Accelerating blockchain adoption in the enterprise

3D blockchain model rendering

The mission for our blockchain investments has remained steadfast since the beginning, with the goal of democratizing complex technologies and creating connections across organizational boundaries to solve shared problems in a trusted manner. With this in mind, our roadmap has been focused on building an open and scalable platform to advance the adoption of blockchain in the enterprise.

We have seen this approach resonate with our customers time and time again. A real-world example powered by Azure blockchain technology is GE Aviation’s next-generation blockchain solution that tracks the genealogy of engine parts to improve productivity and safety for airlines. 

"Microsoft has taken blockchain from an art and transformed it into a science by fundamentally improving each aspect of the software stack. We’ve benefited from the innovation of no-code logic apps for data ingestion, off-chain storage with Azure SQL Database and Azure Cosmos DB, and analytics visualization via Power BI. The rich integration of these Azure services with Azure Blockchain Service and Azure Blockchain Workbench have enabled us to get our solutions into the hands of our customers much faster with a lot less complexity." – David Havera, Blockchain Leader, GE Aviation Digital Group

With this in mind, we're announcing a wave of innovation designed to simplify and accelerate blockchain adoption across the whole stack.

Accelerating blockchain adoption with Microsoft Azure Blockchain Tokens

Since launching Azure Blockchain Service, our customers have asked for a simple mechanism to tokenize physical or digital assets to accelerate blockchain deployments. Today, we’re launching the preview of Azure Blockchain Tokens, which simplifies the ability to define, create, and manage compliant tokens that are built on industry standards. Azure Blockchain Tokens (preview) provide pre-built templates for common scenarios and will support a gallery of templates created by partners in the future. With this latest offering, we can now offer customers an end-to-end experience of easily creating and managing tokens for physical or digital assets via Azure Blockchain Tokens (preview), in addition to managing the blockchain network itself via Azure Blockchain Service.

CEEK Virtual Reality, a streaming platform for live and recorded virtual and augmented reality experiences, uses Azure Blockchain Tokens to create a trusted platform for royalty payments. Smart tickets (a form of a token) allow content creators to track content viewership, ensuring royalty payout to creators is based on trusted data.

"CEEK Virtual Reality was looking for a trusted partner to help us with content viewership verification on the blockchain, and Azure Blockchain Tokens was perfect because it helped to drastically reduce our time to market and offered a trusted partner for providing proof on the blockchain." – Mary Spio, CTO, CEEK VR

Enhancing Azure Blockchain Service with blockchain data manager and additional ledger choice

Azure Blockchain Service has seen fantastic adoption since launch, with customers using it to simplify the management and formation of their blockchain networks so they can focus on business logic. Today, we’re making Azure Blockchain Service even better with the preview of blockchain data manager. Blockchain data manager (preview) is a new feature of Azure Blockchain Service that captures blockchain ledger data, transforms it (including decoding encrypted event and property state data), and then delivers that data to multiple sources via Azure Event Grid to off-chain databases like Azure Cosmos DB or Azure SQL Database. Blockchain data manager (preview) supports both public and private transaction data and greatly simplifies the cumbersome task of integrating existing applications with data that sits on a blockchain ledger.

In addition to simplifying blockchain data integration into existing applications, providing choice and flexibility is central to our investments in Azure Blockchain Service. Corda Enterprise joins Ethereum as an additional distributed ledger technology available within the service. For customers who prefer Hyperledger Fabric, an Azure Marketplace template using Azure Kubernetes Service is available for use starting today.

Investing in developer tools

Of course, accelerating blockchain enterprise adoption is only possible with developers. We are continuing to build on our investments for blockchain developers with updates to the  Azure Blockchain Development Kit for Ethereum extension for Visual Studio Code. These investments improve the productivity of developers, whether they are building an application on top of a blockchain network, or connecting a backend system to produce or consume blockchain data.

Recent investments in popular tools like OpenZeppelin integration provide easy discoverability and use of popular smart contracts for common developer needs. In addition to our focus on private blockchain developers, we are making sure public blockchain developers are equally well supported with investments in public chain tools, including Infura project integration. Adding native Infura integration to our Visual Studio Code extension makes it easy to create, interact with, and deploy to Infura projects. These developer tools integrate with Visual Studio Code and available free of charge.

Continuous innovation supports your blockchain journey

Blockchain is an exciting and dynamic industry, and we remain committed to simplifying adoption in the enterprise across scenarios like supply chain visibility and traceability and royalty reconciliation, among others. With investments that span the whole stack—from developer tools to Azure infrastructure services and Azure managed services—enterprise adoption of blockchain is easier than ever.

Next steps

Azure. Invent with purpose.

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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