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Compile & Deploy a Sophia Smart Contract


The whole script is located in the repository and this page explains in detail how to:

  • deal with the different phases of compiling Sophia contracts to bytecode
  • deploy the bytecode to get a callable contract address
  • invoke the deployed contract on the æternity blockchain using callStatic
  • get the contract instance of an already deployed contract
  • access an entrypoint (public contract function) directly without using call or callStatic

1. Specify imports

You need to import Universal, Node and MemoryAccount Stamps from the SDK.

const { Universal, Node, MemoryAccount } = require('@aeternity/aepp-sdk')

  • You need to have the SDK installed via npm i @aetenity/aepp-sdk -g to run that example code.

2. Define constants

The following constants are used in the subsequent code snippets.

const CONTRACT_CODE = // typically you read the source code from a separate .aes file
contract Multiplier =
  record state = { factor: int }
  entrypoint init(f : int) : state = { factor = f }
  entrypoint multiplyBy(x : int) = x * state.factor
  publicKey: 'ak_2dATVcZ9KJU5a8hdsVtTv21pYiGWiPbmVcU1Pz72FFqpk9pSRR',
  secretKey: 'bf66e1c256931870908a649572ed0257876bb84e3cdf71efb12f56c7335fad54d5cf08400e988222f26eb4b02c8f89077457467211a6e6d955edb70749c6a33b'
const NODE_URL = '';
const COMPILER_URL = '';

  • The keypair of the account is pre-funded and only used for demonstration purpose
  • In case the account runs out of funds you can always request AE using the Faucet

3. Open async codeblock

Most functions of the SDK return Promises, so the recommended way of dealing with subsequent actions is running them one by one using await. Therefore you need to put the logic into an async code block

(async () => {

4. Create object instances

  const account = MemoryAccount({ keypair: ACCOUNT_KEYPAIR })
  const node = await Node({ url: NODE_URL })
  const client = await Universal({
    nodes: [{ name: 'testnet', instance: node }],
    compilerUrl: COMPILER_URL,
    accounts: [account]
The Universal Stamp itself is asynchronous as it determines the node's version and rest interface automatically. Only once the Promise is fulfilled, you know you have a working object instance which is assigned to the client constant in this case.


  • Universal is not a constructor but a factory, which means it's not invoked with new.

5. Compile the contract

The contractCompile function takes a raw Sophia contract as string and sends it to the HTTP compiler for bytecode compilation. In the future this will be done without talking to the node, but requiring a bytecode compiler implementation directly in the SDK.

  const bytecode = await client.contractCompile(CONTRACT_CODE)
  console.log(`Obtained bytecode ${bytecode.bytecode}`)

6. Deploy the contract

Invoking deploy on the bytecode object will result in the CreateContractTx being created, signed (using the secretKey of the previously defined MemoryAccount) and broadcasted to the network. It will be picked up by the miners and written to the chain.

  const contract = await bytecode.deploy(['5'])
  console.log(`Contract deployed at ${contract.address}`)

  • Sophia contracts always have an init function which needs to be invoked.
  • The SDK receives the required calldata for the provided arguments by calling the HTTP compiler.

7. Call a contract function via dry-run

Once the ContractCreateTx has been successfully mined, you can attempt to invoke any public function (aka entrypoint in Sophia) defined within it. In this case you can use callStatic which performs a dry-run of the transaction which allows you to get the result without having to mine a transaction.

  const call = await contract.callStatic('multiplyBy', ['7'])

  • for stateful entrypoints that may apply changes to the contract's state you will always have to use call which broadcasts the transaction to be mined

8. Decode the call result

The execution result, if successful, will be an FATE-encoded result value. The decode function will use the Sophia HTTP compiler to decode the result value.

  console.log(`Execution result: ${await call.decode()}`)

9. Get contract instance of a deployed contract

Knowing the contract address and the source code allows you to initialize a contract instance and interact with the contract in a convenient way.

  const contractInstance = await client.getContractInstance(CONTRACT_CODE, {contractAddress: contract.address})
  const callResult = await contractInstance.methods.multiplyBy(7)
  console.log(`Execution result (via contractInstance initialized with existing contract): ${callResult.decodedResult}`)

  • The contractInstance automatically chooses to perform a dry-run call as multiplyBy is a non-stateful entrypoint
    • if multiplyBy would be a stateful entrypoint the transaction would be broadcasted to the network and picked up by miners
  • The decodedResult is automatically being included in the callResult
  • You can also use getContractInstance directly to deploy a contract and avoid having to call contractCompile (step 5), call/callStatic (step 7) and decode (step 8) manually

10. Close and run async codeblock

Now you can close the async codeblock and execute it at the same time.