In collaborative environments, where enterprises interact each other’s without a centralised authority that ensures trust among them, the ability of providing cross-organisational services must be enabled also between mutually untrusting participants. Blockchain platforms and smart contracts have been proposed to implement collaborative processes. However, current solutions are platform-dependent and deploy on-chain the whole process, thus increasing the execution costs of smart contracts if deployed on permissionless blockchain. In this paper, we propose an approach that includes criteria to identify trust-demanding objects and activities in collaborative processes, a model to describe smart contracts in a platform-independent way and guidelines to deploy them in a blockchain. To this aim, a three-layered model is used to describe: (i) the collaborative process, represented in BPMN, where the business expert is supported to add annotations that identify trust-demanding objects and activities; (ii) Abstract Smart Contracts based on trust-demanding objects and activities only and specified by means of descriptors, that are independent from any blockchain technology; (iii) Concrete Smart Contracts, that implement abstract ones and are deployed over a specific blockchain, enabling the creation of a repository where a single descriptor is associated with multiple implementations. The flexibility and reduced costs of the approach, due to the smart contracts abstraction and the use of blockchain only when necessary, are discussed with a case study on remote monitoring services in the digital factory.
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