Building a CorDapp

Cordapps run on the Corda platform and integrate with it and each other. This article explains how to build CorDapps. To learn what a CorDapp is, please read What is a CorDapp?.

CorDapp format

A CorDapp is a semi-fat JAR that contains all of the CorDapp’s dependencies except the Corda core libraries and any other CorDapps it depends on.

For example, if a Cordapp depends on corda-core, your-other-cordapp and apache-commons, then the Cordapp JAR will contain:

  • All classes and resources from the apache-commons JAR and its dependencies
  • Nothing from the other two JARs

Build tools

In the instructions that follow, we assume you are using gradle and the cordformation plugin to build your CorDapp. See the example build file from the CorDapp template.

Setting your dependencies

Choosing your Corda version

The following two lines of the build.gradle file define the Corda version used to build your CorDapp:

ext.corda_release_version = '1.0.0'
ext.corda_gradle_plugins_version = '1.0.0'

In this case, our CorDapp will use:

  • Version 1.0 of Corda
  • Version 1.0 of the Corda gradle plugins

You can find the latest published version of both here:

corda_gradle_plugins_versions are given in the form major.minor.patch. You should use the same major and minor versions as the Corda version you are using, and the latest patch version. A list of all the available versions can be found here:

In certain cases, you may also wish to build against the unstable Master branch. See Building against Master.

Corda dependencies

The cordformation plugin adds:

  • cordaCompile as a new configuration that compile extends from
  • cordaRuntime which runtime extends from

To build against Corda you must add the following to your build.gradle file;

  • The net.corda:corda:<version> JAR as a cordaRuntime dependency
  • Each compile dependency (eg corda-core) as a cordaCompile dependency

To use Corda’s test facilities you must add net.corda:corda-test-utils:<version> as a testCompile dependency (i.e. a default Java/Kotlin test compile task).

Dependencies on other CorDapps

Sometimes, a CorDapp you build will depend on states, contracts or flows defined in another CorDapp. You must include the CorDapp your CorDapp depends upon as a cordapp dependency in your build.gradle file.

Other dependencies

If your CorDapps have any additional external dependencies, they can be specified like normal Kotlin/Java dependencies in Gradle. See the example below, specifically the apache-commons include.

For further information about managing dependencies, see the Gradle docs.


The following is a sample of what a gradle dependencies block for a CorDapp could look like. The CorDapp template is already correctly configured and this is for reference only;

dependencies {
    // Corda integration dependencies
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-core:$corda_release_version"
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-finance:$corda_release_version"
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-jackson:$corda_release_version"
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-rpc:$corda_release_version"
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-node-api:$corda_release_version"
    cordaCompile "net.corda:corda-webserver-impl:$corda_release_version"
    cordaRuntime "net.corda:corda:$corda_release_version"
    cordaRuntime "net.corda:corda-webserver:$corda_release_version"
    testCompile "net.corda:corda-test-utils:$corda_release_version"

    // Corda Plugins: dependent flows and services
    // Identifying a CorDapp by its module in the same project.
    cordapp project(":cordapp-contracts-states")
    // Identifying a CorDapp by its fully-qualified name.
    cordapp "net.corda:bank-of-corda-demo:1.0"

    // Some other dependencies
    compile "org.jetbrains.kotlin:kotlin-stdlib-jre8:$kotlin_version"
    testCompile "org.jetbrains.kotlin:kotlin-test:$kotlin_version"
    testCompile "junit:junit:$junit_version"

    compile "org.apache.commons:commons-lang3:3.6"

Creating the CorDapp JAR

The gradle jar task included in the CorDapp template build file will automatically build your CorDapp JAR correctly as long as your dependencies are set correctly.

Note that the hash of the resulting CorDapp JAR is not deterministic, as it depends on variables such as the timestamp at creation. Nodes running the same CorDapp must therefore ensure they are using the exact same CorDapp jar, and not different versions of the JAR created from identical sources.

The filename of the JAR must include a unique identifier to deduplicate it from other releases of the same CorDapp. This is typically done by appending the version string to the CorDapp’s name. This unique identifier should not change once the JAR has been deployed on a node. If it does, make sure no one is relying on FlowContext.appName in their flows (see Versioning).

Installing the CorDapp jar

At runtime, nodes will load any plugins present in their plugins folder. Therefore in order to install a CorDapp on a node, the CorDapp JAR must be added to the <node_dir>/plugins/ folder, where node_dir is the folder in which the node’s JAR and configuration files are stored.

The deployNodes gradle task, if correctly configured, will automatically place your CorDapp JAR as well as any dependent CorDapp JARs specified into the plugins folder automatically.