Open In App

Hyperledger Explorer in Blockchain

Last Updated : 21 Mar, 2023
Improve
Improve
Like Article
Like
Save
Share
Report

Hyperledger Explorer is an open-source tool developed by the Linux Foundation and hosted by the Hyperledger project. It provides a web-based interface for viewing, querying, and analyzing data from a blockchain network powered by Hyperledger Fabric. The tool offers a number of features for tracking and analyzing the operation of the blockchain network, including the ability to view transaction history, smart contract information, network node information, and user data.

What is Hyperledger Explorer?

Hyperledger Explorer is designed to work with different Hyperledger Fabric versions and can connect to both single and multiple blockchain networks. It allows authorized users to view the information of transactions and blocks, trace the history of assets, and generate custom reports for analysis purposes. Additionally,  

  • A REST API is offered by Hyperledger Explorer to enable integration with other programs and devices.
  • The tool is primarily designed for developers, network administrators, and auditors who need to track and examine the behavior and operation of the blockchain network.
  • Business analysts and decision-makers who wish to understand the data in the blockchain network in order to make wise choices can also benefit from it.

Why Do You Need Hyperledger Explorer?

Hyperledger Explorer is a powerful tool that provides an easy way to monitor, visualize, and analyze blockchain networks based on the Hyperledger Fabric platform. Here are some reasons why you might need Hyperledger Explorer:

  • Monitoring and Visualization: A user-friendly interface is provided by Hyperledger Explorer to monitor and visualize the blockchain network. You can monitor every transaction and block in the network, keep tabs on the network’s health, and instantly spot any problems or anomalies.
  • Transaction Analysis: You can examine the blockchain network’s transactions using Hyperledger Explorer. Each transaction’s timestamp, size, and contents may all be seen in detail. This data can help with pattern recognition, fraud detection, and network efficiency enhancement.
  • Network Analysis: A thorough picture of the blockchain network, including its topology, nodes, and channels, is provided by Hyperledger Explorer. This data can be utilized to locate bottlenecks, enhance network performance, and raise the network’s overall effectiveness.
  • Security and Compliance: Tools for ensuring the security and compliance of the blockchain network are provided by Hyperledger Explorer. You can use it to set access controls, track the identities of network users, and keep an eye out for any unusual activities on the network.
  • Customization: Due to Hyperledger Explorer’s great degree of adaptability, you can customize the tool to meet your unique requirements. To enhance the network’s performance, you can personalize the dashboard, produce your own analytics, and incorporate additional tools.

Feature of Hyperledger Explorer

Hyperledger Explorer provides various features to explore and monitor the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network. Some of the main features of Hyperledger Explorer are:

  • Dashboard: The dashboard provides an overview of the blockchain network, including the total number of blocks, transactions, and active peers.
  • Block Explorer: The block explorer allows users to view details of each block on the blockchain, including the block hash, block number, and transaction details.
  • Transaction Explorer: The transaction explorer allows users to view the details of each transaction, including the transaction hash, transaction ID, and sender and receiver addresses.
  • Channel Viewer: The channel viewer displays the details of each channel in the blockchain network, including the number of blocks and transactions on each channel.
  • Chain-code Viewer: The chaincode viewer displays the details of each chaincode installed on the blockchain network, including the chaincode name, version, and endorsement policy.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Hyperledger Explorer provides real-time monitoring of the blockchain network, including real-time block and transaction data.
  • API Support: Hyperledger Explorer provides APIs that allow developers to integrate the explorer with other blockchain applications.
  • Customizable User Interface: Hyperledger Explorer allows users to customize the user interface according to their preferences.
  • User Management: Hyperledger Explorer provides user management features that allow administrators to manage user access and permissions.
  • Network Management: Hyperledger Explorer provides network management features that allow administrators to manage and configure the blockchain network.

Architecture of Hyperledger Explorer

The architecture of Hyperledger Explorer comprises three major components:

1. User Interface

This component provides a web-based user interface that displays data in a meaningful and easy-to-understand way. Users can interact with the data by performing various actions like querying the data, filtering the data, and viewing the transaction details.

2. REST API Server

This component provides a REST API interface that allows clients to communicate with the Hyperledger Explorer server. The REST API server exposes endpoints that enable users to retrieve data from the blockchain network.

3. Database

This component stores data related to the blockchain network, including transactions, blocks, peers, and channels. Hyperledger Explorer supports two types of databases: LevelDB and CouchDB.

The architecture of Hyperledger Explorer follows a modular design approach that allows for easy extensibility and customization. The modular design approach also enables Hyperledger Explorer to be deployed in a variety of environments, including cloud-based, on-premise, and hybrid architectures.

Hyperledger Explorer uses the Fabric Node SDK to connect to the Hyperledger Fabric network and retrieve data. The Node SDK provides a set of APIs that enable Hyperledger Explorer to interact with the Fabric network and retrieve data related to blocks, transactions, peers, and channels.

Step-By-Step Installation of Hyperledger Explorer

Here are the step-by-step instructions to install Hyperledger Explorer:

Prerequisites:

Docker and Docker-compose

Node.js and NPM

Git

Step 1: Clone the Hyperledger Explorer Repository: 

Open the terminal and clone the Hyperledger Explorer repository using the following command:

git clone https://github.com/hyperledger/blockchain-explorer.git

Step 2: Navigate to the Hyperledger Explorer Directory:

Once the repository is cloned, navigate to the blockchain-explorer directory using the following command:

cd blockchain-explorer

Step 3: Checkout to the Latest Release:

Check the latest release version of Hyperledger Explorer on the release page on GitHub. Checkout to the latest release using the following command:

git checkout v<latest_release>

Step 4: Create Configuration Files:

Copy the example configuration files to the main directory:

cp config.json.example config.json

cp connection-profile/first-network.json connection-profile/connection-profile.json

Step 5: Configure the Connection Profile:

Edit the connection-profile.json file to configure the connection profile. The connection profile contains related information about the network and nodes that Hyperledger Explorer will connect to. Ensure that the network information in the connection profile is correct.

Step 6: Install Dependencies:

Install the dependencies required for Hyperledger Explorer using the command:

npm install

Step 7: Generate Necessary Certificates:

To enable SSL/TLS for the web server, and generate the necessary certificates use the following command:

cd app/test

./generateCertificates.sh

Step 8: Start the Blockchain Network:

Before starting Hyperledger Explorer, ensure that the blockchain network is up and running.

Step 9: Start the Hyperledger Explorer:

To start Hyperledger Explorer, run the following command:

./start.sh

Step 10: Access Hyperledger Explorer:

Once started, access Hyperledger Explorer by opening the web browser and navigating to the URL http://localhost:8080/. Now, you have successfully installed Hyperledger Explorer.

Benefits of Hyperledger Explorer

Hyperledger Explorer is a powerful tool for blockchain developers and business users alike. Here are some of its key uses:

  • Network Visibility: Hyperledger Explorer offers in-depth, real-time network visibility into essential data such as smart contracts, blockchain transactions, and other relevant information. As a result, blockchain network health can be easily monitored and analyzed by developers and business users.
  • Transaction Analysis: With Hyperledger Explorer, users can examine and display blockchain transactions. With the identification of transaction trends and abnormalities, the network’s performance and security can be enhanced.
  • Smart Contract Development: Hyperledger Explorer can be used for both the development and testing of smart contracts. Smart contracts may be created, tested, and deployed using the tool’s user-friendly interface, which can speed up the development process.
  • Network Management: Network management tools offered by Hyperledger Explorer include the ability to add and delete nodes from the network as well as view network status and track network performance. This contributes to the smooth and effective operation of the blockchain network.
  • Business Intelligence: Hyperledger Explorer offers insightful data about a blockchain network’s performance, such as transaction throughput, latency, and other important parameters. This enables business users to choose the best network optimization strategy for their requirements.

Limitations of Hyperledger Explorer

Some of the limitations of Hyperledger Explorer include:

  • Limited to Hyperledger Fabric: Hyperledger Explorer is restricted to Hyperledger Fabric and cannot be used with any other blockchain platforms. Hyperledger Explorer is developed particularly for use with the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology.
  • Limited functionality: Hyperledger Explorer is primarily used for tracking and analyzing blockchain data, although it lacks several sophisticated functions like managing consensus mechanisms, developing smart contracts, and executing transactions.
  • Complexity: Especially for massive blockchain networks, setting up and customizing Hyperledger Explorer can be challenging and time-consuming.
  • Security concerns:  Although Hyperledger Explorer is made with great security in mind, there are still some inherent security risks in any system that works with blockchain data. In order to prevent potential vulnerabilities, it is crucial to adhere to security best practises.
  • Lack of official documentation: Although the open-source community offers a wealth of tools and documentation, Hyperledger Explorer lacks official support and documentation, which can be problematic for some users.


Like Article
Suggest improvement
Previous
Next
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads