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In this example, we want to demonstrate the interactions between Protobufs and Diesel.

The aim is to utilize protoc generated data structures, and carry that representation from a client over grpc to a backend and into the database through Diesel.

cargo install diesel_cli --features postgres

The example command line tool uses proto models on client and server-side. The story: The client side has an oil ordering tool. (Oil, bc get it...? protobufs + diesel, har har...)

We'll have 2 initial actions:

  • Order a user-specified quantity, and a user-specified product of oil to a refinery
    • For the sake of this narrative, oil for these jobs is going to be magical, and infinite. For the purposes of having a regular shaped object to add into the DB.
  • Look at status of an order
    • In a high-level summary
      • List the shipments, and time of order
    • In a per-shipment detail
      • Show a report of the single order

We want to highlight the following interactions:

  • Getting user input from the command line, and marshalling into a protobuf derived type (I'm calling this "proto-native").
  • Connecting to a backend grpc server, and sending/recieving proto-native data
  • Receiving data from the client, and marshalling into a proto-native type
  • Reading/Writing rust native types into the database


w/ TLS support (Most likely the version you want)

The version of pingcap's grpc library that compiles w/ TLS support is only in their github repo at the time of writing.

git clone
cd grpc-rs
git submodule update --init --recursive

w/o TLS support

You need to switch the reference to the grpcio dependency. See Cargo.toml

Compiling the protos, and importing proto rust code

The example is used to compile the protos. In our Cargo.toml, there are references for the proto-rust code as a library, and a for import paths to use in and

The rough script

# Install protobuf and all its other stuff on Macos
brew install protobuf

# Init grpc-rs
git clone
pushd grpc-rs
git submodule update --init --recursive

# Start postgres
docker-compose up -d

pushd workspace

# Install the database schema
diesel migration run

# In 2 terminals:

# Terminal 1: Backend
cargo run --bin backend

# Terminal 2: Client
cargo run --bin client -- order 1 diesel
cargo run --bin client -- summary

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