Open sourcing Veramo Agent Explorer

Jason Healy

Jason Healy

Product & Engineering @ Veramo

Throughout the development cycle of Veramo from its early alpha days as DAF, we have always had some form of user interface to help build and test features. The first UI was a React Native mobile application called daf-mobile which has since been deprecated.

Out of necessity for a fully working UI that makes working with agents easier and helps validate Veramo APIs among many other use-cases we created a simple dashboard called Agent Explorer.

As the Agent Explorer is a developer dashboard, the design was to be kept minimal and unobtrusive while surfacing the very pieces of technical information that would normally be hidden for non-developers. We also wanted this UI to be modular and flexible as Veramo is. We have not fully achieved this yet but we have implemented a widget based approach that allows developers to create their own dashboard widgets while developing features for Veramo perhaps in another codebase. And finally the explorer provides a quick and simple way to see what’s going on in your agents and can assist in interacting and quickly generating bulk data for research and experiments.

We have been using agent explorer internally for many months now and today we are open-sourcing the codebase.

There are a number of ways to use the explorer depending on your workflow. (1 + 2 are if you do not need to build any custom UI functionality in the explorer and just wish to interact with your agents)

  1. Run directly from npm: npx agent-explore serve. This will run on your localhost on port 5000.

  2. Visit https://explore.veramo.dev and connect your running agent.

  3. Fork the agent-explorer repo and run locally. If you build a widget that you think is useful to have in the main repo and therefore available on https://explore.veramo.dev then please open a PR/discussion and we will review!

Note that the explorer depends on another library that we have in the pipeline Veramo React. Veramo React makes it easy to use Veramo APIs in React/React Native. We plan to open source this library very shortly.

Working with the latest DID spec

Mircea Nistor

Mircea Nistor

Protocol engineer @ Veramo

We are excited to announce a new feature release of Veramo!

This new release brings together a bunch of fixes and features that we've been working on recently, including many from the community (thank you for your contributions!).

You can get a detailed list of changes in the release description. Depending on how you're using Veramo you might be impacted by some breaking changes that had to be added in this release.

Veramo uses the latest DID spec

Since the DID spec is in a more stable state, we took the opportunity to upgrade the @veramo/did-resolver and other connected internals to match this new spec. This should not be affecting you unless you are directly using the agent.didResolve() method:

  • The return type is now DidResolutionResult instead of just DIDDocument
    • This result includes a didDocument and metadata about the document and resolution process.
    • Errors are no longer thrown by the resolution process, instead they are returned as properties of the didDocumentMetadata object.
  • Many DID resolvers (including the ones we maintain, (did:ethr and did:web) now use the verificationMethod property instead of publicKey, with the same contents.

If you are directly importing dependencies from the did-resolver / did-jwt stack, please make sure to use the latest versions of those for best compatibility.

Some changes to the CLI configuration

There are some slight changes to the @veramo/cli configuration, mostly around the veramo server. options. Check out the veramo docs to see how the CLI configuration file works.

Ngrok is no longer included

In previous version you could define ngrok configuration directly in agent.yml like so:

server:
ngrok:
connect: true
authtoken: XZY
subdomain: alice-did
region: eu

From now on, if you want to have the same functionality, you need to launch ngrok separately:

ngrok http -subdomain=alice-did -region=eu --authtoken=XZY 3000

and then update agent.yml file to use the correct baseUrl

server:
baseUrl: https://alice-did.eu.ngrok.io

Creating a default DID when initializing server

Previously this was controlled with this configuration:

server:
defaultDID:
create: true
messagingServiceEndpoint: /messaging

In the new version this was moved to a separate section:

server:
# Execute during server initialization
init:
- $require: '@veramo/remote-server?t=function#createDefaultDid'
$args:
- agent:
$ref: /agent
baseUrl:
$ref: /constants/baseUrl
messagingServiceEndpoint: /messaging

So if you don't need this functionality, instead of setting server.defaultDID.create to false, you can simply remove this section from your config file.

New plugin for did:key

This is an additional package that allows you to create, use and resolve did:key identifiers directly in Veramo.


As always, if there are any issues, let us know abut them, and if there are questions, please use the discussions page to get them answered and stay tuned for more.

Public Beta

Jason Healy

Jason Healy

Product & Engineering @ Veramo

We are excited to announce our first public beta of Veramo to the world!