Programming as a Service
Asset’s specialty is providing a platform that financial institutions can use
to interact and share data via a blockchain. The company runs its own
distributed ledger and it also provides a special programming language, DAML, which is designed for writing
agreements that can be verified on that blockchain. Digital Asset pitches DAML
as an easier, more secure way for writing smart contracts than creating them
from scratch using conventional programming languages.
23, Digital Asset announced that it had made DAML available in
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) form on Google Cloud. In other words, developers
will now be able to access DAML directly from Google Cloud and use it to write
applications that run in the same cloud.
PaaS is a fully-managed solution that developers can use to test and deploy DLT
applications, accessible through Google Cloud’s Orbitera application
marketplace technologies,” Digital Asset said in the statement. “Combined with
the DAML SDK [software development kit], developers now have an end-to-end
toolkit to build and deploy sophisticated distributed applications.”
Cloud Plays Blockchain Catch-Up
Asset’s press release about the Google Cloud partnership included only a
somewhat generic statement from Leonard Law, Google Cloud’s head of financial
services, about blockchain technology having “great potential to benefit
customers not just in the financial services industry, but across many
some questions about whether the collaboration with Digital Asset is really
significant from Google Cloud’s perspective.
signs, however, that for Google, adding the DAML PaaS to its cloud is part of a
bigger move toward making Google Cloud a friendlier place for blockchain
developers. The same day that Digital Asset announced its Google Cloud
partnership, two Google Cloud executives published a blog post drawing attention to, among
other things, Google Cloud’s collaboration with Digital Asset and BlockApps,
another blockchain-app development platform.
post also noted that Google Cloud will offer integrations with Hyperledger
Fabric and Ethereum later this year, although it did not offer details.
seem, then, that Google Cloud is eager to up its blockchain game and that it sees
Digital Asset as one key partner in doing so.
wise thing for Google to do if it wants to keep its public cloud platform on
pace with competitors. The AWS cloud already offers a blockchain service, as does Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Although neither of these
services provides the same exact functionality as the Digital Asset PaaS will
deliver, they generally cater to the needs of developers who want to write
blockchain-based software without having to build all of the tooling from
scratch or deploy the applications on their own infrastructure.
sense, Google Cloud appears to be catching up with the other “Big Three” public
cloud providers by offering a blockchain developer toolkit of its own.
For now, what Google Cloud’s blockchain toolkit will look like remains
unclear. Beyond the Digital Asset and BlockApps collaborations, combined with
vague statements about Hyperledger and Ethereum integrations, we have little to
go on. But we do know that Google Cloud finally is doing something
make its cloud a happy place for blockchain developers, and that’s significant.