This article was originally published in TechRadar.
Their proposed solution which later took shape in Modex BCDB modifies a set of connectors in order to link the database to a blockchain network, thus significantly enhancing storage capabilities.
Modex Blockchain Database is a software product designed to empower businesses by enabling them to develop and deploy blockchain software solutions in matter of days. Modex Blockchain Database (BCDB) is created by an experienced team of developers and brings many world firsts and unrivalled advantages for companies offering: cost cutting, data security, and time efficiency.
From a technical standpoint, Modex Blockchain Database (BCDB) falls into the middleware category, as it positions itself between the client’s software application server and their database. What sets Modex BCDB apart from its competitors is its approach to handling data. From the start, the minds behind this new innovative take on blockchain technology decided to employ a minimally invasive approach, in the sense that companies and enterprises keep their data models intact.
How does this benefit my business? Why should I change the way in which is store my data?
Modex has adopted a plug and play approach, in the sense that any technical operations required to facilitate the transition to the BCDB framework are performed by the Modex development team. As previously mentioned, the procedure involves a minimal level of changes, consisting mostly of writing and implementing the connectors which enable the database to communicate with the blockchain network. This approach means that all the heavy lifting is done by Modex team, which means that clients need only to get familiarized with our interface.
Probably the first question that comes to mind is ‘How does this benefit my business? Why should I change the way in which is store my data?’. Modex’s middleware solution has a transformative property in the sense that it bestows all the advantages and inherent capabilities of blockchain technology, data distribution, immutability, as well as a real-time backup functionality.
A core feature that distinguishes Modex BCDB is the fact that it is blockchain and database agnostic. This characteristic opens a new window of opportunities, as compatibility related issues become a thing of the past. Regardless of the type of database a company is employing, or the type of blockchain it wishes to connect to, our solution ensures a seamless connection between the two technologies. Modex BCDB doesn’t aim to replace the existing database but to improve it by adding a blockchain layer. By situating ourselves between the database component and the client’s software, we ensure a higher degree of security and trust, while giving access to a mechanism through which clients can create their own infrastructure.
An agnostic take on blockchain
The versatility of Modex BCDB stems from the agnostic design of the framework. On a deeper level, it can be observed that each node in the network can host a distinct database. As a result, one node can hold a NoSQL database such as MongoDB, while another node from the same network can host a SQL database.
This layer of flexibility can prove to be invaluable to a consortium network, where multiple companies can synchronize their databases, without requiring to change their database providers. As a result, the system becomes database agnostic, which implies that Oracle, IBM, Mongo DB, Microsoft SQL databases can synchronize with each other. Modex BCDB positions itself between the client’s application and database without altering data entries to facilitate communication with different types of databases.
Modex BCDB, unique design choices and features
Modex BCDB is the first middleware solution that manages to be both database and blockchain agnostic. Currently, other solutions present on the market are either blockchain or database agnostic, but not both at the same time. By adopting a modular design, Modex BCDB becomes truly agnostic in the sense that it to any type of database and blockchain. To push the envelope even further, BCDB can connect to different databases at the same time, as a result, clients are not obliged to change their database provider.
Through Modex BCDB it becomes possible to build a distributed database network with different database engines. Distributed databases exist for some time, but this new system allows developers to combine different databases and distribute them across different database engines.
An important characteristic that sets Modex BCDB apart stems from how users interact with the solution. Prior knowledge of blockchain technology development isn’t required, as the system is designed to be operated as a database engine. Being a blockchain enabling platform, BCDB removes the need for companies to hire an in house team of blockchain developers. If a company relies heavily on Java for development purposes, they can interact through the Java driver with our middleware and create an environment that is connected on the back end level with a blockchain architecture.
Because Modex BCDB falls into the middleware software category, it has been designed with flexibility in mind, as to allow it to mold seamlessly on client applications and requirements. Developers are able to lock the structure of a node. This means that a company can create a custom table and arrange the fields according to their desired outcome, and allow other companies to introduce new data without permitting them to modify the structure of the table. Only the owner of the node will be able to implement any structural changes.
Licensing methodology is another aspect that makes Modex BCDB stand out. During an intense development process, Modex team modified each blockchain engine to enable and streamline the authentication process. Other solutions present on the market allow users to authenticate to the whole network, they can’t restrict specific nodes from authenticating to the network.
Blockchain is a difficult technology to get into because, from a technical perspective, it is low level, in the sense that developers need to know the precise inner workings of the technology and have a solid grasp of their SDK to be able to start to work with them. Modex’s solution is situated at a higher level, as it drastically simplifies implementation. BCDB already provides the Sawtooth and Tendermint, and will do soon Fabric and Ethereum.
Database migration is a sensitive topic for every enterprise, as any breach or data corruption could prove disastrous. Blockchain is a viable solution for improving database management and increase tamper resistance, but it is surprisingly difficult to integrate an existing platform in a blockchain network. Besides the complexity involved, the process would also attract significant costs and a long period of time for implementation. Modex BCDB overcomes these issues with its migration tool, which allows developers to easily move a database to a blockchain framework.
The migration tool does all the heavy lifting: it scans the database and replicates the data model in our middleware, it creates metadata for each record and uploads it to the blockchain to ensure immutability. Modex’s approach to handling data differs, no record is deleted and the whole structure is kept intact. The database migration is initiated only after minor changes are implemented on the client’s side. A minimally invasive approach brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to legacy systems where changes are difficult to implement. But by simply changing a few connectors a legacy system will benefit from everything blockchain has to offer.