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Microsoft announces new blockchain development kit, extending capabilities for developers

Azure Blockchain Development Kit

Microsoft launches Azure Blockchain Development Kit to help businesses create distributed ledgers for various use cases and to extend developer capabilities. 

Microsoft has announced a new serverless blockchain development kit powered by its intelligent cloud platform – Azure.

The new service dubbed the “Azure Blockchain Development Kit” is designed to facilitate seamless integration of blockchain with the best of Microsoft and other third-party SaaS offerings.

This kit extends the capabilities of our blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications.” – Marc Mercuri Principal Program Manager, Blockchain Engineering, wrote in a blog.

The initial release will focus on three major capabilities –

  • Integrating data and systems
  • connecting interfaces
  • deploying smart contracts and blockchain networks

The new product will enable organizations and individuals to connect to blockchain through user interfaces. The development kit includes voice interfaces, SMSes, internet of things, support for mobile clients, device integration, virtual assistants, and bots.

The development kit will provide voice and SMS interfaces for the purpose of tracking and supply chain solutions. It will have support for mobile OS like Android and iOS.

Microsoft further pointed out that the new product will be compatible with other ledger technologies as well like Ethereum and Bitcoin.

Along with this development kit, Microsoft also announced releasing a set of Flow Connectors and Logic Apps for blockchain. The Ethereum Blockchain connector will enable users to call contract actions, deploy contracts, trigger other Logic Apps, and read contract state.

End to end blockchain solutions require integration with data, software, and media that live “off chain. Mercuri wrote.

External updates and events can trigger actions on smart contracts. Smart contract events and state changes can then trigger actions and data updates to “off chain” systems and data. These external systems and AI will also need the ability to query attestable data from smart contracts to inform action.” – he further added.

Microsoft’s new offering is a next step in their endeavor to simplify and speed up blockchain accessibility and affordability to anyone who has an idea. Based on the serverless architecture, it will further reduce costs, bringing it within the reach of every blockchain enthusiast, ISV and enterprise.

The Azure Blockchain Development Kit is built atop Microsoft’s investments in blockchain technology and connects to Azure’s compute, storage, data and integration services.

Over the past years, the Redmond giant has been working on extending the use of Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies. By creating new digital identities, it wants to enhance personal security, privacy and control.

IBM, AWS and Google also recently launched similar blockchain development kits. However, it would be interesting to see how developers will think of it and what projects they can build through it.

To facilitate understanding, Microsoft has also launched a white paper explaining how to deploy any decentralized application using the development kit. You can download it here.

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