blockchain Workbench aims to get apps up and running in days, not months.
The new Microsoft offering is meant to dramatically reduce the costs and time needed to develop applications that solve pressing business issues. Unveiled to the cryptocurrency world during this week’s annual Microsoft Build conference, Azure Blockchain Workbench automates the setup process for app infrastructure by providing an end-to-end solution using templates and tools that automatically deploy ledgers, construct networks and integrate with other Azure services.
Among the many features of the toolkit are its ability to work with the following:
- Single sign-on and identity management through Azure Active Directory
- Secure keys through Azure Key Vault
- Smart contracts through Service Bus and Event Grid
- Message signing, hashing and routing tools
- Off-chain database synchronization
- Workflow integration through Logic Apps
- APIs for extensibility
An early version of the Azure Blockchain Workbench has been tested out since last September on solutions involving large-purchase bank guarantees at Bank Hapoalim in Israel, supply chain tracking of Nestle chocolate in Italy, and smart-contract tracking of collateralized debt instruments at US-based Apttus.
“Getting started with blockchain should not be overwhelming, and simplifying development is a huge opportunity,” Azure General Manager Matthew Kerner wrote in the announcement. “My team remains laser focused on making blockchain more enterprise friendly.”
Microsoft has also been working on developing decentralized digital identities that can interact with different blockchains, technologies and protocols.
Learn more about how blockchain, the underlying technology for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, can make digital applications faster, safer and more trustworthy in our comprehensive blockchain guide.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds XRP, CND, ANT, DRGN, EOS, NEO, ADA, AION, GTO, SALT, QTUM and WAX, and actively trades BTC and ETH.
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