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By Arshiya Lal, Simon Stone | Published November 20, 2018 - Updated November 20, 2018
The latest versions of the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger Fabric hail a new era of capabilities that bring simplicity, speed, and value to the blockchain developer community.
Hyperledger Fabric v1.4 makes smart contracts a truly native concept. Feature FAB-11246 allows developers to focus on the smart contract logic that describes their business transactions. Moreover, the client application SDK to invoke these smart contracts has been radically simplified, while preserving all functionality. Feature FABN-692 delivers a new high-level API that cuts the amount of application code required to invoke a smart contract by 90 percent. Hyperledger Fabric v1.4 also enables applications to auto-discover network configurations using Hyperledger Fabric service discovery. Feature FAB-12071 enables developers to seamlessly discover and exploit ever-changing networks without application change, making them more responsive and easier to scale.
In the near future, these new features will allow you to automatically generate REST APIs that closely model their business domain. The result will be a business-ready API to the blockchain, and simpler integration with existing (non-blockchain) systems of record. You can read more about these features and participate in the development process via the Hyperledger Fabric JIRA.
When building smart contracts and blockchain applications with Hyperledger Fabric, you will also benefit from using the new IBM Blockchain Platform IDE. It enables you to discover, code, test, debug, package, deploy, and publish smart contracts and applications using a single tool. We created the IBM Blockchain Platform IDE as an extension to Visual Studio Code (VSCode), and it is available now in the Visual Studio Code Marketplace. We’re developing the extension in the open, so developers and partners can work with us; check out the issues in the GitHub repository (blockchain-vscode-extension).
While all these capabilities have been inspired by Hyperledger Composer, IBM will no longer be contributing new features to it. Instead, IBM will focus all application development enhancements on Hyperleder Fabric so they can be directly leveraged by the IBM Blockchain Platform. For every Fabric 1.x release, IBM will provide support for Composer so that existing developers can continue to use it for proofs-of-concept and demos.
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