solo.io, a startup that aims to "glue" together microservices, monoliths and serverless functions, has announced that its function gateway, Gloo, now supports JSON-to-gRPC translation, allowing users to map their gateway APIs to any back-end whether it uses REST or gRPC.
According to solo.io's founder, Idit Levine, this new functionality can help developers transition from older RESTful APIs to gRPC services in a gradual manner.
Levine says that gRPC APIs "are a natural choice for greenfield microservices" but their use is still nascent because many clients don't support the gRPC protocol. A number of challenges stand in the way of broader gRPC adoption, including the need to upgrade from HTTP/1 to HTTP/2 and from JSON to protobuf, a binary data interchange format developed by Google.
Gloo includes service discovery functionality that can automatically detect gRPC services and the functions they make available, which can speed routing. The discovery service can is also capable of automatically generating the proto files and descriptors protobuf relies on.
To help developers get up to speed with the JSON-to-gRPC use case, solo.io has posted sample code for a JSON-to-gRPC bridge.