How to decide on a knowledge supplier to your web3 undertaking?

Past cryptocurrency tokens, the blockchain additionally permits analysts to get a clearer image of virtually any GameFi undertaking, NFT, market, or DeFi protocol, because of Footprint.

At Footprint, we’ve created a strategy that compiles and meaningfully aggregates the uncooked blockchain information. And this is applicable to programming integrations.

1 . Methods to work with the blockchain information

Let’s first speak about programming integration strategies. There are a number of other ways to work with blockchain information, and your chosen strategy will rely in your particular wants and objectives. Here’s a fast overview:

1.1 Blockchain explorers

A blockchain explorer is an internet site or instrument that lets you view the info saved on a blockchain. This is usually a fast and straightforward technique to entry details about particular transactions, blocks, and different information on the blockchain.

Blockchain explorers is usually a great tool for accessing and viewing information saved on a blockchain, however they do have some limitations for software program integrations. Listed below are a number of examples of issues that blockchain explorers could lack:

  • Primarily targeted on uncooked information. Blockchain explorers usually show uncooked information from the blockchain. That requires implementing the abstractions over the uncooked information, which might be tedious, particularly for initiatives targeted on supply somewhat than on the technical particulars of sure blockchains.
  • Customization choices: Blockchain explorers are usually designed to be user-friendly and straightforward to make use of, which implies they might not provide many customization choices. This may make it troublesome to tailor the explorer to your particular wants or preferences.
  • Superior search performance: Blockchain explorers typically have primary search performance however could not help extra superior search options akin to Boolean operators or common expressions. This may make it troublesome to seek for particular info on the blockchain.
  • Interactivity: Many blockchain explorers are primarily read-only instruments.

Whereas blockchain explorers is usually a useful technique to entry and consider blockchain uncooked information, they do have some limitations that try to be conscious of earlier than deciding to implement your answer infrastructure primarily based on them.

 1.2 Personal indexing answer

Organising your individual indexer to work with blockchain information can have a number of benefits and potential disadvantages. Listed below are a number of examples of every:


  • Customization: Once you arrange your indexer, you may have full management over how the info is listed and accessed. This may permit you to tailor the indexer to your particular wants and preferences.
  • Independence: By organising your indexer, you aren’t counting on a third-party service to take care of and replace the index. This may present higher management and adaptability in your work with blockchain information.
  • Improved safety: Once you arrange your individual indexer, you possibly can implement your individual safety measures to guard the info and forestall unauthorized entry.


  • Complexity: Organising your indexer is usually a advanced and time-consuming course of, particularly if you’re new to working with blockchain expertise. You’ll need to know the underlying expertise and be prepared to speculate the effort and time required to get the indexer up and working.
  • Upkeep: After getting arrange your indexer, you’ll be answerable for sustaining and updating it. This may require ongoing technical experience and assets, which is usually a drawback in the event you don’t have the required data or help.
  • Price: Organising your individual indexer might be costly, as it’s essential to buy the {hardware} and software program required to run the indexer and pay for any related prices, akin to electrical energy and bandwidth.

Total, organising your individual indexer to work with blockchain information can present higher management and customization, however it can be a posh and costly course of. It’s necessary to contemplate the benefits and downsides rigorously earlier than deciding if that is the proper strategy.

1.3 Database as a service

Utilizing a third-party indexer to work with blockchain information can have a number of benefits and potential disadvantages. Listed below are a number of examples of every:


  • Ease of use: Third-party indexers are usually designed to be simple to make use of, which implies you can begin working with the blockchain information shortly and with out having to study loads of technical particulars or working your customized indexing answer (doesn’t matter whether or not it’s self-developed or a ready-made SDK)
  • Superior search performance: Many third-party indexers provide superior search performance, akin to Boolean operators and common expressions, making looking for particular info on the blockchain simpler. These can have many precise implementations, however the listed information is usually added to a relational database, which means full SQL help.
  • Scalability: Third-party indexers are sometimes designed to deal with massive volumes of knowledge, which implies they could be a good choice if you have to search or entry information from a big blockchain.
  • Reliability: Third-party indexers are usually run by skilled organizations with the assets and experience to make sure the index is all the time up-to-date and correct. Options are usually not all the time decentralized, as they’re targeted on processing big quantities of knowledge, however the overwhelming majority are open supply, which will increase person confidence within the service.


  • Dependency: Utilizing a third-party indexer, you depend on that service to take care of and replace the index. If the indexer experiences technical points or goes offline, you might not have the ability to entry the blockchain information.
  • Restricted customization: Third-party indexers are usually designed to be simple to make use of, which implies they might not provide many customization choices. This may make it troublesome to tailor the indexer to your particular wants or preferences.
  • Price: Some third-party indexers could cost a payment for his or her providers, which is usually a drawback in the event you work on a good finances.

In abstract, utilizing a third-party indexer to work with blockchain information is usually a handy and efficient choice, however restricted and generally lack customization.

1.4 Abstract

The objective of Footprint is primarily to decrease the bar for coming into analytics and dealing with web3 information. This strategy is a steadiness between ease of use and adaptability. That’s the reason certainly one of our providers is DaaS (Database because the service sort). Earlier than we take a more in-depth take a look at the benefits of our service, we will even take a look at one other implementation choice for the indexer, specifically a self-written answer or SDK.

Within the subsequent chapters, we’ll discover the core characteristic that read-only blockchain APIs ought to have. We are going to take a look at the issue from totally different angles and contemplate different options. A number of the most necessary options of blockchain APIs embody the next:

  • Ease of use and adaptability
  • Scalability
  • Compatibility

Ease of use and adaptability are two necessary options of blockchain APIs. A blockchain API that’s simple to make use of will make it simpler for builders to begin constructing blockchain-based functions, permitting them to shortly prototype and take a look at their concepts with out spending loads of time studying the best way to use the API.

Flexibility, however, refers back to the skill of a blockchain API to help a variety of use circumstances and functions. A versatile blockchain API will enable builders to entry totally different components of the blockchain and construct functions that work together with several types of good contracts and different blockchain-based property. This may be particularly necessary for builders seeking to construct functions that can be utilized in numerous industries and contexts.

Total, having a blockchain API that’s each simple to make use of and versatile could make it simpler for builders to construct progressive and helpful functions that may reap the benefits of blockchain expertise’s distinctive options and capabilities.

1.5 Footprint Analytics

Ease of use and adaptability is ensured by our information group, which impacts all points of interactions with the Footprint ecosystem. Footprint has an API constructed on high of this information mannequin that enables customers to construct full-fledged information pipelines for information evaluation and machine studying functions. We name it a Knowledge API. We’re concurrently supporting two kinds of API and two sub-types inside certainly one of them to cowl a lot of the circumstances: Relaxation API and SQL API.

REST API permits us to shortly combine an utility since every endpoint is a pre-built, hard-coded script that we’ve got recognized as some of the widespread. All endpoints include easy-to-use instruments for filtering, sorting, and pagination.

Because of the SQL API’s extra adaptable interface, you possibly can acquire this for extra particular circumstances. One advantage of utilizing the identical SQL queries in each the net utility and the API is that it will probably simplify growth and upkeep. Through the use of the identical queries in each interfaces, builders can keep away from the necessity to write and preserve separate units of queries for the net utility and the API. This may save effort and time and cut back the chance of errors or inconsistencies between the 2 interfaces.

Moreover, utilizing the identical SQL queries in each the net utility and the API could make it simpler for builders to create a seamless person expertise. Through the use of the identical queries, builders can be sure that the info accessed and manipulated by the net utility and the API is constant, permitting customers to change between the 2 interfaces with out encountering any inconsistencies or disruptions.

 1.6 Different platforms

Many different analytics options enable the person to investigate totally different networks in accordance with numerous ranges of necessities. Nonetheless, for probably the most half, different options are likely to go to extremes, implementing both a really versatile product that requires data of question languages ​​and even programming languages or ​​a quite simple interface with ready scripts and, accordingly, low flexibility.

Options like Moralis and Quicknode solely have a REST API interface. Though there are numerous endpoints, it nonetheless limits the developer within the flexibility of the info returned.

Dune has just lately launched its API. This asynchronous answer implies the preliminary existence of a question on the platform underneath a sure id ({{question id}}), by which it’s potential to execute queries within the type of SQL. The important thing limitation of this answer is the necessity to pre-modify the SQL on the platform in order that the up to date question is subsequently executed.

Chainbase releases SQL API in the identical means as Footprint. Nonetheless, in contrast to Footprint, Chainbase doesn’t have such refined ETL, so SQL queries can solely be executed for uncooked transactions.

2. Scalability

Blockchain APIs ought to have the ability to deal with massive volumes of knowledge and transactions, permitting builders to construct functions that can be utilized by many customers concurrently.

 2.1 Footprint Analytics

 2.1.1 Fashionable open information stack

The Footprint crew has made a number of architectural upgrades since its launch in August 2021, because of its sturdy skill to discover and iterate on expertise. In lower than a yr and a half, the crew has been in a position to implement these modifications efficiently. It is a testomony to the crew’s talent and experience in expertise and information science.

By means of experimentation, Footprint iteratively made three world architectural updates, finally arriving at an structure that meets the necessities of the platform’s numerous use circumstances. Extra info on the evolution of the implementation might be discovered within the subsequent article:

 2.1.2 Sync and async executions

Inside Footprint, there are two modes for executing queries to the SQL API – synchronous and asynchronous. API calls to the synchronous endpoint indicate the SQL question will likely be executed by the Footprint servers as quickly as an HTTP request is acquired from the applying, thereby sustaining the connection. This is smart when utilizing light-weight requests, as on this case, the applying doesn’t have to attend lengthy for execution. The small print might be discovered on the next web page:

For heavy requests, it’s endorsed to make use of an asynchronous request. In contrast to a synchronous one, the consumer utility doesn’t have to take care of a reference to the server throughout execution. As an alternative, it will probably get the request-id instantly, in accordance with which, after a while, individually get the execution outcomes. As a part of the asynchronous API, two-step needs to be coated to fetch the info – the next endpoint will likely be used to ship an “order” for SQL execution:

The second step is to ship a request to obtain outcomes by the identifier obtained when accessing the earlier endpoint. The endpoint for this second step is described on the next web page:

2.2 Different options

DuneV2 modifications the entire database structure. Dune is now transitioning away from a PostgreSQL database to an Occasion of [[Apache Spark]] hosted on [[Databricks]]. Solely asynchronous API.

3. Compatibility

Blockchain APIs needs to be suitable with a variety of programming languages and growth environments in order that builders can use the instruments and frameworks they’re most acquainted with.

REST is simpler to combine since every programming language has many libraries that present snug work with one of these API. Nonetheless, in the long run, each SQL APIs and REST work over HTTP, so the event expertise is nearly equivalent concerning sending a request by default.

4. Abstract

As we’ve got analyzed, most often, it’s sufficient for an utility to make use of ready-made DaaS options given that they’ll return abstractions (not simply uncooked information) and save loads of money and time, as they finally enable groups to focus not on infrastructure however on the worth of the product. Going via numerous options within the DaaS market,

Footprint appears to be probably the most optimum to combine, because it has probably the most versatile mannequin for producing requests whereas being each simple to make use of and likewise having the trendy open-source information stack underneath the hood, which ensures uninterrupted and, most significantly, quick execution of probably the most advanced requests.

Posted In: Evaluation, Web3

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