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Hyperledger Fabric

Developer Showcase Series: Jean-Louis (JL) Marechaux, JDA Labs

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

Image: Jean-Louis (JL) Marechaux, JDA Labs

We return back to our Developer Showcase blog series, which serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s projects. Next up is JL Marechaux from JDA Labs. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

The first advice I would offer is what I give on every single new technology adoption: Clearly identify the business need, and make sure that blockchain is appropriate to meet business needs. Blockchain is not a silver bullet. There are a couple of use-cases where blockchain is absolutely not the right answer. Be sure you assess blockchain applicability in your context.

I would also recommend to take an incremental and iterative approach for new Blockchain initiatives. Decompose your business problem to identity a simple use-case, something that can be described as an agile story. Implement this first story in a small prototype, to get familiar with core blockchain concepts. Then incrementally add new capabilities to your blockchain solution.

There are plenty of resources to help when you start a blockchain project. I personally recommend the Hyperledger online documentation, as it cover the key concepts and provide practical tutorials. Moreover, a tool like Hyperledger Composer is an easy way to define and test a business network with minimal investment. To me, Composer is a pretty good platform for an early blockchain prototype.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

I work at JDA Labs, which is the R&D entity of JDA Software. The company has a focus on the supply chain and the retail industry, and we provide software solution to support the digital transformation of our customers. Because we are interested in digital transactions between multiple parties, blockchain seems to be a natural fit to address some automation and traceability problems. When products transit all over the world, through multiple countries and multiple companies, I believe that blockchain can help provide a better end-to-end visibility of the supply chain.

I started to be interested in blockchain when I was working at IBM. Around 2015 or 2016, I was part of an internal initiative to identify blockchain use cases for different industries. I had the opportunity to discuss with people far more knowledgeable than me in this area, and to learn basic concepts. When I started at JDA, I was exposed to a new business domain, and it quickly became obvious that blockchain could improve supply chain transparency and traceability. So I decided do more research and experimentation in this area.

As Hyperledger’s incubated projects start maturing and hit 1.0s and beyond, what are the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result from your perspective?

I see a lot of value in all the Hyperledger projects, so it is difficult to mention just a few.

But given my current job and my focus at this time, I would select Hyperledger Fabric and Indy.

Because it supports permissioned networks, Hyperledger Fabric seems appropriate in a supply chain environment where participants are usually known and vetted. The channel capability in Fabric provides a data partitioning mechanism to restrict visibility to some participants, which is required for some some business transactions. Hyperledger Fabric is based on a modular and scalable architecture to support most business needs.

I have not explored Hyperledger Indy capabilities yet, but given the nature of a blockchain business network, it seems important to have a strong mechanism to manage decentralized identities.

In addition to the blockchain frameworks, I am quite interested in the different tools (e.g. Composer , Explorer) that are developed under the Hyperledger umbrella to facilitate and accelerate blockchain adoption.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

As a consumer, I always wonder where the products I buy are coming from. I can sometime get that information reading the product label, but can I really believe what is written? Why should I trust the organic certification body? Organic food fraud is massive. Traceability on fair trade products is weak. Provenance of consumer goods is nearly impossible to obtain.

Blockchain technologies can solve this problem by enabling full transparency and traceability on products. As a consumer, I would love to be able to scan a product in a store with my smartphone and get the proof of origin through a blockchain.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

“If you want to eat an elephant, do it one bite at a time.” This comes from an old saying, but I remember receiving that advice for software development, long before Agile practices were popular. To be able to deliver complex software solution, it is important to have the big picture first, to understand the end goal. But then the best approach to deliver the solution is to adopt a step by step approach to incrementally develop the software.

And of course, I was told many times to read the manual. The “RTFM” acronym cannot be repeated often enough.

I think those two tips are relevant for any blockchain project.

Developer Showcase Series: Enrico Zanardo, OneZero Binary Ltd

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Image: Enrico Zanardo, OneZero Binary Ltd.

This Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s projects. Next up is Enrico Zanardo from OneZero Binary. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

I recommend that not only developers but also anybody passionate about the technology study thoroughly, and also to adopt a typical distributed ledger technology (DLT) “forma mentis”. Blockchain is starting to become a new mainstream technology just like the Internet in the 2000s and social networks in the successive decade.

What project in Hyperledger are you working on? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

Between Malta and Italy, my team and I have been working on PulseRescue, a mobile app with a backend application that connects to all the emergency centres in each country. PulseRescue alerts first responders that are nearest to the emergency. We needed to connect and share information between multiple entities like hospitals, emergency services, first responder organisations such as the Red Cross, White Cross, etc… so Hyperledger Fabric was the best choice. We are also able to customise the app based on each organisation’s specific needs, like the layout, without changing our communication protocol. We really hope that this use case can gain wide enough adoption to help save lives.

As Hyperledger’s incubated projects start maturing and hit 1.0s and beyond, what are the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result from your perspective?

I’m a Golang fanatic, and Hyperledger Fabric is the most interesting choice if I have to connect multiple organisations together. I’m also looking at Hyperledger Iroha because I think that it will become a common framework when the development of mobile applications is required. The development of a new, chain-based Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus algorithm called Sumeragi is also interesting.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

The most obvious answer is “everywhere.” However, if I had to think about the sectors with the most important and immediate need, I would say education, IoT, and everything concerning product traceability in supply and production chains, e.g. large-scale organised distribution.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

While taking the first certified cohort of the Hyperledger Fabric for Developers course provided by B9lab, I learned how to setup Kafka and Zookeeper on the Hyperledger Fabric network. Thanks to this course, I was able to test this “consensus” mechanism to make multiple order processes crash fault tolerant.

I personally suggest that everybody interested in blockchain technology try at least one course provided by B9lab simply because they are able to teach sophisticated tools like Hyperledger Fabric in a simple way, and they are always ready to help their students during (and after) the course.

(7.24.18) TechTarget: Blockchain-powered telemedicine application debuts in U.K.

By | Hyperledger Fabric, News

Under examination is MyClinic.com, a telemedicine application powered by Medicalchain, a blockchain platform that enables the secure exchange of medical records between patients and doctors.

Medicalchain is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain framework. “We decided to go down this route because healthcare is complicated as it is,” said Mo Tayeb, Medicalchain co-founder and COO. “If we tried to build a blockchain from scratch, and tried to integrate with healthcare companies, it’s quite a lot of work.”

More here.

(7.3.18) Forbes: Big Blockchain: The 50 Largest Public Companies Exploring Blockchain

By | Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth, News

There’s more than one way to gain exposure to blockchain innovation. Beyond buying over-the-counter products or investing directly in blockchain startups some of the largest public companies in the world are already dabbling in the tech. In fact, a closer look at this year’s Forbes Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in the world reveals that not only are all ten of the largest public companies in the world exploring blockchain, but at least 50 of the biggest names on the list have all made their own mark on technology first inspired by bitcoin.

More here.

(7.2.18) InfoQ: How Blockchain is Reinventing Business Process Management

By | Hyperledger Fabric, News

In a recent Hyperledger blog post, Jesse Chenard, CEO of MonetaGo, discusses how blockchain is poised to reinvent traditional Business Process Management platforms (BPM). A challenge with existing BPM platforms is that data is usually stored in organizational silos and challenges exist in counterparty transaction exchanges. A blockchain solution can provide auditing across boundaries, without leaking sensitive information to additional parties.

More here.

(6.27.18) New York Times: A Guide to Travels in the Blockchain World

By | Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth, News

The original blockchain created by Bitcoin has inspired thousands of other attempts to record information in the distinctive fashion the cryptocurrency pioneered.

While there’s a hot debate about how to define a blockchain, most projects using the term try to create a single database that is shared and maintained by a group of people or institutions.

More here.

(6.7.18) CoinDesk: Software Giant SAP Launches Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

By | Hyperledger Fabric, News

Multinational enterprise software giant SAP has launched a cloud platform that is dedicated to helping corporates develop blockchain applications.

Announced during an SAP event Wednesday, the cloud-based solution aims to provide enterprises with a framework to build business applications on top of blockchain systems such as Hyperledger Fabric, the blockchain platform launched by the Linux Foundation, of which SAP is also a contributor.

More here.

LocalTrail Takes On Farm-to-Table Supply Chain with Hyperledger Fabric and Composer

By | Blog, Events, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Pictured left to right: Brian Behlendorf, Rachel Black, Paco Garcia, Piers Powelesland, Saif Abu Hashish, Kevin Kim and Tracy Kuhrt

With the goal of highlighting the value of blockchain beyond payments and digital currency, the Consensus 2018 Building Blocks Hackathon challenged teams of developers to tap into the robust programming capabilities of technologies to build applications with use cases in industries ranging from capital markets trading, food supply chain, digital rights management, new peer-to-peer insurance models, and the internet of things. Participants were able to build on top of any blockchain protocol including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger etc.

The Winning Team: Localtrail

The process of establishing a data trail of the food from farm-to-warehouse-to-market-to-retailer is very manual and incentivizes dishonest behavior. There is no effective way of trustlessly knowing if food is coming from the place that retailers say it is. The team behind LocalTrail, Rachel Black, Paco Garcia, Saif Abu Hashish, Piers Powlesland and Kevin Kim took on the challenge of providing transparency in the food and dairy supply chain. They’re aim was to make it possible to track the provenance of groceries and meals, as they reach the consumers’ plate. The end result was Localtrail, a community-first, transparent blockchain solution that tracks produce from farm to supply center to the end user, bringing accountability and trust to the farm-to-fork social movement.

To build the solution, the team used Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Composer and Tieron’s Chainpoint Node API. They coded in React Native and JavaScript.

According to Piers Powlesland and Rachel Black from the Localtrail team:

“Given the task of providing a supply chain system that would connect many small businesses we wanted to minimise the need for expensive infrastructure, and since the target sector was agricultural we also wanted to provide a system that would be easy to learn and use for non technical people. Consequently we decided to make the system available via a mobile app due to the ubiquity of mobile devices and people’s familiarity with them. We used react-native to build the app so that we could target both Android and iOS with a single app, and also have the option of turning it into a desktop web-app with minimal adjustments.”

“For the server-side blockchain implementation we chose Hyperledger Composer. Its user friendly graphical interface, allowed us to dive in and get started straight away, and its modeling language mapped well to our problem domain. It also helped a lot that the perishable-network sample project demonstrated a system very similar to the one we wanted to create. Furthermore Composer’s ability to automatically generate a REST api from a contract, meant that integration with our react native front end was a straightforward and familiar process.”

The Value Chain for Localtrail

The users of the Localtrail application include farmers, who grow the food, package it, and enter data; warehouse employees, who scan, perform QA check and ship to a market; market employees, who scan and perform QA check and sell to retailers; retailers, who scan and perform QA check, and serve food to end consumers; and the end consumers, who view the data from the process.

Congrats to the Localtrail team for creating an application that showed the power blockchain can provide within the food supply chain by improving transparency and trackability. We’re excited to see where they take this application. You can get the Localtrail code at https://github.com/piersy/LocalTrailHyperledgerComposer and https://github.com/rachelyoti/food-app-front-end.

You can also plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. As always, you can keep up with what’s new with Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.