What Is Azure Blockchain Workbench

Azure Blockchain Workbench is a collection of Microsoft Azure services and capabilities that allows you to create and deploy blockchain applications in the Azure cloud.

Azure workbench capabilities includes the following:

Create blockchain applications

With Blockchain Workbench, you can define blockchain applications using configuration and writing smart contract code. You can jumpstart blockchain application development and focus on defining your contract and writing business logic instead of building scaffolding and setting up supporting services.

One of the biggest challenges blockchain developers face is creating hardware nodes and deploying blockchain to these nodes. Azure Blockchain Workbench simplifies blockchain application development by using blockchain templates available in the Azure Marketplace. The template allows users to pick the modules and components to deploy with Blockchain Workbench, such as blockchain stack, type of client application, and support for IoT integration. Once deployed, Blockchain Workbench provides access to a web app, iOS app, and Android app.
Azure workbench also allows users to take advantage of various Azure offerenings by simply integrating components to their blockchain applications. 

Manage applications and users

Azure Blockchain Workbench provides a web application and REST APIs for managing blockchain applications and users. Blockchain Workbench administrators can manage application access and assign your users to application roles. Azure AD users are automatically mapped to members in the application.

Integrate blockchain with applications

You can use the Blockchain Workbench REST APIs and message-based APIs to integrate with existing systems. The APIs provide an interface to allow for replacing or using multiple distributed ledger technologies, storage, and database offerings.

Blockchain Workbench can transform messages sent to its message-based API to build transactions in a format expected by that blockchain’s native API. Workbench can sign and route transactions to the appropriate blockchain.

Workbench automatically delivers events to Service Bus and Event Grid to send messages to downstream consumers. Developers can integrate with either of these messaging systems to drive transactions and to look at results.

Deploy a blockchain network

Azure Blockchain Workbench simplifies consortium blockchain network setup as a preconfigured solution with an Azure Resource Manager solution template. The template provides simplified deployment that deploys all components needed to run a consortium. Today, Blockchain Workbench currently supports Ethereum.

Use Active Directory login

With existing blockchain protocols, blockchain identities are represented as an address on the network. Azure Blockchain Workbench abstracts away the blockchain identity by associating it with an Active Directory identity, making it simpler to build enterprise applications with Active Directory identities.

Synchronize on-chain data with off-chain storage

Azure Blockchain Workbench makes it easier to analyze blockchain events and data by automatically synchronizing data on the blockchain to off-chain storage. Instead of extracting data directly from the blockchain, you can query off-chain database systems such as SQL Server. Blockchain specific expertise is not required for end users who are doing data analysis tasks.