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Home / Tutorials / How gRPC and HTTP/2 Can Boost Your API Performance

How gRPC and HTTP/2 Can Boost Your API Performance

Learn what gRPC and HTTP/2 are, how they work together, and why they can offer significant benefits for your API performance. Also, discover how to use apidog to test and debug your gRPC APIs with ease.

If you are looking for a fast, efficient, and modern way to build and consume APIs, you might want to consider gRPC and HTTP/2. In this blog post, we will explain what gRPC and HTTP/2 are, how they work together, and why they can offer significant benefits for your API performance. We will also show you how to use a tool called apidog to test and debug your gRPC APIs with ease.


What is gRPC?

gRPC is an open-source framework for remote procedure calls (RPCs) that uses HTTP/2 as its transport layer. RPCs are a way of invoking methods or functions on a server from a client, as if they were local. gRPC allows you to define your APIs using a language-neutral interface definition language (IDL) called Protocol Buffers, or protobuf for short. Protobuf is a binary serialization format that is compact, fast, and easy to use. With gRPC, you can generate client and server code for your APIs in various languages, such as Java, Python, Go, C#, Ruby, and more.

gRPC supports four types of RPCs:

  • Unary: A simple request-response model, where the client sends one request and receives one response from the server.
  • Server streaming: The client sends one request and receives a stream of responses from the server.
  • Client streaming: The client sends a stream of requests and receives one response from the server.
  • Bidirectional streaming: The client and the server exchange streams of requests and responses.

gRPC also supports features such as authentication, encryption, compression, load balancing, health checking, and more.

gRPC diagram

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is the latest version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which is the foundation of the web. HTTP/2 is based on an earlier protocol called SPDY, which was developed by Google to improve the performance of web applications. HTTP/2 introduces several enhancements over HTTP/1.1, such as:

  • Binary framing: HTTP/2 uses a binary format to encode and decode messages, which reduces overhead and improves efficiency.
  • Multiplexing: HTTP/2 allows multiple requests and responses to be sent over a single TCP connection, which reduces latency and resource consumption.
  • Header compression: HTTP/2 compresses the headers of HTTP messages, which reduces the amount of data transferred and improves bandwidth utilization.
  • Server push: HTTP/2 enables the server to push resources to the client before they are requested, which can improve the loading time of web pages.
  • Stream prioritization: HTTP/2 allows the client to specify the priority of each request, which can help the server to optimize the delivery of resources.

How gRPC and HTTP/2 Work Together

gRPC and HTTP/2 are a perfect match for each other, as they complement each other’s strengths and address each other’s weaknesses. gRPC leverages the features of HTTP/2 to provide a high-performance, low-latency, and scalable framework for RPCs. HTTP/2 benefits from the use of gRPC, as it enables a more efficient and expressive way of communicating between clients and servers.

Some of the advantages of using gRPC and HTTP/2 together are:

  • Speed: gRPC and HTTP/2 are both designed to be fast and efficient, as they use binary formats, compression, multiplexing, and other techniques to reduce the amount of data transferred and the number of round trips required.
  • Streaming: gRPC and HTTP/2 both support streaming, which allows the client and the server to exchange data in a continuous and bidirectional manner, without waiting for the completion of each request or response.
  • Security: gRPC and HTTP/2 both support encryption, which ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the data exchanged between the client and the server.
  • Interoperability: gRPC and HTTP/2 both support multiple languages and platforms, which makes it easy to build and consume APIs across different environments and devices.
How to Send HTTP/2 Request?
In this blog, we’ll guide you through the correct way to send HTTP/2 requests, addressing the common misconceptions and challenges you might encounter along the way.

How to Use apidog to Test and Debug Your gRPC APIs

If you are interested in using gRPC and HTTP/2 for your APIs, you might want to check out apidog , a tool that helps you test and debug your gRPC APIs with ease. apidog is a web-based application that allows you to:

  • Import your gRPC service definitions from a protobuf file or a URL
  • Explore your gRPC services and methods in a user-friendly interface
  • Send unary, streaming, or metadata requests to your gRPC servers
  • View and analyze the responses from your gRPC servers
  • Save and share your requests and responses with others

Server Streaming

Server Streaming, as the name implies, involves sending multiple response data in a single request. For instance, it could involve subscribing to all the transaction price data of stocks within a one-minute timeframe.

Apidog Server Streaming

Client Streaming

In this mode, the client can continuously send multiple request messages to the server without waiting for immediate responses. After processing all the requests, the server sends a single response message back to the client. This approach is well-suited for efficiently transmitting large amounts of data in a streaming manner, which helps reduce latency and optimize data exchange.

Apidog Client Streaming

Bidirectional Streaming

Bidirectional Streaming enables clients and servers to establish persistent bidirectional communication and transmit multiple messages simultaneously. It is commonly employed in online games and real-time video call software, and is well-suited for real-time communication and large-scale data transmission scenarios. After initiating the call, the client and the server maintain a session between them and receive real-time responses after sending different request contents.

Apidog Bidirectional Streaming

Collaborating on gRPC APIs

Apidog can generate human-readable gRPC interface documents from .proto files, facilitating team collaboration on interfaces. Click the menu button on the right side of the interface to obtain the collaboration link and share it with other team members to align the interface debugging approach.

Collaborating on gRPC APIs

With apidog, you can quickly and easily test and debug your gRPC APIs, without having to write any code or install any software. You can also use apidog to learn more about gRPC and HTTP/2, as it provides helpful documentation and examples for each feature.


gRPC and HTTP/2 are two technologies that can boost your API performance and improve your developer experience. By using gRPC and HTTP/2 together, you can benefit from the speed, efficiency, streaming, security, and interoperability that they offer. You can also use apidog to test and debug your gRPC APIs with ease, and learn more about gRPC and HTTP/2 along the way.


We hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it informative and useful.

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