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Interacting with a Node

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There are multiple ways to interact with a node: using the CLI, using gRPC or using the REST endpoints.

Option 1: Using the CLI

You can use the CLI (aka injectived) to interact with a node. If you are interact with your a node in your local private network, but sure the node is running in one terminal before you use the CLI.

For more detilas of how to use injectived, go to Using injectived.

Option 2: Using gRPC

The Protobuf ecosystem developed tools for different use cases, including code-generation from *.proto files into various languages. These tools allow the building of clients easily. Often, the client connection (i.e. the transport) can be plugged and replaced very easily. Let's explore one of the most popular transport: gRPC.

Since the code generation library largely depends on your own tech stack, we will only present three alternatives:

  • grpcurl for generic debugging and testing
  • programmatically via Go
  • CosmJS for JavaScript/TypeScript developers

grpcurl

grpcurl is like curl but for gRPC. It is also available as a Go library, but we will use it only as a CLI command for debugging and testing purposes. Follow the instructions in the previous link to install it.

Assuming you have a local node running (either a localnet, or connected a live network), you should be able to run the following command to list the Protobuf services available (you can replace localhost:9000 by the gRPC server endpoint of another node, which is configured under the grpc.address field inside app.toml:

grpcurl -plaintext localhost:9090 list

You should see a list of gRPC services, like cosmos.bank.v1beta1.Query. This is called reflection, which is a Protobuf endpoint returning a description of all available endpoints. Each of these represents a different Protobuf service, and each service exposes multiple RPC methods you can query against.

In order to get a description of the service you can run the following command:

# Service we want to inspect
grpcurl \
localhost:9090 \
describe cosmos.bank.v1beta1.Query

It's also possible to execute an RPC call to query the node for information:

grpcurl \
-plaintext
-d '{"address":"$MY_VALIDATOR"}' \
localhost:9090 \
cosmos.bank.v1beta1.Query/AllBalances

Query for historical state using grpcurl

You may also query for historical data by passing some gRPC metadata to the query: the x-cosmos-block-height metadata should contain the block to query. Using grpcurl as above, the command looks like:

grpcurl \
-plaintext \
-H "x-cosmos-block-height: 279256" \
-d '{"address":"$MY_VALIDATOR"}' \
localhost:9090 \
cosmos.bank.v1beta1.Query/AllBalances

Assuming the state at that block has not yet been pruned by the node, this query should return a non-empty response.

Programmatically via Go

The following snippet shows how to query the state using gRPC inside a Go program. The idea is to create a gRPC connection, and use the Protobuf-generated client code to query the gRPC server.

import (
"context"
"fmt"

"google.golang.org/grpc"

sdk "github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk/types"
"github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk/types/tx"
)

func queryState() error {
myAddress, err := sdk.AccAddressFromBech32("inj...")
if err != nil {
return err
}

// Create a connection to the gRPC server.
grpcConn := grpc.Dial(
"127.0.0.1:9090", // your gRPC server address.
grpc.WithInsecure(), // The SDK doesn't support any transport security mechanism.
)
defer grpcConn.Close()

// This creates a gRPC client to query the x/bank service.
bankClient := banktypes.NewQueryClient(grpcConn)
bankRes, err := bankClient.Balance(
context.Background(),
&banktypes.QueryBalanceRequest{Address: myAddress, Denom: "inj"},
)
if err != nil {
return err
}

fmt.Println(bankRes.GetBalance()) // Prints the account balance

return nil
}

Query for historical state using Go

Querying for historical blocks is done by adding the block height metadata in the gRPC request.

import (
"context"
"fmt"

"google.golang.org/grpc"
"google.golang.org/grpc/metadata"

grpctypes "github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk/types/grpc"
"github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk/types/tx"
)

func queryState() error {
// --snip--

var header metadata.MD
bankRes, err = bankClient.Balance(
metadata.AppendToOutgoingContext(context.Background(), grpctypes.GRPCBlockHeightHeader, "12"), // Add metadata to request
&banktypes.QueryBalanceRequest{Address: myAddress, Denom: denom},
grpc.Header(&header), // Retrieve header from response
)
if err != nil {
return err
}
blockHeight = header.Get(grpctypes.GRPCBlockHeightHeader)

fmt.Println(blockHeight) // Prints the block height (12)

return nil
}

CosmJS

CosmJS documentation can be found at https://cosmos.github.io/cosmjs. As of January 2021, CosmJS documentation is still work in progress.

Option 3: Using the REST Endpoints

All gRPC services on the Cosmos SDK are made available for more convenient REST-based queries through gRPC-gateway. The format of the URL path is based on the Protobuf service method's full-qualified name, but may contain small customizations so that final URLs look more idiomatic. For example, the REST endpoint for the cosmos.bank.v1beta1.Query/AllBalances method is GET /cosmos/bank/v1beta1/balances/{address}. Request arguments are passed as query parameters.

The following examples assume you are using REST Endpoints to interact with your node in your local private network. You can change the domain to public networks.

As a concrete example, the curl command to make balances request is:

curl \
-X GET \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
http://localhost:1317/cosmos/bank/v1beta1/balances/$MY_VALIDATOR

Make sure to replace localhost:1317 with the REST endpoint of your node, configured under the api.address field.

The list of all available REST endpoints is available as a Swagger specification file, it can be viewed at localhost:1317/swagger. Make sure that the api.swagger field is set to true in your app.toml file.

Query for historical state using REST

Querying for historical state is done using the HTTP header x-cosmos-block-height. For example, a curl command would look like:

curl \
-X GET \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \
-H "x-cosmos-block-height: 279256"
http://localhost:1317/cosmos/bank/v1beta1/balances/$MY_VALIDATOR

Assuming the state at that block has not yet been pruned by the node, this query should return a non-empty response.

Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

CORS policies are not enabled by default to help with security. If you would like to use the rest-server in a public environment we recommend you provide a reverse proxy, this can be done with nginx. For testing and development purposes there is an enabled-unsafe-cors field inside app.toml.

Next {hide}

Sending transactions using gRPC and REST requires some additional steps: generating the transaction, signing it, and finally broadcasting it. Read about Creating transactions.