Linux Foundation plans tool for building blockchain business networks

The Linux Foundation announced a new software project under its Hyperledger open consortium aimed at creating a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks -- or smart contracts -- and their deployment across a distributed ledger.

The new project, called Hyperleder Composer, is a modeling language based on JavaScript and with REST API support, that allows non-developers and developers to model their business network. The language also supports modeling of relationships and data validation rules.

For example, all blockchain business networks share certain elements, such as assets, participants, identities, transactions, and registries. With existing blockchain or distributed ledger technologies, it can be difficult for organizations to take a blockchain business use case and map the concepts into running code.

Similar to public relational databases, blockchain is a public electronic ledger that can be openly shared among disparate users and that creates an unchangeable record of their transactions, each one time-stamped and linked to the previous one.

Blockchain ledgers can only be updated by consensus between participants in the system, and when new data is entered, it can never be erased. The blockchain contains a true and verifiable record of each and every transaction ever made in the system.

One of the most popular uses of blockchain is for "smart contracts," which allow electronic transactions to self-execute based on preset terms and conditions.

Hyperledger, is a global, open source collaborative effort hosted by the Linux Foundation to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.

All work done on Composer to date has been done on top of Hyperledger Fabric, a platform for developing applications atop the blockchain distributed ledger.

Composer, however, has been designed so that it can be ported to run on other distributed ledger technologies, such as Hyperledger Iroha, a way to incorporate the blockchain distributed ledger into business infrastructure projects, or Hyperledger Sawtooth, a modular blockchain suite.

Last year, Intel proposed its version of code for Sawtooth called "Sawtooth Lake," a modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers, which it submitted to the Hyperledger blockchain project.

Another current project under Hyperledger is Burrow, a smart contract system built in part to the Ethereum Virtual Machine specification - a block application platform.