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FAQs and Resources

Last updated: May 13, 2019

General

What is Xooa?

Xooa is the easiest way to develop, test, run, and monitor 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 allows developers to focus on writing blockchain code (smart contracts) by removing the need to set up and maintain a blockchain environment.

Xooa is a great blockchain playground for experimenting with blockchain apps, a test environment for existing smart contracts, and a dependable blockchain platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for mature applications.

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 provides a blockchain PaaS that is centred around ease-of-use and ease-of-integration. The platform does not require a deep understanding of blockchain or extensive DevOps efforts to create a robust production environment.

  • Includes an API gateway: provides a technologically agnostic way to access your ledger using REST
  • Supports multiple blockchain technologies, including Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum
  • Allows you to easily share your blockchain data with others and add external peers (hybrid deployments)
  • Offers out-of-the-box integration with popular cloud services including SmartThings, QuickBooks, and Zapier
  • Provides a fully functional free tier

What blockchain technology does Xooa support?

Xooa currently supports Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum smart contracts.

Is a GitHub account required?

GitHub account is not mandatory. GitHub account is required for fetching the smart contract from your private Git 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. This is why, if you want your data to remain private on a public blockchain, you need to encrypt the data or only store hashes of the data.

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 (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. Xooa is the only blockchain PaaS that offers double digit peers for private networks in its free tier.

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 form 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 its 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?

No. 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.

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.

Xooa Resource Library

VS Code Plugin

VS Code extension enables you to quickly deploy and upgrade your blockchain applications on xooa run networks, i.e. Hyperledger-fabric or Ethereum directly from you IDE.

CLI

Xooa CLI tool enables you to quickly get started with initializing repositories with starter smart-contracts in a language of your choice and compatible with either Hyperledger-fabric or Ethereum network. You can also deploy and upgrade your applications to the xooa run networks.

SDKs

Xooa client SDKs are available in Go, PHP, Node.js, C#, Python, Java and Ruby languages. The SDKs refers to smart contract APIs available for Xooa platform.

Third-party resources

What is blockchain technology?

IBM’s Brittany Manchisi provides a high-level overview of blockchain, curating some great video tutorials that give a good introduction to both the business and the technology, while giving her own take on the same.

Private blockchain

When people think of blockchain they usually think of public blockchain networks like Bitcoin’s. But private blockchains are more relevant to most enterprise use cases. IBM explains.

What is Hyperledger Fabric?

Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Get to know what makes it one of the most popular and successful private blockchain framework.

Chaincode tutorials

Ready to get serious? Chaincode is Hyperledger Fabric’s implementation of smart contracts.

Docker overview

Xooa external peers run on docker. If you haven’t used docker before, this is a good place to start.

Validate your yaml file before deploying an app

YAML is a human-readable data serialization language. Xooa uses YAML to figure out how to deploy smart contracts to the platform.