TIBCO AuditSafeTIBCO’s approach to blockchain appears to be pragmatic. Rather than dive all-in with its own blockchain framework (as with Hyperledger, R3, or the IBM, Oracle, AWS and Microsoft variants) TIBCO prefers to complement. This is most evident in three initiatives announced at TIBCO World, namely TIBCO LABs (which is the ‘container for multiple initiatives), the Dovetail Project and AuditSafe.

Nelson Petracek
Nelson Petracek

Nelson Petracek, global chief technology officer, TIBCO said: “The launch of TIBCO LABS marks a new era of innovation at TIBCO. With TIBCO LABS, we offer our customers and partners an active voice in cultivating the future of the TIBCO Connected Intelligence Cloud.

“We’re excited to collaborate with our broad ecosystem to build the next wave of relevant, valuable integration and analytics offerings.

TIBCO tools 1: Project Dovetail

Ideas for TIBCO LABS come from multiple sources, including TIBCO.next, the internal ideation program intended to foster new technology solutions. TIBCO LABS evaluates ideas for potential development and subsequent release to customers and partners for collaboration.

Developing blockchain solutions with today’s technology is challenging, given the lack of tooling and standardisation. Project Dovetail seeks to address these by providing a graphical interface for:

  • modeling smart contracts
  • making them easier to write, visualize, test and audit, all without deep programming experience.

By abstracting logic from low-level code, customers can deploy smart contracts to different blockchain stacks – with little or no change:

  • on-chain and off-chain computation become seamless
  • time to market improves
  • the risk of technology lock-in reduces.

In effect, Project Dovetail helps customers to make themselves and smart contracts smarter. Project Dovetail is also open source and builds on a JSON representation.

TIBCO tools 2: AuditSafe

One of the chronic issues which plagues computing is the existance of an audit trail which records events or state changes. To put this in perspective, think of a monthly bank statement which shows you only the latest balance, but not the transactions which occurred during the month to arrive at that balance.

The audit trail issue applies to blockchain as much as elsewhere, and possibly more. While a record on a blockchain may be immutable (once recorded) it useful to know how and when it arrived.

AuditSafe is TIBCO’s complement to this. TIBCO offers this as a TIBCO Cloud service which can:

  • add cloud audit trails, secured via blockchain, for any application
  • support techniques such as microservices across hybrid environments
  • preserve secure and consolidated transaction audit trails
  • analyse those audit trails.

With AuditSafe, customers can:

  • visualise complex transactions
  • find transactions or a chain or hierarch of transactions
  • customize transaction views (to see what you want or hide what you in not needed).

Blockchain adds trust. Transactions are encrypted and users can enhance this by leveraging TIBCO Blocklayer, a blockchain SaaS, to store the hash values in an immutable blockchain network. This can extend across an organisation (or between organisations, if mutually agreed) for complete as well as automation through smart contracts.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

TIBCO has adopted a pragmatic, or complementary, approach to blockchain. It does not propose to become a ‘platform provider’. Rather TIBCO will deliver tools – like Project Dovetail and AuditSafe – which make it easier for blockchain to deliver for enterprises.

In this it remains consistent with its past. TIBCO’s product portfolio – from inception, with its high speed messaging and integration of other parts of the IT jigsaw, through to analytics and data visualisation with Spotfire – continues to help its customers. With blockchain it appears to be no different.

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Charles Brett is a business/technology analyst consultant. His specialist areas include enterprise software, blockchain and enterprise mobility tech (including metering). Specific industry sectors of interest and experience include finance (especially systems supporting wholesale finance), telecommunications and energy. Charles has spoken at multiple industry conferences, has written for numerous publications (including the London Times and the Financial Times). He was the General Chair of the bi-annual High Performance Systems Workshop, 2005. In addition he is an author and novelist. His Technology books include: Making the Most of Mobility Vol I (eBook, 2012); Explaining iTunes, iPhones and iPads for Windows Users (eBook, 2011); 5 Axes of Business Application Integration (2004). His published novels, in the Corruption Series, include: The HolyPhone Confessional Crisis, Corruption’s Price: A Spanish Deceit and Virginity Despoiled. The fourth in The Corruption Series - Resurrection - has is now available. Charles has a B.A. and M.A in Modern History from the University of Oxford. He has lived or worked in Italy, Abu Dhabi, South Africa, California and New York, Spain, Israel, Estonia and Cyprus.

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