Open-source software isn’t so much built, it grows.
And today, the open-source blockchain consortium Hyperledger has announced that its first production-ready solution for building applications, Fabric, has finished that process.
But even before the formal release of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 today, hundreds of proofs-of-concept had been built. With contributions to the platform for building shared, distributed ledgers across a number of industries (coming from 159 different engineers in 28 organizations), no single company owns the platform, which is hosted by the Linux Foundation.
For those going forward with that work, the group’s executive director Brian Behlendorf indicated that production-grade functionality is just a download and a few tweaks away.
Behledorf told CoinDesk:
“It’s not as easy as drop in and upgrade. But the intent is that anyplace where there were changes, that those changes will be justified.”
Once existing users of Fabric’s previous versions “grab” the new version 1.0 code, as Behlendorf described the process, a few changes to the interface will need to be made, and any changes made to the “Chaincode” already being used from the earlier version will need to be modified.
While changes to the application programming interface (API) that integrates a user’s software with Fabric were kept to a minimum, Behlendorf said the improvements will be noticeable.
Specifically, he highlighted improved support for Fabric’s “private channels,” which enable transactions in a “subset of the broader chain” with the same degree of reliability as the overall network.
According to Behlendorf, these improvements are fundamental for providing varying degrees of access to information (such as a provenance tracking company that needs to prove the origin of an object to its very source), while still protecting the price paid in a business transaction, for example.
“You’ll still be able to provide proof of those transactions to the broader network if you ever need,” he explained. “But at least on that private channel you can get the speed and confidentiality that you get with direct connection.”
Already in use
Even before today’s launch, an unknown number of companies were already building increasingly mature products using earlier versions of Fabric.