gRPC Distant Process Name (with Protobuf) – Grape Up

One of the crucial essential technical selections throughout designing API is to decide on the right protocol for interchanging knowledge. It’s not a straightforward activity. It’s a must to reply a minimum of a number of necessary questions – which can combine with API, when you’ve got any community limitations, what’s the quantity and frequency of calls, and can the extent of your group’s technological maturity will let you keep this sooner or later?

Once you collect all the knowledge, you may evaluate completely different applied sciences to decide on one that matches you greatest. You may choose and select between well-known SOAP, REST, or GraphQL. However on this article, we wish to introduce fairly a brand new participant within the microservices world – gRPC Distant Process Name.

What’s gRPC (Distant Process Name)?

gRPC is a cross-platform open-source Distant Process Name (RPC) framework initially created by Google. The platform makes use of Protocol Buffers as an information serialization protocol, because the binary format requires fewer assets and messages are smaller. Additionally, a contract between the consumer and server is outlined in proto format, so code could be mechanically generated. The framework depends on HTTP/2 (helps TLS) and past efficiency, interoperability, and code era affords streaming options and channels.

Declaring strategies in contract

Have you ever learn our article about serializing knowledge with Protocol Buffers? We’re going to add some extra definitions there:

message SearchRequest 
  string vin = 1;
  google.protobuf.Timestamp from = 2;
  google.protobuf.Timestamp to = 3;

message SearchResponse 
  repeated Geolocation geolocations = 1;

service GeolocationServer 
  rpc Insert(Geolocation) returns (google.protobuf.Empty);
  rpc Search(SearchRequest) returns (SearchResponse);

The construction of the file is fairly easy – however there are some things price noticing:

  • service GeolocationServer – service is said by key phrase with that identify
  • rpc Insert(Geolocation) – strategies are outlined by rpc key phrase, its identify, and request parameter sort
  • returns (google.protobuf.Empty) – and on the finish lastly a return sort. As you may see it’s important to all the time return any worth, on this case, is a wrapper for an empty construction
  • message SearchResponse repeated Geolocation geolocations = 1; – if you wish to return an inventory of objects, it’s important to mark them as repeated and supply a reputation for the sphere

Construct configuration

We are able to mix options of Spring Boot and simplify the setup of gRPC server through the use of the devoted library GitHub – yidongnan/grpc-spring-boot-starter: Spring Boot starter module for gRPC framework. (comply with the set up information there).

It allow us to use all of the goodness of the Spring framework (corresponding to Dependency Injection or Annotations).

Now you’re able to generate Java code! ./gradlew generateProto

Server implementation

To implement the server for our strategies definition, to begin with, we now have to increase the right summary class, which had been generated within the earlier step:

public class GeolocationServer extends GeolocationServerGrpc.GeolocationServerImplBase

As the subsequent step add the @GrpcService annotation on the class stage to register gRPC server and override server strategies:

public void insert(Geolocation request, StreamObserver responseObserver) 
    GeolocationEvent geolocationEvent = convertToGeolocationEvent(request);;


public void search(SearchRequest request, StreamObserver responseObserver) 
    Record geolocationEvents = geolocationRepository.searchByVinAndOccurredOnFromTo(

    Record geolocations =;


  • StreamObserver<> responseObserver – stream of messages to ship
  • responseObserver.onNext() – writes responses to the consumer. Unary calls should invoke onNext at most as soon as
  • responseObserver.onCompleted() – receives a notification of profitable stream completion

We’ve to transform inside gRPC objects to our area entities:

non-public GeolocationEvent convertToGeolocationEvent(Geolocation request) 
    Prompt occurredOn = convertTimestampToInstant(request.getOccurredOn());
    return new GeolocationEvent(
        new Coordinates(request.getCoordinates().getLatitude(), request.getCoordinates().getLongitude())

non-public Prompt convertTimestampToInstant(Timestamp timestamp) 
    return Prompt.ofEpochSecond(timestamp.getSeconds(), timestamp.getNanos());

Error dealing with

Neither consumer all the time sends us a legitimate message nor our system is resilient sufficient to deal with all errors, so we now have to supply methods to deal with exceptions.

If an error happens, gRPC returns one in every of its error standing codes as a substitute, with an optionally available description.

We are able to deal with it with ease in a Spring’s means, utilizing annotations already out there within the library:

public class GrpcExceptionAdvice 

    public Standing handleInvalidArgument(IllegalArgumentException e) 
        return Standing.INVALID_ARGUMENT.withDescription(e.getMessage()).withCause(e);

  • @GrpcAdvice – marks the category as a container for particular exception handlers
  • @GrpcExceptionHandler – methodology to be invoked when an exception specified as an argument is thrown

Now we ensured that our error messages are clear and significant for purchasers.

gRPC – is that the correct choice for you?

As demonstrated on this article, gRPC integrates properly with Spring Boot, so if you happen to’re aware of it, the training curve is clean.

gRPC is a worthy choice to contemplate whenever you’re working with low latency, extremely scalable, distributed methods. It offers an correct, environment friendly, and language-independent protocol.

Try the official documentation for extra information! gRPC