Educational transcripts are a nightmare to managed. Every time you apply to a school or a job requiring transcripts, you must go to each different institution and request the same information over and over again. The reason for this is for the reviewing organization to be assure the transcript is authentic. With the growing number of non-traditional educational training options, professional certifications, and even traditional regulated licenses, the ability to establish a trusted record of all credentials that can be shared by the person who has earned these credentials is becoming increasingly important.
What it does
The Credential Fabric provides a Member to request the addition of credentials obtained (and updates for those that must be maintained) from issuing organizations, who are the Authority. The Members of the Credential Fabric can see each others public credential information and provide general and detailed information to Reviewers of credentials, whether for all or a single entry.
How we built it
We wanted experience with blockchain technology and chose Hyperledger Fabric due to its ability to manage multiple levels and types of permissions, as well as its current stability, level of documentation and availability of development tools. We added NodeJS Web Services and Amazon S3 to manage the association of non-structure data (aka files) as Fabric only support structured data. Finally, we leveraged Angular.js as the frontend to provide easy access.
Challenges we ran into
Blockchain technology is still relatively new to most developers so even with the available documentation for Fabric, building and deploying a solution was trial and error to the extreme (so little Stack Overflow, it was a bit scary!) Interfacing Fabric with other Web Services stretched both our technical ability as well as creative solving problem to provide as much as security as possible that is expected of blockchain when blockchain fell short.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We deployed a block chain application with smart contracts and provided multiple levels of security!!!!!
What we learned
First, we have a greater appreciation for the wealth of information provided by generous fellow developers on the web for learning and adapting new technology. Second, blockchain has gone from theory to practice as we have actually experienced building an deploying a blockchain network and app. Finally, we see the potential for blockchain but also need for managing expectations in deploying this for other solutions.
What's next for Credential Fabric
We would like to continue to build Credential Fabric as an example for others beyond the great examples provided by Hyperledger, providing a different set of building blocks and more heterogenous application as a learning tools for others.