Introduction to Protocol Buffers on iOS

Protocol buffers are a language-agnostic method for serializing structured data that can be used as an alternative to XML or JSON in your iOS apps. By Vincent Ngo.

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Where to Go From Here?

You can download the finished project here.

In this tutorial, you have learned about the basic features of protocol buffers, how to define a .proto file and generate Swift code with the compiler. You also learned how to startup a small local server using Flask, where you created a service to send a protocol buffer binary to the client, and how effortless it was to deserialize the data.

There is much more to protocol buffers, such as defining maps in messages and dealing with backwards compatibility. If you are interested in learning more, please check out Google’s documentation.

Lastly another interesting thing to explore is Remote Procedure Calls which work well with protocol buffers. Check it out at GRPC.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to join the discussion below!