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Marketplace

Table of Contents

Description

This is the Marketplace component of the SOFIE Framework.

The SOFIE Marketplace component provides a trading platform based on a generic request-offer (or proposal-bid) transaction model. It can be used to implement auctions using different pricing models and follow the trade transactions to conclusion including successful receipt of the traded item.

Examples of how the Marketplace can be used include

Architecture Overview

The goal of the SOFIE Marketplace component is to enable the trade of different types of assets in an automated, decentralised, and flexible way using Ethereum smart contracts.

MarketplaceFlow

Figure 1: The flow of an auction using the Marketplace component

Figure 1 show, how an auction takes place using the Marketplace component. First, the party wishing to sell something (Manager) creates a new auction, after which the potential buyers can submit their bids. Once the bidding time concludes, the Manager closes the auction and decides the winner. The winning bid can be the highest or the lowest depending on the type of auction as the Marketplace component supports different pricing models. The winner then pays for the item and the Manager delivers the item. Finally, the winner confirms successful reception of the item, thus creating a complete audit trail of the auction event. At any time, anyoune with access to the Marketplace (Marketplace can be public or limited to members only) can view and audit the status of the Marketplace.

Pricing models

On the application logic level, the following two types of pricing models have been implemented with concrete smart contract examples:

  • Simple bidding: In this model, as long as a request remains open, new offers can be added. Finally, when the auction closes, the offer with the highest (or lowest, depending on the aution type) price is selected. The example use cases of the flower marketplace and the beach chair marketplace show the details of mechanism for this type of pricing model.

  • Fixed price: The fixed price bidding model allows the request maker to set a threshold value, and the first offer that reaches wins the request. The house renovation marketplace is an example of this type of pricing model.

Payment for the item

The payment for the winning bid can implemented in different ways. Marketplace component provides support for making the payment using ethers, which means the payment can be combined together with the request/offer decision cycle as ethers directly, or can be a separate method implemented by the application smart contracts. The first approach is supported by interfaces like submitOfferArrayExtra which allows passing ethers together with offer data. The second approach can be found in the example provided by the Energy Marketplace. Alternatively, the payment can be made outside the Marketplace in which case it is up to the application to integrate the payment to the auction process.

Trade settlement

An interface allows the winner of an auction to confirm that the traded item has actually been delivered, and thus, the auction as a whole has been settled. The interface has been implemented as the settleTrade function in the Abstract Marketplace, where a corresponding event TradeSettled is emitted, so that applications can subscribe and get notified once the resource is delivered. Applications can further expand the logic in the smart contracts to allow allow e.g. external oracle addresses to confirm the delivery of the item.

Component interfaces and structure

Figure 2 shows an overview of the Marketplace component and its interfaces. The Marketplace component offers two interfaces: Request Maker for sellers to create, manage, and conclude auctions, and Offer Maker for buyers to participate and bid in auctions.

MarketplaceInterfaces

Figure 2: Marketplace component's interfaces

Figure 3 shows an internal structure of the Marketplace component. MarketplaceModule includes functionality to communicate with Marketplace smart contracts (which are shown as dotted lines). MarketplaceInterface smart contract includes Offer Maker and Request Maker interfaces. MarketplaceBase includes all the base functionalities for the Marketplace component, while EthereumStandards includes the standard Ethereum tokens like ERC20.

MarketplaceClasses

Figure 3: Internal structure of the Marketplace component

The component's technical design and architecture documentation can be found in the doc directory.

Relation with SOFIE

This repository contains a template that implements the Offer Marketplace business platform as described as part of the SOFIE project's Business Platforms document.

Key Technologies

This component uses Flask for back-end web services and Ethereum Smart Contracts written in Solidity for interacting with Ethereum Blockchain. Also, offer-marketplace-cli uses web3.py library in order to interact with the smart contracts.


Usage

The SOFIE Marketplace component is composed of the following parts:

  • Solidity smart contracts located in solidity/contracts and solidity/vendors/ENG directories
  • Flask backend for interacting with smart contracts (currently under development and not finished yet) located in src/sofie_offer_marketplace/backend
  • Command line tool for interacting with Marketplace located in sofie_offer_marketplace_cli
  • Python Marketplace classes used by the backend and command line tool located in src/sofie_offer_marketplace

Prerequisites

You can install dependencies for the Flask backend and Command line tool by running the following commands (requires Python setuptools package, which can be installed by running: pip install setuptools):

$ python3 setup.py build
$ python3 setup.py install

You can skip the steps above when interacting with smart contracts directly.

Installation

Install Smart Contracts using NPM

Users who need the essential smart contracts related to Marketplace interfaces and their example implementations only, have the option to use the separate SOFIE Marketplace npm module without the need to include this whole repository.

npm install sofie-offer-marketplace

This command installs the module with all the essential smart contracts of interfaces and template implementations. These can then be extended for a custom application logic.

Execution

CLI

For trying out the marketplace tool offer-marketplace-cli, following steps should be performed. First, set up truffle and a local Ethereum node (Ganache CLI, for example):

$ cd solidity/
$ npm install
$ npm install -g ganache-cli
$ ganache-cli -p 7545
$ npx truffle migrate --reset --network marketplace
$ cd ..

Then:

$ export WEB3_PROVIDER_URI=http://localhost:7545
$ export MARKETPLACE_ACCOUNT=account-id-from-ganache-console
$ export MARKETPLACE_CONTRACT=contract-from-truffle-migrate
$ export REGISTERED_ACCOUNT=sofie_offer_marketplace_cli
$ offer-marketplace-cli --manager add-request "in 5 minutes" 1000 0
$ offer-marketplace-cli list

Keep in mind that you should use SET instead of export in Windows.

Flask backend APIs

The detailed specification of the APIs including the smart contracts, backend and event callbacks can be found in the API document.

Environment set up

An Ethereum network needs to be set up, with the local example using the Ganache tool as follows

ganache-cli -p 7545 -b 1

Afterwards, the specified smart contract of the marketplace application should be deployed upon it. For the default case, FlowerMarketplace smart contracts will be deployed with the following command:

make migrate

For customized smart contract, it should be deployed using truffle migrate or similar.

The dependencies should be installed and the application built as mentioned in the above sections.

First, set the environment variables, including the module for the Flask application, and configure its mode.

export FLASK_APP=src/sofie_offer_marketplace.backend.app
export FLASK_ENV=development
Run backend server

Then, the backend server can be run with the following command:

python -m flask run
Launch Celery worker for event callbacks

To use the event callbacks features, a separate Celery worker needs be launched to handle the background jobs.

First, run a Redis in the background from Docker as the message broker:

docker run -d -p 6379:6379 redis

Then the Celery worker can be launched as follows:

celery -A sofie_offer_marketplace.backend.app.celery worker --loglevel=INFO
System tests

With all the steps taken as above, the system tests can then be carried out by the simple command below (Python 3.8 can be used for testing by passing -e py38 parameters instead):

tox -e py36 -v

or through a separate visit to the endpoints of the backend APIs

curl localhost:5000/info

Re-using the template

Usage

  • Most of the primary code is designed to be loosely coupled and re-usable. Thus, while the examples use Flask for building web services, the core itself is modularized as a Python library and should be re-usable in other environments.

Docker image

Execute the script docker-build.sh to build docker image for the Marketplace component. The Docker image contains the backend listening globally at port 5000.


Testing

The tests/marketplace directory contains the scripts to unit test the backend. The solidity/test/ directory contains the scripts to unit test the smart contracts.

Prerequisites

Tests for the Python components can be run either by using Tox, which will install all Python-related dependencies automatically, or directly using pytest, which can be used to run independent tests. For testing through Makefile, some additional tools (curl and jq) are needed.

Install Tox:

$ pip install tox

Or install pytest and dependencies:

$ pip install pytest pytest-asyncio pytest-mock pytest-mypy

To test example smart contracts, install Truffle:

$ cd solidity/
$ npm install

Running the tests

The easiest way to run the tests is with:

    $ make test

This will setup a Docker Compose-based environment containing the local Ethereum node (Ganache), Redis, and Celery, and will also deploy the smart contracts and runs all the tests.

In order to run the tests manually, local Ethereum node, Redis and Celery need to be running, and smart contracts need to be deployed correctly. Please the above section for Flask backend APIs for the manual setup.

Then, to test the Python components manually run either:

tox

Or:

pytest -v
mypy src tests

To test the smart contracts located in solidity directory (it compiles them automatically):

$ make test-contracts

Evaluating the results

When using Tox and Truffle, test results in JUnit format are stored in tests directory. Files backend_test_results.xml, backend_mypy_test_results.xml, and smart_contracts_test_results.xml contain results for the backend tests, backend mypy (static type checked) tests, and smart contract tests respectively.


Generating documentation for Python code

We use a mix of markdown and reStructuredText format for documenting the project. Python code documentation is autogenerated by using Sphinx. You can see the md and rst files in the doc directory. To generate the documentation you should install sphinx and the various sphinx extensions that are used:

$ pip install 'sphinx<3.0.0' m2r sphinxcontrib-httpdomain sphinxcontrib-soliditydomain sphinxcontrib-seqdiag

Now you can run

$ make html

to generate documentation. Generated documentation is saved in doc/html. index.html is the main page and you can find all documentations through its links.


Known and Open issues


Future Work


Release Notes

2020-09-17

Added

  • Flask backend APIs related to request, offers and managment operations in the marketplace
  • Event callbacks for the events emitted by the smart contracts
  • Interface for trading evidence to be used for proof of item delivery

Changed

  • Automated tests utilise Docker compose environment

Contact info

Contact: Wu, Lei lei.1.wu@aalto.fi

Contributors: can be found in authors file.


License

This component is licensed under the Apache License 2.0.