Home Blockchain DIY Developing smart contracts with buffered data model

Developing smart contracts with buffered data model

Audio version of the article

How specifying world state data model with protocol buffers can help in developing smart contracts

Chaincode is a domain-specific program that relates to specific business process. It programmatically accesses two distinct pieces of the ledger — a blockchain, which immutably records the history of all transactions and a world state that holds a cache of the current value of these states. The job of a smart contract developer is to take an existing business process that might govern financial prices or delivery conditions and express it as a smart contract in a programming language. Protobuf (short for Protocol buffers) are the language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data. Using protocol buffers can help to define data model once and then easily write and read structured data to and from a variety of data sources.

Discover and review best Blockchain softwares

Chaincode state

The ledger’s current state data represents the latest values for all keys ever included in the chain transaction log. Since current state represents all latest key values known to the channel, it is sometimes referred to as World State.

Chaincode invocations execute transactions against the current state data. To make these chaincode interactions extremely efficient, the latest values of all keys are stored in a state database.

Smart contracts primarily putget and delete states in the world state, and can also query the state change history. Chaincode “shim” APIs implements ChaincodeStubInterface which contain methods for access and modify the ledger, and to make invocations between chaincodes. Main methods are:

* GetState(key string) ([]byte, error) performs a query to retrieve information about the current state of a object

* PutState(key string, value []byte) error creates a new object or modifies an existing one in the ledger world state

* DelState(key string) error removes an object from the current state of the ledger, but not its history

* GetStateByPartialCompositeKey(objectType string, keys []string) (StateQueryIteratorInterface, error)queries the state in the ledger based on given partial composite key

* GetHistoryForKey(key string) (HistoryQueryIteratorInterface, error)returns a history of key values across time.

All this methods use string key as record identifier and slice of bytes as state value. Most of examples use serialized to bytes JSON documents as chaincode state value. Hyperledger Fabric supports both LevelDB as CouchDB to serve as state database, holding the latest state of each object. LevelDB is the default key-value state database embedded in every peer. CouchDB is an optional alternative external state database with more features — it supports rich queries against JSON documents in chaincode state, whereas LevelDB only supports queries against keys.

Querying and updating state with ChaincodeStubInterface methods

As shown in many examples, assets can be represented as complex structures — Golang structs , which are required to be marshalled to JSON string
before putting into chaincode state and unmarshalled after receiving from state.

With ChaincodeStubInterface methods these operations can looks like

ct := ContractType{}

err := json.Unmarshal([]byte(args[0]), &req)
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())

key, err := stub.CreateCompositeKey(prefixContractType, []string{req.UUID})
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())

valAsBytes, err := stub.GetState(key)
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())
if len(valAsBytes) == 0 {
    return shim.Error("Contract Type could not be found")
err = json.Unmarshal(valAsBytes, &ct)
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())

ct.Active = req.Active
valAsBytes, err = json.Marshal(ct)
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())

err = stub.PutState(key, valAsBytes)
if err != nil {
    return shim.Error(err.Error())

return shim.Success(nil)

In the example above smart contract code explicitly performs many auxiliary actions:

  • Creating composite key
  • Unmarshalling data after receiving it from state
  • Marshalling data before placing it to state

Chaincode state operations with CCKit

State methods wrapper

CCKit, library for creating and testing Hyperledger Fabric golang chaincode, contains wrapper on ChaincodeStubInteface methods to working with chaincode state. This methods simplifies chaincode key creation and data transformation during work with chaincode state.

type State interface {
    // Get returns value from state, converted to target type
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    Get(entry interface{}, target ...interface{}) (result interface{}, err error)
    // Get returns value from state, converted to int
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    GetInt(entry interface{}, defaultValue int) (result int, err error)
    // GetHistory returns slice of history records for entry, with values converted to target type
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    GetHistory(entry interface{}, target interface{}) (result HistoryEntryList, err error)
    // Exists returns entry existence in state 
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    Exists(entry interface{}) (exists bool, err error)
    // Put returns result of putting entry to state
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    // if entry is implements Keyer interface and it's struct or type implementing
    // ToByter interface value can be omitted
    Put(entry interface{}, value ...interface{}) (err error)
    // Insert returns result of inserting entry to state
    // If same key exists in state error wil be returned
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    // if entry is implements Keyer interface and it's struct or type implementing
    // ToByter interface value can be omitted
    Insert(entry interface{}, value ...interface{}) (err error)
    // List returns slice of target type
    // namespace can be part of key (string or []string) or entity with defined mapping
    List(namespace interface{}, target ...interface{}) (result []interface{}, err error)
    // Delete returns result of deleting entry from state
    // entry can be Key (string or []string) or type implementing Keyer interface
    Delete(entry interface{}) (err error)


Converting from/to bytes while operating with chaincode state

State wrapper allows to automatically marshal golang type to/from slice of bytes. This type can be:

type (
    // FromByter interface supports FromBytes func for converting from slice of bytes to target type
    FromByter interface {
     FromBytes([]byte) (interface{}, error)
    // ToByter interface supports ToBytes func for converting to slice of bytes from source type
    ToByter interface {
     ToBytes() ([]byte, error)

Golang structs automatically marshals/ unmarshals using json.Marshal and
and json.Umarshal methods. proto.Marshal and proto.Unmarshal are used to convert protobuf.

Creating state keys

In the chaincode data model we often need to store many instances of one type on the ledger, such as multiple commercial papers, letters of credit, and so on. In this case, the unique key of those instances will be typically constructed from a combination of attributes, for example:

`CommercialPaper` + {Issuer} + {PaperId}

yielding series of chaincode state entries keys

`CommercialPaperIssuer1Id1``CommercialPaperIssuer2Id2`, …]

The logic of creation primary key of an instance can be customized in the code, constructing a composite key of an instance based on a combination of several attributes. Composite keys can then be used as a normal string key to
record and retrieve values using the PutState() and GetState() functions.

The following snippet shows a list of functions that create and work with composite keys in ChaincodeStubInterface:

interface ChaincodeStubInterface {
  // The function creates a key by combining the attributes into a single string.
  // The arguments must be valid utf8 strings and must not contain U+0000 (nil byte) and U+10FFFF charactres.
  func CreateCompositeKey(objectType string, attributes []string) (string, error)

  // The function splits the compositeKey into attributes from which the key was formed.
  // This function is useful for extracting attributes from keys returned by range queries.
  func SplitCompositeKey(compositeKey string) (string, []string, error)

When putting or getting data to/from chaincode state you must provide key. CCKit have 3 options for dealing with entries key:

  • Key can be passed explicit to Put method
c.State().Put ( `my-key`, &myStructInstance)
  • Key type can implement Keyer interface
type (
      // Key type
      Key []string

      // Keyer interface for entity containing logic of its key creation
      Keyer interface {
          Key() (Key, error)
  • Key can be of Key type — is essentially slice of string, this slice will be automatically converted to string using shim.CreateCompositeKey method.

and in chaincode you need to provide only type instance, key will be created automatically:

c.State().Put (&myStructInstance)
  • Entry type can have associate mapping

Mapping defines rules for namespace (prefix for key), primary and other uniq and non uniq keys for an entity. Mapping mainly used with protobuf state schema.

Range queries

As well as retrieving assets with a unique key, ChaincodeStubInterface offers functions the opportunity to retrieve sets of assets based on a range criteria.
Moreover, composite keys can be constructed to enable queries against multiple components of the key.

The range functions return an iterator StateQueryIteratorInterface over a set of keys matching the query criteria. The returned keys are in lexical order.
Additionally, when a composite key has multiple attributes, the range query function, GetStateByPartialCompositeKey(), can be used to search for keys matching a subset of the attributes.

For example, the key of a CommercialPaper composed of Issuer and PaperId attributes, entries can be searched only from one Issuer.

Protobuf state model example

CCKit protocol buffers example use Commercial paper scenario and
implements same functionality as Node.JS chaincode sample from official documentation. Protobuf is a way of encoding structured data in an efficient and extensible format.

Protobuf schema advantages:

  1. Schema abstraction layer

Encoding the semantics of your business objects once, in .proto format, is enough to help ensure that the message doesn’t get lost between applications,
and that the boundaries you create enforce your business rules.

2. Extensions — validators etc

Protobuf v3 does not support validating required parameters, but there are third party projects for proto validation, for example
https://github.com/mwitkow/go-proto-validators. It allows to encode, at the schema level, the shape of your data structure, and the validation rules.

3. Easy Language Interoperability
Because Protocol Buffers are implemented in a variety of languages, they make interoperability between polyglot applications in your architecture that much simpler. If you’re introducing a new service using Java Fabric SDK or Node.Js Fabric SDK you simply have to hand the .proto file to the code generator written in the target language and you have guarantees about the safety and interoperability between those architectures.

Defining model

With protocol buffers, you write a .proto description of the data structure you wish to store. From that, the protocol buffer compiler creates a golang struct that implements automatic encoding and parsing of the protocol buffer data with an efficient binary format (or json). The generated class provides getters and setters for the fields that make up a protocol buffer and takes care of the details of reading and writing the protocol buffer as a unit.

In Commercial Paper example first we define messages, that will be stored in chaincode state or used as events:

  • CommercialPaper will be stored in chaincode state
  • CommercialPaperId defines unique id part of commercial paper message
  • IssueCommercialPaper payload for issue transaction and event triggered when new commercial paper issued
  • BuyCommercialPaper payload for buy transaction and event triggered when commercial paper change owner
  • RedeemCommercialPaper payload for redeem transaction and event triggered when commercial paper redeemed
syntax = "proto3";
package schema;

import "google/protobuf/timestamp.proto";

message CommercialPaper {

    enum State {
        ISSUED = 0;
        TRADING = 1;
        REDEEMED = 2;

    string issuer = 1;
    string paper_number = 2;
    string owner = 3;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp issue_date = 4;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp maturity_date = 5;
    int32 face_value = 6;
    State state = 7;

// CommercialPaperId identifier part
message CommercialPaperId {
    string issuer = 1;
    string paper_number = 2;

// IssueCommercialPaper event
message IssueCommercialPaper {
    string issuer = 1;
    string paper_number = 2;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp issue_date = 3;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp maturity_date = 4;
    int32 face_value = 5;

// BuyCommercialPaper event
message BuyCommercialPaper {
    string issuer = 1;
    string paper_number = 2;
    string current_owner = 3;
    string new_owner = 4;
    int32 price = 5;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp purchase_date = 6;

// RedeemCommercialPaper event
message RedeemCommercialPaper {
    string issuer = 1;
    string paper_number = 2;
    string redeeming_owner = 3;
    google.protobuf.Timestamp redeem_date = 4;

Defining protobuf to chaincode state mapping

Protocol buffers message to chaincode mapper can be used to store schema instances in chaincode state. Every schema type (protobuf or struct) can have mapping rules:

  • Primary key creation logic
  • Namespace logic
  • Secondary key creation logic
var (
  // State mappings
	StateMappings = m.StateMappings{}.
		//key namespace will be <`CommercialPaper`, Issuer, PaperNumber>
		Add(&schema.CommercialPaper{}, m.PKeySchema(&schema.CommercialPaperId{}))

	// EventMappings
	EventMappings = m.EventMappings{}.
		// event name will be `IssueCommercialPaper`,  payload - same as issue payload


In chaincode we simply use generated from .proto files structures, chaincode state creation predefined in mappings. Chaincode implementation use CCKit routing and middleware features to structure the code.

package cpaper

import (

	m "github.com/s7techlab/cckit/state/mapping"

func NewCC() *router.Chaincode {

	r := router.New(`commercial_paper`)

	// Mappings for chaincode state

	// Mappings for chaincode events

	// store in chaincode state information about chaincode first instantiator

	// method for debug chaincode state
	debug.AddHandlers(r, `debug`, owner.Only)

		// read methods
		Query(`list`, cpaperList).

		// Get method has 2 params - commercial paper primary key components
		Query(`get`, cpaperGet, defparam.Proto(&schema.CommercialPaperId{})).

		// txn methods
		Invoke(`issue`, cpaperIssue, defparam.Proto(&schema.IssueCommercialPaper{})).
		Invoke(`buy`, cpaperBuy, defparam.Proto(&schema.BuyCommercialPaper{})).
		Invoke(`redeem`, cpaperRedeem, defparam.Proto(&schema.RedeemCommercialPaper{})).
		Invoke(`delete`, cpaperDelete, defparam.Proto(&schema.CommercialPaperId{}))

	return router.NewChaincode(r)

func cpaperList(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {
	// commercial paper key is composite key <`CommercialPaper`>, {Issuer}, {PaperNumber} >
	// where `CommercialPaper` - namespace of this type
	// list method retrieves entries from chaincode state 
	// using GetStateByPartialCompositeKey method, then unmarshal received from state bytes via proto.Ummarshal method
	// and creates slice of *schema.CommercialPaper
	return c.State().List(&schema.CommercialPaper{})

func cpaperIssue(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {
	var (
		issue  = c.Param().(*schema.IssueCommercialPaper) //default parameter
		cpaper = &schema.CommercialPaper{
			Issuer:       issue.Issuer,
			PaperNumber:  issue.PaperNumber,
			Owner:        issue.Issuer,
			IssueDate:    issue.IssueDate,
			MaturityDate: issue.MaturityDate,
			FaceValue:    issue.FaceValue,
			State:        schema.CommercialPaper_ISSUED, // initial state
		err error

	if err = c.Event().Set(issue); err != nil {
		return nil, err

	return cpaper, c.State().Insert(cpaper)

func cpaperBuy(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {

	var (
		cpaper *schema.CommercialPaper

		// but tx payload
		buy = c.Param().(*schema.BuyCommercialPaper)

		// current commercial paper state
		cp, err = c.State().Get(
			&schema.CommercialPaperId{Issuer: buy.Issuer, PaperNumber: buy.PaperNumber},

	if err != nil {
		return nil, errors.Wrap(err, `not found`)
	cpaper = cp.(*schema.CommercialPaper)

	// Validate current owner
	if cpaper.Owner != buy.CurrentOwner {
		return nil, fmt.Errorf(`paper %s %s is not owned by %s`, cpaper.Issuer, cpaper.PaperNumber, buy.CurrentOwner)

	// First buy moves state from ISSUED to TRADING
	if cpaper.State == schema.CommercialPaper_ISSUED {
		cpaper.State = schema.CommercialPaper_TRADING

	// Check paper is not already REDEEMED
	if cpaper.State == schema.CommercialPaper_TRADING {
		cpaper.Owner = buy.NewOwner
	} else {
		return nil, fmt.Errorf(`paper %s %s is not trading.current state = %s`, cpaper.Issuer, cpaper.PaperNumber, cpaper.State)

    if err = c.Event().Set(buy); err != nil {
		return nil, err
	return cpaper, c.State().Put(cpaper)

func cpaperRedeem(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {
	// implement me

	return nil, nil

func cpaperGet(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {
	return c.State().Get(c.Param().(*schema.CommercialPaperId))

func cpaperDelete(c router.Context) (interface{}, error) {
	return nil, c.State().Delete(c.Param().(*schema.CommercialPaperId))


We can test all chaincode use case scenarios using MockStub:

package mapping_test

import (





	examplecert "github.com/s7techlab/cckit/examples/cert"
	testcc "github.com/s7techlab/cckit/testing"
	expectcc "github.com/s7techlab/cckit/testing/expect"

	. "github.com/onsi/ginkgo"
	. "github.com/onsi/gomega"

func TestState(t *testing.T) {
	RunSpecs(t, "State suite")

var (
	actors   identity.Actors
	cPaperCC *testcc.MockStub
	err      error
var _ = Describe(`Mapping`, func() {

	BeforeSuite(func() {
		actors, err = identity.ActorsFromPemFile(`SOME_MSP`, map[string]string{
			`owner`: `s7techlab.pem`,
		}, examplecert.Content)


		//Create commercial papers chaincode mock - protobuf based schema
		cPaperCC = testcc.NewMockStub(`cpapers`, cpaper.NewCC())


	Describe(`Protobuf based schema`, func() {
		It("Allow to add data to chaincode state", func(done Done) {

			events := cPaperCC.EventSubscription()
			expectcc.ResponseOk(cPaperCC.Invoke(`issue`, &testdata.CPapers[0]))

				EventName: `IssueCommercialPaper`,
				Payload:   testcc.MustProtoMarshal(&testdata.CPapers[0]),

			expectcc.ResponseOk(cPaperCC.Invoke(`issue`, &testdata.CPapers[1]))
			expectcc.ResponseOk(cPaperCC.Invoke(`issue`, &testdata.CPapers[2]))

		}, 0.2)

		It("Disallow to insert entries with same keys", func() {
			expectcc.ResponseError(cPaperCC.Invoke(`issue`, &testdata.CPapers[0]))

		It("Allow to get entry list", func() {
			cpapers := expectcc.PayloadIs(cPaperCC.Query(`list`), &[]schema.CommercialPaper{}).([]schema.CommercialPaper)

		It("Allow to get entry raw protobuf", func() {
			cp := testdata.CPapers[0]
			cpaperProtoFromCC := cPaperCC.Query(`get`, &schema.CommercialPaperId{Issuer: cp.Issuer, PaperNumber: cp.PaperNumber}).Payload

			stateCpaper := &schema.CommercialPaper{
				Issuer:       cp.Issuer,
				PaperNumber:  cp.PaperNumber,
				Owner:        cp.Issuer,
				IssueDate:    cp.IssueDate,
				MaturityDate: cp.MaturityDate,
				FaceValue:    cp.FaceValue,
				State:        schema.CommercialPaper_ISSUED, // initial state
			cPaperProto, _ := proto.Marshal(stateCpaper)

		It("Allow update data in chaincode state", func() {
			cp := testdata.CPapers[0]
			expectcc.ResponseOk(cPaperCC.Invoke(`buy`, &schema.BuyCommercialPaper{
				Issuer:       cp.Issuer,
				PaperNumber:  cp.PaperNumber,
				CurrentOwner: cp.Issuer,
				NewOwner:     `some-new-owner`,
				Price:        cp.FaceValue - 10,
				PurchaseDate: ptypes.TimestampNow(),

			cpaperFromCC := expectcc.PayloadIs(
				cPaperCC.Query(`get`, &schema.CommercialPaperId{Issuer: cp.Issuer, PaperNumber: cp.PaperNumber}),

			// state is updated

		It("Allow to delete entry", func() {

			cp := testdata.CPapers[0]
			toDelete := &schema.CommercialPaperId{Issuer: cp.Issuer, PaperNumber: cp.PaperNumber}

			expectcc.ResponseOk(cPaperCC.Invoke(`delete`, toDelete))
			cpapers := expectcc.PayloadIs(cPaperCC.Invoke(`list`), &[]schema.CommercialPaper{}).([]schema.CommercialPaper)

			expectcc.ResponseError(cPaperCC.Invoke(`get`, toDelete), state.ErrKeyNotFound)


This article has been published from the source link without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

Source link

Must Read

Basics about natural language processing

Learn the basics about natural language processing, a cross-discipline approach to making computers hear, process, understand, and duplicate human speech.It wasn't too long ago...

Is Amazon lenient towards Alexa skills policies

Amazon claims it reviews the software created by third-party developers for its Alexa voice assistant platform, yet US academics were able to create more...

VC’s warns US could lose technology race with China

http://www.podcastone.com/downloadsecurity?url=aHR0cHM6Ly9wZHN0LmZtL2UvY2h0YmwuY29tL3RyYWNrL0UyRzg5NS9hdy5ub3hzb2x1dGlvbnMuY29tL2xhdW5jaHBvZC9hZHN3aXp6LzIwMDIvMDcxNDIwX0xFQURFUlNfQU5EX0xFR0VORFNfcG9kY2FzdF9iNXgxXzk3Y2U0YTJhLm1wMz9hd0NvbGxlY3Rpb25JZD0yMDAyJmF3RXBpc29kZUlkPTU0MDZkZjNhLTgyYWItNGUzZi05ZjVjLTM0MDg5N2NlNGEyYSoqfDE1OTYyNzg5ODMxMzEqKnw=.mp3This week on Leaders and Legends Nick Beim, partner in the Venture Capital Firm Venrock joined Aileen Black to discuss the need to sound...

Installing MongoDB on Ubuntu

If your company is in the business of using, handling or depending on data, chances are you’re in need of a document-oriented, NoSQL database....

Data Collection And Management To Power Sound Recognition

 https://www.dataengineeringpodcast.com/podlove/file/627/s/webplayer/c/episode/Episode-139-Audio-Analytic.mp3 Summary We have machines that can listen to and process human speech in a variety of languages, but dealing with unstructured sounds in our environment...

5 Key Challenges In Today’s Era of Big Data

Digital transformation will create trillions of dollars of value. While estimates vary, the World Economic Forum in 2016 estimated an increase in $100 trillion...

Predicting the future of relationships through Machine Learning

The most reliable predictor of a relationship's success is partners' belief that the other person is fully committed, a Western University-led international research team...

Bitcoin traders are more focused on the Brrr than the yawwwwwwnnnn

After a two-day closed-door meeting this week, the Federal Reserve issued a six-paragraph statement on Wednesday and held an hour-long press conference.None of that was news, of course, and...

Malaysia Eyes Blockchain for Bond Market Digitization

Malaysia’s national stock exchange will explore the digitization of the country’s bond market through a proof-of-concept blockchain project.Known as Project Harbour, the initiative...

Accelerating Buisinesses Using Embedded Analytics

Analytics in your tools can help users gain insights that can help move your clients and the organization to the next level.More than two...
banner image