I want to get the return value of a function for solidity contract. I deployed is using solidity browser in testnet. I am using nodejs client and it uses geth for web3 provider.Here are the details

contract ( from solidity example)

contract ShapeCalculator{
    function rectangle(uint w, uint h) returns (uint s, uint p) {
        s = w * h;
        p = 2 * (w + h);

client code ::

var Web3 = require('web3');
var web3 = new Web3(new Web3.providers.HttpProvider("http://localhost:8545")); 
var abi = '[{"constant":false,"inputs":[{"name":"w","type":"uint256"},{"name":"h","type":"uint256"}],"name":"rectangle","outputs":[{"name":"s","type":"uint256"},{"name":"p","type":"uint256"}],"payable":false,"type":"function"}]';
var address = "address which I received after deployment";
var shapeCalculatorContract = web3.eth.contract( JSON.parse(abi)).at(address);
var holdReturnValue = shapeCalculatorContract.rectangle(10,20);

At console I am getting "0x83ddb750b799c62f73013c34f89295e3ff2af5cc98755a51e41e00a13c389735", I was expecting the area and perimeter. Appreciate any help.

  • declare such function as constant
    – Badr Bellaj
    May 1, 2017 at 15:38
  • I am new to solidity. I want to print value of w and h inside rectangle function. how can i do that? contract ShapeCalculator{ function rectangle(uint w, uint h) returns (uint s, uint p) { //print value of w and h s = w * h; p = 2 * (w + h); } }
    – jay
    Apr 12, 2018 at 14:09
  • Please do not post questions as answers. You already asked your question, continue the discussion there Apr 12, 2018 at 14:29
  • If you have a new question, please ask it by clicking the Ask Question button. Include a link to this question if it helps provide context. - From Review
    – qbsp
    Apr 12, 2018 at 15:27
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – ivicaa
    Apr 12, 2018 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


If you invoke a contract function by its name as you have done there you generate a transaction, and you won't be able to see the returned value outside of the contract (what you get is the transaction receipt). If your function needs to modify the state on the blockchain, then transactions are the right way to go, and to gain access to return values you should look into using Events. If, like in this case, you are not changing any value on the blockchain with your function, you can use a function call instead, and retrieve the returned values directly in your javascript code. In your case that would be (using promises for example)

    console.log("s=%d, p=%d", s, p);
}); // insert catch error block here

for a better understanding of transactions and calls and their difference see this answer or the documentation of web3.

  • hi @manuhalo which is recommended way using event or invoking via call, appreciate your view May 1, 2017 at 16:19
  • 1
    @user1687711 as mentioned above it depends on what you are trying to achieve. For this particular function it looks like a call is perfectly fine, as you are not changing any variable in your contract, just using the input arguments to generate some output that is not stored. However if you wanted to save the calculated area to a private member of your contract for some reason then you would need to use transactions and events. See truffleframework.com/docs/getting_started/… for a better explanation of this.
    – manuhalo
    May 1, 2017 at 16:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.