In this walkthrough, we're going to create a simple Java contract and compile it. We're then going to run the compiled contract through the Web3J wrapping tool which will give us a Java class we can import into a standard Java application. Finally, we'll build a simple Java application and import the wrapped Java contract and have it interact with the blockchain.

We’ll be using IntelliJ and the Aion4J plugin.


This project assumes that you’re already familiar with IntelliJ and how to create Aion contracts using the Aion4j plugin. To find out more on how to do this, check out the IntelliJ section. You will also need to following software installed.

  1. Java 10 or above.
  2. IntelliJ

Create the Contract

The contract we’re going to create is a simple getter-setter application. The user can either view the value of a String variable or change that variable.

  1. Open IntelliJ and create a new Maven project using the latest AVM archetype.
  2. Set the GroupId field to aionexample and the ArtifactId field to gettersetter.
  3. Click Next through the rest project creation window and click Finish.
  4. Click Run Initialize in the pop-up at the bottom right, or right-click within your project and select Aion Virtual Machine > Run Intialize.
  5. To keep things simple we won’t be using tests in this project. So within the src folder of your new project, delete the test folder.
  6. Within the src/main/java/aionexample folder, right-click on HelloAvm, select RefactorRename, and rename HelloAvm to GetterSetter.
  7. Depending on your IntelliJ setup, IntelliJ might rename all the instances of HelloAvm within the class to GetterSetter. If it doesn’t however, do this manually. Make sure to set the contract.main.class field within your pom.xml file to <contract.main.class>aionexample.GetterSetter</contract.main.class>

    You should now have the basis of your Java contract project. If you want, you can delete the greet() and sayHello() functions within your GetterSetter class since we won’t be using them. But there’s no harm in leaving them in there. You can also copy and paste the contract below:

    package aionexample;
    import avm.Blockchain;
    import org.aion.avm.tooling.abi.Callable;
    public class GetterSetter {
        private static String myStr = "Hello AVM";
        public static String getString() { return myStr; }
        public static void setString(String newStr) { myStr = newStr; }
  8. Compile your contract by right-clicking on the gettersetter folder in the navigation panel and selecting Aion Virtual MachineEmbeddedDeploy.

  9. You should now have a gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.abi and gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar files within your projects target folder. Copy them to somewhere handy like your desktop. These are the files we’re going to wrap within the Web3J packages.

  10. You can close this project now: FileClose Project.

Wrap the Contract

For a standard Java application to interact with your Java contract, you need to wrap the contract within the Web3J wrapper. While the process is the same for any Java contract, the output is different. A wrapper for one Java contract will not work for any other Java contract.

  1. Download the Aion Web3J package from GitHub:

    git clone https://github.com/web3j/aion
  2. Move into the new folder:

    cd web3j-aion-master
  3. Generate the binary distribution using Gradlew:

    ./gradlew distZip
    > Starting a Gradle Daemon (subsequent builds will be faster)
    > ...
    > 9 actionable tasks: 9 executed

    You might see a warning about Deprecated Gradle features. You can safely ignore this for now. It will be fixed in a future release.

  4. Move into the distributions folder:

    cd codegen/build/distributions
  5. Extract the web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.zip file:

    unzip web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.zip
    > Archive: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.zip
    > creating: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/
    > creating: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/lib/
    > ...
    > creating: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/bin/
    > inflating: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/bin/web3j-aion.bat
    > inflating: web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/bin/web3j-aion
  6. Move into bin folder:

    cd web3j-aion-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT/bin
  7. Web3J now needs the jar and abi files we made in IntelliJ. Copy your .jar and .abi files into this folder:

    cp ~/Desktop/gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.abi ~/Desktop/gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar .
  8. Generate your Aion contract wrapper:

    ./web3j-aion -a gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.abi -b gettersetter-1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar -o ~/Desktop -p gettersetter
    > Generating gettersetter.GetterSetter ...
    > ...
    > File written to /Users/aion/Desktop

    The -o ~/Desktop directory in this command is the location where you wrapper will be saved. To keep thing simple we’ve told the script to save it to the desktop. You can now find your GetterSetter.java wrapper in the ~/Desktop/gettersetter/ folder.

    For future reference, the following arguments are available for the web3j-aion script:

    Flag Required Description
    -a, --abiFile true ABI file in AVM format with a contract definition.
    -b, --binFile false BIN or JAR file with the contract compiled code in order to generate deploy methods.
    -o, --outputDir true Destination base directory.
    -p, --package true Base package name.
    -t, --targetVm false Target Aion virtual machine (AVM by default).
  9. We also need to create a shadowJar file. Back in the root of the Web3J repository run:

    ./gradlew shadowJar
    > <===========--> 90% EXECUTING [2s]
    > ...
    > 7 actionable tasks: 3 executed, 4 up-to-date
  10. Copy this new .jar into the gettersetter folder on your desktop:

 cp avm/build/libs/web3j-aion-avm-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT-all.jar ~/Desktop/gettersetter

We now have the two files we need to include within our Java project. Next up is creating the Java project to house everything.

Set Up your Application and Import the Wrapper

In this step, we’re going to create an incredibly simple Java application that prints out the myStr variable within our contract. This application will also deploy our contract for us.

  1. Create a new Java project in IntelliJ called GetTheString.
  2. Within your projects root folder create a new directory called lib.
  3. Within this new lib folder, paste the web3j-aion-avm-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT-all.jar file we created and saved into ~/Desktop/gettersetter in the previous step.
  4. Copy the GetterSetter.java file from within ~/Desktop/gettersetter into the src folder.
  5. Within the src folder, create a new Java class called GetTheString. Your project folder should look something like this now:

    ├── GetTheString.iml
    ├── lib
    │  └── web3j-aion-avm-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT-all.jar
    └── src
    ├── GetTheString.java
    └── GetterSetter.java

Lastly, we need to tell IntelliJ that we want to use the lib folder as this project library location.

  1. Go to File > Project Structure.
  2. Select Libraries from the left panel.
  3. Click the + icon and select Java.
  4. In the window that opens, go into the lib folder within your GetTheString project folder.
  5. Select the web3j-aion-avm-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT-all.jar file and click Open.
  6. Click OK on the confirmation window. Then click Apply and OK within the Project Structure window.

Now we have the framework to start interacting with the blockchain. Next up, we’re going to deploy our contract and interact with it using the Aion test network.

Write, Deploy, and Interact

First up we need to tell our Java application to deploy our contract to the Aion test network. To do this you’ll need an Aion node on the Amity testnet, and an account with sufficient balance to deploy and call a contract. You can use Nodesmith to connect to a node, and the Aion Testnet Faucet to get some free test tokens.


Now that you’ve got those two details, we’re ready to start writing our Java application.

  1. Open the GetTheString file.
  2. At the very top of the file add the following lines to import the packages we need:

    import org.web3j.aion.VirtualMachine;
    import org.web3j.aion.crypto.Ed25519KeyPair;
    import org.web3j.aion.protocol.Aion;
    import org.web3j.aion.tx.AionTransactionManager;
    import org.web3j.aion.tx.gas.AionGasProvider;
    import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.TransactionReceipt;
    import org.web3j.protocol.http.HttpService;
    import org.web3j.tx.TransactionManager;
  3. Within the public class GetTheString class definiton add these two lines, filling in your information:

    private static String NODE_ENDPOINT = "YOUR_NODE_URL";
    private static String PRIVATE_KEY = "YOUR_PRIVATE_KEY";
  4. Create an Aion object by adding this line:

    private static final Aion aion = Aion.build(new HttpService(NODE_ENDPOINT));

    This sets up the endpoint to talk to an Aion network.

  5. Create TranasactionManager object called manager:

    private static final TransactionManager manager = new AionTransactionManager(aion, new Ed25519KeyPair(PRIVATE_KEY), VirtualMachine.AVM);

    This sets up the account for signing and sending the transactions later.

  6. Create a main() class that will house all our further code:

    public static void main(String [] args) throws Exception {


We can now get to deploying your contract. Since we’ve already set up the scaffolding in the rest of this class, all we need to do is call one function.

  1. Call the .deploy function within your GetterSetter object:

    final GetterSetter getterSetterContract = GetterSetter.deploy(aion, manager, AionGasProvider.INSTANCE).send();
  2. You can also request the transaction receipt and contract address once your Java contract has been deployed:

    System.out.println("Tx Hash:"+ counterContract.getTransactionReceipt());
    System.out.println("Contract Address: " + counterContract.getContractAddress());

    Note: Remember to check the status of the of the transaction as well. A contract address will be returned even the deployment fails.

  3. You should now be able to run your application. Click Run > Run… from the title bar.

You may get an error about JDK7 types. You can safely ignore this. It can take up to 30 seconds to deploy your contract. Once it’s deployed you should be able to see the transaction hash and contract address:

WARNING: Unable to load JDK7 types (annotations, java.nio.file.Path): no Java7 support added
Tx Hash:Optional[TransactionReceipt{transactionHash='0x82ed1b830d5420f4d0ed591f1' ...
Contract Address: 0xa0a6468149676f ...


So now that we’re able to deploy our contract, we should be able to interact with it. There are two functions within our contract getString and setString. Let’s start by calling the getString method and checking the response.

  1. Create a variable called result of type String, and have it set to the response of the getString method:

    String firstResult = getterSetterContract.call_getString().send();

    Note: We are using call_getString instead of send_getString here is because getString() is a constant function, we are only getting information from the blockchain and not change any state.

  2. Print out the result variable:

    System.out.println("Current string is: " + firstResult);
  3. Run your project again to see the results.

    > WARNING: Unable to load JDK7 types (annotations, java.nio.file.Path): no Java7 support added
    > ...
    > Current string is: Hello AVM

Next, let’s try setting the string. Since we’re going to change the state of the blockchain this action will use funds from your account, so make sure there is enough AION in there to facilitate the request.

  1. Create a variable called transactionReceipt of type TransactionReceipt, and have it set to the response of the setString method. Add the string you want to set the myStr variable to as an argument:

    TransactionReceipt transactionReceipt = getterSetterContract.send_setString("Hello World!").send();
  2. Print out whether or not the transaction was successful and the string was set:

    System.out.println("String Set: " + transactionReceipt.isStatusOK());
  3. Call the getString method again using the same code from earlier:

    String secondResult = getterSetterContract.call_getString().send();
    System.out.println("Current string is: " + secondResult);
  4. Run your project again to see the results.

    > WARNING: Unable to load JDK7 types (annotations, java.nio.file.Path): no Java7 support added
    > ...
    > Current string is: Hello AVM
    > String Set: true
    > Current string is: Hello World!

And there you have it! You’ve successfully written, deployed, and interacted with a Java contract on the Aion test network using Web3J! Check out the official Web3J documentation for more information on what you can do with the framework.