From Concept to Production in under 10 minutes - Meet the DABL alpha

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Most developers know that it takes far too long to build meaningful applications. Engineering teams get buried by necessary – but ultimately un-differentiating – design decisions and foundation building. Things like architecture choices, API and services integration, and maintaining and operating their systems. 

Until now.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce the alpha release of project : DABL, a scalable backend for SaaS applications with a serverless experience. Using DABL means you will get to market faster with fewer engineers and a cleaner, composable architecture.

Don’t believe us? The video below shows the combination of the power of Daml, the open-source toolchain for distributed applications, and DABL to build and deploy a simple chat app from scratch in under 10 minutes:

What you didn’t waste time on

While only a simple example, notably absent from the demo were:

Managing Database Schema - Serialization - Importing Code Infrastructure - Permissioning - OS Interactions and Dependencies - Packaging - Docker - Deployment Pipelines - Hosting - API Design - API Documentation - Separate Layers for Roles - Separate Layers for User Management and Access Control - Setting up Kubernetes - Updating Kubernetes - Scaling Kubernetes - Snapshots - Backups - Restores - App Uptime - App Scaling - Server Updates - Log Management - Provisioning Servers - Privacy - Notifications - Certificates - Monitoring - Scheduling Updates - YAML - Resource Migration - Pod Balancing - Performance Engineering - Creating Test Infrastructure - Database Keys - Premature Architecture Optimizations - Token Management - Threads 

DABL, and Daml, take care of all of this for you.

Daml takes care of abstracting away the complexities of all code that isn’t the logic of what your application does. Developers only write business flows and application behavior.

DABL completes this vision by abstracting away deployment, management, and scaling of distributed applications. It’s a production environment for SaaS applications that involve flows between multiple people, companies, and even markets. We created DABL to empower a wave of lean, innovative teams building apps across all sorts of industries.

Who is using it today?

Today, DABL comes out of private alpha and is available for anyone to try. There have been over 70 applications deployed to date by early alpha users, including:


The time it takes to go from concept to MvP can make or break a startup. We have been working closely with startups across a range of industries to see how Daml and DABL can help them get to market first and stay there.

And we do! Every time you click on a button in the DABL Console, you are interacting with our own Daml application that governs and drives the DABL service. DABL is written in Daml. Dogfooding ensures we are acutely aware of your journey to successful deployment and ongoing growth. 

Enterprise dev/test and PoCs

Getting to production can be a long journey within an enterprise. DABL provides an environment to launch your application quickly, gain early traction, and win buy-in. Whether you are on an established team looking to validate the business value or a single contributor looking to make a splash, DABL helps you get to demonstrable value faster.

The Barclays DerivHack

Last year, Digital Asset won the best overall solution in a DerivHack, a hackathon by Barclays and the ISDA standards body for the derivatives market. Next week, we are providing DerivHack teams with DABL so they can simulate a common repository for derivatives and securities-based applications. You can watch Digital Asset’s webinars and sign up to participate in DerivHack here.

Build, deploy, and scale applications in days

DABL is a great option for any developer looking to build a simpler, scalable backend for their SaaS application. Using DABL means you will get to market faster with fewer engineers and a simpler, cleaner application.

  • Deploy your application backend in seconds
  • All application APIs are automatically generated
  • All user authentication and authorization policies are automatically generated
  • Integrate 3rd party services without custom API ‘glue code’ 


Deploy on upload, automatically scale- DABL allows your application to grow without having to learn anything about infrastructure or modify your code. 

Application APIs for free - Any application built with Daml automatically defines and creates the APIs for all functionality of the application. In DABL, this means connecting your UI or IOT device to your backend is trivially easy.

Roles and access control for free - All application users can authenticate directly to the application APIs. All authorized data and actions are defined by the Daml application code. There is no need for complicated policy layers that need to be kept consistent and in sync with the underlying logic of the application – policies and rules are an inherent part of the application.

Integrated services - Incorporate 3rd party APIs and services directly into the logic of your application. No additional architecture or components are necessary.

Want to manage your application in your own environment? All applications written for DABL are fully compatible with the Daml ledger model and so can also be deployed to any Daml-driven ledger in our rapidly growing ecosystem.

What’s on the roadmap?

Growing set of integrations and connectors - We know your application doesn’t live on an island and we are working hard to build the infrastructure to help you connect to your favorite APIs and services.

Off-the-shelf core libraries - Pull in code from the community and avoid reimplementing simple, common functionality. Widely used libraries save you time and give you confidence in the underlying design.

Public roadmap - We push new features to prod almost every other day and are moving fast to build a better platform for your needs. See, comment, and vote on upcoming features at our public roadmap

How do I get started?

  1. Create an account at
  2. Download the Daml SDK
  3. Check out the DABL docs and examples repo
  4. Join the #project-dabl channel on Slack for any questions!

Further Reading

'That’s awesome, but how do I architect this?'
How to Start a Startup
How to Start a Startup: Building a Founding Team
Skip the Scaffolding with Daml Hub