Learn the step by step to implement a sample network at the free IKS level. You will then be able to start developing, demoing and building your blockchain applications and a simulated multi-organizational network.
1. Make an account on the IBM Cloud;
2. Access Kubernetes Service on the IBM Cloud and sign up to create the free IKS level and implement;
3. Navigate back to the Blockchain Platform and click to launch your blockchain console on the IKS free tier cluster. You can select the cluster through navigation;
4. When you see the launch button, you can enter the blockchain console where you will see a quick start tutorial, in addition to different nodes that can be implemented;
5. If you select the quick start, you will be guided through a series of simple steps to “Build a network”, “Join a network” or “Implement a smart contract on the network”.
For more complete details, see the IBM Blockchain Platform documents. Here is a preview of how you will be guided:
Implement a certificate of authority, requiring service nodes or peers;
Create identities and channels;
Model your business network by defining the classes of assets, participants, transactions, events and access control rules;
Write a short contract, install a smart contract, create an example of a smart contract, or send a transaction using your client’s application.
What is not included in the free level?
The free level is optimized to provide an overview of the operational tools and to help you quickly develop and test. It differs from standard plans in several ways:
It will be automatically removed after a month and there is no way to migrate it to a standard level, so don’t count on the data remaining beyond the period of a month, as the whole example will disappear;
It should not be used for stress tests. It is a free resource, and IBM bears all costs, so in order to make it available, it is necessary to limit the resources allocated;
There is no maintenance applied to these implements. If a new version of Hyperledger Fabric becomes available, IBM will not update the free levels; you will need to delete and restart the IBM Blockchain Platform.
What’s beyond the free level?
When you’re ready to get started, expand your network and implement your definition, smart contract and applications for a production environment with the addition of enhanced security layers and premium support, you will prefer the standard IBM Kubernetes plan.
With it, you will be able to add more IBM Blockchain Platform nodes, more resources (processing and storage), as well as a drop-tolerant and production-level infrastructure that runs in a portable, Kubernetes-based environment that is secure in the cloud . This includes runtime / data isolation, high availability for requests and a certificate of authority, as well as the ability to use multiple zones for disaster recovery.
Why not just use open source technologies directly on your computer?
A blockchain implemented locally and based on the structure of the Hyperledger Fabric can provide a great simulation. But without access to other member organizations, you cannot experience or test the scalability and power of a multi-organizational network. In addition, using open source technologies locally requires a little more patience and skill with command line code.
On the other hand, with the IBM Blockchain Platform, you have a set of scalable, reliable and fully integrated operational and administration tools to guide you in your network creation, implementation, monitoring and administration with simple clicks and easy instructions. The code and skills you develop are easily transferable to production environments, so when you’re ready to move to a full-scale network in production, you’ll have exactly the same experience.
Looking to develop and / or test a smart contract quickly?
The easiest and most economical way to learn more about developing smart contracts for Hyperledger Fabric is by purchasing the free IBM Blockchain Platform VS Code extension. There are several built-in samples that can help you get started, including commercial promissory notes and FabCar. Once the extension is installed, you can create your first smart contract by following this tutorial.
With the VS Code extension, you can develop, package and implement your smart contracts quickly and with simple management of multiple workspaces. In addition, the extension has a quick built-in installation of Hyperledger Fabric to test your contract quickly. You can also easily import connection profiles for remote networks, which allows you to implement your bundled contracts on any network in which you participate.
Get help and support
There are several ways to get support and answers to your questions.
1. For questions about blockchain in general:
Search dW Answers. Browse already asked questions or submit a new one (include the keyword blockchain);
2. For help with the IBM Blockchain Platform:
The Support section in the user interface has several resources for self-help and release notes. For software defects or problems that run away from existing resources, you will find instructions for submitting a support case on the IBM Cloud Service Portal. When you do, you will receive a response email within minutes;
3. For specific Hyperledger Fabric implementation questions:
Hyperledger Rocket.Chat and Stack Overflow are your best bets.
We will include five great ways to improve your blockchain skills:
Take the next steps on your blockchain learning journey by following the IBM Developer blockchain learning path;
Stay on top of the developerWorks blockchain newsletter. Take a look at some recent issues and sign up;
Take a look at the Blockchain content hub at IBM Developer. It is your source for tools and tutorials, as well as code and community support to develop and implement blockchain solutions for businesses;
Watch the IBM Blockchain platform console video series, which will show you in detail how to set up a business network on the IBM Blockchain Platform;
See the various blockchain code patterns in IBM Developer, which provide roadmaps for solving complex problems and include panoramas, architecture diagrams, process flows, repository indicators and additional readings.
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