Unparalleled suite of productivity-boosting Web APIs & cloud-based micro-service applications for developers and companies of any size.


GRPC vs REST: Comparing APIs Architectural Styles In 2023

grpc vs rest

gRPC and REST are two common technologies these days. But people are curious to know which will dominate the most in the future. In this article, we will learn about gRPC vs REST public APIs architectural styles. REST API architectural style is dominating web services development these days. However, gRPC also got some amazing features.

grpc vs rest

gRPC is also starting to play a crucial role in developing multiple projects. Although, it plays a small role compared to REST in web application programming interfaces. But there are chances that gRPC will be dominating in the future. We will learn about the gRPC vs REST styles and their role in building pubic APIs

What Is REST?

We use the HTTP protocol in the REST architectural style to generate different APIs. We can deliver the backend data response to the clients in XML messaging or JSON format through REST. The best part about REST is that we can provide services integrating the microservice application as a source to the client.

The clients can access the services through:

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT

Some examples of REST API are numverify and OpenWeatherMap API.

basic http library

How Does REST Work?

REST stands for representational state transfer that uses HTTP as a standard communication protocol. It helps REST deal with different resources defined in APIs. A resource in REST is more like an entity we use in object-oriented programming languages. RESTful resources also consist of properties and behaviors, just like an object. However, RESTful resources focus more on the properties than focusing on behaviors.

What Is gRPC?

gRPC stands for Google Remote Procedure Call. It is an extension of the RCP model architecture. This technology uses the RPC API model that uses HTTP 2.0 protocol. The interesting part about gRPC is that the HTTP is not visible to both the client & the server or the API developers. Hence, it consists of a high level of abstraction.

xml messaging format

If we want to enhance the data transmission speed between microservices, we can take full advantage of gRPC. Let’s move forward to how gRPC works.

How Does gRPCS Work?

gRPC helps us allow fast and efficient communication between our target and the source. Our source can call the predefined target based on a remote procedure call. In this architectural style, the procedure and the messages sent to the procedure are already defined in the specification file. For example, if we get a specification file called aimal.proto, the code depicts the whole method.

In the given code, we have two messages, AnimalRequest and Animal, with the method GetAnimal().

different programming languages

gRPC vs REST: API Models

gRPC API Model

gRPC uses strong abstraction with HTTP, which is popular for designing APIs. HTTP 2.0 protocol is implemented in gRPC while receiving multiple client requests, but is kept hidden from the user. We use Skeletons and Stubs to hide it from users. Thus, we don’t need to worry when mapping RCP concepts to the HTTP protocol. It expresses the RPC model in an interface description language.

To use a gRPC API mode, we just need to follow the steps below:

  1. We decide about the desired calling procedure
  2. We calculate the values of the required parameters
  3. Then we pass the values by generating code through the Stub


When implementing the REST API model, we don’t require our users to learn the URLs. An absolute URL is formed through the relative URLs. It happens when the information for HTTP requests is extracted using a browser. In a REST API model, the clients don’t need to create new URLs. Instead, the server passes the URLs that a client uses. In the REST model, the browser doesn’t understand the website-specific format. It just blindly follows the URLs given on the server side.

There is client-server independence in the REST API model. The client uses URIs that are already published in API documentation.

Yahoo Finance API is also a REST API.

component services

What Are The Key Differences Between The gRPC And REST Architectural Style?

Nowadays, developers are debating on which architectural style to use for API designing.

It can be confusing to decide the right model for our applications.

However, the following parameters can help us make everything clear. Continue reading!

Data Model & Serialization In gRPCS vs REST

gRPC Model

  • It uses protocol buffers
  • Reduced message transmission time
  • Converts messages into an understandable programming language

REST Model

  • It uses XML or JSON data formats to transfer data
  • Flexibility in sending dynamic data
  • Superior human readability
  • Higher speed of transmitting data

Browser Support and Latency in gRPC vs REST

gRPC Model

  • operates on HTTP 2.0 protocol
  • Low browser support
  • Limited to internal services only
  • Multiplexed streams
  • Sends push notifications to the clients through an established connection

REST Model

  • Incorporates HTTP 1.1
  • Universal browser support
  • Works on a TCP handshaking mechanism
  • Often suffers from latency issues
gRPC has low browser support unlike rest

Working Model in gRPC vs REST

gRPC Model

  • In gRPC, we must follow the .proto file for data exchange and binary format
  • Native code generation features
  • Compatible with various programming languages
  • Integrates various services
  • Built-in code generation for API requests

REST Model

  • Works through the help of pre-defined guidelines
  • It doesn’t consist of built-in code generation
  • Developers need to use third-party tools such as Swagger to generate code

gRPC vs REST Usecases

gRPC Model

gRPC model is only preferred for internal usage in the applications. We can also consider it for mobile applications, since it doesn’t need a browser. It can rely on smaller messages.

gRPC has the following use cases:

  • Low-power and Low-bandwidth networks
  • Real-time streaming
  • Lightweight microservice connections

REST Model

We can see that the REST model is considered a prominent choice for connections of applications based on micro-service applications. REST APIs are known to be the most reliable for supporting in-house systems as well as open systems.

REST has the following use cases:

  • Multiple access to APIs
  • Cloud applications
  • High-speed tasks


Is gRPC better than REST?

gRPC is seven times faster when receiving data and ten times faster when sending data than REST. On the other hand, REST got better browser support, as compared to gRPC.

Is gRPC replacing REST?

gRPC might be replacing REST in some operations due to its capabilities, such as:

  • Higher performance
  • Lightweight messages
  • More connection options
  • Built-in code generation

Why is gRPC faster than REST?

gRPC uses protocol buffers, making it faster, more straightforward, and smaller than REST.

Is gRPC good for microservices?

gRPC is considered better for inter-service communications in web applications.

Does Netflix use gRPC?

Yes. Netflix uses gRPC for backend-to-backend communication.

Sign up now to boost the capabilities of your applications by integrating APIs without worrying about scalability & stability.

Related posts

What Is an API Endpoint? What Does It Matter?


Ipstack Case Study: How Airbnb Uses Geolocation IP Address for Listings


How to Create a Phone Number Verification Web App Using Node.js


What Is Open API? Pros, Cons, and Examples

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *