DEV Community

Cover image for Rest VS gRPC
Hasan Elsherbiny
Hasan Elsherbiny

Posted on

Rest VS gRPC

Since the first appearance of API there has been many approaches to make it simpler and much powerful and easy to use.
if you don't know what is API read this article

this is a quick comparison between REST And gRPC APIS

REST is an architectural style for designing networked applications.
It is not a protocol, but a set of constraints and principles for creating web services.

REST APIs are built considering these concepts:
Resources: In REST, everything is a resource, which can be a physical object, a piece of data or a service.
Each resource is identified by a uniqu URL.

  1. HTTP Methods:
    REST uses standard HTTP methods (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, etc.) to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on resourcs

  2. Stateless:
    RESTful APIs are statelss, meaning each request from a client to the server must contain all the information needed to understand and fulfil the request

Resources can have multiple representations, such as JSON or XML, which clients can request based on their needs.

Why To Choose REST?

Simplicity: REST is easy to understand and implement making it a popular choice for web APIs

Language Agnostic: Clients and servers can be written in different programming languages promoting interoperability.

Caching: REST leverage HTTP caching mechanisms for better performance.

Maturity: REST has been around for a long time and has widespread support in various web frameworks and tools.

Drawbacks of REST

  1. Overfetching / Underfetching: Clients may receive more or less data than they need impacting efficiency.

  2. Latency: Multiple round-trips can result in higher latency when dealing with complex operations.

So What Is gRPC?

gRPC is a high-performance, open-source framework developed by Google that allows you to define RPC (Remote Procedure Call) services and generate client-server code for multiple programming languages. It uses Protocol Buffers (protobufs) for data serialization and HTTP/2 for transport.

Why To Choose gRPC?

1.IDL (Interface Definition Language):
gRPC uses a language-agnostic IDL to define services and message types. These definitions can then be used to generate client and server code in multiple languages.

2.Strongly Typed:
Data serialization with protobufs is strongly typed reducing the chances of runtime errors due to data mismatches.

gRPC uses HTTP/2 for transport, offering features like multiplexing, flow control, and header compression which enhance performance.

Why To Choose gRPC?

1.Bidirectional Streaming:
gRPC supports bidirectional streaming allowing both the client and server to send a stream of messages.

gRPC's use of HTTP/2 and binary serialization makes it highly efficient in terms of bandwidth and latency.

3.Code Generation:
gRPC automatically generates client and server code reducing the likelihood of human error.

4.Strong Typing:
Protobufs ensure strong typing and versioning of data contracts.

5.Bidirectional Streaming:
Ideal for real-time applications and chat systems.

Drawbacks of gRPC

The additional complexity of protobuf definitions and code generation can be challenging for some developers.

2.Learning Curve:
Learning to work with gRPC may require additional time and effort.

When To Choose REST OR gRPC?

This depends project's requirements and constraints but

Use REST if:

  • You need simplicity and quick development.
  • Your clients and servers are implemented in different languages.
  • You want to leverage the maturty and existing support of REST in web frameworks.

Use gRPC if:

  • You prioritize efficiency and low latency.
  • You have strong typing and versioning requirements.
  • Bidirectional streaming or real-time communication is essential.
  • You want to benefit from code generation and maintainable APIs.

Top comments (0)