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Introduction to interoperability

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2020

A consortium is a trusted distributed network. In theory, nodes in a consortium are independently controlled by participants, and the participants can select the deployment environments of nodes based on their business requirements. However, many blockchain services require that all nodes in a consortium be deployed in the same cloud environment. This imposes difficulties in consortium building for enterprises whose IT infrastructure is deployed on clouds of different vendors or in different private networks.

The Hyperledger Fabric community provides an interoperability solution to fix this issue. It allows users to deploy Hyperledger Fabric nodes in different environments based on their business requirements and interconnects these nodes to form a business network. The nodes can be used to manage the business network, execute smart contracts, and reach a consensus on the states of smart contracts.

Alibaba Cloud BaaS is one of the core contributors to the development of interoperability and applies interoperability in actual use. Hyperledger Fabric organizations in Alibaba Cloud BaaS and external Hyperledger Fabric organizations can join the same channel. The ordering service can be implemented in or out of Alibaba Cloud BaaS.

External Hyperledger Fabric organizations include but are not limited to the following types:

  1. Hyperledger Fabric organizations created on blockchain platforms of other vendors
  2. Hyperledger Fabric organizations created by users
  3. Hyperledger Fabric organizations in Alibaba Cloud Apsara Stack BaaS

For more information, see Add an external organization to an internal channel and Add an internal organization to an external channel.

Note: You must submit a ticket to the Alibaba Cloud support team to activate interoperability. Currently, you can add Hyperledger Fabric organizations in different environments to the same channel. However, you cannot combine them to form a consortium. This does not affect the business.