February 23, 2024

One of the essential technical selections throughout designing API is to decide on the right protocol for interchanging information. It’s not a straightforward job. It’s a must to reply no less than a number of necessary questions – which is able to combine with API, you probably have 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?

If you collect all the knowledge, you may examine totally different applied sciences to decide on one that matches you finest. 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 sources and messages are smaller. Additionally, a contract between the shopper and server is outlined in proto format, so code may be mechanically generated. The framework depends on HTTP/2 (helps TLS) and past efficiency, interoperability, and code technology gives streaming options and channels.

Declaring strategies in contract

Have you ever learn our article about serializing information 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 simple – however there are some things value noticing:

  • service GeolocationServer – service is asserted by key phrase with that title
  • rpc Insert(Geolocation) – strategies are outlined by rpc key phrase, its title, and request parameter sort
  • returns (google.protobuf.Empty) – and on the finish lastly a return sort. As you may see you need 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, you need to mark them as repeated and supply a reputation for the sector

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 (resembling 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’ve got 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<Empty> responseObserver) 
    GeolocationEvent geolocationEvent = convertToGeolocationEvent(request);


public void search(SearchRequest request, StreamObserver<SearchResponse> responseObserver) 
    Checklist<GeolocationEvent> geolocationEvents = geolocationRepository.searchByVinAndOccurredOnFromTo(

    Checklist<Geolocation> geolocations = geolocationEvents.stream().map(this::convertToGeolocation).toList();


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

We’ve got to transform inner gRPC objects to our area entities:

personal GeolocationEvent convertToGeolocationEvent(Geolocation request) 
    Immediate occurredOn = convertTimestampToInstant(request.getOccurredOn());
    return new GeolocationEvent(
        new Coordinates(request.getCoordinates().getLatitude(), request.getCoordinates().getLongitude())

personal Immediate convertTimestampToInstant(Timestamp timestamp) 
    return Immediate.ofEpochSecond(timestamp.getSeconds(), timestamp.getNanos());

Error dealing with

Neither shopper all the time sends us a legitimate message nor our system is resilient sufficient to deal with all errors, so we’ve got to supply methods to deal with exceptions.

If an error happens, gRPC returns one in all its error standing codes as a substitute, with an non-obligatory description.

We are able to deal with it with ease in a Spring’s manner, utilizing annotations already obtainable 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 appropriate possibility for you?

As demonstrated on this article, gRPC integrates effectively with Spring Boot, so when you’re aware of it, the educational curve is clean.

gRPC is a worthy possibility to contemplate once you’re working with low latency, extremely scalable, distributed programs. It supplies an correct, environment friendly, and language-independent protocol.

Try the official documentation for extra information! gRPC