What are the differences between gRPC and GraphQL?

Wed Oct 20 2021

2 min read

Two new API architectures are used today that provide many different features than REST APIs. There is GraphQL that Facebook developed, and gRPC is developed by Google. Both of these architectures are open-source, and you can contribute to their source code. Over a dozen languages support both. Still, there are a lot of differences between them.

Before we go into the differences, let’s look at these two architectures first.


It is a query language that allows you to read and mutate the data in APIs. With GraphQL, you can quickly solve the problems of under-fetching and over-fetching. You get precisely the data that you request. No more, no else. You have a single entry point, i.e., /graphql, that you use to get the data.

You define a schema that describes all the possible data you may need to query in your application on your backend. The data is then later fetched using a syntax that replicates the data’s return shape in JSON.


gRPC is an open-source framework developed by Google in 2015 for implementing RPC APIs using the HTTP/2 protocol. gRPC supports a lot of programming languages so that you can use them for microservice communication.

Differences Between gRPC And GraphQL

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between gRPC and GraphQL:

gRPC supports bidirectional streaming capabilities using HTTP/2 protocol.GraphQL relies on HTTP/1.1 for client-server communication.
gRPC has limited browser support since it requires gRPC-web and a proxy layer to perform conversions between HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2.0GraphQL is supported across all major browsers.
gRPC is lightweight and requires minimal resources. That’s why it is extremely fast.GraphQL is comparatively slower than gRPC for communication.
gRPC uses Protocol Buffer to serialize payload data. This solution is lighter since it enables a highly compressed format and reduces the message’s size.GraphQL requests data from the server using queries. The server sends back the response in JSON.