Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced the next phase of blockchain development on its Azure cloud computing platform with the launch of the ‘Bletchley’ infrastructural substrate. At the same time, the firm has revealed the next level of detail regarding its roadmap of features for Cryptlets – components for building blockchain applications.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud-based business service, which supports multiple programming languages and provides for the creation of custom applications on Microsoft’s infrastructure. In October 2015 Azure added Ethereum support with the goal of allowing developers to easily experiment with new applications such as smart contracts, without them having to build the infrastructure from scratch or requiring an in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrencies. Banks and insurance companies are among the targeted clientele.
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Bletchley is first consortium blockchain template that allows Azure developers to create a private consortium Ethereum network from just a few to hundreds of nodes. Microsoft says it reduces the estimated 3 week process of setting up a globally distributed multi-node consortium Ethereum network down to just 8 questions and a simple single-click deployment in 5-8 minutes.
Referred to by Microsoft developers as “Blockchain 3.0”, Cryptlets are building blocks for a new layer of capability they are calling the Cryptlet Fabric, where these components can be developed, published and accessed in a standard way. They will be discoverable within developer, architect, and business process modeling tools for easy use and can be easily created, reused and sold.
Microsoft explains that Cryptlets provide a common and approachable way for developers to use cross cutting capabilities like integration into existing systems, secure execution and data, privacy, scalability in programming languages enterprise developers use most. With them Azure will offer the worldwide footprint that will allow Bletchley to offer a hyper-scale secure data and execution platform to help build next generation applications on any blockchain platform.