The test network is a small test HC Net, run by the HC Net Development Foundation (HNDF), which is open to developers.
SDF runs 3 HC Net core validators on the test network.
You can connect a node to the test network by configuring HC Net-core to use this configuration.
There is also a Aurora instance that can directly interact with the test network.
Keep in mind that you can always run your own test network for use cases that don’t work well with HNDF’s test network.
In order to preserve a good experience for developers, the HNDF testnet is periodically reset to the genesis (initial) ledger. This ensures the removal of spam, minimizing the time to catch up to the latest ledger, and easier maintenance of the system over time.
When this happens, all ledger entries (such as accounts, trustlines, offers, etc), transactions, and historical data are cleared for both HC Net Core and Aurora.
As a result, developers should not rely on the existence of any accounts, or the state of any balances within test network.
Starting in January 2019, the test network will be reset once per quarter (every three months):
HNDF will announce the exact date with at least two weeks notice on the HC Net Dashboard, along with several of HC Net’s online developer communities.
Since most applications rely on data being present to do anything useful, it is highly recommended that you have testing infrastructure that can repopulate testnet with useful data after a reset. Not only will this make testing more reliable, but it will also help you scale out your testing infrastructure to a private test network if you choose to do so.
As a maintainer of an application, you will want to think about creating a data set that is representative enough to test your primary use cases, and allow for robust testing even when test network is not available.
A script can automate this entire process by creating an account with Friendbot, and submitting a set of transactions that are predefined as a part of your testing infrastructure.
For additional questions we recommend heading over to HC Net’s Stack Exchange.
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