Google Releases 'Protocol Buffers' Data Language - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
7/7/2008
07:39 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Faster, More Effective Response With Threat Intelligence & Orchestration Playboo
Aug 31, 2017
Finding ways to increase speed, accuracy, and efficiency when responding to threats should be the ...Read More>>

Google Releases 'Protocol Buffers' Data Language

Google's documentation claims that Protocol Buffers are 3 to 10 times smaller than comparable XML files and can be parsed 20 to 100 times faster.

Google on Monday released "Protocol Buffers," an open source data description language that the company developed for internal use. Think of it as XML's cousin, but simpler, smaller, and faster.

"It's the way we encode almost any sort of structured information which needs to be passed across the network or stored on disk," said Chris DiBona, Google's open source programs manager, in a blog post. "We thought Protocol Buffers might be useful to other people, too, so we've decided to release it as open source software."

Google software engineer Kenton Varda, in a post on the Google open source blog, said that Google uses literally thousands of different data formats, most of which are structured. Encoding these data formats on a massive scale is too much for XML, so Google developed Protocol Buffers.

Varda compares Protocol Buffers to an Interface Description Language (IDL), without the complexity. "[O]ne of Protocol Buffers' major design goals is simplicity," said Varda. "By sticking to a simple lists-and-records model that solves the majority of problems and resisting the desire to chase diminishing returns, we believe we have created something that is powerful without being bloated. And, yes, it is very fast -- at least an order of magnitude faster than XML."

Google's documentation claims that Protocol Buffers are 3 to 10 times smaller than comparable XML files and can be parsed 20 to 100 times faster.

XML remains a better choice for files like text-documents. XML is intended to be human-readable and human-editable. A Protocol Buffer requires a .proto file message definition to be understood.

The free download that Google is offering includes the complete source code for the Java, Python, and C++ protocol buffer compilers.

In the online FAQs for Protocol Buffers, Google says that it has many other software projects that it intends to release as open source. Because those projects require Protocol Buffers, the company opted to release Protocol Buffers first.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll