Microsoft Azure releases Workbench to accelerate development

Industry giants are competing to be the go-to resource and platform for businesses.

Yesterday, Microsoft Azure general manger Matthew Kerner announced the release of the Azure Blockchain Workbench, a pre-packaged toolkit that hopes to onboard businesses into blockchain technology by making the process much easier. Workbench would supposedly automate ledger deployment and network construction, as well as enable the integration of Azure Services.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days. Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases,” Kerner wrote.

He added that their platform has been quite popular with businesses looking to test out blockchain technology for their processes.

Microsoft isn’t the only industry giant appealing to developers and businesses with a development kit aimed at easing up transition. IBM released their own similar enterprise-ready toolkit in March, called IBM Blockchain Platform. The cloud-based software service is currently being offered on Beta version for free. They also partnered up with several other companies to develop something called Hyperledger Fabric, an open source business blockchain framework.

Google, although late in the race, is also reportedly working on their own blockchain enterprise solutions through their blockchain arm, Alphabet, Inc. In March, unnamed sources told Bloomberg that Google has been acquiring and investing in blockchain start-ups—many of which were done quietly. Despite no official announcements yet being made, a Google spokesman issued a statement: “Like many new technologies, we have individuals in various teams exploring potential uses of blockchain but it’s way too early for us to speculate about any possible uses or plans.”

With blockchain technology quickly amassing a large market, both private companies and public offices are working hard and fast to place themselves on the lead as the technology emerges. In 2017, it is estimated that the blockchain industry is worth around $340 million, and projected to shoot up to $2.3 billion by 2021.

Unsurprisingly, governments are also eager to make their mark and take a portion of the global market by creating their own state-sponsored blockchain solutions. Earlier reports state that China’s central bank was working on a national cryptocurrency. Recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin even made a bold declaration, staking a verbal claim over the technology as a whole saying, “the Internet belongs to the Americans, but blockchain will belong to us.”

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