Skip to main content

ChainOps for Smart Contract-Based Distributed Applications

Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP,volume 422)


Three of the key impediments that need to be addressed to unlock the true potential of smart contract-based applications include: (i) a lack of operational capabilities to leverage trustworthiness, (ii) limited ability for reuse in volatile and heterogenous application contexts, and (iii) inherent coding complexity that hinders not only involvement of non-technical business experts but also widely used DevOps practices.

This paper reports on the core intermediate results of the development of a model-driven DevOps approach -labelled ChainOps- that ultimately will enable involvement of non-experts, promote reuse and allow for automatic semantic model checking and reasoning to ascertain improved trustworthiness. In addition, a preliminary architecture of an experimental prototype -that is currently under development- is discussed. Finally, this paper plots a roadmap for much needed future research to further explore, validate and extend our initial findings.


  • Smart contracts
  • Blockchain
  • Domain specific languages
  • Model-driven engineering

Part of this work is supported by the Next Generation Internet ONTOCHAIN initiative under grant agreement No. 957338.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. 1.

  2. 2.


  1. Maesa, D., Mori, P.: Blockchain 3.0 applications survey. J. Parallel Distrib. Comput. 138, 99–114 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Butijn, B.-J., Tamburri, D.A., Heuvel, W.-J.V.D.: Blockchains - a systematic multivocal literature review. ACM Comput. Surv. 53(3), 61 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Goasduff, L.: Gartner Predicts that Organizations Using Blockchain Smart Contracts Will Increase Overall Data Quality by 50%, Gartner. Accessed 2 Apr 2021

  4. Zheng, Z., Xie, S., Dai, H., Chen, X., Wang, H.: An overview of blockchain technology: architecture, consensus, and future trends. In: IEEE International Congress on Big Data (BigData Congress), pp. 557–564 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Hu, B., et al.: A comprehensive survey on smart contract construction and execution: paradigms, tools, and systems. Patterns 2(2), 100179 (2021).. PMID: 33659907; PMCID: PMC7892363.

  6. Sillaber, C., Waltl, B., Treiblmaier, H., et al.: Laying the foundation for smart contract development: an integrated engineering process model. Inf. Syst. E-Bus. Manage. (2020).

  7. Bedin, A.R.C., Capretz, M., Mir, S.: Blockchain for collaborative businesses. Mob. Netw. Appl. 26(1), 277–284 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Wöhrer, M., Zdun, U.: Design patterns for smart contracts in the ethereum ecosystem. In: IEEE International Conference on Blockchain, pp. 1513–1520 (2018).

  9. Bucchiarone, A., Cabot, J., Paige, R.F., Pierantonio, A.: Grand challenges in model-driven engineering: an analysis of the state of the research. Softw. Syst. Model. 19(1), 5–13 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Jiao, J., Lin, S.W., Sun, J.: A generalized formal semantic framework for smart contracts. In: Wehrheim, H., Cabot, J. (eds.) Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering. FASE 2020. LNCS, vol. 12076, pp. 75–96. Springer, Cham (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  11. Petrovic, N., Tosic, M.: Semantic approach to smart contract verification. Facta Univ. Ser. Autom. Control Robot. 19, 21–37 (2020).

  12. Feng, X., Wang, Q., Zhu, X., Wen, S.: Bug searching in smart contract, pp. 1–8 (2019).

  13. Lu, Q., et al.: Integrated model-driven engineering of blockchain applications for business processes and asset management. CoRR abs/2005.12685 (2020).

  14. Skotnica, M., Klicpera, J., Pergl, R.: Towards model-driven smart contract systems - code generation and improving expressivity of smart contract modeling. EEWC Forum Doctoral Consortium (2020).

  15. Garamvölgyi, P., Kocsis, I., Gehl, B., Klenik, A.: Towards model-driven engineering of smart contracts for cyber-physical systems. In: 2018 48th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks Workshops (DSN-W), Luxembourg, Luxembourg, pp. 134–139 (2018).

  16. de Kruijff, J., Weigand, H.: Ontologies for commitment-based smart contracts. In: Panetto, H., et al. (eds.) OTM 2017. LNCS, vol. 10574, pp. 383–398. Springer, Cham (2017).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  17. Kochovski, P., et al.: Smart contracts for service-level agreements in edge-to-cloud computing. J. Grid Comput. 18(4), 673–690 (2020).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  18. Teng, Y.: Towards trustworthy blockchsains: normative reflections on blockchain-enabled virtual institutions. Ethics Inf. Technol. (2021).

  19. Thiebes, S., Lins, S., Sunyaev, A.: Trustworthy artificial intelligence. Electron. Mark. (2020).

  20. Iansiti, M., Lakhani, K.R.: The truth about blockchain. Harv. Bus. Rev. 95(1), 118–127 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Willem-Jan van den Heuvel .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

van den Heuvel, WJ., Tamburri, D.A., D’Amici, D., Izzo, F., Potten, S. (2021). ChainOps for Smart Contract-Based Distributed Applications. In: Shishkov, B. (eds) Business Modeling and Software Design. BMSD 2021. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 422. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-79975-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-79976-2

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)