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Hyperledger Releases New Version of Burrow Featuring Improved Integration and Developer Experience

MMS Founder

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

In a recent blog post, the Hyperledger open source project announced the next version of Hyperledger Burrow v.0.21.0. Within this release, organizations can expect improved integration, key-signing, helm charts for Kubernetes and developer experience.

Hyperledger Burrow is a permissioned Ethereum smart-contract blockchain node that is capable of running Ethereum EVM smart contracts on a permissioned virtual machine. Some of the core capabilities of Burrow include transaction finality and high transaction throughput, in part, due to a Tendermint proof-of-stake consensus engine.

One of the key areas of investments for the Hyperledger Burrow project is an improved developer experience that allows organizations to easily build blockchain applications for their business. The project has achieved this by:

We have integrated a number of abstractions with the goal of making it even easier for developers looking to leverage the Ethereum Virtual Machine in a permissioned context to get started with the important aspect of building any business-for blockchain use case: namely the business logic encoded in the smart contract layer.

Within this release, the project calls out the following improvements:

•    Rewiring with protobuf types and GRPC interfaces across the board to facilitate robust integration points and RPC layers (replacing previous multiple RPCs)
•    Addition of a powerful ETL / execution event service to drive downstream services from smart contract events and to populate queriable datasets from smart contract objects
•    An integrated and harmonized key-signing daemon that can perform as a key-holding delegate for other services 
•    Massively improved burrow helm charts for Kubernetes which increase the flexibility and ease of booting complex networks within the popular container orchestration system. 
•    Bos (Monax’s deployment tool) has now been integrated as part of Burrow Deploy. Significantly, this includes an Apache2 licenced ABI, which we architected from scratch to the Ethereum community’s specification. This enables various Hyperledger projects to build Ethereum smart contract aware systems.
•    Monax’s burrow.js library has been refactored to utilize Burrow’s new GRPC interface, bringing noticeable improvements to the overall developer experience (not to mention better documentation).

Another important investment for Hyperledger Burrow was refactoring the governance transaction framework, known as govTx. The govTx framework allows network operators to modify validator sets, native tokens and permissions, all within a live network. This framework improvement is important as consensus mechanisms continue to evolve in both private and public blockchain architectures. As governance policies, such as Delegated Proof of Stake and committee voting continue to evolve, it is important to include flexibility to adopt future consensus advances. The benefit of using the govTx framework is:

govTx allows them [developers] to evolve their networks over time from POC to Pilot to Alpha to Beta to Production without needing to change their chain (unless they want to).

Moving forward, Hyperledger Burrow has provided a preview of what the project is going to be focusing on next. On-going investments include chain stability and operability features, including hardening, testing quality assurance and security of the codebase. The project is also focusing on how Hyperledger Burrow’s permissioned EVM runtime can complement other public and enterprise blockchain networks.

The latest version of Hyperledger Burrow can be downloaded from the project’s GitHub repository.

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