Upgrading DAML applications¶
Note: Cross-SDK upgrades require DAML-LF 1.8 or newer.
This is the default starting from SDK 1.0. For older releases add
build-options: ["--target=1.8"] to your
daml.yaml to select
In applications backed by a centralized database controlled by a single operator, it is possible to upgrade an application in a single step that migrates all existing data to a new data model.
As a running example, let’s imagine a centralized database containing carbon offset certificates. Its operator created the database schema with
CREATE TABLE carbon_certs ( carbon_metric_tons VARINT, owner VARCHAR NOT NULL issuer VARCHAR NOT NULL )
The certificate has a field for the quantity of offset carbon in metric tons, an owner and an issuer.
In the next iteration of the application, the operator decides to also store and display the carbon offset method. In the centralized case, the operator can upgrade the database by executing the single SQL command
ALTER TABLE carbon_certs ADD carbon_offset_method VARCHAR DEFAULT "unknown"
This adds a new column to the
carbon_certs table and inserts the
unknown for all existing entries.
While upgrading this centralized database is simple and convenient, its data entries lack any kind of signature and hence proof of authenticity. The data consumers need to trust the operator.
In contrast, DAML templates always have at least one signatory. The consequence is that the upgrade process for a DAML application needs to be different.
DAML upgrade overview¶
In a DAML application running on a distributed ledger, the signatories of a contract have agreed to one specific version of a template. Changing the definition of a template, e.g., by extending it with a new data field or choice without agreement from its signatories would completely break the authorization guarantees provided by DAML.
Therefore, DAML takes a different approach to upgrades and extensions. Rather than having a separate concept of data migration that sidesteps the fundamental guarantees provided by DAML, upgrades are expressed as DAML contracts. This means that the same guarantees and rules that apply to other DAML contracts also apply to upgrades.
In a DAML application, it thus makes sense to think of upgrades as an extension of an existing application instead of an operation that replaces existing contracts with a newer version. The existing templates stay on the ledger and can still be used. Contracts of existing templates are not automatically replaced by newer versions. However, the application is extended with new templates. Then if all signatories of a contract agree, a choice can archive the old version of a contract and create a new contract instead.
Structuring upgrade contracts¶
Upgrade contracts are specific to the templates that are being
upgraded. But most of them share common patterns. Here is the
implementation of the above
carbon_certs schema in DAML. We have
some prescience that there will be future versions of CarbonCert,
and so place the definition of
CarbonCert in a module named
module CarbonV1 where template CarbonCert with issuer : Party owner : Party carbon_metric_tons : Int where signatory issuer, owner
A CarbonCert has an issuer and an owner. Both are signatories. Our goal is to extend this CarbonCert template with a field that adds the method used to offset the carbon. We use a different name for the new template here for clarity. This is not required as templates are identified by the triple (PackageId, ModuleName, TemplateName).
module CarbonV2 where template CarbonCertWithMethod with issuer : Party owner : Party carbon_metric_tons : Int carbon_offset_method : Text where signatory issuer, owner
Next, we need to provide a way for the signatories to agree to a contract being upgraded. It would be possible to structure this such that issuer and owner have to agree to an upgrade for each individual CarbonCert contract separately. Since the template definition for all of them is the same, this is usually not necessary for most applications. Instead, we collect agreement from the signatories only once and use that to upgrade all carbon certificates.
Since there are multiple signatories involved here, we use a Propose-Accept workflow. First, we define an UpgradeCarbonCertProposal template that will be created by the issuer. This template has an Accept choice that the owner can exercise. Upon execution it will then create an UpgradeCarbonCertAgreement.
template UpgradeCarbonCertProposal with issuer : Party owner : Party where signatory issuer observer owner key (issuer, owner) : (Party, Party) maintainer key._1 choice Accept : ContractId UpgradeCarbonCertAgreement controller owner do create UpgradeCarbonCertAgreement with ..
Now we can define the UpgradeCarbonCertAgreement template. This
template has one nonconsuming choice that takes the contract ID of a
CarbonCert contract, archives this CarbonCert contract and creates a
CarbonCertWithMethod contract with the same issuer and owner and the
carbon_offset_method set to
template UpgradeCarbonCertAgreement with issuer : Party owner : Party where signatory issuer, owner key (issuer, owner) : (Party, Party) maintainer key._1 nonconsuming choice Upgrade : ContractId CarbonCertWithMethod with certId : ContractId CarbonCert controller issuer do cert <- fetch certId assert (cert.issuer == issuer) assert (cert.owner == owner) archive certId create CarbonCertWithMethod with issuer = cert.issuer owner = cert.owner carbon_metric_tons = cert.carbon_metric_tons carbon_offset_method = "unknown"
Building and deploying carbon-1.0.0¶
Let’s see everything in action by first building and deploying
carbon-1.0.0. After this we’ll see how to deploy and upgrade to
carbon-2.0.0 containing the
First we’ll need a sandbox ledger to which we can deploy.
$ daml sandbox --port 6865
Now we’ll setup the project for the original version of our
certificate. The project contains the DAML for just the
template, along with a
CarbonCertProposal template which will
allow us to issue some coins in the example below.
Here is the project config.
name: carbon version: 1.0.0 dependencies: - daml-prim - daml-stdlib
Now we can build and deploy
$ cd example/carbon-1.0.0 $ daml build $ daml ledger upload-dar --port 6865
Create some carbon-1.0.0 certificates¶
Let’s create some certificates!
We’ll use the navigator to connect to the ledger, and create two certificates issued by Alice, and owned by Bob.
$ cd example/carbon-1.0.0 $ daml navigator server localhost 6865
We point a browser to http://localhost:4000, and follow the steps:
- Login as Alice:
- Select Templates tab.
- Create a CarbonCertProposal with Alice as issuer and Bob as owner and an arbitrary value for the
- Create a 2nd proposal in the same way.
- Login as Bob:
- Exercise the CarbonCertProposal_Accept choice on both proposal contracts.
Building and deploying carbon-2.0.0¶
Now we setup the project for the improved certificates containing the carbon_offset_method field. This project contains only the
CarbonCertWithMethod template. The upgrade templates are in a third
carbon-upgrade package. While it would be possible to include the upgrade templates in the same package, this means that the package containing the new
CarbonCertWithMethod template depends on the previous version. With the approach taken here of keeping the upgrade templates in a separate package, the
carbon-1.0.0 package is no longer needed once we have upgraded all certificates.
It’s worth stressing here that extensions always need to go into separate packages. We cannot just add the new definitions to the original project, rebuild and re-deploy. This is because the cryptographically computed package identifier would change. Consequently, it would not match the package identifier of the original
CarbonCert contracts from
carbon-1.0.0 which are live on the ledger.
Here is the new project config:
name: carbon version: 2.0.0 dependencies: - daml-prim - daml-stdlib
Now we can build and deploy
$ cd example/carbon-2.0.0 $ daml build $ daml ledger upload-dar --port 6865
Building and deploying carbon-upgrade¶
Having built and deployed
carbon-2.0.0 we are
now ready to build the upgrade package
carbon-upgrade. The project
config references both
carbon-2.0.0 via the
data-dependencies field. This allows us to import modules from the
respective packages. With these imported modules we can reference
templates from packages that we already uploaded to the ledger.
When following this example,
path/to/carbon-2.0.0.dar should be replaced by the relative or
absolute path to the DAR file created by building the respective
projects. Commonly the
would be sibling directories in the file systems, so this path would
name: carbon-upgrade version: 1.0.0 dependencies: - daml-prim - daml-stdlib data-dependencies: - path/to/carbon-1.0.0.dar - path/to/carbon-2.0.0.dar
The DAML for the upgrade contracts imports the modules for both the new and old certificate versions.
module UpgradeFromCarbonCertV1 where import CarbonV1 import CarbonV2
Now we can build and deploy
carbon-upgrade. Note that uploading a
DAR also uploads its dependencies so if
carbon-2.0.0 had not already been deployed before, they would be
deployed as part of deploying
$ cd example/carbon-upgrade $ daml build $ daml ledger upload-dar --port 6865
Upgrade existing certificates from carbon-1.0.0 to carbon-2.0.0¶
We start the navigator again.
$ cd example/carbon-upgrade $ daml navigator server localhost 6865
Finally, we point a browser to http://localhost:4000 and can start the carbon certificates upgrades:
- Login as Alice
- Select Templates tab.
- Create an
UpgradeCarbonCertProposalwith Alice as issuer and Bob as owner.
- Login as Bob
- Exercise the
Acceptchoice of the upgrade proposal, creating an
- Exercise the
- Login again as Alice
- Use the
UpgradeCarbonCertAgreementrepeatedly to upgrade any certificate for which Alice is issuer and Bob is owner.
- Use the
For the upgrade of our carbon certificate model above, we performed all steps manually via Navigator. However, if Alice had issued millions of carbon certificates, performing all upgrading steps manually becomes infeasible. It thus becomes necessary to automate these steps. We will go through a potential implementation of an automated upgrade in the next section.