Ledger Export

Export is currently an Early Access Feature in Alpha status.


Daml ledger exports read the transaction history or active contract set (ACS) from the ledger and write it to disk encoded as a Daml Script that will reproduce the ledger state when executed. This can be useful to migrate the history or state of a ledger from one network to another, or to replicate the ledger state locally for testing or debugging purposes.


The command to generate a Daml ledger export has the following form.

daml ledger export <format> <options>

Right now Daml script, specified as script, is the only supported export format. You can get an overview of the available command-line options using the --help flag as follows.

daml ledger export script --help

A full example invocation looks like this:

daml ledger export script --host localhost --port 6865 --party Alice --party Bob --output ../out --sdk-version 0.0.0

The flags --host and --port define the Daml ledger to connect to. You can omit these flags if you are invoking the command from within a Daml project with a running ledger, e.g. with a running daml start.

The --party flags define which contracts will be included in the export. In the above example only contracts visible to the parties Alice and Bob will be included in the export. Lack of visibility of certain events may cause references to unknown contract ids.

The --output flag defines the directory prefix under which to generate the Daml project that contains the Daml script that represents the ledger export. The flag --sdk-version defines which Daml Connect version to configure in the generated daml.yaml configuration file.

By default an export will reproduce all transactions in the ledger history. The ledger offsets section describes how to change this behavior.


Daml Script

The generated Daml code in Export.daml contains the following top-level definitions:

type Parties
A mapping from parties in the original ledger state to parties to be used in the new reconstructed ledger state.
lookupParty : Text -> Parties -> Party
A helper function to look up parties in the Parties mapping.
allocateParties : Script Parties
A Daml script that allocates fresh parties on the ledger and returns them in a Parties mapping.
type Contracts
A mapping from unknown contract ids to replacement contract ids, see unknown contract ids.
lookupContract : Text -> Contracts -> ContractId a
A helper function to look up unknown contract ids in the Contracts mapping.
data Args
A record that holds all arguments to the export script.
export : Args -> Script ()
The Daml ledger export encoded as a Daml script. Given the relevant arguments this script will reproduce the ledger state when executed. You can read this script to understand the exported ledger state or history, and you can modify this script for debugging or testing purposes.
testExport : Script ()
A Daml script that will first invoke allocateParties and then export. It will use an empty Contracts mapping. This can be useful to test the export in Daml studio. If your export references unknown contract ids then you may need to manually extend the Contracts mapping.

In most simple cases the generated Daml script will use the functions submit or submitMulti to issue ledger commands that reproduce a transaction or ACS. In some cases the generated Daml script will fall back to the more general functions submitTree or submitTreeMulti.

For example, the following generated code issues a create-and-exercise command that creates an instance of ContractA and exercises the choice ChoiceA. The function submitTree returns a TransactionTree object that captures all contracts that are created in the transaction. The fromTree function is then used to extract the contract ids of the ContractB contracts that were created by ChoiceA.

tree <- submitTree alice_0 do
    Main.ContractA with
      owner = alice_0
let contractB_1_1 = fromTree tree $
      exercised @Main.ContractA "ChoiceA" $
      created @Main.ContractB
let contractB_1_2 = fromTree tree $
      exercised @Main.ContractA "ChoiceA" $
      createdN @Main.ContractB 1


Daml export will generate a default arguments file in args.json, which configures the export to use the same party names as in the original ledger state and to map unknown contract ids to themselves. For example:

  "contracts": {
    "001335..": "001335..."
  "parties": {
    "Alice": "Alice",
    "Bob": "Bob"

Executing the Export

The generated Daml project is configured such that daml start will execute the Daml export with the default arguments defined in args.json. Alternatively you can build and execute the generated Daml script manually using commands of the following form:

daml build
daml script --ledger-host localhost --ledger-port 6865 --dar .daml/dist/export-1.0.0.dar --script-name Export:export --input-file args.json

The arguments --ledger-host and --ledger-port configure the address of the ledger and the argument --input-file points to a JSON file that defines the export script’s arguments.

Ledger Offsets

By default daml ledger export will reproduce all transactions, as seen by the selected parties, from the beginning of the ledger history to the current end. The command-line flags --start and -end can be used to change this behavior. Both flags accept ledger offsets, either the special offsets start and end, or an arbitrary ledger offset.

Transactions up to and including the start offset will be reproduced as a sequence of create commands that reproduce the ACS as of the start offset. Later transactions will be reproduced as seen by the configured parties. In particular, --start end will reproduce the current ACS but no transaction history, --start start (the default) will reproduce the history of all transactions as seen by the configured parties.
Export transactions up to and including this end offset.

Unknown Contract Ids

Daml ledger export may encounter references to unknown contracts. This may occur if a contract was divulged to one of the configured parties, but the event that initially created that contract is not visible to any of the configured parties. This may also occur if a contract was archived before the configured start offset, such that it is neither part of the recreated ACS nor created in any of the exported transactions, and another live contract retains a reference to this archived contract.

In such cases Daml export will not generate commands to recreate these unknown contracts. Instead, it will generate a lookup in the Contracts mapping defined in the scripts arguments. You can define a mapping from unknown contract ids to replacement contract ids in the JSON input file. The default args.json generated by Daml ledger export will map unknown contract ids to themselves.

Note that you may submit references to non-existing contract ids to the ledger using this feature. A fetch on such a dangling contract id will fail.

Transaction Time

Daml ledger exports may fail to reproduce the ledger state or transaction history if contracts are sensitive to ledger time. You can enable the --set-time option to issue setTime commands in the generated Daml script. However, this is not supported by all ledgers.


Contracts Created and Referenced in Same Transaction

Daml ledger export may fail in certain cases when it attempts to reproduce a transaction that creates a contract and then references that contract within the same transaction.

The Daml ledger API allows only a few ways in which a contract that was created in a set of commands can be referenced within the same set of commands. Namely, create-and-exercise and exercise-by-key. Choice implementations, on the other hand, are not restricted in this way.

If the configured parties only see part of a given transaction tree, then events that were originally emitted by a choice may be lifted to the root of the transaction tree. This could produce a transaction tree that cannot be replicated using the ledger API. In such cases Daml ledger export will fail.