In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, choosing the right communication protocol is paramount. Today, let’s unravel the intricate world of APIs by exploring REST and gRPC. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll delve into the implementation, nuances, and history of REST and gRPC, guiding you toward informed decisions in your real-time web API projects.

REST (Representational State Transfer) and gRPC (Remote Procedure Call) are two popular architectural styles for developing APIs.

REST services use the HTTP protocol, whereas gRPC uses the HTTP/2 protocol. Please read this blog for more information on the various protocols.


REST, Representational State Transfer, has been the cornerstone of web APIs for years. Built upon standard HTTP methods, REST offers simplicity and flexibility. Its statelessness and adherence to architectural principles make it a robust choice.

It is a lightweight and flexible architectural style widely adopted in the web development community. The data is transferred in the form of JSON in Rest services.REST APIs are based on the following principles:

  • Statelessness: Each request to a REST API is independent of any other request. This makes REST APIs easy to scale and distribute.
  • Resource-based: REST APIs expose resources, which are logical representations of data or functionality. Clients can interact with resources using HTTP verbs such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.
  • Cacheability: REST APIs can return cacheable responses, which can improve performance and reduce bandwidth usage.

gRPC: The Future of API Communication

On the other end of the spectrum, we have gRPC, an open-source RPC (Remote Procedure Call) framework developed by Google. Leveraging Protocol Buffers, a language-agnostic binary serialization format, gRPC boasts unparalleled speed and efficiency.

gRPC is a high-performance, platform-neutral framework for developing RPC (Remote Procedure Call) services. gRPC uses protocol buffers to serialize and deserialize data, which results in smaller and more efficient payloads. It will work like a client-server model where the protobuffer created acts like a server that serves the incoming request.

gRPC APIs offer the following benefits:

  • Performance: gRPC APIs are typically faster than REST APIs, especially for RPC-style workloads.
  • Efficiency: gRPC APIs use smaller payloads and less bandwidth than REST APIs.
  • Platform-neutral: gRPC APIs can be implemented in a variety of programming languages and platforms.

Use Cases

REST APIs are well-suited for a wide range of use cases, including:

  • Public-facing APIs
  • Content delivery APIs
  • E-commerce APIs
  • Social media APIs
  • IoT APIs

gRPC APIs are well-suited for the following use cases:

  • Microservices architectures
  • Real-time streaming applications
  • Mobile applications
  • High-performance APIs

Real-World Examples

Here are some real-world examples of REST and gRPC APIs:


  • Twitter API
  • Google Maps API
  • Netflix API
  • Amazon API
  • GitHub API


  • Netflix gRPC API
  • Uber gRPC API
  • Lyft gRPC API
  • Spotify gRPC API
  • Envoy gRPC API

The implementation time for Rest APIs is quite fast, with the basic service taking less than 10 minutes to develop. However, implementing gRPC in the project takes about 30 minutes.

The implementation time for gRPC is longer because there are no ready-made templates supported by various frameworks, and it is less popular than REST APIs.

Consider a scenario where you have encountered a situation where you need to call two or more APIs in parallel which are dependent on one another. In this case, the APIs are called one after the other like nested forms, this type of implementation is fine for Monolithic applications where data handling is minimal.

However, in the case of microservice applications, calling the APIs/services one inside the other is a tedious job, and handling large volumes of response data is a developer’s nightmare. As a result, gRPC will come in handy in these types of scenarios, allowing developers to handle large volumes of response data efficiently, making the application robust, scalable, and highly available with low latency.

I collected a few screenshots of how gRPC is implemented in the Net Core Framework for one of my ongoing projects work.

Below is the proto file, which consists of exposed methods for an incoming request.

gRPC : server-side

The exposed methods are implemented in the service class.

In the csproj file you can see that the proto file that is created acts like a server.

gRPC client-side:

From another service, the proto service is consumed, and through dependency injection, the methods are easily accessible.

The discount.proto file is created in the client-side service as well like the above, and in the csproj file you can see something like this:


REST and gRPC are both powerful architectural styles for developing APIs and web services. The best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and requirements. If you are developing a public-facing API or need a flexible and lightweight solution, then REST is a good choice. If you need a high-performance API for microservices or real-time streaming, then gRPC is a good choice.

When choosing between REST and gRPC, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  • Maturity: REST is a more mature technology than gRPC, with a larger ecosystem of tools and frameworks.
  • Community: REST has a larger and more active community than gRPC.
  • Learning curve: REST is easier to learn than gRPC, especially for developers who are already familiar with HTTP and JSON.

Understanding REST and gRPC empowers you to architect robust, responsive, and high-performance APIs. By aligning your choice with your project’s requirements, you pave the way for seamless communication and exceptional user experiences.


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