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Blockchain-based Business Integration with Unibright

Blockchain-based Business Integration with Unibright
Image credit: Courtesy of Stankevicius MGM
By Stankevicius MGM

Unibright is the first unified framework for blockchain based business integration. We define business workflows visually and automatically generate smart contracts for various blockchains, smart adapters to connect to existing IT systems and smart query sets to monitor the ongoing business process.

The Unibright framework is blockchain agnostic – our concept is independent from a specific blockchain like Ethereum. As the field of blockchain technology is highly vibrant and ever-changing, we believe in our framework that enables the definition of business integration scenarios in a more abstract manner. We empower not only blockchain specialists to use blockchain technology, but also process specialists and more general business users, too.

Problem

There is great consensus that the blockchain technology will stay and that it offers new possibilities especially for business use-cases. The most disruptive use cases for blockchain technology are yet to come, with Smart Contracts enabling theses transformations. Blockchain technology can be used in various fields, it might be the solution for the commercial world record keeping as well. Fintech, Shipping, Healthcare, Unsafe Markets, Supply Chain Management to name a few.

During our 20 years of experience in IT-Projects, always being the fore-runner regarding upcoming technology, we learned that it needs a toolset that allow the user to really make us of a new technology. Like web browsers letting the internet becoming a game-changer, e-mail programs setting alive the possibilities of the SMTP-protocol or integration platforms allowing B2B users to connect different systems and protocol-stacks to build industry 4.0. In our opinion the same holds true for blockchain technology, especially for B2B use-cases. Companies do not want to employ technical specialists for every blockchain existing, like Ethereum or Hyperledger. Additionally, in this highly vibrant market one can not be sure which blockchain implementations will lead the field in the future. Business usages should be able to focus on the business demands not the technical details.

Therefore, it might be a good advice for companies to use tools that offer a holistic view, agnostic to specific blockchains, thus putting the focus on business processes and business demands, away from technical implementations.

Solution

With a broader and more global view on blockchain and off-blockchain technologies we have built a framework that enables business process specialists to define workflows that make use of blockchain technology and integrate them into the current IT landscapes without having to be a domain specialist for specific blockchains.

Our process starts with visually defining integration workflows based on proven and audited templates. Each template consists of a pre-defined standard workflow, suitable for a specific use case. We have already more than 10 working templates, e.g. “Multi-Party-Approval”, “Request for Quotation”, “Milestone Payments”, and many more.

Within the Unibright Workflow Designer the user selects a template and customizes the given standard workflow to his needs. System boundaries, necessary connections to IT systems and integration of other blockchains can be defined in the workflow as well.

The needed SmartContracts containing the business logic for the designed workflow are then generated automatically. They can be deployed to (and maintained in) a specific blockchain by the Unibright Contract Lifecycle Manager.

SmartAdapters for our UnibrightConnector allow the integration of various systems and technologies, like web service based ERP-Systems or file-based legacy systems. The SmartAdapter configurations are also automatically generated out of our workflows.

The ongoing process can be monitored by our Unibright Explorer, showing the state, transaction and information flow of all participating units. “SmartQueries” encapsulate business case related, condensed views on the available information, these queries are also automatically generated out of our workflows

By supporting the whole lifecycle of a business process, we present the first unified framework for blockchain based business integration, making blockchain technology usable for business demands.

Especially for industry 4.0 demands, meaning automation, enterprise resource planning, and integration of different execution systems. This industrial revolution demands an increasing degree of trust and privacy protection — this is where blockchain kicks in.

When adding blockchain to IT systems one ends up with business integration, allowing Cross-System/Cross-Blockchain business processes, e.g. machines safely and autonomously placing an order for their replacement parts to arrive. Supply chain management, approval workflows, financial transactions and condition based payments, IoT data collection, health management and asset management are just a few examples of areas that can be empowered by Unibright using blockchain technology.

Background

In having more than 20 years of experience in the field of business integration and consultancy we as team and company know what business use-cases demand. For usage in business integration processes, blockchain technology has to be accessible by means of a standardized, audited framework. That is why we took our cloud based integration platform, that is running successfully off-blockchain since 2011 with customers from the banking and production world and extended it to the blockchain world in 2016. We added support for various blockchains and implemented audited use-cases in a way that business specialists can focus on their specific demands to build workflows connecting different IT-systems and blockchains.

ICO to accelerate

By staging our token launch in early 2018, we want to accelerate the development of our framework and our road to total product readiness. We need to add support for more blockchains and off-chain systems by creating the needed adapter for the platform. As well as audit more templates that empower blockchain usage in business processes. We are in the intersection of two growing markets: the $27 billion business integration market growing 11 percent p.a. [Gartner] and the blockchain technology market rising by 61.5 percent p.a. [Statista]. Raising funds with the token launch helps us to ensure that we are the first and fastest mover in the field of blockchain based business integration and keep pace with the growing markets.

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