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

Configuration guide for a more detailed explanation of settings you can use in your ape-config.yaml files.

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. The contracts/ directory is where compilers look for contracts to compile. File extensions found within the contracts/ directory determines which compiler plugin ape uses. Make sure to install the compiler plugins you need if they are missing by adding them to your ape-config.yaml’s plugin section, or manually adding via the following:

ape plugins install solidity vyper

Then, use the following command to compile all contracts in the contracts/ directory:

ape compile

NOTE: Compiler plugins download missing compiler version binaries, based on the contracts’ pragma-spec.

The contract containers are then accessible from the project manager; deploy them in the console or in scripts:

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 default provider for the development network is the Ethereum Tester provider. However, you can change the default provider per network using the ape-config.yaml file.

    default_provider: hardhat

For specifying the network in an ad-hoc fashion, commands such as run, test, and console offer a --network option:

ape console --network ethereum:local:hardhat

NOTE: If you are using the default ecosystem or network, you can omit them from the option:

ape console --network ::hardhat


The scripts folder contains project automation scripts, such as deploy scripts, as well as other executable jobs, such as scripts for running simulations.

You can write scripts that run using the ape run command. The ape run command will register and run Python files defined under the scripts/ directory that do not start with an _ underscore. If the scripts take advantage of utilities from our ape.cli submodule, you can build a Click command line interface by defining a click.Command or click.Group object called cli in your file. Otherwise, if the script has a main() method, it will execute that method when called.

Note that by default, cli scripts do not have ape.cli.network_option installed, giving you more flexibility in how you define your scripts. main scripts will always provide a network option to the call.


Use tests to verify your project. Testing is a complex topic, learn more about testing using Ape framework here

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.