Hello, World!

By this point, your dev environment should be set up, you’ve run your first CorDapp, and you’re familiar with Corda’s key concepts. What comes next?

If you’re a developer, the next step is to write your own CorDapp. CorDapps are applications that are installed on one or more Corda nodes, and that allow the node’s operator to instruct their node to perform some new process - anything from issuing a debt instrument to making a restaurant booking.

Our use-case

We will write a CorDapp to model IOUs on the blockchain. Each IOU – short for “I O(we) (yo)U” – will record the fact that one node owes another node a certain amount. This simple CorDapp will showcase several key benefits of Corda as a blockchain platform:

  • Privacy - Since IOUs represent sensitive information, we will be taking advantage of Corda’s ability to only share ledger updates with other nodes on a need-to-know basis, instead of using a gossip protocol to share this information with every node on the network as you would with a traditional blockchain platform
  • Well-known identities - Each Corda node has a well-known identity on the network. This allows us to write code in terms of real identities, rather than anonymous public keys
  • Re-use of existing, proven technologies - We will be writing our CorDapp using standard Java. It will run on a Corda node, which is simply a Java process and runs on a regular Java machine (e.g. on your local machine or in the cloud). The nodes will store their data in a standard SQL database

CorDapps usually define at least three things:

  • States - the (possibly shared) facts that are written to the ledger
  • Flows - the procedures for carrying out specific ledger updates
  • Contracts - the constraints governing how states of a given type can evolve over time

Our IOU CorDapp is no exception. It will define the following components:

The IOUState

Our state will be the IOUState, representing an IOU. It will contain the IOU’s value, its lender and its borrower. We can visualize IOUState as follows:

tutorial state

The IOUFlow

Our flow will be the IOUFlow. This flow will completely automate the process of issuing a new IOU onto a ledger. It has the following steps:

simple tutorial flow

The IOUContract

For this tutorial, we will use the default TemplateContract. We will update it to create a fully-fledged IOUContract in the next tutorial.

Progress so far

We’ve designed a simple CorDapp that will allow nodes to agree new IOUs on the blockchain.

Next, we’ll take a look at the template project we’ll be using as the basis for our CorDapp.