Microsoft has taken the next step in its evolving blockchain-as-a-service offering with the introduction of Enterprise Smart Contracts.
The tech giant launched its Azure blockchain service in November 2015. In 2016, Project Bletchley was announced, which would allow users to create private consortium Ethereum networks.
The company has found that the larger challenge for their customers is how to build applications on top of these new distributed networks.
“Our customers and partners often say to us, ‘Ok, you’ve made it easy for me to stand up these blockchain networks, but what do I do now?'” principal program manager, Marley Gray wrote in a blog post.
Enterprise Smart Contracts is Microsoft’s attempt to provide an answer to this question. The contracts give users the schema, logic, counterparties, external sources, ledger and contract binding features they need to build on top pf blockchain.
Enterprise smart contracts have slightly different requirements then public smart contracts. While public contracts execute on every single computer on a said network, but this is not needed for enterprise. Rather, one of the key benefits of Enterprise Smart Contracts is the ability to execute terms ‘off-chain’.
Microsoft claims this allows for ‘vastly more flexible performance, scalability, privacy, versioning and an enterprise friendly architecture and development environment.’
The cloud allows smart contracts to be executed on a massive scale, while ensuring that it is only the counterparties share the running costs.
Whether or not transactions are private or not depends on the underlying blockchain.