Tech giant Oracle expands its blockchain offerings

  • By Tom Cleveland

  • February 15, 2019
  • 2:23 am BST

Momentum is forever building in the high-tech sector for the acceptance of blockchain technology as the innovative wave of the future that many crypto zealots have claimed for years. Oracle, a maker and distributor of enterprise-wide software solutions, just announced that it is “expanding features on its enterprise-grade Oracle Blockchain Platform” and that it already has several clients operating in a production environment.

As reported: “The new features provide Oracle’s customers with a number of developer tools, identity management and data integration features, such as enabling the integration of blockchain transaction history with other data resources. Specifically, new features include an enhanced world state database, a rich history database, identity federation and support for Hyperledger Fabric version 1.3.”

Oracle also revealed that it has several customers up and running with these tools and is no longer in the experimental/test phase that many of its competitors still find themselves. According to Frank Xiong, group vice president of blockchain product development at Oracle: “Other vendors may still be experimenting but we do have real customers in live production. I would say around 10 to a dozen are in a live situation. To start with we were seeing transactions probably among hundreds an hour. But are expecting many of them to grow to thousands of transactions per second.”

Oracle, known best for its e-business suite of financial, customer relationship, and supply chain management software, listed a diverse group of companies in specific business sectors across the globe as current users. These companies included “a cargo tracking consortium called the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN); China Distance Education Holdings, which shares educational and professional certificates; Circulor, which tracks conflict minerals; and SERES, a solution for dealing with invoices between franchisors”.

Oracle’s cloud-based blockchain platform went live in July 2018, and in addition to the three companies listed above, the following entities are also in production on Oracle’s platform: Arab Jordan Investment Bank, Certified Origins, NeuroSoft, TradeFin, HealthSync, OriginTrail, ICS FS, SDK.Finance, and Nigeria Customs.

Prior to Oracle’s announcement, the only mention of production-oriented blockchain operations was that they were primarily using IBM utilities in the shipping and trade finance arenas. IBM has also used the open-source Hyperledger Fabric approach, which could make conversions easier going forward. Xiong noted that Oracle has been working with Fabric for the past year, has fixed a number of bugs along the way, and added a few enhancements to the database that provide for “better performance and richer querying capabilities”.

He also added that, “We offer a very rich Rest API connection for a Fabric-based blockchain. So whether you are IBM Bluemix [cloud] developer or other cloud or on-premises – you can be integrated with our platform.”

As more and more titans in the Information Technology industry augment their basic product offerings with blockchain-oriented applications that are readily picked up by their respective customer bases, the more entrenched the crypto revolution will become in our daily lives, as we progress into the future.