How can Ostia’s Agile Testing Sandboxes help companies test Blockchains

 Over the last few years, a number of disruptive technologies have developed that threaten companies by changing their supply chains. The prime focus of the introduction of Blockchain technology is to change Financial Services, but this technology will also have an impact on health systems and most production supply chains. The drive around Blockchain (aka Distributed or Shared Ledger) today, and much of the discussion, is on the technical aspects: the development of ‘standard’ integrated services that support a series of functions such as shared ledger, cryptography, immutable records, peer to peer communication and high resilience. Businesses need to consider that with the introduction of this technology there will also be a significant impact on their operations and legal departments.

There is the opportunity that parts or the whole supply chain will form shared contracts within the Blockchain – form smart contracts – this may be permissioned (amongst an agreed set of parties), or un-permissioned. This means that part of a business supply chain will be open to a broader set of the accessors – new entrants and the data will also be open to external reporting – including by the central regulators.

What is clear is that businesses need to embrace this disruptive technology, to understand how they can use it to their benefit, and optimise their supply chain. They cannot stand by while new innovative intermediaries use this disruptive technology to disintermediate their supply chain.

Therefore, the business needs to develop a transformation plan, that details how they can use disruptive technology to their best advantage, while minimising the risk with their current operations and supply chain.

Today, businesses consider their existing legacy environments as being stable and secure. As part of the transformation and development activities, the business needs a ‘secure’ representation of their supply chain, and an end to end integrated view, so that innovation teams (the FinTechs in Financial Services), architects, developers can test and determine the optimal path to capitalise on disruptive technologies such as Blockchains. This simulation of the supply chain needs to be dynamic, isolated, and have no links to test or production environments. Businesses need Agile Testing Sandboxes that support the internal controls and data security issues that appear with the presentation of the legacy supply chain to the current Blockchain technologies such as the Hyperledger Fabric. In the same way businesses need test sandboxes to represent the Blockchain technology – for example the Hyperledger Fabric.

These Agile Testing Sandboxes ensure that:

  • Only authorised permissioned developers gain access to the controlled test system; a cost-effective way of providing a standalone testing environment.
  • Only data related to authorised individuals is made available to the external party.
  • APIs are being used correctly by external parties, validation is completed when the external party is using the APIs correctly and legally before allowing access to the real systems.
  • Cross contamination of data between external parties does not occur, that data is obscured, they are isolated from the banks data and other external party’s data, there is no risk of data loss or data governance issues.
  • Current Data Protection and upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) demands can be addressed.
  • Workload from the external organisations such as Hyperledger, Business, Legal and Technology providers can be managed, controlled and does not impact any production service.

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Ostia Portus EVS technology delivers the dynamic Service Virtualisation technology demanded by our customer’s Development and Testing teams to create these Agile Testing Sandboxes. EVS technology builds on established record/replay technology. It extends this capability/function and is able to simulate the request/response interaction, providing a fully customizable approach to creating virtual services. Ostia’s Portus EVS technology:

  • Uses metadata definitions and structures to create services, as a series of components, to simulate the real services, within a Java development environment. Therefore, isolating the third parties from the businesses critical production test and back-office services.
  • Uses the simulated service components and Java to integrate and build contextual services to represent the interdependency between services in an end to end environment, where the dynamic response from one service can easily be used within the request in subsequent services. This is critical in representing a complex interconnection or automated process such as an integrated supply chain operating within a Production environment.

The Distributed Ledger technology and application(s) under test think they are talking to the real end to end system(s) – integrated supply chain operating within a Production environment, while it actually communicating with the simulated service(s) using the Portus EVS framework technology running on commodity hardware and software, which can be cloned as often as necessary, so that test systems of this nature can be made available on demand.

 

Written by : Ostia Solutions

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