Microsoft launches Azure-based blockchain development kit

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Another blockchain project has been announced by Microsoft which aims to integrate blockchain and its cloud services

Microsoft has released a blockchain development kit for its Azure platform, designed with smooth integration between blockchain and its third-party SaaS in mind.

The company said the tools are widely used by businesses taking their first steps towards reinventing the way they do business. The technology and tools have already been used to create projects such as democratising supply chain financing in Nigeria to tracking British crops from farm to fork.

This iteration of the SDK will focus on three key areas: creating connections between blockchain and other interfaces involved in the business process such as mobile clients and IoT; integration with data, software, and media that lives "off chain" such as office documents and CAD files; deploying smart contracts for implementation with business networks.

"This kit extends the capabilities of our blockchain developer templates and Azure Blockchain Workbench, which incorporates Azure services for key management, off-chain identity and data, monitoring, and messaging APIs into a reference architecture that can be used to rapidly build blockchain-based applications," Said Marc Mercuri, principal program manager at Microsoft's Blockchain Engineering division, in a blog post.

The kit is designed to streamline processes and lower the barrier to entry for developers wanting to create end-to-end blockchain applications.

"The Azure Blockchain Development Kit is the next step in our journey to make developing end to end blockchain applications accessible, fast, and affordable to anyone with an idea," said Mecuri. "It is built atop our investments in blockchain and connects to the compute, data, messaging, and integration services available in both Azure and the broader Microsoft Cloud to provide a robust palette for a developer to realize their vision."

This announcement follows plans for another blockchain project earlier this year - to provide decentralised IDs (DIDs) via an Authenticator app. After thinking about how users grant consent to a myriad of apps and services, users should have something that allows them to easily control access their digital identity, Ankur Patel, principal programme manager at Microsoft's Identity Division, said. Microsoft said it has explored a range of different decentralised storage systems, but found blockchains provided the most robust protocols for enabling DIDs.