Enterprise-grade blockchain solutions are gaining momentum. Because they enable inter & intra org collaboration, offers enhances interoperability, transparency, enhanced security and holistic visibility (traceability). Learn about the blockchain, hyperledger fabric and design strategies with Vivek Acharya in the book – Oracle Blockchain Quick Start Guide.
Previous blog covered Blockchain as a Service and its qualifiers. This post will focus on Oracle’s BaaS offering, its features and pre-built applications. BaaS platform like OBP are true driver in proliferating enterprise blockchain adoption. To learn more about OBP and engage in learning and building real use case, visit my latest book – Oracle Blockchain Quick Start Guide.
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offers a lot on top of its base (hyperledger fabric). Hyperledger Fabric (base) is not preassembled. Enterprise needs to set up the Hyperledger Fabric infrastructure and handle its prerequisites. And they need to configure infrastructure, and maintain it. Enterprise need to ensure the integration of the installed Hyperledger Fabric environment with a security stake. Also, they must manage the life cycle of all of the containers. And should handle the patching, upgrades and maintenance. Also must ensure the system’s huge availability, performance, business network management, and so on.
Oracle’s blockchain platform (OBP) is based on Hyperledger Fabric. With OBP, the enterprise’s responsibilities to set up, manage, and maintain the blockchain platform will be shifted toward Oracle (BaaS provider). As a result, the enterprise can continue to focus on building work class blockchain applications and solutions.
Linux foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric is the foundational base (core) for OBP. With Hyperledger Fabric (HLF) being the base, any vendor (including Oracle) who offers solutions (leverage the HLF) automatically adhere to industry standards. Blockchain platforms, such as Oracle’s Blockchain platform, ease the creation of a network. As a result, participants from different organizations can participate and work together.
Interoperability challenges such as governance, naming convention standards, and unified data models need to meet common consensus. For example, a consortium where participants mutually agree on following items, results into smooth blockchain network operations :
- Rules of participation,
- Sharing of cost and profits,
- Governance mechanism, and collective risk mitigation,
- Inclusion of analytics, auditing, and validation.
OBP offers a console to manage networks, channels, and users. It offers a REST proxy and various other infrastructure services to set up, build, and maintain a blockchain network. It’s built on top of Hyperledger Fabric and adds a lot of rich features to allow for the ease of operations, enhanced security, and high accessibility. Oracle OBP is a BaaS offering from Oracle, which has the potential to address enterprise DLT/blockchain use cases. Oracle offering includes infrastructure services and various embedded resources such as compute, containers, storage, event streaming, and identity management.
Features of OBP
OBP has the following features:
- Standard-based: Oracle BaaS’s core is Hyperledger Fabric; hence, it automatically adheres to industry standards. As a result, applications built on OBP are interoperable and compatible. This feature matches the BaaS qualifier standard listed in the previous section.
- Preassembled: Oracle’s blockchain platform includes a preassembled identity solution (Oracle’s identity management), object store (embedded archiving), and RESTful APIs. And it includes an operational console to configure and manage the entire blockchain business network. Onboarding of B2B partners to the blockchain network is simplified and partners can be verified with a built-in identity solution. This feature resembles the BaaS qualifers: quick setup, security, privacy, and chaincode management and monitoring.
- Pluggable: It offers integration services with Oracle Integration Cloud Service (OICS), which allows for quick integration with SaaS and PaaS applications.
- Enterprise–grade solution: It is a managed service with high availability, enhanced security, and continuous backup of ledgers. This feature resonates with the BaaS qualifier—resilience.
- Automated: Oracle’s autonomous database anchors OBP. Hence, it leverages the benefits of Oracle’s autonomous database, such as self-provisioning, auto upgrades, enhanced security, and monitoring. It auto-applies security patches without a downtime, enhancing security multifold and storing data in an encrypted state. It offers self-repairing features, which ensures the highest availability and reduces planned and unplanned downtime to less than two and a half minutes. This feature fits into the resilience and monitoring BaaS qualifiers.
- Privacy: Hyperledger Fabric offers channels and private data collection to allow the enterprise to conduct confidential transactions. The Oracle offering allows only approved peers to join channels. This feature fits with the security and privacy BaaS qualifiers.
Pre–built blockchain applications
The previous section listed OBP and its features. It also tried to match them with BaaS qualifiers. Almost all of the OBP features matched the BaaS qualifiers, except one (Eat your own pill). In this section, we will expand on the OBP features and match them with the Eat your own pill qualifier. This qualifier essentially displays the capability and maturity of BaaS offerings from a vendor. In this context, Oracle offers many applications that are built on OBP.
Oracle is the pioneer in creating SaaS-based blockchain applications that allow business applications to leverage blockchain technology for traceability, enhanced security, and streamlined consensus. These SaaS-based blockchain applications are built using OBP and run on Oracle’s cloud platform. They are seamlessly integrated with other SaaS applications, such as supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and other cloud-based applications. They are also integrated with machine learning applications and IoT and AI applications.
Such blockchain solutions solve common challenges faced by enterprises such as tracking, tracing, visibility, and root cause analysis. Blockchain is a technology that remembers. It is a technology that removes the hurdle in the tracking, tracing, and visibility of products. Oracle Blockchain Applications allow the tracking, tracing, and analytics for products through their supply chain cycle. These applications also allow root cause analysis and offer recommendations in challenging situations such as damaged products, delayed transportation, delayed delivery, and low quality.
Advantages of Pre-Build Blockchain Applications
While analyzing the blockchain solution and identifying the use cases. And also choosing the most relevant blockchain platform, it is strategically important to look at the core systems, business processes, and benefits the enterprise will reap from the inclusion of blockchain in your ecosystem. We are in an era of cloudifying (cloud) infrastructure, applications, and processes. Blockchain cloud platform is an excellent addition to your cloud strategy. Cloud and blockchain strategies go hand in hand with a vision toward the future of autonomous organizations. This book contains details and practices around Hyperledger Fabric and its realization though Oracle’s blockchain cloud platform. We will be going though this in detail in my latest book Oracle Blockchain Quick Start Guide.
Blockchain applications offer the following advantages:
- They offer pre-built solutions to common business challenges
- These applications are configurable. And it allows for the faster interconnection of applications with blockchain technology to meet business needs.
- It’s a one-stop shop to add B2B partners to blockchain business networks
- Enables quick solutions to business challenges and saves time for business
- Leads to business agility for SaaS and on-premise applications. Thus allowing them to quickly leverage the benefits of blockchain technology
- Seamlessly integrates IoT and AI-based applications
- Offers a pre-built analytics dashboard to enhance transparency, trust, and visibility among businesses, its partners, and suppliers
These applications offer solutions to business problems such as recalls, disputes, frauds, compliance issues, and counterfeits. They offer analysis and end-to-end traceability across the supply chain. They offer a pre-built dashboard, which surfaces IoT, AI, and blockchain transactions. This allows real-time insights for businesses. The following are the applications offered by Oracle (at the time of writing this book):
- Oracle Intelligent Track and Trace: It offers end-to-end asset tracking and tracing. It allows a digital footprint for each step and event in the process of the supply chain. It offers real-time insight into these events and each and every steps. Allows traceability in the process of the supply chain, from manufacturing to transportation, to sales and delivery.
- Oracle Product Lineage and Provenance: It allows users to verify the provenance of the product.
- Oracle Intelligent Cold Chain: It tracks the product’s state from manufacturing to sales and offers a full audit trail of it. It emits alterations for excursions and offers preventive recommendations.
- Oracle Warranty and Usage Tracking: It tracks high-value assets and offers a complete audit trail of an asset’s usage. These audit trails are verifiable logs and can be used for product warranty and liability claims.
Enterprises can transform their existing business processes and attain immediate benefits from these business-friendly applications. These applications allow enterprises to develop a blockchain network . And this allows secure, transparent, and efficient transactions with their suppliers and partners. Moreover, it solves common business problems with tracking, tracing, visibility, and root cause analysis. This is indeed the future for applications. Such applications work seamlessly with existing on-premise and cloud applications. Businesses can use out-of-the-box blockchain applications. And set up their blockchain business network with blockchain network templates. This allows them to expand and integrate with applications using pre-built integration. We are going to learn more about this practically in my latest book – Oracle Blockchain Quick Start Guide.