Today Monax, a leader in open-source blockchain technology, announces the release of our Blackstone project which comprises a business process engine written entirely in Solidity smart contract language as well as a high-level RESTful API. This extensive release includes over 19,000 lines of solidity code and is the culmination of four years of work focused on advancing blockchain technology for businesses.
What the product team at Monax (led by CPO Jan Hendrik Scheufen) have built represents a giant step for the commercial applicability of blockchain technology as CEO Casey Kuhlman explains:
A myriad of blockchain use cases rely on modeling business processes and operating those with network consensus. With the release of this engine, Monax makes the endeavour extremely simple and user-friendly while increasing accessibility.
The release of the engine will pave the way for significantly easier integration of blockchain utility into business workflows. Crucially, it opens up the world of machine-readable code to users who can now build blockchain-related products with little or no coding experience. How is this possible? Through the powerful engine which provides an elegant way to orchestrate human resources, on-chain scripts and off-chain legacy systems across companies in an ecosystem.
Business Process Modeling (BPM) is a decades-old domain which, until now, has been limited to single-organisation workflows. However, the gains fall away when we seek to use BPM for more complex cross-party integrations. In order to implement inter-organisational business processes, a third-party intermediary must be used, thus exposing the parties to potential failures in data security and resilience, not to mention adding the burden of time and high costs.
Monax’s engine represents a completely new horizon for BPM – the means to connect and manage complex workflows and information across organisations without the need for a third party provider. This opens up a hitherto unavailable channel between multiple parties to collaborate, communicate and have joint visibility over shared workflows that are relevant to all the parties. Shared processes and local, company-internal business processes can now be connected and work seamlessly using the same common language.
How have we achieved this? By incorporating blockchain technology as a layer of communication between both parties. Users input standard BPMN files through our high-level API, which translates these into compatible instructions to be operated by the fully-featured smart contract-based engine.
This trinity of blockchain, smart contracts and BPM allows us to create new vehicles to facilitate networked commerce. The engine is also at the core of the Agreements Network and will transform the delivery of legal services whilst promoting the productization of law. These developments are timely - to support the growth of networked economy, devices and digital commerce, legal functions must become embedded within the software driving transactions.
For a more detailed discussion on the components of the Monax stack, of which the BPM is at the centre, see this recent blog. To dive in further, this blog gives a working diagrammed example of a business process model for a sale of goods contract workflow. We have also written extensively on combining BPM and blockchain tech in a recent Hyperledger guest blog.
Photo by ALEX HOLYOAKE on Unsplash.