Microsoft just released its own blockchain platform they’re calling “Azure Blockchain Workbench”. The announcement came by way of a May 7th blog post by Matthew Kerner who serves as the General Manager of Microsoft Azure.

This new blockchain platform was made especially for helping users develop blockchain-based applications, and dramatically reduce app development time from months to days.

Kerner laid out the key elements of the platform and said that it can,

  • Associate blockchain identities with federated identity systems through Azure Active Directory for single sign-on, and for simplified consortium identity management.
  • Store secrets and keys securely with Azure Key Vault.
  • Ingest and manage the events required to trigger smart contracts using Service Bus and Event Grid.
  • Use the included signing, hashing and routing tools to transform messages into the format expected by the blockchain’s native API.
  • Synchronize on-chain data with off-chain storage and databases to more easily generate business insights from ledger data.
  • Easily integrate blockchain workflows with existing systems and applications using tools like Logic Apps.
  • Extend capabilities with a REST-based API for client development and a message-based API for system-to-system integration.

Microsoft also has a two part video explaining how blockchain technology works (see below). If you’re unfamiliar with blockchain and would really like to understand how it operates and what it’s all about, this is a great way to familiarize yourself with it.

In addition to learning how decentralized digital currencies such as with Bitcoin and Ethereum work, understanding blockchain technology will give you a better understanding of just how important it is for so many industries around the world.