Corda V1.0 Released

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Clinton Alexander

Software Engineer at R3
Clinton is a Software Engineer at R3, working on Corda. His main area of focus has been the Corda platform and CorDapp ecosystem.

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Corda 1.0 is finally here!

This critical step in the Corda journey enables the developer community, clients, and partners to build on Corda with confidence. Corda 1.0 is the first released version to provide API stability for Corda application (CorDapp) developers. Corda applications will continue to work against this API with each subsequent release of Corda. The public API for Corda will only evolve to include new features. This blog post by Richard Gendal Brown explains the meaning and goals of V1 in more detail.

As of Corda 1.0, the following modules export public APIs for which we guarantee to maintain backwards compatibility, unless an incompatible change is required for security reasons:

  • core
    Contains the bulk of the APIs to be used for building CorDapps: contracts, transactions, flows, identity, node services, cryptographic libraries, and general utility functions.
  • client-rpc
    An RPC client interface to Corda, for use by both UI facing clients and integration with external systems.
  • client-jackson
    Utilities and serialisers for working with JSON representations of basic types.

Our extensive testing frameworks will continue to evolve alongside future Corda APIs. As part of our commitment to ease of use and modularity we have introduced a new test node driver module  to encapsulate all test functionality in support of building standalone node integration tests using our DSL driver.

Please read the API index for complete details.

Significant changes implemented in reaching Corda API stability include:

Flow framework:
The Flow framework communications API has been redesigned around session based communication with the introduction of a new “FlowSession“ to encapsulate the counterparty information associated with a flow. All shipped Corda flows have been upgraded to use the new `FlowSession`. Please read :doc:`api-flows` for complete details.

Complete API cleanup:
Across the board, all our public interfaces have been thoroughly revised and updated to ensure a productive and intuitive developer experience. Methods and flow naming conventions have been aligned with their semantic use to ease the understanding of CorDapps. In addition, we provide ever more powerful re-usable flows (such as `CollectSignaturesFlow`) to minimize the boiler-plate code developers need to write.

Simplified annotation driven scanning:
CorDapp configuration has been made simpler through the removal of explicit configuration items in favour of annotations and classpath scanning. As an example, we have now completely removed the `CordaPluginRegistry` configuration. Contract definitions are no longer required to explicitly define a legal contract reference hash. In their place an optional `LegalProseReference` annotation to specify a URI is used.

Java usability:
All code has been updated to enable simple access to static API parameters. Developers no longer need to call getter methods, and can reference static API variables directly.

In addition to API stability this release encompasses a number of major functional improvements, including:

Contract constraints:
Provides a means with which to enforce a specific implementation of a State’s verify method during transaction verification. When loading an attachment via the attachment classloader, constraints of a transaction state are checked against the list of attachment hashes provided, and the attachment is rejected if the constraints are not matched.

Signature Metadata support:
Signers now have the ability to add metadata to their digital signatures. Whereas previously a user could only sign the Merkle root of a transaction, it is now possible for extra information to be attached to a signature, such as a platform version and the signature-scheme used.

Backwards compatibility and improvements to core transaction data structures:
A new Merkle tree model has been introduced that utilises sub-Merkle trees per component type. Components of the same type, such as inputs or commands, are grouped together and form their own Merkle tree. Then, the roots of each group are used as leaves in the top-level Merkle tree. This model enables backwards compatibility, in the sense that if new component types are added in the future, old clients will still be able to compute the Merkle root and relay transactions even if they cannot read (deserialise) the new component types. Due to the above, `FilterTransaction` has been made simpler with a structure closer to `WireTransaction`. This has the effect of making the API more user friendly and intuitive for both filtered and unfiltered transactions.

Enhanced component privacy:
Corda 1.0 is equipped with a scalable component visibility design based on the above sophisticated sub-tree model and the introduction of nonces per component. Roughly, an initial base-nonce, the “privacy-salt”, is used to deterministically generate nonces based on the path of each component in the tree. Because each component is accompanied by a nonce, we protect against brute force attacks, even against low-entropy components. In addition, a new privacy feature is provided that allows non-validating notaries to ensure they see all inputs and if there was a `TimeWindow` in the original transaction. Due to the above, a malicious user cannot selectively hide one or more input states from the notary that would enable her to bypass the double-spending check. The aforementioned functionality could also be applied to Oracles so as to ensure all of the commands are visible to them.

Full support for confidential identities:
This includes rework and improvements to the identity service to handle both `well known` and `confidential` identities. This work ships in an experimental module in Corda 1.0, called `confidential-identities`. API stabilisation of confidential identities will occur as we make the integration of this privacy feature into applications even easier for developers.

Re-designed network map service:
The foundations for a completely redesigned network map service have been implemented to enable future increased network scalability and redundancy, support for multiple notaries, and administration of network compatibility zones and business networks.

Finally, please note that the 1.0 release has not yet been security audited.

We have provided a comprehensive upgrade notes to ease the transition of migrating CorDapps to Corda 1.0

Upgrading to this release is strongly recommended, and you will be safe in the knowledge that core APIs will no longer break.

Thank you to all contributors for this release!

The latest version of DemoBench can be found here.

Comments

  1. Congratulations to the whole R3 team for their massive effort to get to this milestone.

Continue the discussion at discourse.corda.net

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