The great classical composers scratched out scores on sheets of paper. Today, there are all kinds of computer programs and mobile apps to help you create music — even if you’ve never touched a musical instrument. In a similar fashion, The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Composer is a collaboration toolset that both developers and non-developers can use to model business networks built on blockchain technology. I’ve been involved with the initiative from the idea stage through to the beta product release over the last six months.
This year, I’m looking forward to discussing blockchain and Hyperledger Composer in New York City at Consensus 2017, the summit that will bring together more than 100 speakers and over 2,000 attendees.
Keeping time with Hyperledger Composer
Most individuals, organizations and governments still manage transactions using paper-based methods. Blockchain has been described as the way of the future because it allows participants within multi-party business networks to record, track and settle transactions of assets digitally through a distributed ledger, enabling significant time, cost and risk reduction. However, the road to implementing a blockchain solution is not a simple one.
Similar to how music is comprised of different elements, blockchain is complex and has various components. It’s easy to get lost in the technical details of peers, chaincode and consensus when what is really important are the core business concepts like ledgers, assets, participants, identities, transactions and more. It can be difficult for organizations to translate these components to code as they develop a business use case and ultimately create a blockchain application. Hyperledger Composer was designed in response to this struggle. The toolset includes a data model and programming language that generate application programming interfaces (APIs), specific to the use case that allow users to quickly define and deploy business networks and applications for making transactions. The APIs allow developers to integrate their existing legacy systems, making it faster to integrate new blockchain apps with existing systems. The web-based Composer “playground” provides a space for users to learn the language and then model and test their business networks.
You can learn more about the technical details of Composer and how to get started using it here.
Hyperledger Composer turns the beat around
When you’re developing blockchain for business, the foundation it’s built on is a critical component. To date, all work done with Composer has been done on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source transaction framework built for enterprise and maintained by Hyperledger, an openly governed community hosted by The Linux Foundation. What you might not know is that Composer has been designed so that it can be ported to run on other distributed ledger technologies. This provides greater flexibility to users, allowing them to try out new and alternative “rhythms.”
In addition to the benefits derived from being built on open source technologies, Composer gives blockchain developers a backstage pass that includes the following capabilities:
Align business and technical teams’ understanding of how a blockchain-based business network operates.
Generate programmable APIs that reflect the specifics of a business network.
Integrate external non-blockchain systems and create apps with REST APIs.
Control access automatically with runtimes by using access control lists, which allow developers to describe what resources can be accessed by which participants.
For another perspective on how Composer drives faster blockchain value, check out this blog post by John Palfreyman.
Rock out with Hyperledger Composer at Consensus
At Consensus 2017, Composer will be highlighted in a big way:
The IBM demo booth will showcase a sample app built by IBM as well as ecosystem partners using Composer and IBM Blockchain.
Technical director Simon Stone will be attending the Consensus Hackathon taking place on May 20 and 21.
The Hyperledger booth will feature Composer.
IBM client VIP sessions will discuss how IBM teams are building blockchain applications with Composer.
Register for Consensus 2017 for the opportunity to get up close and personal with the tools that are helping businesses to transform their industries with blockchain.
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