Oracle adds new devOps capabilities to blockchain platform

Some of the platform's new features are aimed at letting businesses and developers use their existing skills to build and manage their applications.

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Oracle is adding new features to the Oracle Blockchain Platform, making it easier for developers to integrate their blockchain applications with existing business and IT systems. About seven months after the platform became generally available, Oracle is also highlighting new customers using the nascent technology.

Also: Oracle introduces new enterprise digital assistant 

A blockchain, the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is a shared, distributed ledger that can store complete transaction histories. It has a variety of use cases for enterprises that want to rely on tamper-proof transactions to create new revenue streams or improve business operations. Oracle's platform makes blockchain technology available as a service.

Some of the platform's new features are aimed at letting businesses and developers use their existing skills to build and manage their applications. For instance, it features an enhanced world state database to support standard SQL-based ledger queries. This lets developers build chaincode with common programming skills. The platform also now supports Hyperledger Fabric 1.3, adding features such as  chaincode development in Java.

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Meanwhile, the new rich history database shadows transaction history into a relational database schema in Oracle's Autonomous Data Warehouse or other Oracle databases. This lets organizations integrate their transaction history into interactive analytics dashboards. Additionally, enhanced REST APIs should simplify integration with existing IT tools.

The updated platform also lets organizations use external identity providers for authentication. The feature should help consortium blockchains with many diverse participants, all of which may be using different identity management systems. Organizations can also now use third-party certificates to register client organizations on the blockchain network.

Among Oracle's recently-added blockchain customers are China Distance Education Holdings Limited, which uses blockchain to share educational records and professional certifications across multiple educational institutions. This helps employers and recruiters verify individuals' claimed educational credentials. Meanwhile, the business Circulor uses blockchain to track conflict minerals from their origin at mines to processing and use in electronic components. Other Oracle blockchain customers include Arab Jordan Investment Bank, CargoSmart, Certified Origins, HealthSync and ICS Financial Systems.

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