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What is BaaS?

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2020

Alibaba Cloud BaaS (Blockchain as a Service ) is an enterprise-level PaaS (Platform as a Service) based on leading blockchain technologies, and is powered by Ant Financial Blockchain Team. This service helps you build a stable, secure blockchain environment, and manage the deployment, operation, maintenance, and development of blockchains easily. Alibaba Cloud BaaS enables you to focus on business innovation.

Blockchain establishes a peer-to-peer network where each participant in the network has access to a shared ledger. Transactions and history records cannot be removed or altered. The smart contract and consensus algorithms enable transactions between multiple participants and confirm the transactions and ledger records.

Why blockchain on Alibaba Cloud?

  • Alibaba Cloud BaaS is built on Alibaba Cloud Container Service for Kubernetes clusters. It leverages the capabilities of Alibaba Cloud in databases, security, maintenance, and computing. Alibaba Cloud BaaS provisions blockchain services based on multiple architectures, such as public cloud deployments and private cloud deployments.

  • Alibaba Cloud BaaS supports mainstream open source blockchain technologies Hyperledger Fabric and Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum, and also supports proprietary financial-grade blockchain technology Ant Blockchain, satisfying various requirements.

    • Hyperledger Fabric is an open source enterprise-class blockchain technology hosted by Linux Foundation. Hyperledger Fabric has a modular architecture, and allows components, such as consensus and membership services, to be plug-and-play.
    • Ant Blockchain is a proprietary finanical-grade blockchain technology developed by Ant Financial, providing high performance, global deployment and strict privacy protection.
    • Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum is an enterprise-focus version of Ethereum, developed by J.P. Morgan, and is compliant with the specification of EEA (Enterprise Ethereum Alliance).

whatis1

-Alibaba Cloud BaaS helps users quickly create and deploy a production-level blockchain environment, and provides graphical interfaces for blockchain management and operation. Enterprises and businesses can be dynamically added to the blockchain network. This service simplifies development and reduces the development time with pre-configured networks and infrastructure.

  • The consortium blockchain network is built on the Alibaba Cloud BaaS. This network relies on the multi-tenant isolation of cloud computing, including the isolation of computing, storage, and network resources. Business participants are independent and can manage their own resources separately.
  • This service provides a cross-regional network for participants in different regions. For example, as shown in the following figure, operators and participants in a consortium blockchain network can be deployed in three different cities.

whatis2-Alibaba Cloud provides a wide range of methods for you to integrate the blockchain service into your applications. You can create resources on demand and scale up the deployment easily. Additionally, this service provides advanced protection for data security and privacy. You can select the services that best suit your business needs at the optimal costs.

For more information, see Product advantages.

Product editions

Hyperledger Fabric and Ant Blockchain both provide multiple product editions for your choice. For a detailed description and comparison of these product editions, see Product editions.

How to use Alibaba Cloud blockchain service

Hyperledger Fabric

  1. Create a blockchain network

    You can manually create organizations, create and join a consortium, and create a channel. For more information, see Operation process.

  2. Deploy chaincodes

    This step includes uploading, installing, and instantiating the chaincode. For more information, see Deploy chaincodes.

  3. Access the blockchain network

    This step includes Manage users and Access a blockchain network.

Ant Blockchain

The consortium manager applies to create a consortium blockchain, and then invites other consortium participants to join the blockchain. Consortium participants can visit the consensus nodes and perform read and write operations after they accept the invitation. The detailed procedure is as follows.

  1. Activate the blockchain service.

    For more information about how to activate the BaaS service on the homepage of BaaS, see Purchase Guide.

  2. Create or join a blockchain.

    You can apply to join a blockchain or create a consortium blockchain in the console. For more information, see Manage consortium blockchains.

  3. Manage a blockchain.

    After you log on to the console, you can invite other users to join your consortium blockchain, review the applications made by consortium participants, manage nodes, and view blockchain details on the management page. For more information, see Create a consortium.

  4. Connect to the blockchain network.

    For more information about how to connect to the blockchain network, see Development Guide.

Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum

  1. Create a blockchain network

    You can create a Enterprise Ethereum - Quorum blockchain network in BaaS Console. For more information, see Create a blockchain network.

  2. Manage blockchains

    You can invite Alibaba Cloud users to join a Quorum network, and then add Quorum nodes from Alibaba BaaS. For more information, see Invite a user of Alibaba Cloud BaaS to join and Add a new node from Alibaba Cloud BaaS. You can also directly add Quorum nodes from other cloud platforms (e.g. AWS, Azure) or from on-premise environments. For more information, see Add a new node from another environment.

  3. Deploy smart contracts

    After smart contracts are developed, you can start to compile and deploy smart contracts, and then send transactions to invoke the contract. For more information, see Use solc to compile smart contracts, Deploy a smart contract using geth and Send a transaction using geth.

Alibaba Cloud BaaS API

Alibaba Cloud BaaS API is an extension to the native API of underlying blockchain technologies. It not only simplifies the complex processes of using native API for management and invocation, but can also operate both the blockchain objects and cloud resource objects related with BaaS. BaaS API allows users to manage and maintain blockchain consortium, organization, peer, channel, smart contract, log, configuration, etc. in a much easier way.

BaaS API supports both HTTP and HTTPS requests, and requires Access Key and Access Key Secrect generated with Alibaba Cloud account for authentication, in order to guarantee the security of API invocation.

Besides, you can also leverage Alibaba Cloud OpenAPI Explorer, a web-based GUI tool, for quick search and visual debugging of BaaS API.

If you are interested to learn and use BaaS API, please refer to the API Reference.