An existing REST-based microservice, a new requirement to use gRPC, a team under pressure to ship… In this talk, we describe how we moved backing Watson Discovery microservices from REST to gRPC and the lessons we learned in the process.
The APIs for components in fine-grained service-oriented architectures strongly influence the eventual properties expressed in the system. REST over HTTP is a popular choice for microservices APIs because it promotes openness, self-discovery, and simplicity. One alternative to REST is gRPC, an implementation of Protobuf. As an RPC-based API, gRPC inhibits openness and self-discovery but promotes performance and, depending on the implementation, can provide stronger compile-time (or at least call-time) guarantees, which help developers avoid mistakes. By the end of this talk, attendees will know