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What is Protobuf?

Protocol buffers are Google's language-neutral, platform-neutral, extensible mechanism for serializing structured data – think XML, but smaller, faster, and simpler.
Protobuf is a tool in the Serialization Frameworks category of a tech stack.
Protobuf is an open source tool with 64.5K GitHub stars and 15.4K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Protobuf's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Protobuf?

135 companies reportedly use Protobuf in their tech stacks, including medium.com, Alibaba Travels, and Trendyol Group.

513 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Protobuf.

Protobuf Integrations

Decisions about Protobuf

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Protobuf in their tech stack.

Joshua Dean Küpper
CEO at Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) · | 12 upvotes · 350.1K views

We've already been monitoring Agones for a few years now, but we only adapted Kubernetes in mid 2021, so we could never use it until then. Transitioning to Kubernetes has overall been a blast. There's definitely a steep learning curve associated with it, but for us, it was certainly worth it. And Agones plays definitely a part in it.

We previously scheduled our game servers with Docker Compose and Docker Swarm, but that always felt a little brittle and like a really "manual" process, even though everything was already dockerized. For matchmaking, we didn't have any solution yet.

After we did tons of local testing, we deployed our first production-ready Kubernetes cluster with #kubespray and deployed Agones (with Helm) on it. The installation was very easy and the official chart had just the right amount of knobs for us!

The aspect, that we were the most stunned about, is how seamless Agones integrates into the Kubernetes infrastructure. It reuses existing mechanisms like the Health Pings and extends them with more resource states and other properties that are unique to game servers. But you're still free to use it however you like: One GameServer per Game-Session, one GameServer for multiple Game-Sessions (in parallel or reusing existing servers), custom allocation mechanisms, webhook-based scaling, ... we didn't run into any dead ends yet.

One thing, that I was a little worried about in the beginning, was the SDK integration, as there was no official one for Minecraft/Java. And the two available inofficial ones didn't satisfy our requirements for the SDK. Therefore, we went and developed our own SDK and ... it was super easy! Agones does publish their Protobuf files and so we could generate the stubs with #Protoc. The existing documentation regarding Client-SDKs from Agones was a great help in writing our own documentation for the interface methods.

And they even have excellent tooling for testing your own SDK implementations. With the use of Testcontainers we could just spin up the local SDK testing image for each of the integration tests and could confirm that our SDK is working fine. We discovered a very small inconsistency for one of the interface methods, submitted an issue and a corresponding PR and it was merged within less than 24 hours.

We've now been using Agones for a few months and it has proven to be very reliable, easy to manage and just a great tool in general.

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Prateek Mittal
Fullstack Engineer| Ruby | React JS | gRPC at Ex Bookmyshow | Furlenco | Shopmatic · | 8 upvotes · 307.1K views

gRPC with Protobuf has clear winning and pros and the most importantly easy and fun to write and scale

  1. HTTP/2 vs. HTTP 1.1
  2. Messages vs. Resources and Verbs
  3. The gRPC Gateway. Server 2 Server (S2S) calls in mind- gRPC is way to go. Browser support is not as mature. gRPC is mainly used primarily for internal services that are not exposed directly to the world. Exposing that big workflow for your order, warehouse, async jobs management as API service and RPC call scripted using gRPC is way to go
  4. Streaming vs. Request-Response. Try built-in health check streaming service and understand the use case. Ever wanted S2S streaming w/o browser involved, this is the solution.
  5. Bored of too much REST ?? ;)
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Blog Posts

Jun 6 2019 at 5:11PM



Protobuf Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Protobuf?
JavaScript Object Notation is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language.
Apache Thrift
The Apache Thrift software framework, for scalable cross-language services development, combines a software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, Erlang, Perl, Haskell, C#, Cocoa, JavaScript, Node.js, Smalltalk, OCaml and Delphi and other languages.
Apache ActiveMQ is fast, supports many Cross Language Clients and Protocols, comes with easy to use Enterprise Integration Patterns and many advanced features while fully supporting JMS 1.1 and J2EE 1.4. Apache ActiveMQ is released under the Apache 2.0 License.
It is a row-oriented remote procedure call and data serialization framework developed within Apache's Hadoop project. It uses JSON for defining data types and protocols, and serializes data in a compact binary format.
It was designed as an extremely lightweight publish/subscribe messaging transport. It is useful for connections with remote locations where a small code footprint is required and/or network bandwidth is at a premium.
See all alternatives

Protobuf's Followers
385 developers follow Protobuf to keep up with related blogs and decisions.