A Smart contract as the name suggests is a smart legal contract or an agreement between parties to perform particular action eliminating the need for a third party. But, have you ever worked directly with uploading Solidity contracts and interacting with their abi? If so, did you ever wonder why things had to be so complicated? Can there be a platform which could simplify creation of network by deploying smart contracts to the production phase? If Blockchain is really the future and Ethereum – one of its primary ecosystems, there has to be a simpler way of doing things.

To lower the difficulty level in working with Blockchain and to make this a seamless process, an extension was designed. It consisted of integration of Solidity and Smart Contracts, which work with Ethereum and Visual Studio. Once Visual Studio would receive the source for the contract along with the address of the user, it would post this to the bloc server. The default browser was then able to dynamically create html page of the smart contract, which would then be deployed. On entering the password for bloc server, the transactions could be done successfully. But creating a private network was still a concern.

BlockApps:

BlockApps came up with quick solutions to problem of creating a private network and deploying smart contracts by offering SaaS on Azure for the Developer Edition. This is where the BlockApps tool suite steps in, particularly BlockApps-Rest. BlockApps-Rest is an extremely lightweight, high-level JavaScript wrapper around the strato-api, blocserver, and cirrus services which enables rapid development of front end applications. There are other tools that serve the same purpose like- truffle, MIST wallet and online solidity compiler.

Some of the issues faced while working with them are:

# Truffle:

Debugging is a serious concern. Even if a single character gets missed, the generic debug messages don’t show errors. It becomes difficult to work as compilation takes a long time. There is no easy way to catch an exception or to identify where the exception was raised. So, if you end up writing a large Solidity file, it will be really difficult to figure out the errors.

# Online Solidity Compiler:

A lot of computing power is required because for each edit, recompilation takes place. Issues related to setting gas price and supporting some git-hub libraries are also a concern. BlockApps solves these issues very efficiently. It provides good debugging with enhanced feature of creating .bin and .sol file. Apart from this, the contracts are directly deployed to test network. BlockApps STRATO platform added a new feather to usability by introducing Cirrus. Cirrus enables users to expose crucial smart contract business data by using a simple RESTful API that accepts SQL style query parameters. Cirrus works as a search tool by indexing smart contracts business data in real time and exposing it via RESTful API which accepts SQL style query. Cirrus provides seamless reporting capabilities by indexing smart contract business data and storing it in a PostgreSQL database.

The Way Ahead..

The scalability, security and flexibility of using BlockApps will surely benefit organizations. The feature of interoperability with enterprise Applications via REST API will create real-time insights into smart contracts and make development easier. The possibilities of leveraging Blockchain as a Service will bring standard based Blockchain technologies into full production in coming years.

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Posted by Pratika Maheshwari

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