Once a project is initialized, it’s a good time to take a look at the resulting project structure, to get a better idea of what’s going on. In this guide we’ll explore an Embark project’s structure and learn where to find different file types and configurations.
Project structure with other tools
When using Embark in combination with any of these or similar tools, the application structure will likely look different as each of these tools comes with an opinion and preference on how an application should be structured.
An Embark project’s structure is pretty straight forward. It contains a
contracts and a
dist folder for their dedicated purposes. Most of them are self explanatory, but let’s take a look at the overall file tree.
Smart Contracts go here. Embark will automatically compile, deploy & track our Smart Contracts from this directory. While Embark is running, it’ll detect changes made to any Smart Contract and re-deploy it and its dependencies if necessary.
There are many different components inside a decentralized application that can be configured. Embark offers different configuration files for each of those components and gives us full control over how the different parts are behaving. The configuration files for the different components of the stack can be found here.
This file contains the configuration used for Embark to run a blockchain node with an Ethereum client such as go-ethereum, Parity, or a simulator like Ganache.
This file contains the configuration for Smart Contracts, including their arguments and relationships between them, such as dependencies. Here we can also specify where to deploy our Smart Contracts and how the application should attempt to connect to a node. Please see Configuring Contracts for more details.
This file lets us configure what storage component to use (e.g IPFS), including what node to connect to, to upload and retrieve data through the application. Head over to our guide on configuring decentralized storage for details configuring a decentralized storage system for our application.
Similar to the other configuration files, this file can be used to configure what communication component should be used (e.g Whisper) and what node it should connect to. Check out our guide message configuration to learn more about the available configuration options.
This file contains the configuration for the webserver that Embark starts when developing our application. Configuration options are the host, port and other useful options, such as whether a browser window should be opened on start up or not.
The build output of our application will be put here. Everything inside this folder can be considered a production ready build artifact. This folder also gets uploaded to a decentralized storage using
This file is used to keep track of the deployed contracts in each chain. This is a super useful feature as it lets Embark figure out all by itself if and when a Smart Contract needs to be (re)deployed. See chains file documentation for more information
In order to provide as much flexibility for our users as possible, Embark comes with an
embark.json file that lets us configure our own directory structure. This file is also used to specify Embark plugins and other configurations. More information on how to use this configuration file, can be found in configuring embark.json.
When creating a project using the
--contracts-only option, the resulting structure is a little bit simpler. Let’s take quick look:
Most components or services that our application could take advantage of are disabled with the exception of Smart Contracts support, but we can still re-enable them in the
embark.json configuration file if needed. Notice that this time, the
contracts.js config file is in the root of the project’s directory. This is because in the
embark.json config file,
contracts points to a path in the same folder.
As mentioned earlier, other services like storage and blockchain support can be easily re-enabled by changing them to path values as well.
Awesome, now that we have a better understanding of what a project in Embark looks like, let’s head over to the next guide and explore the different ways of running an application with Embark!