Write flows

In Corda, flows automate the process of agreeing ledger updates. They are a sequence of steps that tell the node how to achieve a specific ledger update, such as issuing an asset or making a deposit. Nodes communicate using these flows in point-to-point interactions, rather than a global broadcast system. Network participants must specify what information needs to be sent, to which counterparties.

This tutorial guides you through writing the three flows you need in your CorDapp. These are:

  • CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow
  • PackageApples flow
  • RedeemApples flow

You will be creating these flows in the workflows/src/main/java/com/tutorial/flows directory in this tutorial. Refer to the TemplateInitiator.java and TemplateResponder.java files in this directory to see template initiator and responder flows.

Learning objectives

After you have completed this tutorial, you will know how to write and implement flows in a CorDapp.

Before you start

Before you start writing flows, read Key concepts: Flows .

Write the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow

The CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow creates the AppleStamp and issues it to the customer.

Write the initiator flow

The CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow action requires interaction between the issuer and the customer. For this reason, you must create an initiator flow and a responder flow.

Implement the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp class

Add the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp public class. When naming a public class, the class name must match the name of the file. You will fill this class in subsequent sections of the tutorial.

Add annotations

  1. Add the @InitiatingFlow annotation. This indicates that this flow is the initiating flow.
  2. Add the @StartableByRPC annotation. This annotation allows the flow to be started by RPC. You must use this annotation if you want to run the flow with the RPC client.

So far your code should look like this:

public class CreateAndIssueAppleStamp {

    @InitiatingFlow
    @StartableByRPC
}

Add the CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator subclass

Add the CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator public static class to extend FlowLogic. Include a SignedTransaction return type.

Add variables

Add the following private variables to the subclass:

  • stampDescription - Information included with the AppleStamp. This must be a String type.
  • holder - The holder of the AppleStamp. This must be a Party type.

Add a constructor

The constructor must have the same name as the subclass. Include the holder and stampDescription variables in the constructor.

Let’s check in on your code. It should now look like this:

public class CreateAndIssueAppleStamp {

    @InitiatingFlow
    @StartableByRPC
    public static class CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator  extends FlowLogic<SignedTransaction>{

        private String stampDescription;
        private Party holder;

        public CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator(String stampDescription,  Party holder) {
            this.stampDescription = stampDescription;
            this.holder = holder;
        }

Add the call method

  1. Add the @Suspendable annotation.
  2. Add the call method with a SignedTransaction return type.

Obtain a reference for the notary

In transactions with multiple parties, you need a notary service to reach consensus between the parties. Since this flow is communicating with Farmer Bob and Peter, you need the notary.

You can add a notary service in one of two ways:

  1. Use the getServiceHub, getNetworkMapCache, getNotaryIdentities, and get methods to get the services of the first available notary on the network. In this CorDapp there is only one notary, so it will always select the same one. This is fine for a simple application with one notary but should not be used in production environments.
  2. Use the getServiceHub, getNetworkMapCache, and getNotary methods, specifying the notary’s x500 name, to select a specific notary. This is the recommended option for production environments.

Build the output AppleStamp state

In flows with inputs, you use those inputs to determine the outputs a flow will have. Since this flow is creating and issuing the AppleStamp, there are no inputs to utilize.

Build the output newStamp using the parameters from the AppleStamp state:

  • stampDescription
  • holder
  • UniqueIdentifier

Encapsulate the output and notary into the transaction

Use the TransactionBuilder Corda object to encapsulate everything into the transaction.

  1. Add TransactionBuilder TxBuilder = new TransactionBuilder.
  2. Insert the notary.
  3. Use the addOutputState method to add the newStamp.
  4. Use the addCommand method to add the Issue command and a list of required signees (the initiator and the holder). Use getOurIdentity and getOwningKey methods to get the required signees.

Verify that the transaction is valid

Use the verify method to trigger contract verification of the txBuilder from the getServiceHub.

Sign the transaction

The initiator needs to sign the transaction for the transaction to be valid.

  1. Add final SignedTransaction partSignedTx.
  2. Use the getServiceHub method to signInitialTransaction. Insert the txBuilder.

Send the state to the counterparty and receive it back with their signature

After the initiator signs, the counterparty must also sign the transaction.

  1. Start a FlowSession with the counterparty using the InitiateFlow method. Add this line to start the flow session with the holder:
FlowSession otherPartySession = initiateFlow(holder);
  1. Call a subflow to collect signatures. Introduce the CollectSignaturesFlow with the partSignedTx and the otherPartySession.

Notarize and record the transaction in both parties' vaults

Use the subflow FinalityFlow to update the ledger and record changes.

The FinalityFlow must contain the fullySignedTx and the otherPartySession.

Write the responder flow

As noted above, the initiator flow needs a corresponding responder flow. The counterparty runs the responder flow.

Add annotation

Add the @InitiatedBy annotation with the CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator class to indicate that this is the responder flow.

Add the CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder subclass

Add the CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder public static class to extend FlowLogic. The return type here is Void.

Add variables

  1. Add the FlowSession Counterparty session.
  2. Add the public variable CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder with a FlowSession to open the counterpartySession.

Your variables should look like this:

        private FlowSession counterpartySession;

        public CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder(FlowSession counterpartySession) {
            this.counterpartySession = counterpartySession;

Add the call method

  1. Add the @Suspendable annotation.
  2. Add the @Override annotation.
  3. Add the call method with a subFlow that will sign the partially signed transaction from the initiator:
SignedTransaction signedTransaction = subFlow(new SignTransactionFlow(counterpartySession)
  1. Inside the subflow, you can perform checks on the transaction using checkTransaction. If these checks fail, an exception is thrown. You do not need to add any checks for this CorDapp.
  2. Store the transactions in the database using the subflow ReceiveFinalityFlow with the counterpartySession and the signedTransaction.

You have now written the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow. Your code should look like this:

package com.tutorial.flows;

import co.paralleluniverse.fibers.Suspendable;
import com.tutorial.contracts.AppleStampContract;
import com.tutorial.states.AppleStamp;
import net.corda.core.contracts.UniqueIdentifier;
import net.corda.core.flows.*;
import net.corda.core.identity.Party;
import net.corda.core.transactions.SignedTransaction;
import net.corda.core.transactions.TransactionBuilder;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Arrays;

public class CreateAndIssueAppleStamp {

    @InitiatingFlow
    @StartableByRPC
    public static class CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator  extends FlowLogic<SignedTransaction>{

        private String stampDescription;
        private Party holder;

        public CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator(String stampDescription,  Party holder) {
            this.stampDescription = stampDescription;
            this.holder = holder;
        }

        @Suspendable
        @Override
        public SignedTransaction call() throws FlowException {

            /* Obtain a reference to a notary we wish to use.
             * METHOD 1: Take first notary on network, WARNING: use for test, non-prod environments, and single-notary networks only!*
             *  METHOD 2: Explicit selection of notary by CordaX500Name - argument can by coded in flows or parsed from config (Preferred)
             *  * - For production you always want to1 use Method 2 as it guarantees the expected notary is returned.
             */
            final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotaryIdentities().get(0); // METHOD 1
            //final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotary(CordaX500Name.parse("O=Notary,L=London,C=GB")); // METHOD 2

            //Building the output AppleStamp state
            UniqueIdentifier uniqueID = new UniqueIdentifier();
            AppleStamp newStamp = new AppleStamp(this.stampDescription,this.getOurIdentity(),this.holder,uniqueID);

            //Compositing the transaction
            TransactionBuilder txBuilder = new TransactionBuilder(notary)
                    .addOutputState(newStamp)
                    .addCommand(new AppleStampContract.Commands.Issue(),
                            Arrays.asList(getOurIdentity().getOwningKey(),holder.getOwningKey()));

            // Verify that the transaction is valid.
            txBuilder.verify(getServiceHub());

            // Sign the transaction.
            final SignedTransaction partSignedTx = getServiceHub().signInitialTransaction(txBuilder);

            // Send the state to the counterparty, and receive it back with their signature.
            FlowSession otherPartySession = initiateFlow(holder);
            final SignedTransaction fullySignedTx = subFlow(
                    new CollectSignaturesFlow(partSignedTx, Arrays.asList(otherPartySession)));

            // Notarise and record the transaction in both parties' vaults.
            return subFlow(new FinalityFlow(fullySignedTx, Arrays.asList(otherPartySession)));
        }
    }

    @InitiatedBy(CreateAndIssueAppleStampInitiator.class)
    public static class CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder extends FlowLogic<Void>{

        //private variable
        private FlowSession counterpartySession;

        public CreateAndIssueAppleStampResponder(FlowSession counterpartySession) {
            this.counterpartySession = counterpartySession;
        }

        @Override
        @Suspendable
        public Void call() throws FlowException {
            SignedTransaction signedTransaction = subFlow(new SignTransactionFlow(counterpartySession) {
                @Override
                @Suspendable
                protected void checkTransaction(SignedTransaction stx) throws FlowException {
                    /*
                     * SignTransactionFlow will automatically verify the transaction and its signatures before signing it.
                     * However, just because a transaction is contractually valid doesn’t mean we necessarily want to sign.
                     * What if we don’t want to deal with the counterparty in question, or the value is too high,
                     * or we’re not happy with the transaction’s structure? checkTransaction
                     * allows us to define these additional checks. If any of these conditions are not met,
                     * we will not sign the transaction - even if the transaction and its signatures are contractually valid.
                     * ----------
                     * For this hello-world cordapp, we will not implement any additional checks.
                     * */
                }
            });

            //Stored the transaction into data base.
            subFlow(new ReceiveFinalityFlow(counterpartySession, signedTransaction.getId()));
            return null;
        }
    }

}

Write the PackageApples and RedeemApples flows

Now that you have written the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow, try writing the PackageApples and RedeemApples flows on your own.

PackageApples flow

The PackageApples flow is simpler than the CreateAndIssueAppleStamp flow, in that it only involves one party. This flow represents Farmer Bob preparing the apples for Peter to collect.

Since the flow only involves one party (Farmer Bob), you only need an initiator flow, not a pair of initiator and responder flows. However, you still must add the @InitiatingFlow annotation to the initiating flow.

Include these variables in the flow:

  • appleDescription - Relevant information, such as the type of apple. Use type String.
  • weight - The weight of the apples. Use type int.

Though you don’t need a notary in a single-party flow, all standard flows include a notary. You can add one to this flow, although it won’t do anything in your transaction.

Check your work

After you’ve written the PackageApples flow, your code should look like this:

package com.tutorial.flows;

import co.paralleluniverse.fibers.Suspendable;
import com.tutorial.contracts.BasketOfAppleContract;
import com.tutorial.states.BasketOfApple;
import net.corda.core.flows.*;
import net.corda.core.identity.Party;
import net.corda.core.transactions.SignedTransaction;
import net.corda.core.transactions.TransactionBuilder;

import java.util.Collections;

public class PackageApples {

    @InitiatingFlow
    @StartableByRPC
    public static class PackApplesInitiator extends FlowLogic<SignedTransaction> {

        private String appleDescription;
        private int weight;

        public PackApplesInitiator(String appleDescription, int weight) {
            this.appleDescription = appleDescription;
            this.weight = weight;
        }

        @Override
        @Suspendable
        public SignedTransaction call() throws FlowException {

            /* Obtain a reference to a notary we wish to use.
             * METHOD 1: Take first notary on network, WARNING: use for test, non-prod environments, and single-notary networks only!*
             *  METHOD 2: Explicit selection of notary by CordaX500Name - argument can by coded in flows or parsed from config (Preferred)
             *  * - For production you always want to use Method 2 as it guarantees the expected notary is returned.
             */
            final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotaryIdentities().get(0); // METHOD 1
            //final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotary(CordaX500Name.parse("O=Notary,L=London,C=GB")); // METHOD 2

            //Create the output object
            BasketOfApple basket = new BasketOfApple(this.appleDescription,this.getOurIdentity(),this.weight);

            //Building transaction
            TransactionBuilder txBuilder = new TransactionBuilder(notary)
                    .addOutputState(basket)
                    .addCommand(new BasketOfAppleContract.Commands.packToBasket(), this.getOurIdentity().getOwningKey());

            // Verify the transaction
            txBuilder.verify(getServiceHub());

            // Sign the transaction
            SignedTransaction signedTransaction = getServiceHub().signInitialTransaction(txBuilder);

            // Notarise the transaction and record the states in the ledger.
            return subFlow(new FinalityFlow(signedTransaction, Collections.emptyList()));
        }
    }

}

RedeemApples flow

The RedeemApples flow involves two parties: Farmer Bob and Peter. When this flow is called, Peter redeems his AppleStamp for the BasketOfApples that Famrer Bob gives him.

You will need an initiator and responder flow pair for this flow.

Include these variables in the flow:

  • buyer - The customer buying the apples, in this case Peter.
  • stampId - The unique identifier of the AppleStamp.

Check your work

After you’ve written the PackageApples flow, your code should look like this:

package com.tutorial.flows;

import co.paralleluniverse.fibers.Suspendable;
import com.tutorial.contracts.AppleStampContract;
import com.tutorial.contracts.BasketOfAppleContract;
import com.tutorial.states.AppleStamp;
import com.tutorial.states.BasketOfApple;
import net.corda.core.contracts.StateAndRef;
import net.corda.core.contracts.UniqueIdentifier;
import net.corda.core.flows.*;
import net.corda.core.identity.Party;
import net.corda.core.node.services.Vault;
import net.corda.core.node.services.vault.QueryCriteria;
import net.corda.core.transactions.SignedTransaction;
import net.corda.core.transactions.TransactionBuilder;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.UUID;

public class RedeemApples {

    @InitiatingFlow
    @StartableByRPC
    public static class RedeemApplesInitiator extends FlowLogic<SignedTransaction>{

        private Party buyer;
        private UniqueIdentifier stampId;

        public RedeemApplesInitiator(Party buyer, UniqueIdentifier stampId) {
            this.buyer = buyer;
            this.stampId = stampId;
        }

        @Override
        @Suspendable
        public SignedTransaction call() throws FlowException {

            /* Obtain a reference to a notary we wish to use.
             * METHOD 1: Take first notary on network, WARNING: use for test, non-prod environments, and single-notary networks only!*
             *  METHOD 2: Explicit selection of notary by CordaX500Name - argument can by coded in flows or parsed from config (Preferred)
             *  * - For production you always want to use Method 2 as it guarantees the expected notary is returned.
             */
            final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotaryIdentities().get(0); // METHOD 1
            //final Party notary = getServiceHub().getNetworkMapCache().getNotary(CordaX500Name.parse("O=Notary,L=London,C=GB")); // METHOD 2

            //Query the AppleStamp
            QueryCriteria.LinearStateQueryCriteria inputCriteria = new QueryCriteria.LinearStateQueryCriteria()
                    .withUuid(Arrays.asList(UUID.fromString(stampId.toString())))
                    .withStatus(Vault.StateStatus.UNCONSUMED)
                    .withRelevancyStatus(Vault.RelevancyStatus.RELEVANT);
            StateAndRef appleStampStateAndRef = getServiceHub().getVaultService().queryBy(AppleStamp.class, inputCriteria).getStates().get(0);

            //Query output basketOfApple
            QueryCriteria outputCriteria = new QueryCriteria.VaultQueryCriteria()
                    .withStatus(Vault.StateStatus.UNCONSUMED)
                    .withRelevancyStatus(Vault.RelevancyStatus.RELEVANT);
            StateAndRef basketOfAppleStateAndRef = getServiceHub().getVaultService().queryBy(BasketOfApple.class, outputCriteria).getStates().get(0);
            BasketOfApple originalBasketOfApple = (BasketOfApple) basketOfAppleStateAndRef.getState().getData();

            //Modify output to address the owner change
            BasketOfApple output = originalBasketOfApple.changeOwner(buyer);

            //Build Transaction
            TransactionBuilder txBuilder = new TransactionBuilder(notary)
                    .addInputState(appleStampStateAndRef)
                    .addInputState(basketOfAppleStateAndRef)
                    .addOutputState(output, BasketOfAppleContract.ID)
                    .addCommand(new BasketOfAppleContract.Commands.Redeem(),
                            Arrays.asList(getOurIdentity().getOwningKey(),this.buyer.getOwningKey()));

            // Verify that the transaction is valid.
            txBuilder.verify(getServiceHub());

            // Sign the transaction.
            final SignedTransaction partSignedTx = getServiceHub().signInitialTransaction(txBuilder);

            // Send the state to the counterparty, and receive it back with their signature.
            FlowSession otherPartySession = initiateFlow(buyer);
            final SignedTransaction fullySignedTx = subFlow(
                    new CollectSignaturesFlow(partSignedTx, Arrays.asList(otherPartySession)));

            // Notarise and record the transaction in both parties' vaults.
            SignedTransaction result = subFlow(new FinalityFlow(fullySignedTx, Arrays.asList(otherPartySession)));

            return result;
        }
    }

    @InitiatedBy(RedeemApplesInitiator.class)
    public static class RedeemApplesResponder extends FlowLogic<Void>{
        //private variable
        private FlowSession counterpartySession;

        public RedeemApplesResponder(FlowSession counterpartySession) {
            this.counterpartySession = counterpartySession;
        }

        @Override
        @Suspendable
        public Void call() throws FlowException {
            SignedTransaction signedTransaction = subFlow(new SignTransactionFlow(counterpartySession) {
                @Override
                protected void checkTransaction(SignedTransaction stx) throws FlowException {
                }
            });

            //Stored the transaction into data base.
            subFlow(new ReceiveFinalityFlow(counterpartySession, signedTransaction.getId()));
            return null;
        }
    }

}

Next steps

Follow the Write unit tests tutorial to continue on this learning path.

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Chat with us

Chat with us on our #docs channel on slack. You can also join a lot of other slack channels there and have access to 1-on-1 communication with members of the R3 team and the online community.

Propose documentation improvements directly

Help us to improve the docs by contributing directly. It's simple - just fork this repository and raise a PR of your own - R3's Technical Writers will review it and apply the relevant suggestions.

We're sorry this page wasn't helpful. Let us know how we can make it better!

Chat with us

Chat with us on our #docs channel on slack. You can also join a lot of other slack channels there and have access to 1-on-1 communication with members of the R3 team and the online community.

Create an issue

Create a new GitHub issue in this repository - submit technical feedback, draw attention to a potential documentation bug, or share ideas for improvement and general feedback.

Propose documentation improvements directly

Help us to improve the docs by contributing directly. It's simple - just fork this repository and raise a PR of your own - R3's Technical Writers will review it and apply the relevant suggestions.