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New Ledger Database on AWS Cloud Provides Verifiable History of Data Changes

The AWS cloud announced Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, which uses blockchain-like technology to provide a verifiable history of changes made to data in applications owned by AWS users.

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), in preview since last November, is a "fully managed ledger database that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log. Owned by a central trusted authority."

It's not a blockchain or distributed ledger technology, which serve scenarios with distributed applications where multiple, possibly untrusted parties are involved. For those scenarios, AWS offers Amazon Managed Blockchain.

Amazon QLDB
[Click on image for larger view.] Amazon QLDB (source: AWS)

Rather, "Amazon QLDB is a new class of database that eliminates the need to engage in the complex development effort of building your own ledger-like applications (e.g., tracing the movement of an item through a supply chain network, tracking the history of credits and debits in banking transactions, or validating incidents filed against an insurance claim)," AWS said in announcing the new offering last week.

Targeting use cases ranging from manufacturing to human resources/payroll, the new offering is said by AWS to offer benefits including:

  • Immutable and transparent
  • Serverless
  • Cryptographically verifiable
  • Easy to use
  • Performant and highly scalable

To demonstrate how it's set up and managed with other services such as the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) and CloudFormation templates, AWS's Jeff Barr, chief evangelist, put QLDB through its paces in a Sept. 10 blog post.

"As a ledger database, QLDB is designed to provide an authoritative data source (often known as a system of record) for stored data," Barr explained. "It maintains a complete, immutable history of all committed changes to the data that cannot be updated, altered, or deleted. QLDB supports PartiQL SQL queries to the historical data, and also provides an API that allows you to cryptographically verify that the history is accurate and legitimate."

It's available in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions, with more regions on tap.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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