When interacting with a blockchain’s Remote Procedure Call (RPC) node, understanding the differences between HTTP POST and GET methods is crucial. These methods serve as communication techniques to retrieve or send information to the RPC node.
In this article, we will learn the fundamental differences between these API call methods, explore POST and GET request examples, and send API requests with NOWNodes.
Let’s begin with understanding the differences between HTTP POST and GET methods.
Understanding the Fundamental Differences Between GET and POST Methods
Interacting with a blockchain’s RPC node requires a keen understanding of the differences between HTTP POST and GET methods. The API GET method is primarily used for retrieving data, while the API POST method is used for sending data to the server.
The API GET method, usually for data retrieval, fetches details from a blockchain node, like transaction status or block specifics, by embedding parameters in the URL. This makes GET transparent but exposes it in logs and limits data length. Crucially, repeated GET requests won’t change the blockchain’s state due to its idempotent nature.
Conversely, the POST method submits data, commonly used in blockchain nodes to securely relay commands. Data is stored in the request’s body, accommodating larger payloads without exposing parameters in the URL. Unlike GET, POST might change the system’s state with varying outcomes for identical requests.
In blockchain RPCs, choosing the right method is crucial: GET for safe data access, and POST for operations altering the blockchain or involving sensitive, extensive data, ensuring secure and efficient blockchain interactions.
Both GET and POST API methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and understanding them is important for making informed decisions when developing dApps.
|Get Method||Post Method|
|Pros||1. Seamless sharing and bookmarking of URLs. |
2. Transparency aids in easier debugging due to visible parameters.
3. Consistent outcomes with repeated requests due to its idempotent nature.
|1. Data is housed in the body, offering better privacy. |
2. Can handle larger datasets without the constraints of URL length.
3. Versatile in handling intricate operations including binary data dispatch.
|Cons||1. Data visibility in the URL may expose sensitive information. |
2. Restricts the volume of data sent due to URL length constraints.
3. Not suitable for complex operations needing extensive data.
|1. Requires more preliminary setup, adding complexity. |
2. Non-idempotent nature can lead to varying outcomes with repeated requests.
3. Repeated requests could potentially trigger unintended operations.
The complexity of sending POST API calls is higher compared to GET calls. Testing and debugging POST requests often require specialized tools like Postman or cURL.
The choice between different API methods depends on the specific use case, security considerations, and the amount of data to be transferred.
To make the process of making GET and POST API calls easier, NOWNodes, the node-as-a-service platform, offers simple instruments and tools to connect to full RPC nodes such as Polygon full node, Solana full node, Fantom full node, BSC full node, TRON full node, etc. and send API requests.
Utilizing Different API Methods
Now that you understand the differences between HTTP POST and GET methods, we are going to send API requests. For this point, it’s important to get access to a full RPC node.
So, in this section, we will gain access to the NOWNodes service and will explore API call methods to maximize the potential of your blockchain projects. The RPC node provider offers robust solutions making it easier to interact with various blockchains via API key.
By offering full nodes via API key, the node-as-a-service platform removes the need for developers and crypto businesses to set up and maintain their blockchain nodes, which can be time-consuming and resource-intensive in terms of finance, technical and human consumptions.
Moreover, the service offers access to block explorers, WebSocket connections, and dedicated solutions. To get access to RPC nodes such as Polygon full node, Solana full node, Fantom full node, BSC full node, TRON full node, etc., and send API requests, follow the simple steps below:
Start by visiting the NOWNodes website and sign up for an account. This involves verifying your email address and choosing a tariff plan (with an opportunity to pick up a free START plan with access to 5 blockchains and one API key).
2. API Key Generation:
Once registered, you’ll have the ability to generate your unique API key. This key is your passport to making API calls to the RPC nodes you’ve chosen.
Once you’ve got your API key, find the docs page and explore the API call methods. Utilize the provided endpoints to send API requests.
The RPC node provider bridges the gap between developers and blockchains, offering hassle-free access to essential blockchain data. By understanding how to gain access and utilize the different API methods offered by the RPC node provider, developers can accelerate their blockchain projects, bypassing the traditionally labor-intensive node setup and maintenance process.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the theme of utilizing API call methods and explore the use cases.
Sending API Requests in Postman
As soon as you get your private API key, you can send API requests in Postman. Postman is a popular tool used for API development and testing. It provides an intuitive interface to send API requests and visualize responses, making it easier for developers to understand and develop their applications.
If you want to send a GET and POST API call in Postman using NOWNodes, follow the steps below:
1. Set Up Postman (https://btcbook.nownodes.io/api/v2/block/<block height|block hash>) or utilize its Web version.
2. Create a New Request: Click on the ‘+’ button to open a new tab. From the dropdown on the left side of the URL input bar, select either “GET” or “POST”.
3. Enter NOWNodes Endpoint: In the URL input field, type the NOWNodes API endpoint for which you want to make the request. For example, if you’re going to get the Bitcoin block, your API request might look something like this:
4. Make the Request: Once everything is set, click on the “Send” button to make the GET and POST API requests. The response will be displayed in the lower section of the window.
Remember to always check NOWNodes’ official documentation to ensure that you’re using the correct endpoints, parameters, and authentication methods. Different blockchain RPC nodes might have specific requirements or structures for their API call methods.
GET Use Cases. GET Request Examples
As we already know, the API GET method is commonly used for retrieving information from a server. It is ideal for scenarios where the request is read-only and does not modify any data on the server.
The RPC node provider offers a collection of different API methods for blockchain developers that facilitate interaction with various blockchain networks.
Below are some use cases for different API methods to make GET requests:
- Get Block: Blockchains comprise a series of blocks, and at times, developers or users may need to delve into the details of a particular block. Whether it’s for verifying a transaction, understanding block rewards, or analyzing the block’s timestamp, this endpoint provides all the necessary details about a specific block.
- Get Status: Continuous monitoring of blockchain nodes is crucial for applications that rely on timely and accurate data. By using the GET method in Postman, developers can ascertain the health, synchronization status, and overall well-being of a node or the NOWNodes API service itself.
- Get Balance History: Financial applications, portfolio trackers, or even users curious about their transaction history will find this endpoint indispensable. The GET method in Postman let’s observe the historical balance of an address, offering insights into income, expenditure, and balance trends over time.
- Get Tickers List: With the myriad of cryptocurrencies available, platforms that offer multi-currency support or market data visualization use this API GET method to fetch a list of supported coin tickers. It ensures that their platforms remain updated with the coins NOWNodes supports.
- Get UTXO: Before crafting a new transaction, it’s necessary to understand the available Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) of an address. The GET method in Postman provides that data, enabling efficient transaction creation and helping avoid issues like double-spending.
- Get Transaction: Whether it’s for confirming receipt of funds, understanding transaction fees, or verifying the number of confirmations, this API GET method is vital. It fetches all pertinent details about a specific transaction, providing a holistic view of its state and metadata.
- Get Block Hash: While the block number or height is a sequential identifier, the block hash is a unique identifier. This GET API method is used when there’s a need to convert the human-readable block number into its corresponding hash, enabling more detailed block lookups and verifications.
- Get Address: Addresses are central to blockchain operations. Whether sending funds, verifying ownership, or simply inspecting an address’s transaction history, this GET method in Postman provides comprehensive details about a specific address, including its balance, transaction count, and more.
These are just a few use cases. Explore the additional GET API methods in NOWNodes’ official documentation. Now, let’s explore some API POST methods.
Use Cases for POST Methods. POST Request Examples
The POST method is typically used for sending data to a server for processing or creating new resources. The API POST methods provide better security and allow for larger data payloads.
The POST method is widely used to interact with APIs, ensuring secure and accurate communication with the blockchain. Here’s an exploration of different API methods with NOWNodes:
- POST getblockchaininfo: This call is essential for obtaining general information about the current state of the blockchain, such as the current number of blocks, network difficulty, and chain weight. It’s often the first call developers make to gauge the blockchain’s status.
- POST gettxoutsetinfo: When there’s a need to understand the entire UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) set, this API POST method is invaluable. The POST method in Postman provides statistics about transaction outputs and gives insights into the amount of “unspent” coins on the network.
- POST getblockhash: This is a fundamental method for developers aiming to retrieve the hash of a block at a particular height in the blockchain. Given the block’s height, it returns the block hash—a necessity when inspecting specific blocks.
- POST getmininginfo: For participants concerned with the mining aspects of the blockchain, this method provides comprehensive details about the current mining status. The POST method in Postman includes data like the current difficulty, hashes per second, and other mining-related metrics.
- POST sendrawtransaction: This API POST method is crucial for developers and platforms looking to broadcast new transactions to the network. After crafting a raw transaction, developers use this method to introduce it to the network for validation and inclusion in upcoming blocks.
- POST getblock: For in-depth exploration of specific blocks, developers call this method. Given a block hash, the POST method in Postman returns extensive details about the block, including transaction details, time, and confirmations.
- POST getmempoolinfo: For applications needing real-time data about the transaction memory pool (mempool), this POST API call is invaluable. It provides a snapshot of the current mempool state, detailing the number of transactions waiting to be confirmed and other related metrics.
- POST decodescript: To understand and validate a hex-encoded redeem script, developers use this POST API call. It’s particularly useful in multisig or more complex transaction setups, ensuring that scripts are correctly formed.
- POST getblockheader: When developers need information about a block but don’t require the full block data (which can be sizable), they use this method. By providing a block hash, the POST method in Postman retrieves a concise summary of the block, including its previous block hash, timestamp, and more.
The NOWNodes API offers a plethora of other POST methods, catering to a wide range of blockchain interactions. Explore the POST request examples on the “DOCS” page. Depending on the specific requirements of an application or platform, developers can pick and choose the most relevant endpoints to facilitate their operations.
The differences between HTTP POST and GET methods are fundamental in the realm of web services and API interactions. While both are crucial for data transmission, their use cases differ: GET primarily retrieves data without altering the state of the server, whereas POST submits data to be processed to a specified resource.
By mastering the intricacies of these API call methods and their application with platforms like NOWNodes, developers are well-equipped to craft robust, efficient, and effective blockchain solutions. Whether it is fetching transaction details, retrieving block data, or submitting new blockchain interactions, the correct GET and POST API call usage ensures seamless and secure communication with the blockchain.
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- In conclusion, understanding the differences between HTTP POST and GET methods is crucial when working with APIs. GET is primarily used for retrieving data, while POST is used for sending data to the server.
- To simplify the task of executing API POST and GET requests, NOWNodes provides a user-friendly node-as-a-service platform. This platform facilitates effortless connections to full RPC nodes, including those of the Polygon RPC node, Solana RPC node, Fantom RPC node, BSC RPC node, TRON RPC node, and more, enabling streamlined API interactions.
- The choice between API call methods depends on the specific use case, security considerations, and the amount of data to be transferred. NOWNodes’ documents offer a variety of GET and POST API requests to RPC nodes.
CRYPTO CONTRIBUTOR, CONTENT CREATOR, INVESTOR & FOUNDER OF MT AGENCY.
I have written guides and educational content on thousands of cryptocurrencies and financial services and conducted various types of analysis, including price forecasts and technical analyses of blockchain projects.