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Writing a Core Eval Script to Deploy a Contract

When a core eval script is evaluated, the completion value is expected to be a function. The function is invoked with a BootstrapPowers object with various capabilities useful for deploying contracts.

For example, in dapp-agoric-basics, there's a contract to sell concert tickets. To deploy it, we

  • install the contract bundle as a Zoe installation
  • start the contract instance, using the IST brand to make price amounts for terms
  • publish the installation and instance in the agoricNames name service under the name sellConcertTickets in the installation and instance section, respectively
  • publish its Ticket issuer and brand in the agoricNames issuer and brand sections, respectively.

After some preliminaries, ...

imports, makeTerms etc.
// @ts-check
import { allValues } from './objectTools.js';
import {
} from './platform-goals/start-contract.js';

const { Fail } = assert;
const IST_UNIT = 1_000_000n;

export const makeInventory = (brand, baseUnit) => {
  return {
    frontRow: {
      tradePrice: AmountMath.make(brand, baseUnit * 3n),
      maxTickets: 3n,
    middleRow: {
      tradePrice: AmountMath.make(brand, baseUnit * 2n),
      maxTickets: 3n,
    lastRow: {
      tradePrice: AmountMath.make(brand, baseUnit * 1n),
      maxTickets: 3n,

export const makeTerms = (brand, baseUnit) => {
  return {
    inventory: makeInventory(brand, baseUnit),

 * @typedef {{
 *   brand: PromiseSpaceOf<{ Ticket: Brand }>;
 *   issuer: PromiseSpaceOf<{ Ticket: Issuer }>;
 *   instance: PromiseSpaceOf<{ sellConcertTickets: Instance }>
 * }} SellTicketsSpace

... the function for deploying the contract is startSellConcertTicketsContract:

const contractName = 'sellConcertTickets';

 * Core eval script to start contract
 * @param {BootstrapPowers} permittedPowers
 * @param {*} config
export const startSellConcertTicketsContract = async (powers, config) => {
  console.log('core eval for', contractName);
  const {
    // must be supplied by caller or template-replaced
    bundleID = Fail`no bundleID`,
  } = config?.options?.[contractName] ?? {};

  const installation = await installContract(powers, {
    name: contractName,

  const ist = await allValues({
    brand: powers.brand.consume.IST,
    issuer: powers.issuer.consume.IST,

  const terms = makeTerms(ist.brand, 1n * IST_UNIT);

  await startContract(powers, {
    name: contractName,
    startArgs: {
      issuerKeywordRecord: { Price: ist.issuer },
    issuerNames: ['Ticket'],

  console.log(contractName, '(re)started');

A BootstrapPowers object is composed of several promise spaces. A promise space is a { produce, consume } pair where

  • consume[name] is a promise associated with a specific name.
  • produce[name].resolve(value) resolves the promise associated with the same name by providing a value.

There is one such space at the top, so that powers.consume.zoe is a promise for the Zoe Service. This promise was resolved early in the execution of the virtual machine.

There are also several more promise spaces one level down, including:

  • powers.installation
  • powers.instance
  • powers.issuer
  • powers.brand

The installContract helper calls E(zoe).installBundleID(bundleID) to create an Installation, much like our earlier discussion of Contract installation. It also calls powers.installation[name].resolve(installation).

 * Given a bundleID and a permitted name, install a bundle and "produce"
 * the installation, which also publishes it via agoricNames.
 * @param {BootstrapPowers} powers - zoe, installation.produce[name]
 * @param {{ name: string, bundleID: string }} opts
export const installContract = async (
  { consume: { zoe }, installation: { produce: produceInstallation } },
  { name, bundleID },
) => {
  const installation = await E(zoe).installBundleID(bundleID);
  console.log(name, 'installed as', bundleID.slice(0, 8));
  return installation;

This installation promise space is linked to the E(agoricNames).lookup('installation') NameHub: when you call produce[name].resolve(value) on the installation promise space, it triggers an update in the NameHub. The update associates the provided name with the provided value so that E(agoricNames).lookup('installation', name) is a promise for value.

Similarly, the startContract() helper does E(zoe).startInstance(...) as in our earlier discussion of starting a contract instance. Plus, it "produces" the instance so that it's available as E(agoricNames).lookup('instance', 'sellConcertTickets'). Once the contract is started, the helper uses the issuerNames argument to get the Ticket issuer and brand and "produces" them likewise as E(agoricNames).lookup('issuer', 'Ticket') and E(agoricNames).lookup('brand', 'Ticket').