How to get started with the @platform

The fastest way to get started developing your privacy-first app on the @platform

4 minute read

The @platform was open-sourced in November of 2020 and we’ve been working hard to make your onboarding experience as smooth as possible ever since.

We’re excited to help you get your very own @platform environment up and running!


You will need Flutter/Dart installed on your machine. If you haven’t already, please follow the “Get started” steps on before you proceed. Flutter works best with Android Studio, but you can also use IntelliJ or Visual Studio Code as your IDE.


Why did we choose Flutter? Here are some of our favorite reasons:

• Beautiful User Interface that allows you to control every pixel in your app, bring your brand to life, and provide flawless People experiences.

• Apps directly compile to native ARM code for screaming fast and efficient project builds housing buttery-smooth animations that allow GPU acceleration.

• Hot Reload. Make an edit to your code and Flutter will update your source code files and automatically rebuild the widget tree, allowing you to see your edits almost immediately. No more rebuilding your application time and time again.

• It’s free and open-source, just like the rest of the @protocol, and there are countless numbers of packages on that any developer is free to use. The Flutter community is growing fast and would love to welcome you!

Android Studio

Android Studio is an incredible Integrated Development Environment (IDE) you can use to create projects for Android devices, and to ease this process,it allows you set up an Android Virtual Device (or AVD). If you’re looking for an easy IDE to get started on, this is the one we recommend. Most of our code, documentation, and tutorials are created with Android Studio, so you’ll feel right at home!

Important Links for Android Studio

  • Download Android Studio here
  • Read an article on how to set up an AVD here


IntelliJ is another commonly used IDE. It has a similar feel to Android Studio and is comparable to the other two IDE’s recommended here.

Important Links for IntelliJ

  • Download IntelliJ here

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code, when compared to IntelliJ and Android Studio, is the most customizable with a seemingly endless number of programming languages to utilize. Developers commonly call this IDE ‘VS Code’ (who has time to say entire words anyway?). If you have watched our tutorials on, you’ll notice that VS Code is the other IDE of choice with our devs!

Important Links for Visual Studio Code

  • Download Visual Studio Code here

Docker Desktop

If you wish to develop offline, you will also need to install Docker Desktop on your machine. Using Docker Desktop allows you to run the full @platform stack locally, with no dependence on Internet connectivity, we call this the Virtual Environment.

Where should I go next?

There are three ways to get going with your journey on the @platform. You may choose any of the three options listed below depending on your interest and particular needs.

If you just want to get going and fast, then the best solution is to get some free @signs and start coding. Here we will show you how to get a couple of free @signs and activate them. This option uses The @ Companies infrastructure to host a secondary server microservice for each @sign you activate.

Dess (distributed edge secondary server) is the right place to start if you would like to run your own infrastructure for your @sign. Or perhaps you are developing an IoT solution and would like to see the log files of the secondary server microservice, then using dess, is the perfect starting place.

(Option 3) The Virtual Environment

This option is recommended for those offline moments or if you want to be completely independent. The virtual environment (VE) provides all the components of the @platform in a single docker image. This option comes complete with full control and logging of everything. The Virtual Environment requires no Internet connection and comes with some predefined @signs.

( Please note that all the logos listed on this page are registered trademarks of the respective products. We have used them here only for reference purposes.)

Option 1 : Set up the @platform with free @signs

Create and run your own @platform with free @signs

Option 2: Setup your own secondary server with dess

Create and run your own @platform secondary server with dess

Option 3 : Set up the @platform virtual environment

Create and run your own @platform virtual environment on your machine

Create your own @platform project

Taking one step closer to developing your privacy-first app on the @platform

Last modified September 17, 2021: Fixed #br#br on getting start page (2fbb3d0c)