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Overview

The purpose of this document is to list all the features that we believe are useful for gRPC users.

We would like your feedback! Please tell us which features you would most want to see, so that we can prioritize the work to either publish Google's existing solutions or develop some of the features directly in the open-source repo. For the latter case, please mention if you are interested in contributing to any of the road-map features :)

Survey link

Background

gRPC-Web has been developed internally at Google as part of the future front-end stacks for Google's Web applications and cloud services. Over time we plan to open-source and publish most of the features and make them available to gRPC users.

Like everywhere, Web platforms and technologies are constantly evolving, often with many inter-dependent ecosystems. As much as we like to open-source everything, we also need keep the balance between creating a reusable and stable open-source solution and meeting those requirements unique to Google's Web ecosystems or their applications (such as search).

Roadmap Features (in no particular order)

Non-Binary Message Encoding

The binary protobuf encoding format is not most CPU efficient for browser clients. Furthermore, the generated code size increases as the total protobuf definition increases.

For Google's Web applications (e.g. gmail), we use a JSON like format which is comparable to JSON in efficiency but also very compact in both the message size and code size.

Streaming-Friendly Transport Implementation

Currently the gRPC-Web client library uses XHR to ensure cross-browser support and to support platforms such as React-Native.

We do plan to add fetch/streams support at some point, which is more efficient for binary streams and incurs less memory overhead on the client-side.

However, fetch still has certain gaps compared to XHR, most notably the lack of cancellation support. Progressing events, I/O event throttling are other concerns.

Bidi Support

As WebSocket over HTTP/2 becomes more available, we may add bidi support over WebSockets.

At the same time, please tell us your exact use case, and maybe explain why server-streaming is insufficient.

Security

We plan to publish a comprehensive guideline doc on how to create secure Web applications.

Native support such as XSRF, XSS prevention may also be added to the gRPC-Web protocol.

Compression

Do you need request compression? Brotli?

CORS

We plan to support CORS preflight as specified in PROTOCOL-WEB.md.

Local Proxies

In-process proxies will eliminate the need to deploy an extra proxy such as Nginx.

We have plans to add proxy support in Python, Java, Node, C++ etc. Let us know if you are interested in implementing any language-specific in-process gRPC-Web proxy.

To minimize maintenance overhead, we don't have any plan to add gRPC-Web support to any new HTTP reverse proxies other than Nginx and Envoy.

Web Framework Integration

This is to provide first-class support for gRPC API and gRPC-Web in popular Web frameworks such as Angular.

Note Dart gRPC will be using gRPC-Web as the underlying implementation on the Dart Web platform.

TypeScript Support

We now have experimental TypeScript Support! See the main README for more information.

Non-Closure compiler support

With the addition of CommonJS style imports, gRPC-Web client stubs can now be compiled with various tools such as Browserify, Webpack, etc. Let us know what else we should try!

Web UI Support

This allows the user to construct and submit a gRPC request directly using the browser.

We need define a standard look & feel for creating and rendering nested protobuf messages.