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grpc-ecosystem
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Description

gRPC to JSON proxy generator following the gRPC HTTP spec

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grpc-gateway

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The grpc-gateway is a plugin of the Google protocol buffers compiler protoc. It reads protobuf service definitions and generates a reverse-proxy server which translates a RESTful HTTP API into gRPC. This server is generated according to the

google.api.http
annotations in your service definitions.

This helps you provide your APIs in both gRPC and RESTful style at the same time.

Testimonials

We use the gRPC-Gateway to serve millions of API requests per day, and have been since 2018, and through all of that, we have never had any issues with it.

- William Mill, Ad Hoc

Check out our documentation!

Background

gRPC is great -- it generates API clients and server stubs in many programming languages, it is fast, easy-to-use, bandwidth-efficient and its design is combat-proven by Google. However, you might still want to provide a traditional RESTful JSON API as well. Reasons can range from maintaining backward-compatibility, supporting languages or clients that are not well supported by gRPC, to simply maintaining the aesthetics and tooling involved with a RESTful JSON architecture.

This project aims to provide that HTTP+JSON interface to your gRPC service. A small amount of configuration in your service to attach HTTP semantics is all that's needed to generate a reverse-proxy with this library.

Installation

The grpc-gateway requires a local installation of the Google protocol buffers compiler

protoc
v3.0.0 or above. Please install this via your local package manager or by downloading one of the releases from the official repository:

https://github.com/protocolbuffers/protobuf/releases

The following instructions assume you are using Go Modules for dependency management. Use a tool dependency to track the versions of the following executable packages:

// +build tools

package tools

import ( _ "github.com/grpc-ecosystem/grpc-gateway/v2/protoc-gen-grpc-gateway" _ "github.com/grpc-ecosystem/grpc-gateway/v2/protoc-gen-openapiv2" _ "google.golang.org/grpc/cmd/protoc-gen-go-grpc" _ "google.golang.org/protobuf/cmd/protoc-gen-go" )

Run

go mod tidy
to resolve the versions. Install by running
$ go install \
    github.com/grpc-ecosystem/grpc-gateway/v2/protoc-gen-grpc-gateway \
    github.com/grpc-ecosystem/grpc-gateway/v2/protoc-gen-openapiv2 \
    google.golang.org/protobuf/cmd/protoc-gen-go \
    google.golang.org/grpc/cmd/protoc-gen-go-grpc

This will place four binaries in your

$GOBIN
;
  • protoc-gen-grpc-gateway
  • protoc-gen-openapiv2
  • protoc-gen-go
  • protoc-gen-go-grpc

Make sure that your

$GOBIN
is in your
$PATH
.

Usage

  1. Define your gRPC service using protocol buffers

your_service.proto
:
    syntax = "proto3";
    package your.service.v1;
    option go_package = "github.com/yourorg/yourprotos/gen/go/your/service/v1";
    message StringMessage {
      string value = 1;
    }

service YourService {
  rpc Echo(StringMessage) returns (StringMessage) {}
}

  1. Generate gRPC stubs

This step generates the gRPC stubs that you can use to implement the service and consume from clients:

Here's an example of what a

protoc
command might look like to generate Go stubs:
   protoc -I . \
      --go_out ./gen/go/ --go_opt paths=source_relative \
      --go-grpc_out ./gen/go/ --go-grpc_opt paths=source_relative \
      your/service/v1/your_service.proto
  1. Implement your service in gRPC as usual

    1. (Optional) Generate gRPC stub in the other programming languages.

For example, the following generates gRPC code for Ruby based on

your/service/v1/your_service.proto
:
   protoc -I . --ruby_out ./gen/ruby your/service/v1/your_service.proto

protoc -I . --grpc-ruby_out ./gen/ruby your/service/v1/your_service.proto

  1. Add the googleapis-common-protos gem (or your language equivalent) as a dependency to your project.
  2. Implement your gRPC service stubs

    1. Generate reverse-proxy using
      protoc-gen-grpc-gateway

At this point, you have 3 options:

  • no further modifications, use the default mapping to HTTP semantics (method, path, etc.)
    • this will work on any
      .proto
      file, but will not allow setting HTTP paths, request parameters or similar
  • additional
    .proto
    modifications to use a custom mapping
    • relies on parameters in the
      .proto
      file to set custom HTTP mappings
  • no
    .proto
    modifications, but use an external configuration file
    • relies on an external configuration file to set custom HTTP mappings
    • mostly useful when the source proto file isn't under your control
  1. Using the default mapping

This requires no additional modification to the

.proto
file, but does require enabling a specific option when executing the plugin. The
generate_unbound_methods
should be enabled.

Here's what a

protoc
execution might look like with this option enabled:
      protoc -I . --grpc-gateway_out ./gen/go \
        --grpc-gateway_opt logtostderr=true \
        --grpc-gateway_opt paths=source_relative \
        --grpc-gateway_opt generate_unbound_methods=true \
        your/service/v1/your_service.proto
  1. With custom annotations

Add a

google.api.http
annotation to your .proto file

your_service.proto
:
    syntax = "proto3";
    package your.service.v1;
    option go_package = "github.com/yourorg/yourprotos/gen/go/your/service/v1";
   +
   +import "google/api/annotations.proto";
   +
    message StringMessage {
      string value = 1;
    }

service YourService {
  • rpc Echo(StringMessage) returns (StringMessage) {}
  • rpc Echo(StringMessage) returns (StringMessage) {
  • option (google.api.http) = {
  • post: "/v1/example/echo"
  • body: "*"
  • };
  • } }

You will need to provide the required third party protobuf files to the

protoc
compiler. They are included in this repo under the
third_party/googleapis
folder, and we recommend copying them into your
protoc
generation file structure. If you've structured your proto files according to something like the Buf style guide, you could copy the files into a top-level
./google
folder.

See abitof_everything.proto for examples of more annotations you can add to customize gateway behavior and generated OpenAPI output.

Here's what a

protoc
execution might look like:
      protoc -I . --grpc-gateway_out ./gen/go \
        --grpc-gateway_opt logtostderr=true \
        --grpc-gateway_opt paths=source_relative \
        your/service/v1/your_service.proto
  1. External configuration If you do not want to (or cannot) modify the proto file for use with grpc-gateway you can alternatively use an external gRPC Service Configuration file. Check our documentation for more information.

Here's what a

protoc
execution might look like with this option enabled:
      protoc -I . --grpc-gateway_out ./gen/go \
        --grpc-gateway_opt logtostderr=true \
        --grpc-gateway_opt paths=source_relative \
        --grpc-gateway_opt grpc_api_configuration=path/to/config.yaml \
        your/service/v1/your_service.proto
  1. Write an entrypoint for the HTTP reverse-proxy server
   package main

import ( "context" "flag" "net/http"

 "github.com/golang/glog"
 "github.com/grpc-ecosystem/grpc-gateway/v2/runtime"
 "google.golang.org/grpc"

 gw "github.com/yourorg/yourrepo/proto/gen/go/your/service/v1/your_service"  // Update

)

var ( // command-line options: // gRPC server endpoint grpcServerEndpoint = flag.String("grpc-server-endpoint", "localhost:9090", "gRPC server endpoint") )

func run() error { ctx := context.Background() ctx, cancel := context.WithCancel(ctx) defer cancel()

 // Register gRPC server endpoint
 // Note: Make sure the gRPC server is running properly and accessible
 mux := runtime.NewServeMux()
 opts := []grpc.DialOption{grpc.WithInsecure()}
 err := gw.RegisterYourServiceHandlerFromEndpoint(ctx, mux,  *grpcServerEndpoint, opts)
 if err != nil {
   return err
 }

 // Start HTTP server (and proxy calls to gRPC server endpoint)
 return http.ListenAndServe(":8081", mux)

}

func main() { flag.Parse() defer glog.Flush()

 if err := run(); err != nil {
   glog.Fatal(err)
 }

}

  1. (Optional) Generate OpenAPI definitions using
    protoc-gen-openapiv2
   protoc -I . --openapiv2_out ./gen/openapiv2 --openapiv2_opt logtostderr=true your/service/v1/your_service.proto

Note that this plugin also supports generating OpenAPI definitions for unannotated methods; use the

generate_unbound_methods
option to enable this.

Video intro

This GopherCon UK 2019 presentation from our maintainer @JohanBrandhorst provides a good intro to using the grpc-gateway. It uses the following boilerplate repo as a base: https://github.com/johanbrandhorst/grpc-gateway-boilerplate.

gRPC-Gateway presentation

Parameters and flags

During code generation with

protoc
, flags to grpc-gateway tools must be passed through protoc using one of 2 patterns:
  • as part of the
    --_out
    protoc
    parameter:
    --_out=:
--grpc-gateway_out=logtostderr=true,repeated_path_param_separator=ssv:.
--openapiv2_out=logtostderr=true,repeated_path_param_separator=ssv:.
  • using additional
    --_opt
    parameters:
    --_opt=[,]*
--grpc-gateway_opt logtostderr=true,repeated_path_param_separator=ssv
# or separately
--grpc-gateway_opt logtostderr=true --grpc-gateway_opt repeated_path_param_separator=ssv

--openapiv2_opt logtostderr=true,repeated_path_param_separator=ssv

or separately

--openapiv2_opt logtostderr=true --openapiv2_opt repeated_path_param_separator=ssv

protoc-gen-grpc-gateway
supports custom mapping from Protobuf
import
to Golang import paths. They are compatible with the parameters with the same names in
protoc-gen-go
.

In addition we also support the

request_context
parameter in order to use the
http.Request
's Context (only for Go 1.7 and above). This parameter can be useful to pass the request-scoped context between the gateway and the gRPC service.

protoc-gen-grpc-gateway
also supports some more command line flags to control logging. You can give these flags together with parameters above. Run
protoc-gen-grpc-gateway --help
for more details about the flags.

Similarly,

protoc-gen-openapiv2
supports command-line flags to control OpenAPI output (for example,
json_names_for_fields
to output JSON names for fields instead of protobuf names). Run
protoc-gen-openapiv2 --help
for more flag details. Further OpenAPI customization is possible by annotating your
.proto
files with options from openapiv2.proto - see abitof_everything.proto for examples.

More Examples

More examples are available under

examples
directory.
  • proto/examplepb/echo_service.proto
    ,
    proto/examplepb/a_bit_of_everything.proto
    ,
    proto/examplepb/unannotated_echo_service.proto
    : service definition
    • proto/examplepb/echo_service.pb.go
      ,
      proto/examplepb/a_bit_of_everything.pb.go
      ,
      proto/examplepb/unannotated_echo_service.pb.go
      : [generated] stub of the service
    • proto/examplepb/echo_service.pb.gw.go
      ,
      proto/examplepb/a_bit_of_everything.pb.gw.go
      ,
      proto/examplepb/uannotated_echo_service.pb.gw.go
      : [generated] reverse proxy for the service
    • proto/examplepb/unannotated_echo_service.yaml
      : gRPC API Configuration for
      unannotated_echo_service.proto
  • server/main.go
    : service implementation
  • main.go
    : entrypoint of the generated reverse proxy

To use the same port for custom HTTP handlers (e.g. serving

swagger.json
), gRPC-gateway, and a gRPC server, see this example by CoreOS (and its accompanying blog post).

Features

Supported

  • Generating JSON API handlers.
  • Method parameters in the request body.
  • Method parameters in the request path.
  • Method parameters in query string.
  • Enum fields in the path parameter (including repeated enum fields).
  • Mapping streaming APIs to newline-delimited JSON streams.
  • Mapping HTTP headers with
    Grpc-Metadata-
    prefix to gRPC metadata (prefixed with
    grpcgateway-
    )
  • Optionally emitting API definitions for OpenAPI (Swagger) v2.
  • Setting gRPC timeouts through inbound HTTP
    Grpc-Timeout
    header.
  • Partial support for gRPC API Configuration files as an alternative to annotation.
  • Automatically translating PATCH requests into Field Mask gRPC requests. See the docs for more information.

No plan to support

But patch is welcome.

  • Method parameters in HTTP headers.
  • Handling trailer metadata.
  • Encoding request/response body in XML.
  • True bi-directional streaming.

Mapping gRPC to HTTP

  • How gRPC error codes map to HTTP status codes in the response.
  • HTTP request source IP is added as
    X-Forwarded-For
    gRPC request header.
  • HTTP request host is added as
    X-Forwarded-Host
    gRPC request header.
  • HTTP
    Authorization
    header is added as
    authorization
    gRPC request header.
  • Remaining Permanent HTTP header keys (as specified by the IANA here are prefixed with
    grpcgateway-
    and added with their values to gRPC request header.
  • HTTP headers that start with 'Grpc-Metadata-' are mapped to gRPC metadata (prefixed with
    grpcgateway-
    ).
  • While configurable, the default {un,}marshaling uses jsonpb with
    OrigName: true
    .

Contribution

See CONTRIBUTING.md.

License

grpc-gateway is licensed under the BSD 3-Clause License. See LICENSE.txt for more details.

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