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Node Component Architecture

Table of contents

  1. What is a FireFly Node?
  2. Runtimes
  3. Responsibilities & Pluggable Elements
  4. Code Structure

What is a FireFly Node?

The core architecture of a FireFly node can be broken down into the following three areas:

  • The various runtimes encapsulating the node.
  • The core runtime responsibilities and pluggable elements.
  • The actual code running inside the node.

FireFly Architecture Overview


What fundamentally is a node - left side of the above diagram.

  • It is a collection of multiple runtimes with a single unified HTTPS/Websocket API (exposed by the Core).
  • It has a private database, containing your private data, and data received from others in the network.
  • It has connectivity out to other parties in the network, through runtimes (Blockchain, Shared Filesystems, Messaging etc.).

Responsibilities & Pluggable Elements

What are the core runtime responsibilities, and pluggable elements - right side of the above diagram.

  • The core elements of function that FireFly performs, and which runtime is responsible.
    • This means some insight into core itself, and the jobs it performs, but not full code structure.
    • More importantly, what the split of responsibilities is between Connectors and Infrastructure Runtimes.
      • Connectors are the bridging runtimes, that know how to talk to a particular runtime.
        • They run separately to the core (like a microservice architecture of an app).
        • They can be written in any language (not just Go) - Java, TypeScript, Rust, Python, .NET etc.
        • They can use any network transport (not just HTTPS/Websockets) - GRPC, AMQP, UDP etc.
        • They connect to the core with a Golang shim - see separate Plugin Architecture discussion.
          • In some special cases (like the Database) the Golang shim does not need a connector runtime.
      • Infrastructure Runtimes are the core runtimes for multi-party system activities.
        • Blockchain nodes - Ethereum (Hyperledger Besu, Quorum, Geth), Hyperledger Fabric, Corda etc.
        • Shared strorage - IPFS etc.
        • Database - PostreSQL, CouchDB etc.

Code Structure

What is the code structure inside the core.

  • The is the reference for this.
  • Developers contributing to FireFly, on the core, or building new plugins, need this level of detail.
    • A reconciliation is underway to ensure the medium-level view correlates well with this code structure.