Skip to content


We are looking for publications that demonstrate building dApps or smart contracts!
See the full list of Gitcoin bounties that are eligible for rewards.

App deploy

App deployment

Idempotent (safely retryable) deployment of an app, including deploy-time immutability and permanence control and TEAL template substitution

App deployment is a higher-order use case capability provided by AlgoKit Utils that builds on top of the core capabilities, particularly App management. It allows you to idempotently (with safe retryability) deploy an app, including deploy-time immutability and permanence control and TEAL template substitution.

To see some usage examples check out the automated tests.


The architecture design behind app deployment is articulated in an architecture decision record. While the implementation will naturally evolve over time and diverge from this record, the principles and design goals behind the design are comprehensively explained.

Namely, it described the concept of a smart contract development lifecycle:

  1. Development
  2. Write smart contracts
  3. Transpile smart contracts with development-time parameters (code configuration) to TEAL Templates
  4. Verify the TEAL Templates maintain output stability and any other static code quality checks
  5. Deployment
  6. Substitute deploy-time parameters into TEAL Templates to create final TEAL code
  7. Compile the TEAL to create byte code using algod
  8. Deploy the byte code to one or more Algorand networks (e.g. LocalNet, TestNet, MainNet) to create Deployed Application(s)
  9. Runtime
  10. Validate the deployed app via automated testing of the smart contracts to provide confidence in their correctness
  11. Call deployed smart contract with runtime parameters to utilise it

App deployment lifecycle

The App deployment capability provided by AlgoKit Utils helps implement #2 Deployment.

Furthermore, the implementation contains the following implementation characteristics per the original architecture design:

  • Deploy-time parameters can be provided and substituted into a TEAL Template by convention (by replacing TMPL_{KEY})
  • Contracts can be built by any smart contract framework that supports ARC-0032 and ARC-0004 (Beaker or otherwise), which also means the deployment language can be different to the development language e.g. you can deploy a Python smart contract with TypeScript for instance
  • There is explicit control of the immutability (updatability / upgradeability) and permanence (deletability) of the smart contract, which can be varied per environment to allow for easier development and testing in non-MainNet environments (by replacing TMPL_UPDATABLE and TMPL_DELETABLE at deploy-time by convention, if present)
  • Contracts are resolvable by a string "name" for a given creator to allow automated determination of whether that contract had been deployed previously or not, but can also be resolved by ID instead


There is a method algokit.getCreatorAppsByName(creatorAccount, indexer), which performs a series of indexer lookups that return all apps created by the given creator (as a SendTransactionFrom, or the encoded string representation of the public key of the account) indexed by the name it was deployed under if the creation transaction contained the following payload in the transaction note field:

ALGOKIT_DEPLOYER:j{name:string, version:string, updatable?:boolean, deletable?:boolean}

Any creation transactions or update transactions are then retrieved and processed in chronological order to result in an AppLookup object which has the following shape (each app is keyed by name and has the AppMetadata fields):

  "creator": "<creator_address>",
  "apps": {
    "<app_name>": {
      /** The id of the app */
      "appId": 1,
      /** The Algorand address of the account associated with the app */
      "appAddress": "<app_account_address>",
      /** The unique name identifier of the app within the creator account */
      "name": "<app_name>",
      /** The version of app that is / will be deployed */
      "version": "1.0.0",
      /** Whether or not the app is deletable / permanent / unspecified */
      "deletable": true,
      /** Whether or not the app is updatable / immutable / unspecified */
      "updatable": true,
      /** The round the app was created */
      "createdRound": 1,
      /** The last round that the app was updated */
      "updatedRound": 1,
      /** Whether or not the app is deleted */
      "deleted": false,
      /** The metadata when the app was created */
      "createdMetadata": {
        /** The unique name identifier of the app within the creator account */
        "name": "<app_name>",
        /** The version of app that is / will be deployed */
        "version": "1.0.0",
        /** Whether or not the app is deletable / permanent / unspecified */
        "deletable": true,
        /** Whether or not the app is updatable / immutable / unspecified */
        "updatable": true

Given there are a number of indexer calls to retrieve this data it's a non-trivial object to create and it's recommended that for the duration you are performing a single deployment you hold a value of it rather than recalculating it. Most AlgoKit Utils functions that need it will also take an optional value of it that will be used in preference to retrieving a fresh version.


The method that performs the deployment logic is algokit.deployApp(deployment, algod, indexer?). It performs an idempotent (safely retryable) deployment. It will detect if the app already exists and if it doesn't it will create it. If the app does already exist then it will:

  • Detect if the app has been updated (i.e. the logic has changed) and either fail or perform either an update or a replacement based on the deployment configuration.
  • Detect if the app has a breaking schema change (i.e. more global or local storage is needed than was originally requested) and either fail or perform a replacement based on the deployment configuration.

It will automatically add metadata to the transaction note of the create or update calls that indicates the name, version, updatability and deletability of the contract. This metadata works in concert with getCreatorAppsByName to allow the app to be reliably retrieved against that creator in it's currently deployed state.

deployApp automatically executes template substitution including deploy-time control of permanence and immutability.

Input parameters

The first parameter deployment is an AppDeploymentParams object, that consists of the same parameters as creating an app with the following differences:

  • args is replaced with three parameters:
  • createArgs - The args to use if a create is needed
  • updateArgs - The args to use if an update is needed
  • deleteArgs - The args to use if a delete is needed
  • onCompleteAction is replaced with createOnCompleteAction - Override the on-completion action for the create call; defaults to NoOp
  • note is excluded since deployment must add a ALGOKIT_DEPLOYER:j{...} note for the name lookup to work
  • skipSending, skipWaiting and atc are excluded because deployApp needs to control the deployment and actually send to the network to function correctly
  • metadata: AppDeployMetadata is added to allow the deployment metadata to be provided (name, version, updatable and deletable)
  • deployTimeParams: TealTemplateParams is added to allow automatic substitution of deploy-time parameter values
  • TealTemplateParams is a key => value object that will result in TMPL_{key} being replaced with value (where a string or Uint8Array will be appropriately encoded as bytes within the TEAL code)
  • onSchemaBreak?: 'replace' | 'fail' | OnSchemaBreak determines what should happen if a breaking change to the schema is detected (e.g. if you need more global or local state that was previously requested when the contract was originally created)
  • onUpdate?: 'update' | 'replace' | 'fail' | OnUpdate determines what should happen if an update to the smart contract is detected (e.g. the TEAL code has changed since last deployment)
  • existingDeployments?: AppLookup optionally allows the app lookup to be skipped if it's already been retrieved


deployApp is idempotent which means you can safely call it again multiple times and it will only apply any changes it detects. If you call it again straight after calling it then it will do nothing.

Compilation and template substitution

When compiling TEAL template code, the capabilities described in the design above are present, namely the ability to supply deploy-time parameters and the ability to control immutability and permanence of the smart contract at deploy-time.

In order for a smart contract to be able to use this functionality, it must have a TEAL Template that contains the following:

  • TMPL_{key} - Which can be replaced with a number or a string / byte array which wil be automatically hexadecimal encoded
  • TMPL_UPDATABLE - Which will be replaced with a 1 if an app should be updatable and 0 if it shouldn't (immutable)
  • TMPL_DELETABLE - Which will be replaced with a 1 if an app should be deletable and 0 if it shouldn't (permanent)

If you are building a smart contract using the beaker_production AlgoKit template if provides a reference implementation out of the box for the deploy-time immutability and permanence control.

If you passed in a TEAL template for the approvalProgram or clearProgram (i.e. a string rather than a Uint8Array) then deployApp will return the compilation result of substituting then compiling the TEAL template(s) in the following properties of the return value:

  • compiledApproval?: CompiledTeal
  • compiledClear?: CompiledTeal

Template substitution is done by executing algokit.performTemplateSubstitutionAndCompile(tealCode, algod, templateParams?, deploymentMetadata?), which in turn calls the following in order:

  • algokit.performTemplateSubstitution(tealCode, templateParams) - Replaces the templateParams by looking for TMPL_{key}
  • algokit.replaceDeployTimeControlParams(tealCode, deploymentMetadata) - If deploymentMetadata is provided, it allows for deploy-time immutability and permanence control by replacing TMPL_UPDATABLE with deploymentMetadata.updatable if it's not undefined and replacing TMPL_DELETABLE with deploymentMetadata.deletable if it's not undefined
  • algokit.compileTeal(tealCode, algod) - Sends the final TEAL to algod for compilation and returns the result including the source map

Return value

When deployApp executes it may do one of the following (which you can determine by looking at the operationPerformed field on the return value from the function):

  • create - The smart contract app is created
  • update - The smart contract app is updated
  • replace - The smart contract app was deleted and created again (in an atomic transaction)
  • nothing - Nothing was done since it was detected the existing smart contract app deployment was up to date

As well as the operationPerformed parameter and the optional compilation result, the return value will have the AppMetadata fields present.

Based on the value of operationPerformed there will be other data available in the return value:

  • If create, update or replace then it will have ConfirmedTransactionResults and {return?: ABIReturn} (which will be populated if an ABI method was executed)
  • If replace then it will also have {deleteReturn?: ABIReturn, deleteResult: ConfirmedTransactionResult} to capture the result of the deletion of the existing app