GraphQL vs. gRPC: A Detailed Comparison

When facing the decision of which communication protocol to select for web services, what are the questions that must be asked? What factors should be considered? What are the differences between GraphQL and gRPC?

The debate between GraphQL and gRPC has been gaining traction in recent years, as both protocols offer their own unique benefits to web services. GraphQL has become increasingly popular for its ability to provide efficient, compound queries for complex data sources. On the other hand, gRPC-based services can offer faster communication than traditional HTTP/REST-based services, and can scale up quickly in distributed systems. According to a study by the University of California Berkeley, GraphQL and gRPC are highly complementary, with GraphQL providing the much needed efficiency for complex web services, and gRPC providing scalable performance for frequently requested services.

In this article you will learn in-depth details about GraphQL and gRPC, analyze key differences between them, and look at real-world applications of each protocol. Furthermore, you will explore the trade-offs of cost, complexity, scalability, and performance that should be considered before making a final decision to select one technology over the other.

GraphQL vs. gRPC: A Detailed Comparison


GraphQL and gRPC are popular approaches used in application development today. GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling those queries with your existing data. gRPC is a modern, open-source, high-performance remote procedure call (RPC) framework. Both technologies offer lightweight and efficient ways to build and maintain applications, but each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Understanding their differences is essential for selecting the right technology for your project.

GraphQL is a open source query language created by Facebook for applications to request data from server. GraphQL is often used as an alternative to traditional REST APIs. It is designed to make it easier for clients to ask for exactly what they need from a server in a single request, without the need for multiple, round-trip requests.

gRPC is a high-performance, open-source RPC framework developed by Google. It uses protocols such as HTTP/2, protocol buffers, and bidirectional streaming to allow applications to communicate in a fast and efficient way. gRPC is designed to reduce network latency and overhead, and it can enable clients to make multiple requests in parallel.

Overall, the key difference between GraphQL and gRPC is how the data is requested and delivered. GraphQL is a query language that lets clients specify exactly what data they need, while gRPC is a framework for efficient client-server communication. Depending on your use case, one technology may be more suited for your project than the other.

Understanding the Evolution of GraphQL and gRPC

The Evolution of GraphQL and gRPC

GraphQL and gRPC are two of the most popularly-used models for web service architectures. They both offer distinct advantages, and the increasing popularity of both has created an ongoing debate about which technology works best for certain types of applications.
gRPC, or Remote Procedure Call, is a transportation protocol developed by Google in 2015. It is based on the technology of the same name from 1983. gRPC operates on the principle of two remote machines communicating via a predefined set of procedures. It is designed to be more efficient than JSON-based APIs in many scenarios, as a result of it relying on efficient binary messages sent over a network connection. gRPC services are often written in languages that are natively supported by gRPC, such as C++, Java, and Python, but other languages like JavaScript and C# can still be used with the help of third-party libraries.
GraphQL, on the other hand, was developed by Facebook in 2012. GraphQL is a query language and runtime environment that allows for querying data from multiple sources. It works off of the principle of selecting only the data that is needed, and is, therefore, more constrained in terms of how queries are formed. While gRPC only supports request-response types of queries, GraphQL is capable of making requests from multiple sources and can also query specific fields and arguments.

Comparison of GraphQL and gRPC

There are a few notable differences between GraphQL and gRPC. Firstly, GraphQL is a query language that is accessible over a network interface, while gRPC is a remote procedure call protocol. This means that gRPC requires a connection between two machines, while GraphQL does not necessarily need two machines to be connected.
Secondly, GraphQL is designed to query specific fields and arguments from multiple sources. It also provides the capability to query from multiple sources in a single request. gRPC services, on the other hand, are designed to send messages with binary format over a network connection, and can only send requests to a single source at a time.
Lastly, GraphQL can be programmed using any language, but gRPC services are designed to be written in languages that are natively supported by gRPC.

Pros and Cons of GraphQL and gRPC

  • GraphQL Pros:
    • Queries fields and arguments from multiple sources.
    • Queries can be done with any language.
    • No need to open a connection between two machines.
  • GraphQL Cons:
    • Only queries can be executed and not updates or deletions.
    • Queries can be slow due to the amount of data requested.
  • gRPC Pros:
    • Uses efficient binary messages sent over a network connection, making it faster.
    • Supports native languages like C++, Java, and Python.
  • gRPC Cons:
    • Requires an open connection between two machines.
    • Cannot query fields and arguments from multiple sources.

Although both GraphQL and gRPC have their own distinct advantages and drawbacks, it’s important to note that neither of them is the perfect solution for all scenarios. Depending on the unique requirements of an application, one may be better suited than the other. It is important to consider both of these architectures and weigh the pros and cons of each before choosing which one is best for a specific application.

Examining the Benefits and Drawbacks of both Technologies

GraphQL vs. gRPC: An Exploration

A Tale of Two Technologies

The world of technology is constantly evolving, and two of its most innovative players are GraphQL and gRPC. Both have brought great benefits to the table with their respective advantages, but when compared to one another, where can one really draw the line? In this exploration, we’ll uncover the benefits and drawbacks of each of these trailblazing technologies in order to get a better understanding of their uses.

The Benefits of GraphQL

GraphQL, created by Facebook, is a query language that was released in 2015 and has since surged in popularity. An advantage of GraphQL is that it allows clients to define their own query shape, or in other words, be more specific in their requests for data. This allows queries to be tailored to the exact needs of the user, allowing for more accuracy and efficiency in data transmission. Additionally, GraphQL has great scalability, boasting the ability to handle increases in data and traffic without any issue.

The Benefits of gRPC

Released by Google in 2015, gRPC is a remote procedure call protocol. It has a distinct advantage when it comes to speed. RPC is a great choice for applications that need a faster and simpler way to communicate as it requires less bandwidth to be used. Another benefit of gRPC is that it is open source—allowing for anyone to audit, review, and enhance the code. Therefore, the code can be retrofitted or updated if necessary.

Drawbacks of GraphQL

When it comes to GraphQL, an issue that may arise is that the system has no built-in protection. Without any protection in place, there is the risk of data being exposed or malicious requests running rampant. Additionally, any changes to GraphQL—such as updates—require the client side of the system to be updated as well, creating quite the hassle for developers and designers.

Drawbacks of gRPC

One of the biggest drawbacks of gRPC is that it can be quite difficult to debug since messages are sent and received in binary. Therefore, issues that may arise can be hard to find and much more complex to solve. Additionally, gRPC is only compatible with certain languages, so developers must be particularly aware of this when designing and coding.
In this day and age, technologies are becoming increasingly faster and smarter, and GraphQL and gRPC are no different. As we have seen in this exploration, both of these methods have their distinct benefits and drawbacks. But which one is really in the lead? For some, GraphQL may provide more of the advantages they need, while gRPC may be more suitable for others. The question remains: which one should you choose?

Where the Future Lies for GraphQL and gRPC

The Benefits of GraphQL

In today’s modern economy, speed and efficiency is everything. That’s why businesses are turning to GraphQL to keep them one step ahead of the competition. Designed by Facebook in 2012, GraphQL allows developers to retrieve data from a single endpoint, thereby avoiding the need to ping multiple endpoints to fetch data. This makes development faster and more efficient when dealing with complicated APIs. In addition, GraphQL has a clear and well defined schema that allows to query data precisely, and using powerful features like aliases and fragments to make it easier.
But do thes benefits outweigh those of gRPC?

The Benefits of gRPC

Since its inception in 2015, gRPC has grown in popularity and is now one of the premier open source remote procedure call (RPC) systems ever created. Designed by Google as an alternative to create distributed applications in the cloud, gRPC has become the de facto standard for other languages, including Rust, C++, and Go. It also provides an efficient serialization system and customization capabilities, allowing developers to send and receive data quickly and securely.
But what does this mean for developers when deciding on which technology to choose?

Where the Future Lies for GraphQL and gRPC?

Considering the speedy development these days, developers must choose the best way to manage heavy data traffic. In terms of scalability, both technologies are well-suited for the conflicting needs of the applications. GraphQL with its declarative query language enables apps to fetch exactly what they need in a single request, whereas gRPC accelerates information exchange with powerful serialization and customizable features.
So, with their powerful features and benefits, which technology should developers choose? The answer lies in understanding the purpose of the application and the data it needs to use. If the application requires more complex data manipulation, GraphQL is the way to go. On the other hand, applications that necessitate secure and robust exchange of large amounts of data can be better managed with gRPC. In the end, the decision should come down to the development team’s understanding of the application and its objectives.


Which technology is the right fit for your project? GraphQL or gRPC? This is a thought-provoking question that has been circulating in the development community for quite some time. Both technologies offer potential advantages when it comes to handling data in high-performance applications, but they have their differences as well.
In the comparison of GraphQL vs. gRPC, it is essential to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. They serve different purposes and have different purposes and performance characteristics, so it is vital to understand what each technology can bring to the table before making any decisions. To find out more, check out our blog for the latest updates on this topic, and be sure to stay up to date with any new releases.
At the end of the day, whenever you are making decisions about technology it is always important to consider your current project and long-term goals. Have a clear plan in place and weigh each choice carefully, then decide on the best-suited technology for your needs. We hope our comparison of GraphQL and gRPC has helped support your decision-making experience and that you are now well-informed and ready to move forward with your project.


Q1: What is GraphQL?
Answer: GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime environment for fulfilling queries with existing data. It was developed and open-sourced by Facebook in 2015 and designed to optimize data fetching by allowing clients to specify exactly what they need. It also allows for powerful introspection capabilities that enable clients to self-serve without requiring any applications layer changes.
Q2: What is gRPC?
Answer: gRPC is a high performance, open source, universal RPC (Remote Procedure Call) framework that provides interoperability between software systems. It efficiently connects services written in different languages and on different platforms, allowing for location transparency, load balancing, and fault tolerance. gRPC also supports streaming of responses and requests, which enables bi-directed conversations between services.
Q3: What are the major differences between GraphQL and gRPC?
Answer: The main difference between GraphQL and gRPC is that GraphQL is a language for querying an API, while gRPC is a framework for connecting services written in different languages. GraphQL supports complex yet declarative queries that allow clients to self-serve with minimal applications layer changes, while gRPC enables location transparency, bi-directional streaming of data, and efficient load balancing.
Q4: When should I use GraphQL over gRPC?
Answer: GraphQL should be used when clients need to query large datasets or when varying types of clients need to send requests to the same endpoint. GraphQL is great at optimizing data fetching and reduces requests from clients. gRPC should be used when performance is a top priority, when direct calls are needed between services, or when streaming of data is required.
Q5: What are the advantages of using GraphQL or gRPC?
Answer: GraphQL provides powerful introspection capabilities that improve access to APIs, as well as smarter data fetching that reduces requests from clients. gRPC offers high performance connectivity between services written in different languages, location transparency, and bi-directional streaming of data. Both frameworks are open-source and actively maintained.