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Microsoft Unveils New Blockchain Tools

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Microsoft announced the Azure Blockchain Workbench Monday, releasing a new set of tools for developers that work with distributed ledger tech.

The Workbench provides “the scaffolding for an end-to-end blockchain application,” and can be set up “with just a few simple clicks,” according to the announcement. Put more simply, Microsoft is trying to streamline the method by which companies and their development teams can build apps on top of Azure-based blockchains.

“Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days,” Azure general manager Matthew Kerner wrote in a blog post published Monday.

Kerner added:

“Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.”

Some of the firm’s existing partners have already taken advantage of the Workbench, Microsoft announced, including Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, food distributor Nestle and “quote-to-cash” software producer Apttus.

Stepping back, the move is just the latest for the technology giant, which has joined several blockchain-focused partnerships in the last few months.

The company is working with Hyperledger, the United Nations, research consortium R3 and Cornell University’s Blockchain Research Group to study different aspects of blockchain technology.

Outside of those group efforts, Microsoft has shown interest in the technology for digital identity purposes, as previously reported.

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