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Based on a serverless computing platform, Vendia’s platform makes it possible to share data and associated code that could, for example, restrict how that data is employed. The company was founded by Dr. Tim Wagner, formerly general manager and creator of the Lambda serverless computing framework at AWS, and Shruthi Rao, formerly head of business development for blockchain at AWS.
Developers can use Vendia Share to build applications that can query, update, and share data in real time with transactional semantics maintained regardless of the platforms involved. Instead of having to rely on a blockchain network that doesn’t easily scale to process transactions between third parties, Wagner, now the CEO of Vedia, said Vendia Share reconciles transactions using a network of NoSQL databases residing on a cloud platform selected by the end customer.
Vendia Share then makes use of GraphQL application programming interfaces to launch transactions that can dynamically scale up and down as required, Wagner said. There is no need to have infrastructure continuously available. “It doesn’t consume any additional compute because the resources automatically spin down when the transaction is completed,” he said.
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The Vandia Share service currently integrates with cloud services such as AWS Lambda, Amazon SQS, and Amazon S3, with support for other cloud platforms planned. Eventually, Wagner said, IT organizations will be able to reconcile transactions using NoSQL databases of their choice that can reside on any cloud. The funding round was led by Canvas Ventures, with participation from BMW i Ventures, Sorenson Ventures, and seed-stage investors. Vendia will use part of the funds to add support for cloud platforms beyond AWS, Wagner said.
The core issue Vendia is addressing has been a longstanding challenge. Large enterprises today employ ERP applications running on distributed databases to reconcile transactions. The challenge organizations face is that most of their business partners either have a different ERP system or simply can’t afford to have one of their own. In the hopes of resolving that dilemma, organizations have been investing in distributed ledgers running on blockchain databases that would enable immutable transactions involving multiple parties to be recorded. The issue with blockchain databases is they are not able to support transactions that need to be processed in milliseconds, which is required to enable applications to remain current in near real time.
Vendia is alternatively leveraging a serverless computing framework to harness the transaction capabilities of a network of NoSQL databases to process those transactions. Sharing data and associated code makes it easier for developers to build applications that would tap into a transaction network that can be easily governed and audited. Vendia Share can also store data in a JSON format to further facilitate transaction workflows, Wagner added.
It’s not clear to what degree organizations may abandon existing platforms for processing transactions. Vendia is making a case for a service that can be deployed alongside ERP systems to process transactions involving external partners. One immediate impact of that capability is that it would become simpler for organizations to onboard new suppliers.
Regardless of the use case, it’s apparent that serverless computing frameworks are surfacing another way to manage distributed transactions that haven’t fundamentally changed all that much since two-phase commit was employed in a distributed database way back in the 1980s.
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