Exploring the Basics: Client-Server Architecture and Blockchain Integration

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In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital communication, understanding the underlying structures that support our technologies is more critical than ever. The client-server architecture, a cornerstone of traditional computing models, continues to play a vital role in how data is processed and delivered across networks. Simultaneously, the advent of blockchain technology and its unique decentralized approach is reshaping the way we think about security, transparency, and trust in digital interactions. This article delves into the fundamental concepts of client-server architecture, explores the innovative applications of blockchain nodes, and examines how integrating these technologies can create robust, efficient, and secure systems for the future.

Models of computing systems

When discussing Web 3 projects, it's essential to address blockchain technology. Blockchain technology cannot be fully understood without discussing the nodes of blockchain networks, and nodes inevitably bring us to the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) protocol. While RPC technology has been around for decades, it continues to be integral in innovative Web 3 projects. The RPC protocol enables the execution of code from one computer program on another, playing a crucial role in blockchain networks. Simply put, RPC allows users to send commands directly to the network.

At first glance, using RPC may seem straightforward, but in practice, it can be complex. An RPC Node is essentially a fully synchronized node, and some users may find it challenging or impractical to deploy it themselves. By contacting providers like https://rpcfast.com/, users can easily access RPC Nodes without hassle.

Just as the history of the development of the Internet was divided into conditional stages - web 1, web 2, web 3, models of computing  systems were divided into two categories: the traditional model and the blockchain model. The blockchain computing model does not rely on the honesty of intermediary parties, and without trusting anyone, it remains neutral. The traditional computing model is a client-server architecture. In such an architecture, the server acts as a source of calculations, data storage, and business logic.

Clients can interact with this server, request some data that the server must return. All this work is built in the “request-response” format. And it's not just about data, but also about actions. Not only a browser, but also a mobile application and another server can act as a client. Often the client perceives the server as a single monolithic application, as a data source, but in reality this is not the case. A server, at its core, can be distributed and consist of several micro services. Most applications on the Internet communicate using http, since it can be used to transmit almost any data over the network in any format.

Client-server architecture scenarios

In traditional computing models, client-server communication is carried out through the following basic tools:

  • REST API;
  • SOAP;
  • GraphQL;
  • Web Sockets;
  • RPC

RestAPI

REST API can be called an architectural style, i.e. a set of rules that describe how to most effectively use http to build your API. API (Application Programming Interface), as an interface that describes the way to communicate with a program, unlike a graphical interface, is software. Therefore, the rules of the REST API are designed to ensure the use of http and to build such an API that it is not only convenient to use, but so that it can withstand loads and easily scale.

There are several concepts that underlie the REST API.

  1. The model of interaction with the REST API is “client-server”
  2. Multi-layer system
  3. Lack of state, that is, during the “request-response” chain, no intermediate state is remembered and with each subsequent request, the client and server communicate as if for the first time
  4. Uniform unified interface that the API has
  5. Versioning
  6. Documentation

SOAP

SOAP is a structured messaging protocol. Unlike the REST API, which only describes the use of http, the SOAP protocol can be used with any application layer protocol. This protocol uses WSDL to describe and access services, and messages are exchanged in XML format. Since SOAP is a protocol, it defines a certain format and structure for messages that are sent to it.

GraphQL

GraphQL is neither an architectural style nor a protocol, as it is sometimes mistakenly represented. It is a query language that differs from the classical approach to requesting information. In the classic approach, the server itself determines the scheme and format of the returned data. When using GraphQL, the server determines only the data schema, and the client independently requests the data it needs. There are two main types of queries in GraphQL: QUERY and MUTATION. There are also so-called real time changes or, a kind of SUBSCRIPTION to data changes.

Web Sockets

Web Sockets are protocols for continuous exchange of data between a client and a server in real time, for example, in chats, in some kind of changing schedules, on exchanges.

RPC

RPC is a remote procedure call technology in which the server implements some method (procedures) which the client can call remotely. One of the latest varieties of RPC is GRPC, that is, a framework from Google that uses remote calling technology internally. Today, GRPC is very popular in micro service architecture. And another tool from RPC, which appeared relatively recently, is the TRPC framework.

Conclusion

Understanding the differences and uses of various client-server communication tools is crucial in both traditional and blockchain computing models. Whether through REST API, SOAP, GraphQL, Web Sockets, or RPC, each tool offers unique advantages and fits different application needs. By leveraging these technologies, you can enhance your system's efficiency, scalability, and security, ensuring robust performance in today's digital landscape.

 
 
 
 

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