Distributed Document Lifecycle Management

The DactaTrace Distributed Document Lifecycle Management Solution is based on R3 Corda Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). User nodes are distributed and connected via a secure peer-to-peer network. Users have their own immutable document archives, and their own copies of the distributed ledger that contains the state transition records of all documents the participant has sent, or received.

Challenge

When enterprises and organizations in the private and in the public sector collaborate, secure and controlled sharing of proprietary or otherwise sensitive documents or similar information artefacts, getting from proposals to contracts that must be approved and signed by multiple parties, and distributed document authoring and versioning often require privacy, traceability and auditability across the full lifecycle of a document.

Traditional document, information, and business process management solutions work well within a single enterprise or organization, but cannot provide the “what I see is what you see” guarantee that is a prerequisite for eliminating uncertainties, doubt and friction from the distributed creation, approval, revisioning, versioning, signing and countersigning of documents or similar information artefacts.

Vision

The Distributed Document Lifecycle Management Solution uses R3 Corda Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), with the goal of making the creation and exchange of documents across enterprise boundaries traceable and auditable.

Based on R3 Corda DLT, create and maintain consensus between all involved parties about existence and status of shared documents or similar information artefacts.

Comparing the Distributed Document Lifecycle Management Solution with the Document Exchange

Whereas the DactaTrace Document Exchange is a web-based, centralized, and generally available service that any company, or any individual user can use without any upfront installation or configuration, with the DactaTrace Distributed Document Lifecycle Solution a separate node must be created and operated for every company, or for any individual user.

Each of these nodes has its own document archive, and its own private copy of the distributed ledger. Each node's copy of the distributed ledger contains the state transition records of all documents, that were sent, or received by the node.

When documents are sent from one node to another node, the DactaTrace Distributed Document Lifecycle Management Solution ensures that this is correctly recorded in the state transition records in both the sender's as well as in the recipient's copy of the distributed ledger. In addition, the solution ensures that both the sender's and the recipient's document archives contain exactly identical copies of the document that was sent.

As a result, the solution ensures that both the sender and the recipient can at all times be certain that "what I see is what you see". That is, the sender can see the exact date and time when the document was delivered to the recipient, as well as the date and time when the recipient actually viewed the document for the first time. The recipient cannot deny having received the document, nor the date and time when they viewed the document for the first time. In the same way, for each document that has been received, the recipient can see the exact date and time when the sender sent the document. The sender cannot deny having sent the document, nor the date and time when they sent the document.

DactaTrace uses Corda Smart Contracts to provide auditable enforcement of business process rules that govern the distributed creation, approval, revisioning, versioning, sharing, signing and countersigning of documents and other types of information between enterprises and organizations.

The key advantage, compared to the DactaTrace Document Exchange, is that the distributed DLT-based solution bridges the trust-gap between sender and recipient without requiring senders and recipients to trust a single, centralized node, or service provider. However, that advantage comes at a price because, as described above, the DactaTrace Distributed Document Lifecycle Solution requires that a separate node must be created and operated for every company, or for any individual user.