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After watching a sales force movie where they have a session on how they are integrating their product into the blockchain they talk of an example on capturing all the data from the supply chain process and storing that on the blockchain. https://www.salesforce.com/video/1765913/

They talk of an example of putting an order in for bananas, and the process of shipping it all the way to the person receiving it on the other end. Therefore all parties in the process can see all the data on the entire transaction through the auditing of all transactions stored on the blockchain.

When they say the data is stored on the blockchain what data would they would be storing? I know that the size of the data on the blockchain is something that you need to worry about since the gas price is going to go up with more data passed up. Or would they just be storing ID's which would then be referencing back to data they would be storing in their own cloud based services/db's? The first option seems unfeasible due to costs and functionality but the second option of just referencing data seems to break the thought of "immutability" since the data really could just be changed in their cloud and outside of the blockchain history.

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You could store hashes on the blockchain and then refer the hash to an external store - that could be IPFS based.

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Supply chain needs lots of data for many business objects. In general the best is to store nothing in the contract.

Storage Cost for Contract:

  • Store a word in standard storage costs 20.000 GAS

Storage Cost for Events:

  • Store a word in the indexed event storage costs about 1000 GAS (375 + 32*8 +375)

In the cases performance is not an big issue, you should rather create indexed events. Creating an event (within your contract is comparable cheap. But there is also a drawback, reading events is slower than reading data that are stored directly in the contract.

You may read more about events here

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