gRPC as an alternative to REST

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Christophe Hesters

gRPC is a high-performance RPC framework created by Google. It runs on top of HTTP2 and defaults to the protocol buffers instead of JSON on the wire. As probably most developers, I’ve also been creating microservices for the past several years. These services usually communicate over HTTP with a JSON payload. In this post I want to present gRPC as an alternative to REST when most of your API’s look like remote procedure calls. In my time using REST API’s I have encountered many discussions about status codes (which do not map very well onto your application errors), API versioning, PUT vs PATCH, how to deal with optional fields, when to include things as query parameters etc. This can lead to inconsistent API’s and requires clear documentation.

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