Developing Projects with Ape

Use ape init to create your project. A common project structure looks like this:

project                             # The root project directory
├── contracts/                      # Project source files, such as '.sol' or '.vy' files
│   └── smart_contract_example.sol  # Sample of a smart contract
├── tests/                          # Project tests, ran using the 'ape test' command
│   └──              # Sample of a test to run against your sample contract
├── scripts/                        # Project scripts, such as deploy scripts, ran using the 'ape run   <`name>' command
│   └──                   # Sample script to automate a deployment of an ape project
└── ape-config.yaml                 # The ape project configuration file

Notice that you can configure you ape project using the ape-config.yaml file. See the configuration guide for a more detailed explanation of settings you can adjust.

Adding Plugins

Your project may require plugins. To install plugins, use the ape plugins install . command. Learn more about configuring your project’s required plugins by following this guide.

Compiling Contracts

The project manager object is a representation of your current project. Access it from the root ape namespace:

from ape import project

Your project contains all the “relevant” files, such as source files in the contracts/ directory. Use the following command to compile all contracts in the contracts/ directory:

ape compile

For more information on compiling your project, see this guide.

Deploying Contracts

After compiling, the contract containers are accessible from the project manager. Deploy them in the console or in scripts; for example:

from ape import accounts, project

account = accounts.load("my_account_alias")

NOTE: You can also deploy contracts from the container itself:

from ape import accounts, project

account = accounts.load("my_account_alias")


To set up dependencies in your ape-config.yaml file, follow this guide. If you are using dependencies from a remote source, they will download when you run ape compile or other commands that compile beforehand. Dependencies only need to download and compile once.

You can access dependency contracts off your root project manager:

from ape import accounts, project

dependency_contract = project.dependencies["my_dependency"].DependencyContractType
my_account = accounts.load("alias")
deployed_contract = my_account.deploy(dependency_contract, "argument")


The scripts folder contains project automation scripts, such as deploy scripts, as well as other executable jobs, such as scripts for running simulations. To learn more about scripting in Ape, see the scripting guide.


Use tests to verify your project. You can test your project using the ape test command. The ape test command comes with the core-plugin ape-test. The ape-test plugin extends the popular python testing framework pytest. Testing is a complex topic; learn more about testing using Ape framework here.