Microsoft released the Azure Blockchain Development Kit as open source on GitHub. The blockchain development kit addresses numerous blockchain scenarios and requirements. To deliver end to end blockchain solutions for consortiums, developers need to enable organizations, people, and devices to connect to the blockchain and do it from a heterogenous set of user interfaces. Take for example an end to end supply chain for a commodity such as cocoa, requiring:
- SMS and voice interfaces enable small hold farmers in Africa to transact and track their goods at the first mile of the supply chain.
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices deliver sensor data to track the conditions of the goods at different points in their journey to market – tracking the humidity in the containers where the beans are held to the temperature of the end product of ice cream that it is incorporated into.
- Mobile clients enable logistics providers to accept and transfer responsibility for products on their journey from manufacturer to retail using the compute power that already exists in the pockets of its employees. Mobile devices also have sensors such as GPS and cameras that can add complementary data that can help attest to the what, where, and when of deliveries.
- Backend Systems and Data in the form of ERP systems such as Dynamics and SAP are used to manage core processes for different participants. These systems also become clients via extension and need to interact with smart contracts to provide and receive attestable data on behalf of an organization.
- Bots and assistants enable manufacturers and retailers to interact with the supply chain. This includes interacting with smart contracts for orders and provenance using natural language and using attestable data from the blockchain to direct actions taken on behalf of a user.
- Web clients enable end consumers to query the origin of the product purchased at retail, typically a mix of provenance and story of their journey of their product from “farm to fork”.
The Azure Blockchain Development Kit includes samples for all of these scenarios, including inbound and outbound SMS, IVR, IoT Hub and IoT Central, Xamarin mobile client for iOS and Android, Dynamics integration via Common Data Service (CDS), bots and assistants (Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant) and web UX.