I'm trying to estimate gas cost of a contract call, i need to send a string to a contract, but i need to see if i overtook the GAS limit.

I'm trying like this:

    Transaction t = Transaction.createContractTransaction(myAddress, BigInteger.valueOf(100), gasPrice, gasLimit, null, "0123456789");
    EthEstimateGas eg = web3j.ethEstimateGas(t).send();
    System.out.println("EstimateGas: " + eg.getAmountUsed().toByteArray());

But i receive the error:

Erro: org.web3j.exceptions.MessageDecodingException: Value must be in format 0x[1-9]+[0-9]* or 0x0

2 Answers 2

  1. You need to encode the data by using FunctionEncoder.encode
  2. Before checking the result you need to check for errors. If an error (for example a contract error) is returned the result will be null and you will get the the error you described.

Do something like this:

Function function = new Function("nameOfFunction", ...)
Transaction tx = Transaction.createFunctionCallTransaction(..., FunctionEncoder.encode(function));
EthEstimateGas gasEstimate = client.ethEstimateGas(tx).send();
if (gasEstimate.hasError()) {
  logger.info("Contract error: {}", gasEstimate.getError().getMessage());
} else {
  logger.info("Gas estimate: {}", gasEstimate.getAmountUsed()); // will throw in case of error

What you are doing is sending a message to the contract (which needs to be hex-encoded). In this case, you want the message to say 'execute function with the following params'.

Take a look at FunctionEncoder.encode that should give you what you need.

  • In this case, i need to put the hex on Transaction creation in my code example?
    – SkyWorker
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 13:56
  • Exactly, take the encoded output from the function encoder and pass it into the transaction. Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 8:46
  • @AntonyDenyer So this looks really good and my version compiles but the EthEstimateGas object has a getResult() that yields null and causes an exception in getAmountUsed(). I build my function with Function("name", Array of inputs, Array of outputs) then do String txData = FunctionEncoder.encode() and pass it as the last arg. The contract exists at address 0x... because a generated wrapper method can hit it and get results. I am connecting to the local geth --dev node. Any quick clues...? Commented Sep 22, 2020 at 23:04

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