The micro api is an api gateway

Use the API gateway pattern to provide a single public entry point for your services. The micro api serves HTTP and dynamically routes using service discovery.


The micro api is a HTTP api. Requests to the API are served over HTTP and routed via service discovery. It builds on go-micro, leveraging it for service discovery, load balancing, encoding and RPC based communication.

Because the micro api uses go-micro internally, this also makes it pluggable. See go-plugins for support for gRPC, kubernetes, etcd, nats, rabbitmq and more. Additionally it makes use of go-api which allows handlers to be configured too.


go get -u


# Default port 8080
micro api


Serve securely by default using ACME via Let’s Encrypt

MICRO_ENABLE_ACME=true micro api

Optionally specify a host whitelist

micro api

Set TLS Certificate

The API supports serving securely with TLS certificates

MICRO_TLS_CERT_FILE=/path/to/cert \
MICRO_TLS_KEY_FILE=/path/to/key \
micro api

Set Namespace

The API makes use of namespaces to logically separate backend and public facing services. The namespace and http path are used to resolve service name/method e.g GET /foo HTTP/1.1 routes to service name

The default namespace is go.micro.api and can be changed like so

MICRO_NAMESPACE=com.example.api micro api

To disable the namespace set it to be a blank space. This is a hack we’ll look to fix.



Here we have an example of a 3 tier architecture

  • micro api: (localhost:8080) - serving as the http entry point
  • api service: (go.micro.api.greeter) - serving a public facing api
  • backend service: (go.micro.srv.greeter) - internally scoped service

The full example is at examples/greeter

Run Example

# Download example
git clone

# Start the service
go run examples/greeter/srv/main.go

# Start the API
go run examples/greeter/api/api.go

# Start the micro api
micro api


Make a HTTP call via the micro api

curl "http://localhost:8080/greeter/say/hello?name=John"

The HTTP path /greeter/say/hello maps to service go.micro.api.greeter method Say.Hello

Bypass the api service and call the backend directly via /rpc

curl -d 'service=go.micro.srv.greeter' \
     -d 'method=Say.Hello' \
     -d 'request={"name": "John"}' \

Make the same call entirely as JSON

curl -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
     -d '{"service": "go.micro.srv.greeter", "method": "Say.Hello", "request": {"name": "John"}}' \


The micro api provides the following HTTP api

- /[service]/[method]	# HTTP paths are dynamically mapped to services
- /rpc			# Explicitly call a backend service by name and method

See below for examples


Handlers are HTTP handlers which manage request routing.

The default handler uses endpoint metadata from the registry to determine service routes. If a route match is not found it will fallback to the “rpc” handler. You can configure routes on registration using the go-api.

The API has the following configurable request handlers.

  • api - Handles any HTTP request. Gives full control over the http request/response via RPC.
  • rpc - Handles json and protobuf POST requests. Forwards as RPC.
  • proxy - Handles HTTP and forwards as a reverse proxy.
  • event - Handles any HTTP request and publishes to a message bus.
  • web - HTTP reverse proxy which includes web sockets.

Optionally bypass the handlers with the /rpc endpoint

API Handler

The API handler serves any HTTP requests and forwards on as an RPC request with a specific format.

  • Content-Type: Any
  • Body: Any
  • Forward Format: api.Request/api.Response
  • Path: /[service]/[method]
  • Resolver: Path is used to resolve service and method
  • Configure: Flag --handler=api or env var MICRO_API_HANDLER=api

RPC Handler

The RPC handler serves json or protobuf HTTP POST requests and forwards as an RPC request.

  • Content-Type: application/json or application/protobuf
  • Body: JSON or Protobuf
  • Forward Format: json-rpc or proto-rpc based on content
  • Path: /[service]/[method]
  • Resolver: Path is used to resolve service and method
  • Configure: Flag --handler=rpc or env var MICRO_API_HANDLER=rpc
  • The default handler when no handler is specified

Proxy Handler

The proxy handler is a http reserve proxy with built in service discovery.

  • Content-Type: Any
  • Body: Any
  • Forward Format: HTTP Reverse proxy
  • Path: /[service]
  • Resolver: Path is used to resolve service name
  • Configure: Flag --handler=proxy or env var MICRO_API_HANDLER=proxy
  • REST can be implemented behind the API as microservices

Event Handler

The event handler serves HTTP and forwards the request as a message over a message bus using the go-micro broker.

  • Content-Type: Any
  • Body: Any
  • Forward Format: Request is formatted as go-api/proto.Event
  • Path: /[topic]/[event]
  • Resolver: Path is used to resolve topic and event name
  • Configure: Flag --handler=event or env var MICRO_API_HANDLER=event

Web Handler

The web handler is a http reserve proxy with built in service discovery and web socket support.

  • Content-Type: Any
  • Body: Any
  • Forward Format: HTTP Reverse proxy including web sockets
  • Path: /[service]
  • Resolver: Path is used to resolve service name
  • Configure: Flag --handler=web or env var MICRO_API_HANDLER=web

RPC endpoint

The /rpc endpoint let’s you bypass the main handler to speak to any service directly

  • Request Params
    • service - sets the service name
    • method - sets the service method
    • request - the request body
    • address - optionally specify host address to target

Example call:

curl -d 'service=go.micro.srv.greeter' \
     -d 'method=Say.Hello' \
     -d 'request={"name": "Bob"}' \

Find working examples in


Micro dynamically routes to services using a namespace value and the HTTP path.

The default namespace is go.micro.api. Set namespace via --namespace or MICRO_NAMESPACE=.

The resolvers used are explained below.

RPC Resolver

RPC services have a name (go.micro.api.greeter) and a method (Greeter.Hello).

URLs are resolved as follows:

Path Service Method
/foo/bar Foo.Bar
/foo/bar/baz Bar.Baz
/foo/bar/baz/cat Baz.Cat

Versioned API URLs can easily be mapped to service names:

Path Service Method
/foo/bar Foo.Bar
/v1/foo/bar Foo.Bar
/v1/foo/bar/baz Bar.Baz
/v2/foo/bar Foo.Bar
/v2/foo/bar/baz Bar.Baz

Proxy Resolver

With the proxy handler we only need to deal with resolving the service name. So the resolution differs slightly to the RPC resolver.

URLS are resolved as follows:

Path Service Service Path
/foo /foo
/foo/bar /foo/bar
/greeter go.micro.api.greeter /greeter
/greeter/:name go.micro.api.greeter /greeter/:name