Blockchain is arguably the most exciting emerging technology of the last decade. We see lots of abstract white papers about its potential uses, but we wanted to 1) illustrate a concrete use-case for blockchain that would have practical application for a wide array of clients and 2) show how Appian's low-code platform is an ideal application layer for blockchain projects; greatly accelerating development of the application itself over custom development alternatives.
What it does
This application takes a simple workflow from our fictitious Zoo Management Application, and persists the process history from that application to an Ethereum blockchain, providing an immutable ledger of 'who did what, when' for a regulator to review in an audit cycle.
How we built it
We created a Smart Contract and deployed it to the Ethereum testnet, Rinkeby. This solution leverages a public blockchain network and can be easily extended to leverage either private or consortium-based blockchain networks. We persist and retrieve Appian process history to the blockchain using this Smart Contract.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This hackathon submission represents the first bi-directional Appian-Blockchain integration ever built. We're excited to highlight how these two technologies can complement one another, with Appian as the application layer and blockchain as the immutable source of record.
Further, we're excited to show a concrete, real-world application of blockchain technology that applies broadly to many users of the Appian low-code platform. Many industry verticals, such as Financial Services and Life Sciences, face stiff regulatory requirements where firms must provide audit data to external regulators (e.g. auditors or industry regulators) to prove they've satisfied regulatory requirements.
The immutable nature of blockchain is a perfect fit for this scenario, where regulators can be assured that the information they are viewing has not been tampered or altered in any way. Many clients in these same verticals use Appian to build custom workflows that are designed to comply with the regulations in their respective industry, and this solution provides an easy way for them to persist their process history-- the 'who did what, when' of their custom workflows-- to a blockchain for easy and trusted review by a regulating authority.