How to stay in sync with blockchain data

Conor Svensson
Author

Keeping up with the blockchain

 

When you’re serving up blockchain data as a service, it's imperative that the data being served up is not only accurate but also made available in a timely manner.

Users of blockchain explorers and data platforms have to trust the platform provider that they are keeping on top of this, but they have no way of being sure without checking the data being received by one provider matches another.

This is something that we addressed behind the scenes in Chainlens a while ago — monitoring our blockchain nodes to ensure that we’re keeping up with new data as it's being written to the blockchain.

However, our users did not have visibility of this. We’ve found that it's not only the Web3 Labs team that's interested in the syncing status but also our customers. Especially during busy periods of network activity.

For instance, when new NFT mints are taking place on blockchain networks, there can be bursts of activity, and there’s a real risk that data providers can fall behind. This may result in users not being aware of transactions having been completed successfully, which can have a negative impact on their perception of the underlying network. Even though it's the data and analytics layer that is at fault, not the underlying blockchain!

To help remedy this issue, we now expose the syncing status of Chainlens against the blockchain node it's connected to.

 

synching status symbol in Sirato blockchain Explorer

 

The Status menu item displays a dot next to it which is colour either blue, red, amber or green. The different colours indicate the following status of data synchronisation from Chainlens against the blockchain node it’s connected to.

  • Blue: The syncing status is loading
  • Red: Chainlens is unable to access the blockchain node
  • Amber: Chainlens is currently syncing from the blockchain node
  • Green: Chainlens is in sync with blockchain node 

 

synching status information in Sirato Block Explorer

To get more information on the syncing status, you can hover over the new Status menu item to see this. This menu shows the latest block on the underlying blockchain, and the last block Chainlens has successfully indexed.

 

Latest indexed block information on Sirato Blockchain Explorer

In the above image, block 8,415,000 was the most recent block on the Holesky blockchain, it takes a brief moment to process the 102 transactions in the block.

At this point the syncing status automatically updates to show we’re fully synced.

 

Fully synched status on Sirato Block Explorer

Being a mobile friendly platform, this functionality is also available on mobile devices too.

 

Mobile view of synching status in Sirato Block Explorer

 

To try this new feature out yourself, you can head to the Holesky Chainlens instance to verify everything is up to date.

If there are other features you’d like to see in Chainlens, you can reach out to the team via our Discord. If you’d like to learn more about having your own hosted instance of Chainlens, you can sign up here.

We’ve got lots of new features coming up, which we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks.

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