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FAQs

Last updated: November 11, 2019

General

What is Xooa?

Xooa is an enterprise blockchain cloud application platform. Xooa is focused on reducing barriers for enterprise blockchain adoption by making blockchain app development easier and faster, and enabling higher quality projects.

Is Xooa another blockchain technology?

Xooa is a cloud service (SaaS) rather than a technology. As such, there is no initial effort before users can begin benefiting from it. Xooa provides tooling-layer-as-a-service built on top of popular blockchain technologies such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

Is Xooa centralized or decentralized?

Xooa is distributable which means it is both centralized and decentralized. The ability to start centralized and move to distributed (without losing data) at any time is one of several core features that makes Xooa unique and valuable. Centralized databases are easier to experiment with and suited more for early stages such as rapid prototyping, demos, and POCs. Decentralized databases are normally used for later stages, such as go-live, when trust is facilitated using blockchain through decentralization.

Why do developers choose Xooa?

Developers choose Xooa because it enables them to be more productive, while avoiding technology lock-in.

Xooa allows developers to run endless mockups and demos that can be invoked at any time, on a permanently available private ledger with API endpoints. Code can be published directly from GitHub, through a local upload, or through Xooa’s VS Code extension.

Middleware is already baked-in, shifting the concern of API endpoints, queueing, and scalable asynchronous processing from the developer to Xooa.

Xooa Managed Integrations allows developers to easily connect their apps to other cloud services.

Xooa Custom Smart Contracts allow blockchain developers to focus on writing, debugging, and testing blockchain code (smart contracts) by removing the need to set up and maintain the blockchain infrastructure, consortium, or middleware. Logs are streamed to browser, allowing for in-browser debugging entirely on the cloud.

Xooa’s Deployment API endpoints and Jenkins plugin allow developers to automate nightly builds and tests, increasing code quality while reducing testing efforts. Xooa’s API Gateway abstracts the DLT (distributed ledger technology), allowing developers to swap DLT engines without changing client application code.

Xooa Managed Smart Contracts allow non-blockchain developers to put distributed ledger technology to use without having to code smart contracts. High level API endpoints are exposed to high level DLT use cases including: Asset Management, Record Management, Voting, Bonds, Tokens, and Blockchain-as-a-Database (XLDB)

Why do organizations choose Xooa?

Xooa significantly shortens time-to-app, allowing organizations to rapidly prototype and launch blockchain solutions. Xooa is also a dependable PaaS that can participate in an existing blockchain consortium to bolster its reliability and credibility, or act as the organization’s primary blockchain network.

Why blockchain?

The immutability of the blockchain ledger facilitates trust in ways never before possible. With blockchain, it is easy to share data with other people or organizations. They, in turn, can rely on the data to remain unchanged and auditable without the need to opaquely trust you. Other parties can optionally endorse transactions, ensuring new data cannot get into the ledger without their approval.

How is Xooa different from blockchain-as-a-service offerings from AWS, IBM, Azure and others?

Xooa runs on top of consortium hosted on any of those platforms, adding features that makes smart contract deployment easier and faster. Xooa does not require a deep understanding of blockchain or extensive DevOps efforts to create a robust build-test-deploy environment that runs entirely on the cloud or hybridly.

  • Choice of centralized or decentralized
  • A cloud based private ledger that is never deleted (your mockups and demos are always available online),
  • Includes an API gateway: provides a technologically agnostic way to access your ledger using REST
  • Includes a tooling layer with scalable queueing and asynchronous processing
  • Supports multiple blockchain technologies, including Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum
  • SDLC endpoints to facilitate Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
  • Allows you to easily share your blockchain data with others and add consortium-less external peers
  • Offers out-of-the-box integrations with popular cloud services including Docusign, Dropbox, Microsoft, QuickBooks, Node-RED, Google Forms, Salesforce, SmartThings, iOS shortcuts, and Zapier

In contrast, Xooa does not offer the consortium orchestration or low-level blockchain infrastructure management typically offered by BaaS providers. Xooa supports and complements consortiums that are deployed on most cloud BaaS providers or on-prem.

What distributed ledger technology does Xooa support?

For Custom Smart Contracts, Xooa currently supports Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum DLTs. We continually evaluate other DLTs and are committed to adding support for new DLTs based on customers needs.

Xooa Managed Smart Contracts are using Hyperledger Fabric DLT.

Is a GitHub account required?

A GitHub account is not mandatory. GitHub accounts are required for fetching the smart contract from your private GitHub repository. GitHub is completely free.

What is the difference between private and public blockchain?

Public blockchain networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum MainNet allow anyone to run a peer and view the ledger. Data you submit to a public blockchain ledger does not remain private.

Private blockchain networks such as those enabled by Hyperledger Fabric or Enterprise Ethereum are Xooa’s primary use case. Private blockchains allow the creators of the network (consortium) to control who participates in the network, who endorses transactions, who can view the ledger, and what parts of the ledger can be viewed by members (depending on the technology). The downside of private blockchain networks is that they are time consuming and expensive to reliably deploy and maintain. Xooa solves this problem and offers the best of both worlds.

XLDB

What is Xooa Ledger Database (XLDB)?

XLDB is the easiest and most direct way to put blockchain to use. It allows developers and business users to utilize blockchain like a regular database without needing to understand or deploy smart contracts.

XLDB consists of two databases: a mutable document datastore called the state database (or World State), and an immutable database called the transaction database or simply the ledger. The ledger is an append-only, and is cryptographically protected against tampering with blockchain technology.

How is data written to XLDB?

XLDB is accessed using Xooa Console, the API Gateway, or one of the readymade integrations.

How does XLDB compare to AWS QLDB?

Both XLDB and QLDB are cloud-native cryptographically-verifiable ledger databases; both allow developers to use blockchain like a database; both remove the need to manage blockchain infrastructure or write smart contracts.

QLDB, however, only offers a single-party centralized trust model. In contrast, XLDB offers either a centralized or a multi-party distributed trust model. That is, QLDB relies on all participants trusting Amazon but with XLDB participants can determine their own trust entities.

Another difference between QLDB and XLDB is that QLDB is designed to be similar to a relational database management systems (RDBMS), with an SQL-like syntax. XLDB is more like a document datastore, rather than an RDBMS: optimized to allow rich queries on unstructured JSON documents, without sacrificing performance.

Can XLDB users decentralize trust?

XLDB users can employ a multi-party trust model at any time. They can start with a centralized trust model, and then switch to multi-party trust at any future point in time. To use multi-party trust, users simply add external peers. An external peer will then “catch-up” with the entire XLDB state and transaction database as though a multi-party trust model was enabled from the beginning.

Platform idioms

What are Xooa apps?

Xooa apps are smart contracts. In blockchain terminology, smart contracts refer to the code that processes transactions.

How are Xooa apps deployed?

Every Xooa app is deployed via the Xooa console. The console uses the GitHub integration to simplify deployment, automatically searching through either private or public repositories for a deployable smart contract. Alternatively, you can upload the smart contract or write directly in the IDE on Xooa console.

What makes a repo deployable as a Xooa app?

The GitHub repository you are deploying must have one or more smart contract source files. xooa.yaml is an optional file which you can add along with the smart contract. This file tells Xooa the programming language, blockchain implementation, and path of the smart contract.

How can I deploy Hyperledger Fabric chaincode on Xooa?

No changes are needed to your chaincode. Just deploy the smart contract using one of the deployment options on Xooa.

What is the Xooa API gateway?

The Xooa API gateway (API-GW) provides permanent RESTful endpoints that allow applications and cloud services to interact with your smart contract.

Xooa API-GW provides an abstraction layer on top of the blockchain implementation. For example, a client application can switch between Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric without making changes to the application.

All interactions with the API-GW requires authentication using the API token associated with an identity. You can create and manage identities through the Xooa console.

You can call the API directly from the Xooa API sandbox. We‘ve even made the sandbox responsive, so you can use it from your phone.

What programming languages are supported by the API-GW?

Native libraries are available for JavaScript, Node.JS, Go, Python, PHP, Java, C#, and Swift. Xooa is continuously releasing new API SDKs and libraries, with other languages supported through REST.

What is an external peer?

You can make full use of blockchain by extending the reach of your smart contracts outside of Xooa using external peers.

Observing peer

The feature provides a ready-to-deploy docker-compose file and crypto materials that automatically deploy a local container for a blockchain peer. A local Blockchain Ledger Explorer, accessible via browser, makes it easy to validate transactions that were synced and stored locally.

External observing peers can run on any environment that runs docker.

Endorsing peer

The feature allows you to connect to an endorsing peer which may be created on premises or a cloud provider. An endorsing peer allows you to set up endorsing policies for an app.

Running external peers is not mandatory. An external peer that acts as an observer does not need to be always connected or to have a static IP address, making small-scale development and experimentation easy.

Writing Programs

How do I submit transactions for processing by my smart contract?

To submit transactions to your smart contracts, use the Invoke API end point of your app. You can get the URI for your app from the Xooa console.

How do I allow an external peer to endorse a transaction?

You can follow the details about endorsing peers mentioned here.

Which integrations are available?

Xooa continually creates new integrations and sample apps. We currently offer native open source integrations for QuickBooks, Salesforce, Google Forms, Dropbox, Docusign, Node-RED, iOS shortcuts, Samsung SmartThings and Microsoft-Flow, PowerApps, Logic Apps platforms, as well as closed source integration for practically any cloud service through Zapier (some integrations may require a premium Zapier account).

Our sample apps are available on the Xooa public GitHub repo:

https://github.com/Xooa/samples

For integrations, see:

https://docs.xooa.com/integrations.html

Rights and Privacy

Can I keep my smart contract source private?

Yes. Your code is private on Xooa and we fully support private GitHub repositories.

Does Xooa have rights to my app?

No. The apps you write are yours and yours alone. Okay, maybe your employer has something to say about it, but we certainly don’t.

Can anyone else access my blockchain ledger?

For XLDB, Xooa Managed Smart Contracts, and Hyperledger Fabric Custom Smart Contracts, only you control who can access your data. Xooa will never use, sell, or otherwise share your data with anyone.

For Ethereum Custom Smart Contracts, unless you are an Enterprise customer, you share the same Etheruem ledger with other Xooa tenants, and your data may be accessed by anyone over the internet.

Can I get my data out of Xooa?

Easily. You can move your data to your server at any time, the process is entirely in your control. You can redeploy to any platform running the same blockchain technology and version without modification.

To export your ledger, deploy an external peer through the Xooa console. When syncing completes, your data will be on the external peer. In order to bootstrap an external peer, you will need to create a new blockchain network, because we do not export crypto material beyond what is provided for download on the console.

What is blockchain data sharing in Xooa?

This is an easy way to grant others full admin access or read-only access to just your ledger, including your Blockchain Ledger Explorer and external peers. You may revoke access at any time.