Skip to main content
Version: 0.5.x

Generated Code Reference

Packages and code location

For each proto file that contains services definition, ZIO gRPC generates a Scala object that will contain service definitions for all services in that file. The object name would be the proto file name prefixed with Zio. It would reside in the same Scala package that ScalaPB will use for definitions in that file.

You can read more on how ScalaPB determines the Scala package name and how can this be customized in ScalaPB's documentation.

Service trait

Inside the object, for each service ServiceName that is defined in a .proto file, the following structure is generated:

trait ZServiceName[R, Context] {
// methods for each RPC
def sayHello(request: HelloRequest):
ZIO[R with Context, Status, HelloReply]
type ServiceName = ZServiceName[Any, Any]

The trait ZServiceName is to be extended when implementing a server for this service. The trait takes two type parameters: R and Context:

  • R representes the dependencies of the service. All the effects being returned by these methods depend on R to encode this dependency.
  • Context represents any domain object that you would like your RPC methods to have available in the environment.

You can set both R and Context to be Any when implementing a service to indicate that the service does not have any dependencies or expectations from the environment. Since it is very common situation, especially when getting started, you can have your service implementation extends ServiceName which is a type alias to ZServiceName[Any, Any]:

trait ServiceNameImpl extends ServiceName {

Learn more about using context and dependencies in the next section.


Why Any means that there are no dependencies? All Scala objects are instances of Any. Therefore, any object that is provided as a dependency to our service would satisfy being of type Any. In other words, there is no specific instance type required.

Running the server

The easiest way to run a service, is to create an object that extends scalapb.zio_grpc.ServerMain:

import scalapb.zio_grpc.{ServerMain, ServiceList}

object MyMain extends ServerMain {
def services = ServiceList.add(ServiceNameImpl)

// Default port is 9000
override def port: Int = 8980

You can also override def port: Int to set a port number (by default port 9000 is used).

ServiceList contains additional methods to add services to the service list that can be used when the service must be created effectfully, or wrapped in a managed, or provided to you as a layer.

Client trait

The generated client follows ZIO's module pattern:

type ServiceNameClient = Has[ServiceNameClient.Service]
object ServiceNameClient {
trait ZService[R] {
// methods for use as a client
def sayHello(request: HelloRequest):
ZIO[R, Status, HelloReply]
type Service = ZService[Any]

// accessor methods
def sayHello(request: HelloRequest):
ZIO[ServiceNameClient, Status, HelloReply]

def managed[R](
managedChannel: ZManagedChannel[R],
options: CallOptions =
headers: zio.UIO[SafeMetadata] =
): zio.Managed[Throwable, ZService[R]]

def live[R](
managedChannel: ZManagedChannel[R],
options: CallOptions =
headers: zio.UIO[scalapb.zio_grpc.SafeMetadata] =
): zio.ZLayer[R, Throwable, ServiceNameClient]

We have two ways to use a client: through a managed resource, or through a layer. In both cases, we start by creating a ZManagedChannel, which represents a communication channel to a gRPC server as a managed resource. Since it is wrapped in ZIO's Managed, proper shutdown of the channel is guaranteed:

type ZManagedChannel[R] = Managed[Throwable, ZChannel[R]]

Creating a channel:

import scalapb.zio_grpc.ZManagedChannel
import io.grpc.ManagedChannelBuilder

val channel = ZManagedChannel(
.forAddress("localhost", 8980)
// channel: ZManagedChannel[Any] = zio.ZManaged$$anon$2@69497154

Using the client as a layer

A single ZManagedChannel represent a virtual connection to a conceptual endpoint to perform RPCs. A channel can have many actual connection to the endpoint. Therefore, it is very common to have a single service client for each RPC service you need to connect to. You can create a ZLayer to provide this service using the live method on the client companion object. Then simply write your logic using the accessor methods. Finally, inject the layer using provideCustomLayer at the top of your app:

import myexample.testservice.ZioTestservice.ServiceNameClient
import myexample.testservice.{Request, Response}
import zio._
import zio.console._

// create layer:
val clientLayer =
// clientLayer: ZLayer[Any, Throwable, Has[ServiceNameClient.ZService[Any, Any]]] = Managed(
// self = zio.ZManaged$$anon$2@25f8138d
// )

val myAppLogicNeedsEnv = for {
// use layer through accessor methods:
res <- ServiceNameClient.unary(Request())
_ <- putStrLn(res.toString)
} yield ()
// myAppLogicNeedsEnv: ZIO[Has[ServiceNameClient.ZService[Any, Any]] with Any with Console, Object, Unit] = zio.ZIO$FlatMap@2aacd69

// myAppLogicNeedsEnv needs access to a ServiceNameClient. We turn it into
// a self-contained effect (IO) by providing the layer to it:
val myAppLogic1 = myAppLogicNeedsEnv.provideCustomLayer(clientLayer)
// myAppLogic1: ZIO[ZEnv, Object, Unit] = zio.ZIO$CheckInterrupt@71b27fca

object LayeredApp extends zio.App {
def run(args: List[String]): URIO[ZEnv, ExitCode] = myAppLogic1.exitCode

Here the application is broken to multiple value assignments so you can see the types. The first effect myAppLogicNeedsEnv uses accessor functions, which makes it depend on an environment of type ServiceNameClient. It chains the unary RPC with printing the result to the console, and hence the final inferred effect type is ServiceNameClient with Console. Once we provide our custom layer, the effect type is ZEnv, which we can use with ZIO's run method.

Using a Managed Client

As an alternative to using ZLayer, you can use the client through a managed resource:

import myexample.testservice.ZioTestservice.ServiceNameClient
import myexample.testservice.{Request, Response}

val clientManaged = ServiceNameClient.managed(channel)
// clientManaged: Managed[Throwable, ServiceNameClient.ZService[Any, Any]] = zio.ZManaged$$anon$2@66c5251c

val myAppLogic = for {
res <- clientManaged.use(
client =>
} yield res
// myAppLogic: ZIO[Any with Any, Throwable, Response] = zio.ZIO$FlatMap@1a4cd330

Since the service acquistion (through the ZManaged) can fail with a Throwable, and the RPC effects of ZIO gRPC can fail with Status (which is not a subtype of Throwable), we use mapError to map the RPC error to a StatusRuntimeException. This way, the resulting effect can fail with a Throwable.