What does ‘Hyperledger’ mean?
Neither a company nor a cryptocurrency and not a Blockchain, Hyperledger is a hub for open industrial Blockchain development. According to the official Hyperledger website, ‘Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry Blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by the Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and technology.’ Launched in 2015 by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger was developed to create an environment in which disparate communities of software developers and companies meet and coordinate to build Blockchain frameworks.
As a consortium of Blockchain-based software companies, Hyperledger today features more than 100-member companies including market giants such as Airbus, IBM, Fujitsu, SAP, Nokia, Intel, Samsung, American Express, J.P. Morgan, BNP Paribas, Wells Fargo, Blockstream, Netki, Factom, ConsenSys, etc.
All Hyperledger projects follow a methodology that includes an approach, interoperability, and highly secure solutions, and it helps in the development of easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs). The architecture of Hyperledger comprises the following business Blockchain components:
- Consensus layer: This layer is responsible for confirming the transactions of a block and generates an agreement on an order.
- Smart Contract layer: The smart contract layer processes transaction requests and determines whether the transactions are valid or not by executing the business logic.
- Communication layer: In a shared ledger, this communication layer transports associative messages between the nodes that participate.
- Datastore abstraction: This layer permits diverse information stores to be utilized by different modules.
- Crypto abstraction: It allows distinctive crypto calculations or modules to be traded out without influencing different modules.
- Identity services: This enables the foundation of a base of trust during the arrangement of a Blockchain occurrence, the enlistment and enrollment of personalities or framework substances during a network activity, and the administration of changes such as drops, adds, and denials. Likewise, it also gives validation and approval.
- Policy services: In the system, policy services are responsible for the management of various policies such as the endorsement policy, consensus policy, or group management policy. To enforce various policies, it interfaces and depends on other modules also.
- APIs: APIs enable customers and applications to have an interface of Blockchains.
- Interoperation: It is used to explore consensus. Generating an agreement on order and validating the correctness of the set of transactions in a block is the goal of consensus, and it also supports the interoperation between various Blockchain instances.
Hyperledger Projects: Frameworks
An umbrella project of open-source Blockchain frameworks and related tools, Hyperledger supports big industry players to support the collaborative development of Blockchain-based distributed ledgers. Hyperledger has been responsible for certain projects. They are listed down for your reference:
Contributed by Monax and sponsored by Intel, Burrow is a Blockchain client that develops a permissible smart contract machine, along with the specification of Ethereum.
Watch this Hyperledger video
Contributed by Soramitsu, Iroha is the project of a couple of Japanese companies that focus on mobile applications aimed at creating an easy-to-incorporate framework for Blockchains.
This Hyperledger project supports independent identities on distributed ledgers and offers tools, libraries, and reusable components for providing digital identities rooted on Blockchains or other distributed ledgers.
Hyperledger Projects: Tools
A plethora of tools exists for building Blockchain applications in Hyperledger. Here’s a detailed list pertaining to their descriptions and specific use cases.
An Application Development Framework (ADF) for building Blockchain business networks using Hyperledger Fabric framework, Hyperledger Composer enables business owners and developers to create smart contracts and Blockchain applications to solve business problems. This tool can be leveraged to model business networks including assets and transactions and integrate existing systems and data with Blockchain applications.
This Blockchain module toolkit helps devise and deploy Blockchain-as-a-Service platforms to provision customizable Blockchain networks in easier, faster, and seamless manners. One can check the system status, adjust chain numbers, scale resources, and pull off several important yet difficult tasks through dashboards provided by the toolkit. The life cycle of Blockchains can also be managed using this tool. Provided that you are an infrastructure engineer, Hyperledger Cello is your go-to tool for managing Blockchain networks from an IT perspective.
Primarily, this tool facilitates the transfer of value or interoperability across distributed and non-distributed ledgers. Using Hyperledger Quilt, a user who is registered with one Blockchain network can securely transfer values to another user who is registered on another Blockchain network. Based on the Interledger Protocol (ILP), this tool supports routing payments across different digital asset ledgers while isolating senders and receivers from the risk of intermediary failures. PS: It is yet to be released.
Hyperledger Blockchain Explorer
This tool is an explorer, the features and functionalities of which can be leveraged to view, invoke, deploy, or query blocks, transactions and associated data, network information, chain codes, and transaction families. Also, it supports Rest APIs for getting access to block information, transactions, peer status, transaction channel information, block counts on specific channels, creating and updating channels, and instantiating specific transaction channels. Not only does the Hyperledger Blockchain explorer provide ease of visibility but also it facilitates operations with the Hyperledger Fabric network.
Hosted by the Linux Foundation itself, Hyperledger Caliper is a Blockchain benchmark tool that allows users to scale the performance of specific Blockchain implementations with a set of predefined use cases. This tool produces reports that include performance indicators. The results of these indicators can be used by other Hyperledger projects to build and deploy case-specific frameworks.