Nowadays hundreds or thousands of custom-built applications have to be used for the operations of companies. Typically, there could be several different web sites, several instances of ERPs applications, and different departmental solutions.
Still, there is a need to find the right and best applications for each evolving business functions.
Vendors have learned to provide specific applications to provide solutions to specific needs. Each one of them needs specific ways of integration.
The banking and financial sector have been challenged to be also integrated into this workflow.
COVID-19 has put new demands and pressure on the businesses, its business continuity, and the ability to use all applications anywhere by customers, collaborators, business partners, and suppliers. These users do generally not think about the system boundaries when they interact with the business. Users are executing business functions, regardless of how many internal systems the business functions cut across.
In order to support common business processes and data sharing across applications, these applications need to be integrated.
There are new ways to face the integration challenge as it is not an easy process.
The Bitcoin Blockchain technology initiated the wave of open financial integration effort. One of the more outstanding characteristics of this technology is the establishment of decentralized ecosystems, as it facilitates the trade of value. Let’s remember that an economy is a system to make and trade things of value. That trade makes commerce possible.
Remembering the definition of a system as a set of objects together with relationships between the objects and between their attributes related to each other and to their environment so as to form a whole [W. Buckley].
As the Bitcoin blockchain considered only a basic capacity to process, transforming the input into an output, new capacities were implemented by Stacks (https://www.blockstack.org) integrating Smart contracts based in the programming language Clarity. The Clarity smart contracts are executed over the Stacks Blockchain that secures itself using the Bitcoin blockchain. Additionally, the Clarity language is being expanded jointly with Algorand (https://www.algorand.com).
As Inputs are the start-up force that provides the system with its operating necessities, most of the time cannot be easily integrated into the Smart contracts. The same happens with the environment that each system has internal or something external to it. The environment can be considered fixed or a “given” to be incorporated into the system’s problems.
In order to facilitate the integration, the Stacks Blockchain is jointly developing the bridges from external applications with Chainlink (https://chain.link) naming them as Oracles. The provided oracles have the consideration to be decentralized, not with a single point of measurement, in order to assure trust.
Also, as the outputs are the results of the operation of a process, or alternatively, the purpose for which the system exists, the Chainlink connecting blocks facilitate the reach to the applications that are out of the scope of the smart contracts in Clarity.
The integration building blocks based on the blockchain surely are going to start the post-Covid-19 new application integration wave.