Microsoft’s distributed ledger blockchain services built on its Azure cloud offering are getting some new features, the software giant announced Friday, with the unveiling of Azure Blockchain Tokens preview, an enterprise-scale blockchain data manager and a development kit for Ethereum.
The company’s Azure-based blockchain-as-a-service offering, Azure Blockchain Service, launched in 2015 and since then has consistently expanded in features. The most recent addition is a preview of a simple mechanism that allows customers to tokenize physical or digital assets.
In Microsoft’s view, this new feature will accelerate the adoption of blockchain technology by businesses through simplifying the creation and management of regulatory compliant tokens that are built on industry standards.
To facilitate this, the Azure Blockchain Tokens preview provides pre-built templates for common scenarios and plans to support a gallery of templates created by partners in the future.
CEEK VR Inc. is an already existing partner of Microsoft that uses the Azure Blockchain Tokens platform to tokenize smart tickets that allow content creators to track content viewership. This ensures that royalty payouts to creators is based on trustworthy data.
“CEEK Virtual Reality was looking for a trusted partner to help us with content viewership verification on the blockchain,” said Mary Spio, chief technology officer at CEEK VR. “Azure Blockchain Tokens was perfect because it helped to drastically reduce our time to market and offered a trusted partner for providing proof on the blockchain.”
Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service is also previewing a new blockchain data manager service designed to provide enterprise-scale data integration.
The objective of the data manager is to simplify the management of blockchain data at scale allowing customers to focus on business logic. The blockchain data manager, in preview, captures blockchain ledger data, transforms it (including encrypted event and property state data) and delivers that information to multiple sources using Azure Event Grid.
The blockchain data manager supports multiple public and private transaction data formats and greatly simplifies the integration of existing applications with data the sits on a blockchain.
Finally, Microsoft is also adding additional developer tools to its blockchain suite by offering the brand-new Azure Blockchain Development Kit for Ethereum extension for Visual Studio Code.
Ethereum is a public blockchain used for business logic and designed around the execution of smart contracts, self-executing contracts that exchange tokens only when certain conditions are met. Ethereum is the second-largest blockchain in use globally with a $16.4 billion market cap, the only larger blockchain runs bitcoin.
Additional blockchain-related developer offerings from Microsoft include integration with the OpenZepplin smart contract creation tool and the Infura infrastructure tool for connecting to Ethereum.
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