Java Bindings

The Java bindings is a client implementation of the Ledger API based on RxJava, a library for composing asynchronous and event-based programs using observable sequences for the Java VM. It provides an idiomatic way to write Daml Ledger applications.

See also

This documentation for the Java bindings API includes the JavaDoc reference documentation.


The Java bindings library is composed of:

  • The Data Layer

    A Java-idiomatic layer based on the Ledger API generated classes. This layer simplifies the code required to work with the Ledger API.

    Can be found in the java package

  • The Reactive Layer

    A thin layer built on top of the Ledger API services generated classes.

    For each Ledger API service, there is a reactive counterpart with a matching name. For instance, the reactive counterpart of ActiveContractsServiceGrpc is ActiveContractsClient.

    The Reactive Layer also exposes the main interface representing a client connecting via the Ledger API. This interface is called LedgerClient and the main implementation working against a Daml Ledger is the DamlLedgerClient.

    Can be found in the java package com.daml.ledger.rxjava.

Generate Code

When writing applications for the ledger in Java, you want to work with a representation of Daml templates and data types in Java that closely resemble the original Daml code while still being as true to the native types in Java as possible.

To achieve this, you can use Daml to Java code generator (“Java codegen”) to generate Java types based on a Daml model. You can then use these types in your Java code when reading information from and sending data to the ledger.

For more information on Java code generation, see Generate Java Code from Daml.

Connect to the Ledger: LedgerClient

Connections to the ledger are made by creating instance of classes that implement the interface LedgerClient. The class DamlLedgerClient implements this interface, and is used to connect to a Daml ledger.

This class provides access to the ledgerId, and all clients that give access to the various ledger services, such as the active contract set, the transaction service, the time service, etc. This is described below. Consult the JavaDoc for DamlLedgerClient for full details.

Get Started

The Java bindings library can be added to a Maven project.

Set Up a Maven Project

To use the Java bindings library, add the following dependencies to your project’s pom.xml:


Replace x.y.z for both dependencies with the version that you want to use. You can find the available versions by checking the Maven Central Repository.

You can also take a look at the pom.xml file from the quickstart project.

Connect to the Ledger

Before any ledger services can be accessed, you must establish a connection to the ledger by creating an instance of a DamlLedgerClient. To create an instance of a ledger client, use the static newBuilder(..) method to create a DamlLedgerClient.Builder. Then use the builder instance to create the DamlLedgerClient. Finally, call the connect() method on the client.

// Create a client object to access services on the ledger.
DamlLedgerClient client = DamlLedgerClient.newBuilder(ledgerhost, ledgerport).build();

// Connects to the ledger and runs initial validation.

Perform Authorization

Some ledgers will require you to send an access token along with each request.

To learn more about authorization, read the Authorization overview.

To use the same token for all Ledger API requests, the DamlLedgerClient builders expose a withAccessToken method. This will allow you to not pass a token explicitly for every call.

If your application is long-lived and your tokens are bound to expire, you can reload the necessary token when needed and pass it explicitly for every call. Every client method has an overload that allows a token to be passed, as in the following example:

transactionClient.getLedgerEnd(); // Uses the token specified when constructing the client
transactionClient.getLedgerEnd(accessToken); // Override the token for this call exclusively

If you’re communicating with a ledger that verifies authorization it’s very important to secure the communication channel to prevent your tokens to be exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks. The next chapter describes how to enable TLS.

Connect Securely

The Java bindings library lets you connect to a Daml Ledger via a secure connection. The builders created by DamlLedgerClient.newBuilder default to a plaintext connection, but you can invoke withSslContext to pass an SslContext. Using the default plaintext connection is useful only when connecting to a locally running Sandbox for development purposes.

Secure connections to a Daml Ledger must be configured to use client authentication certificates, which can be provided by a Ledger Operator.

For information on how to set up an SslContext with the provided certificates for client authentication, please consult the gRPC documentation on TLS with OpenSSL as well as the HelloWorldClientTls example of the grpc-java project.

Advanced Connection Settings

Sometimes the default settings for gRPC connections/channels are not suitable for a given situation. These use cases are supported by creating a custom NettyChannelBuilder object and passing the it to the newBuilder static method defined over DamlLedgerClient.

Example Projects

Example projects using the Java bindings are available on GitHub. Read more about them here.