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Quick start

Documentation of Apify actors - serverless computing jobs that enable execution of long-running web scraping and automation tasks in the cloud.

Go to the Actor section in the app, create a new actor and go to Source tab. Paste the following Node.js code into the Source code editor:

const Apify = require('apify');

Apify.main(async () => {
   console.log('Hello world from Actor!');
});

Click ▷ Run to build and run your actor. After the run is finished you should see something like:

Apify actor run log

Congratulations, you have successfully created and run your first actor!

Let's try something little more complicated. We will change the actor to accept input and generate output (see Input and output for more details):

const Apify = require('apify');

Apify.main(async () => {
    // Get input and print it
    const input = await Apify.getInput();
    console.log('My input:');
    console.dir(input);

    // Save output
    const output = { message: 'Hello world!' };
    await Apify.setValue('OUTPUT', output);
});

Save your actor by clicking Save and then rebuild it by clicking Build. After the build is finished, go to Console and set Input to:

{ "hello": 123 }

Then set Content type to application/json; charset=utf-8 and click Run. You will see something like:

Apify actor run log

Excellent, you have just created your first actor to accept input and store output! Now you can start adding some magic.

Note that the above actor is also available in the store as apify/hello-world. It uses the apify NPM package, which provides various helper functions to simplify the development of actors. For example, the Apify.main() function invokes a user function and waits for its finish, it logs exception details, etc. Note that the apify package is optional and actors do not need to use it at all.

For more complicated actors, you'll probably prefer to host the source code on Git. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new Git repository
  2. Copy the boilerplate actor code from the apify/quick-start actor
  3. Set Source type to Git repository for your actor in the app
  4. Paste the Git repo link to Git URL, save changes and build your actor.
  5. That's it, now you can develop your actor locally on your computer and run it in the Apify cloud!

For more information, go to the Git repository section.