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Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2020-06
End: 2020-06
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Middleware and identity

Record Federation for Corteza Clouds

Data federation over ActivityPub

Corteza is a low code platform for building cloud-based web applications. This is typically for private, records-based management purposes (e.g. case management, insurance claims processing, public sector management applications, CRM, ERP), but the uses can also be public if required. It has a modular architecture and its data later, presentation layer and automation layer can each be treated individually. Corteza Record Federation makes innovative use of the ActivityPub standard to describe how content from the Corteza data layer can be broadcast across large federations of Corteza clouds. All data types, simple or compound, entire records and entire data models are supported.

Whether it be energy, finance, health, education or smart cities, many industries need to share complex data in real-time or near real-time, while preserving the digital sovereignty of a large number of disparate actors, protecting the privacy of user data and acknowledging the law of whichever territories in which they find themselves operating. Corteza Record Federation allows for the creation of private networks of decentralised “mini-clouds”, all self-hosted and controlled by their owners, where this data exchange can happen as efficiently and more effectively than on any single centralised cloud.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Everyone knows that once something is online, it can be hard if not impossible to take that information down again. This is especially risky when you need to share information on a document that also has particularly sensitive or even confidential data on it. Today, countless individuals, businesses and governments use and rely on cloud services to share and manage data online in a controlled space. But how much control do these users really have over their data? Ask yourself this: when you 'rent' cloud space from a provider, where and how does this organization actually store your data? How is it protected, how can you be sure that the personal information you have in there, is kept away from prying eyes? And what's more, where does this provider actually store your data, in what country and under which laws?

Instead of handing over your business critical data, you could try to do it yourself by self-hosting services or even develop your own tools. If this is too technical and time consuming, you could use a platform like Corteza to build your own records-based management solution. Built with free and open source software, Corteza allows you to build your own private or public services based on how you want to store, use and share your information (while handling any technicalities behind the scenes). This project aims to add the capability to broadcast data to other Corteza-powered clouds, using the ActivityPub-protocol for decentralized social networking. This way communities and businesses with their own Corteza-instance can easily talk, share and connect with each other, wthout anyone in between.

Run by Crust Technology Ltd.

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.