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Introduction

Stellar is designed to make it easy for developers to issue digital assets and build applications that take advantage of a public distributed ledger that allows for near-instant payments and universal currency conversion. The goal of these docs is to explain key concepts and offer practical examples so developers can roll up their sleeves and get building on Stellar. Ideally, they answer crucial developer questions, and are thorough enough to guide a project from conception to production.

Like the Stellar codebase, these docs are open source and constantly evolving, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for or have ideas for improvements, please contribute by filing a Github issue or pull request in this repository.

This section outlines some of the basic concepts and channels for developers, so if you’re already familiar with Stellar, you may want to skip ahead to whatever section applies to your product or use case. You can use the left-side menu of the docs to navigate to various sections, and the right-side menu to navigate to different parts of a given page. For a quick summary of each section, please visit the Welcome page

Background Reading

If you’re new to Stellar, you may want to start by getting a high-level understanding of the network. A great place to do that is the Learn section of stellar.org. It has five pages, each of which delves into a fundamental aspect of Stellar:

  • Intro to Stellar explains what Stellar is for, how it works, and who builds on it and why.

  • The Power of Stellar outlines the fundamental things you can do with Stellar, including issue digital assets, trade peer-to-peer, and convert currency as you send it.

  • Anchor Basics outlines the role of Anchors, which are enterprises that connect the Stellar network to traditional banking rails so that all the world’s currencies can interoperate on a single, seamless platform.

  • Blockchain Basics explains the basic idea behind blockchain, and shows how Stellar relates to other networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

  • Stellar Lumens explains the origins and use of the network token — the lumen (aka XLM) — and gives pointers on how to buy and store lumens.

Another way to gain an understanding of what you can do with the network is to check out some of the existing projects built on Stellar. For a current list, take a look at the Projects and Partners section of stellar.org.

Getting Started

Once you have a high-level understanding of Stellar, you can start building right away, and the subsequent sections of these docs will focus on how to do that. You don’t have to run your own Stellar Core node to develop on Stellar — several organizations including the Stellar Development Foundation offer public-access API endpoints that allow you to submit transactions and query the ledger — so you can focus on building your product before committing to setting up network infrastructure.

If you are new, you may want to start with the early Tutorials to familiarize yourself with some of the building blocks of Stellar. You should also investigate the SDKs designed to make developing in your language of choice easy, and familiarize yourself with the canonical List of Operations, which documents everything you can do with Stellar — along with parameters and error codes — and links to the relevant documentation for key SDKs. Finally, you may want to explore the API Reference documentation, which details every resource, aggregation, and error provided by Horizon, the Stellar API.

Developer Channels

Stellar has an active developer community, and it’s often helpful to interact with other devs who are working on Stellar-based projects. They’re great at answering questions, giving feedback, and sharing information about the best ways to use the network. For general information on our community channels, check out the stellar.org Community Page.

There are also several channels dedicated to developers, and it’s a good idea to join them to keep abreast of important plans, developments, and events:

  • The Stellar Status Page tracks the uptime of the public network and the test network, and displays information about incidents and scheduled maintenance. If you’re building on Stellar, you should sign up for updates so you’re aware of crucial network events that require action on your part — including protocol upgrades and testnet resets.

  • The Stellar Public Keybase Team is a great place to chat with members of the Stellar Development Foundation and other Stellar devs, and is where a lot of ecosystem collaboration and coordination happens. The #dev-discussion channel is a great place to ask and answer questions in real time.

  • The Stellar Stack Exchange is persistent knowledge base for asking and answering questions about all things Stellar. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the docs, you can often search Stack Exchange and find your question has been asked and answered.

  • The Developers Google Group is dedicated to discussions about Core Advancement Proposals and Stellar Ecosystem Proposals (aka CAPs and SEPs), and to important notifications about upgrades and network-wide decisions. It’s not the best place to ask questions about how to do something on Stellar — Stack Exchange and Keybase are better suited for that — but it’s a great place to participate in the growth and development of the protocol itself.

  • The Stellar Community Fund is a quarterly grant program that allows the Stellar community to reward Stellar-based projects with lumen awards. It’s a great way to kickstart a project on Stellar.

Last updated Sep. 23, 2020

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