Introduction

Introduction to Mercury's Cloud Execution Environment

Opening Zephyr in production is in BETA.

If you're looking to deploy Zephyr programs and are not already running one (early testers), once you've deployed the program, if you'd like to keep it running you should reach out to the xyclooLabs team either on xyclooLabs' discord server or on the SDF dev server Mercury channel.

Anyone can deploy, but the xyclooLabs team will currently take the liberty of removing programs that haven't been claimed by the creators as described above, especially if such programs have high resource consumption or heavy, large, and high-frequency database writes.

If you seek to build your own indexing experience with full and potentially low-level customizability without having to run any infrastructure, you are in the right place!

If you need an indexer to perform simple tasks such as retrieve events or data entry changes of a certain contract(s), Mercury already has built-in predefined indexing patterns that are less expensive and easier to set up: Subscriptions

If you're still on this page, it means that you're looking to build a customized solution with:

  • Custom API layout.

  • Aggregations & multi-step workflows.

  • Alerts.

  • Bots.

  • Monitoring.

All of this and more is possible through Mercury's cloud execution environment and the Zephyr Virtual Machine.

Our cloud execution environment removes the barrier of setting up and maintaining your Stellar node(s). You can run your code directly on our infrastructure, alongside our nodes. This grants you seamless access to both the ledger, ledger close data, and a performant database and API – all within the same environment. Essentially, you can build fully customizable indexing logic while leveraging the fastest and most real-time way to retrieve Stellar data. All on our cloud environment.

Mercury Cloud VS Mappings

Zephyr programs are very different from the mapping-based indexing offered mostly on other chains (Subgraph for instance). In Mercury, your programs are actual compiled programs executed in a specialized VM.

This means that these have:

  • much more granular and low-level access to the network data.

  • access to a wider range of data (i.e. the ledger itself, the whole close meta).

  • more control over how you access previously stored data.

  • tap into external services (alerts, monitoring, bots, sending txs, etc).

... and many other features that are possible due to the flexibility offered by running the code as a program in a specialized VM instead of simply using a handlers-alike workflow.

Additionally, as you'll learn exploring the docs, relying on the VM allows for abstracting many pieces of the workflow from the implementor, making writing Zephyr programs simple and straightforward.

This is a novel concept in the space of indexing, and aligns very well, especially with Soroban: our codebase is completely written in rust allowing us and you to leverage existing SDF-maintained tooling. As you will explore later in the documentation, our team has been able to hardwire Soroban into Zephyr.

Zephyr Virtual Machine

The Zephyr Virtual Machine (ZephyrVM) is a WebAssembly VM built by xyclooLabs to allow servers to execute arbitrary and untrusted code:

  • in a sandboxed environment.

  • with integrated tooling and VM functions that smoothen the developer experience (creating a Zephyr program is much easier than building your indexer!).

Initially, the development of the ZephyrVM was aimed at enabling Mercury users to craft their customized indexing, which is still the case. However, our vision has grown and so has the codebase.

At the current state of development, Zephyr can already be used to:

  • Create customized indexers.

  • Set up complex alert systems.

  • Monitor the activity and correct execution of soroban contracts.

  • Directly access the Stellar ledger without limitations.

  • Build bots.

Mainly, anything you can think of that involves network data can be achieved within a ZephyrVM execution.

Soroban VM

The ZephyrVM has also built-in support with Soroban. And when we say built-in we really mean it: we've modified Soroban's host and macros to link the Soroban host to link Soroban functions directly within our virtual machine and run in our host environment.

This means that through the Zephyr SDK, you can use the Soroban SDK as if you were within a Soroban Smart contract:

let map = z_env.read_contract_entries_to_env(&env, contract_id).unwrap();
    let top_holders: Vec<i128> = map.iter().filter_map(|entry| {
        if DataKey::Balance(addr) == entry.0.try_into_val(&env).unwrap() {
            // do something
        }
...

This is all from within a Zephyr program, making working with Soroban primitive structures (which are actually just integers on the client!) and functionality much easier.

New Feature Requests

Throughout this documentation you'll learn about what the Zephyr VM and SDK offer to help you shape the perfect indexer for your use case, including web requests, ledger access, XDR readers, etc, but if you learn that there are functionalities you need that aren't available yet, please file an issue on https://github.com/xycloo/rs-zephyr-toolkit/issues, chances are that we're either already working on it or will push it down our pipeline. Again, we want Zephyr to allow developers to do anything they require!


That said, let's actually start getting started with Zephyr.

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