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Using clients

Connect-Web ships with two client shapes, one with classic callbacks, one that is promise based. You create a client for a service using one of the provided constructor functions, and you do not need to generate additional code.

Promises

We have already been using the function createPromiseClient in the tutorial. The function gives us a client that uses ECMAScript promise objects. In combination with the await keyword, this lets you write asynchronous code in a natural and easily readable way:

import { createPromiseClient } from "@bufbuild/connect-web";
import { ElizaService } from "@buf/bufbuild_connect-web_bufbuild_eliza/buf/connect/demo/eliza/v1/eliza_connectweb";

const client = createPromiseClient(ElizaService, transport);

const res = await client.say({
sentence: "I feel happy.",
});
console.log(res.sentence);

For server-streaming RPCs, the corresponding method on the client will return an async iterable stream of response messages that can be used with the for await...of statement:

for await (const res of client.introduce({ name: "Joseph" })) {
console.log(res);
}

Callbacks

If you prefer a callback-based approach, the client returned by the function createCallbackClient should suit you:

import { createCallbackClient } from "@bufbuild/connect-web";
import { ElizaService } from "@buf/bufbuild_connect-web_bufbuild_eliza/buf/connect/demo/eliza/v1/eliza_connectweb";

const client = createCallbackClient(ElizaService, transport);

client.say({ sentence: "I feel happy." }, (err, res) => {
if (!err) {
console.log(res.sentence);
}
});

For server-streaming RPCs, the corresponding method on the client takes two callback functions: one that is called every time a response message arrives, and one that is called at the end of the stream.

import {ConnectError} from "@bufbuild/connect-web";

client.introduce({name: "Joseph"}, (res) => {
console.log(res);
}, (err?: ConnectError) => {
if (err) {
console.error(err);
}
});

The callback client is particularly useful if you want to migrate an existing code base from gRPC-web to Connect-Web.

Managing clients and transports

In practice, you will likely want to avoid creating a new transport every time you want to use a client. It really depends on the framework of your choice, but there usually is a simple solution to avoid repetition.

For example, you can easily create a custom hook in React:

// use-client.ts
import { useMemo } from "react";
import { ServiceType } from "@bufbuild/protobuf";
import {
createConnectTransport,
createPromiseClient,
PromiseClient,
} from "@bufbuild/connect-web";

// This transport is going to be used throughout the app
const transport = createConnectTransport({
baseUrl: "https://demo.connect.build",
});

/**
* Get a promise client for the given service.
*/
export function useClient<T extends ServiceType>(service: T): PromiseClient<T> {
// We memoize the client, so that we only create one instance per service.
return useMemo(() => createPromiseClient(service, transport), [service]);
}

Usage:

await useClient(ElizaService).say({sentence: "I feel happy."});

Roll your own client

If you find that neither client suits your needs perfectly, it might be an option for you to roll your own. For example, you might prefer Rust-style result types over promise rejections, and could write your own constructor function that uses the neverthrow library for method return values.

Implementing a client constructor takes about 100 lines of code. By convention, every client constructor function must accept call options, and should be named provideXClient.

Connect-Web provides some helpful utilities to implement your own clients. Take a look at the implementation of promise-client.ts to get started.