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FAQs

Last updated: July 31, 2019

General

What is Xooa?

Xooa is a serverless, consortium-less private ledger on the cloud. It is the easiest way to develop, test, run, and monitor enterprise blockchain apps.

It includes an automated deployment environment, GitHub integration, ready-baked connectors for popular cloud services, and more.

Xooa lets you rapidly add an immutable ledger or a consensus-based transaction environment to your IOT/M2M, financial services, enterprise software, and cybersecurity solutions.

The ledger can run entirely on the cloud or hybrid: add external peers at any time to maintain replicas of your data on your premises and on your terms.

Xooa is rewriting the cost-benefit equation for blockchain, making blockchain practicable for any developer in many more coding scenarios. No smoke and mirrors. Just a quick, robust, distributed, and immutable ledger – for free.

Why do developers choose Xooa?

Xooa Custom Smart Contracts allows blockchain developers to focus on writing, debugging, and testing blockchain code (smart contracts) by removing the need to set up and maintain a blockchain infrastructure, consortium, and middleware.
Xooa’s Deployment end points and Jenkins plugin allow developers to automate nightly builds and tests, increasing code quality while reducing testing efforts. Xooa’a API Gateway abstarcts the DLT (distributed ledger technology), allowing developers to swap DLT engine without changing client application code.

Xooa Managed Smart Contracts allows non-blockchain developers to put distributed ledger technology to use without having to code smart contracts. High level API end points are exposed for high level DLT use cases including: asset management, document management, voting, bonds, tokens, and blockchain-as-a-database (XLDB)

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

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

Finally, Xooa managed integrations allows developers to easily connect their apps to other cloud services.

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 network 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 unchanging 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, and others?

Xooa is the world only Serverless, Consortium-less, Enterprise Blockchain PaaS. Targeted at developers it is centered around productivity: ease-of-use, and automation for CI & CD. The platform 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 hybrid.

  • 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 end points 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 integration with popular cloud services including Docusign, Dropbox, Microsoft, QuickBooks, Node-RED, Google forms, Salesforce SmartThings, iOS shortcuts and Zapier
  • Provides a fully functional free tier

In contrast, Xooa does not currently offer UI based consortium orchestration or low level infrastructure management, typically offered by BaaS providers. That being said, Xooa can connect and support your own consortium even if deployed on other 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 committed to add support for new DLTs based on customers needs.

Xooa Managed Smart Contracts are using Hyperledger Fabric DLT.

Is a GitHub account required?

GitHub account is not mandatory. GitHub account is 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 allows 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 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.

Pricing

Is Xooa really free?

Yes. Xooa is committed to providing a functional, practical, and useful environment for your application development completely for free; no credit cards required. We are serious about making blockchain accessible to all developers, regardless of their budget.

Go to Products to learn more about the free tier and explore our other options.

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.

What makes a repo deployable as a Xooa app?

The GitHub repository you are deploying must have one or more smart contract source file and contain a xooa.yaml file. 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 add the xooa.yaml file to the root of your repo. The file tells Xooa where to find your chaincode (smart contract) and in what language it is written.

What is the Xooa API gateway?

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

Xooa API-GW provides an abstractions 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 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. 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 transaction were synced and stored locally.

External peers can run on any environment that runs docker.

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?

By default, external peers are observer (read-only) peers. If your use case requires an external peer to endorse transactions, please request your custom endorsement policy by emailing us.

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. However, for free accounts, we cannot guarantee when your data will be deleted, and it could persist even if you close your account. Premium and enterprise accounts do not have this limitation.

For Etheruem Custom Smart Contrcats, unless you are 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 read-only access to your ledger, including your Blockchain Ledger Explorer and external peers. You may revoke access at any time.