ArcBlock Releases Blockchain Dev Framework and SDK

Blockchain network and tools maker ArcBlock has announced the general availability of the Forge Framework and SDK, its next-gen blockchain application development platform. The platform combines cloud computing with a blockchain ecosystem that makes it possible for developers to create customized blockchains and build, run and manage decentralized applications (DApps) on them.

The term "decentralized application," or "DApp," is usually defined as an app that runs on a blockchain or peer-to-peer network.

ArcBlock is a Bellevue, Wash.-based start-up that was launched in 2017 and bills itself today as a Blockchain 3.0 company focused on "reimagining how to build decentralized applications." The company created Forge to do "what Ruby on Rails did for Web development" by removing much of the complexity and limitations of existing blockchain development platforms.

By default, Forge-built blockchains have a built-in cross-chain capability, and are interoperable with private and public blockchains on ArcBlock's ABT network (an interconnected blockchain network), as well as Bitcoin and Ethereum via the Open Chain Access Protocol (OCAP).

The ArcBlock blockchain application framework includes the ABT Network, because the company's founders believe it provides the easiest way to build blockchains and DApps with its Forge SDK and decentralized identity (DID) capability.

"Our vision for Forge is to have our framework play a key role in helping developers build a decentralized world by giving them the building blocks to simply build their own blockchains, without the lock-in or complexity," said Tyr Chen, vice president of Engineering at ArcBlock, in a statement. "Developers and businesses can get all the benefits of blockchain technologies, but without the restrictions and limitations of existing platforms and tools. It's highly scalable, flexible and provides the necessary components to have it work right out of the box."

Forge is available now and the SDK documentation has been published on the company's Web site. Developers can begin building blockchains immediately with the SDK, the company said, and build and deploy their first DApps. Forge supports a number of development languages, including Python, Node.js and Erlang. Developers can test their DApps with users and other parties using their own test chains, and lastly, join the ABT Network to make their DApp publicly available. Any Forge SDK-built blockchain or DApp runs on a standard ABT Node.

Released last month, an ABT Chain Node is a user-friendly application for starting and managing a Forge Node. An ABT Node is a standard modularized blockchain server software that run as a foundation service.

More information about building DApps with ArcBlock Forge Framework and SDK is available on the company's Web site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].