What Is Hyperledger Composer?

Hyperledger Composer is a set of open source tools that allows various business owners, operators, and developers a way to create blockchain applications and smart contracts aimed at solving business problems and/or improving operational efficiencies. It is an example of a commercial application of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS).

Hyperledger Composer is one of the several Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation in collaboration with various corporate members.

As of August 2019, the Hyperledger Composer project is in deprecated status, meaning that while it is still in-use, none of the maintainers are actively developing new features or provide support. In 2020, Composer was combined into Hyperledger Fabric v1.4.

Key Takeaways

  • Hyperledger composer is a business-oriented set of tools for creating enterprise blockchain applications, under the umbrella of the Hyperledger project.
  • Composer was meant to facilitate creation of open-source blockchain application that fostered collaboration between within organizations and business networks,.
  • Work on composer was halted in summer 2019, and is not part of the more comprehensive Hyperledger Fabric platform.

Understanding Hyperledger Composer

Hyperledger Composer is built in Javascript, a platform-independent programming language that also supports the use of built-in libraries and uses available functions and scripts to make the utilities more scalable and reusable. Composer is an application development framework which simplifies and expedites the creation of Hyperledger fabric blockchain applications.

Using Hyperledger Composer, a business person with no technical knowledge can easily collaborate with a developer to build specific features. They include defining the business rules based on which blockchain transactions will be processed, defining the assets that are exchanged in blockchain-based use cases, and define controls for participants, their identities, roles and access levels for performing the various kinds of transactions.

Similarly, a developer using Hyperledger Composer can easily build and configure core components of the blockchain which include the network’s digital assets, transaction logic, participants and access controls. Composer supports sharing, reusability and scalability of components across various organizations. One can easily generate the required scripts and APIs necessary for business implementation using Hyperledger Composer. It also supports use cases and real-time testing, which can even be performed through the web-based Composer playground without the need for local installations. 

Using Hyperledger Composer, it is possible for an individual to create and run a sample blockchain, and grant restricted permission to various participants. For instance, one can easily build a “Perishable Goods Network” that facilitates trading of items like fruits and vegetables, include participants like farmers, shippers and importers, define individual roles for each participant, define and execute terms of agreement between the participants, track shipments, acknowledge, monitor and report status of goods at various stage in the supply chain, and payments management.

Special Considerations

Hyperledger Composer offers a lot of advantages which include the faster creation of blockchain applications in easy steps, smooth and low-cost modeling and testing allowing the user to build, test and deploy various options and then implement the one that offers the best fit, and reusability of existing apps and APIs that reduce both effort and costs.

Business Network Archive is central to Hyperledger Composer’s architecture, and it maintains the core data and functionality of the business network that includes the business model, transaction logic and access controls. Composer Playground is the web-based interface that enables modeling the business requirements and functions, functional testing, as well as deployment testing on a live blockchain. A LoopBack connector that supports various APIs and integration capabilities allows a variety of client applications as well as non-blockchain applications an easy medium to interface with the Hyperledger Composer.