Review my idea of using Cardano for a solution in our business...or do we just need a shared database?

Hello Forum and Happy New Year! A little early but wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holiday’s. :slight_smile:

I’ve been playing with an idea for a solution that I know could be solved using a shared database, but I’d like to explore if this problem could also be solved using a blockchain such as Cardano. Here’s the scoop:

In our business we assay samples for large companies. Most of the companies we deal with use the same Lab Inventory Management Software (LIMS for short) system that we use which has a SQL database. Clients send in samples and we add these to our database and run each sample through the required processes and deliver the completed results as well as the remaining samples left over after assaying back to the client. I should mention that these companies are intensely private and would not want these sample results known to anyone else.

So my solution…Each sample sent to us has a tag on it with a UPC code on it that means something to the client as it was generated by their system. The tag means nothing to us so we have to generate a new code that our system understands as it winds it’s way through the assaying process within out lab. Yes we can generate our own tags and ask the client to add our tags to the samples sent to us instead. We are exploring that possibility. But what if we used through a private blockchain (database) this sample information to tell our lab the company it came from and the sample number. That’s really all the information we need to process each sample through our lab and eventually send back the remaining samples and results. Could the LIMS software we and our clients both use send only the relevant data to the blockchain so that we can know about the samples sent to us are from each client. I’m also thinking that we could scan each sample at various points in the assaying process and upload this data to this private blockchain so that our client could see it’s progress and eventually know when the process is finished. I’m also wondering if perhaps the whole process could be wrapped in a smart contract so that when the samples are completed at our end and results have been delivered payment of the assaying would be completed by the client automatically. I would also say that each client would need to have a private blockchain that only us and the client can see.

I’m hoping someone from the Cardano community with knowledge of how blockchains (and Cardano) works can review my idea and comment on if I’m on to something here or not.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide me.

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Cardano does not have any plans for a private blockchain afaik. To make a blockchain private one could encrypt the contents in the metadata though. Only those parties with access to the key for decoding can then actually read the data.

I would probably want to know which blockchain properties are most interesting to you? Do you want to decentralise your system? Do you have a need for a trustless implementation? I assume you have a working relationship with all your clients and maybe agree on upfront payment?

I would only keep that data in the blockchain that you want to make untamperable. The rest could be stored in something like OrbitDB, but you would probably still need your own ipfs pinning node or you’d have to pay for such a service.

It’s hard to comment much more if we don’t know which properties you’re looking to gain?

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Hello @DaedalusVoyage and thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. Very much appreciate your input!

Although our client and our lab use the same software, I’m not looking to decentralize all data from both databases into a blockchain DLT. But I am interested in connecting data between our client and us with regards to the samples clients send us for assaying. I guess what I’m looking for is to confirm when we scan in the UPC (barcode) from the sample bag we recieve we’ll know the company that bag came from and the sample number (Bag #1). This data is provided to us from the blockchain DLT and it we would also record in the Blockchain DLT that we’ve received that bag so the client knows we’ve received all samples and have begun work. Perhaps there might be a way to provide updates to the blockchain DLT so the client knows where we are in our process or at the very least confirm when we are done and ready to send back the remaining parts of the sample they sent us (we don’t use all the samples they send us in our assaying work).

I’m very new to blockchain and how exactly how blockchains can help us. Like when data is added to the blockchain, does it cost tokens each time data is placed into the blockchain?

The reason I mentioned security is because I don’t think our clients would want their data, even if it is only the client name and the bag number, placed onto a public blockchain.

Having the data in the blockchain is providing shared data for us to use, provide confirmation for the client on where their sample exactly is, provide reliability that the number of samples they sent and were assayed is in an immutable database (not sure how important this point is…something to work out with the client).

Hopefully I’ve been able to provide more information for yourself or others to comment on my post.

Thank you.

What is stopping you from programming a system that emails a confirmation to the client based on scanning the UPC?

In terms of putting data on a public blockchain: the data would be there, but nobody without access could read it if encrypted.