GraphQL vs gRPC: What are the differences?
GraphQL: A data query language and runtime. GraphQL is a data query language and runtime designed and used at Facebook to request and deliver data to mobile and web apps since 2012; gRPC: A high performance, open-source universal RPC framework. gRPC is a modern open source high performance RPC framework that can run in any environment. It can efficiently connect services in and across data centers with pluggable support for load balancing, tracing, health checking...
GraphQL can be classified as a tool in the "Query Languages" category, while gRPC is grouped under "Remote Procedure Call (RPC)".
Some of the features offered by GraphQL are:
- Client-specified queries
On the other hand, gRPC provides the following key features:
- Simple service definition
- Works across languages and platforms
- Start quickly and scale
GraphQL and gRPC are both open source tools. It seems that gRPC with 22K GitHub stars and 5.12K forks on GitHub has more adoption than GraphQL with 11.7K GitHub stars and 753 GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, GraphQL has a broader approval, being mentioned in 561 company stacks & 750 developers stacks; compared to gRPC, which is listed in 53 company stacks and 48 developer stacks.
gRPC with Protobuf has clear winning and pros and the most importantly easy and fun to write and scale
- HTTP/2 vs. HTTP 1.1
- Messages vs. Resources and Verbs
- 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
- 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.
- Bored of too much REST ?? ;)
At the start of Rookout, we used to have a giant Python monolith and it started being hard to maintain - we realized that using Kubernetes, it would be easy enough to have multiple micro-services each responsible for their own tasks.
After almost a year of micro-services, we are slowly slimming it down to a Golang backend with a NodeJS GraphQL facade for easier frontend development.
NodeJS has the most popular and better options for GraphQL, and it is for a reason.
Between having protobuf schemas between our services, a GraphQL schema to manage our queries, and a very durable backend in Golang, we are able to do anything we want and handle large scale very easily.
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