This package is a kit of pure Dart utility classes and methods for JSON-RPC clients and servers in Dart. You just provide the actual communications protocols. Instructions, examples, and tests are provided.

JSON-RPC is a JSON unicode grammar for calling methods on a remote server and getting responses back. The specification is at https://jsonrpc.org.


JSON-RPC is divided into client and server responsibilities. This package does the fussy part of the JSON-RPC 2.0 specification, with failover to 1.0 for the server.


Like the specification, the client implementation does not specify transport details for the client. One needs to create a class extended from ServerProxyBase to actually send method requests and receive responses. Look in Examples for common use cases, or see below for step-by-step instructions.

Once instantiated, a client proxy may call methods on the server using the call method of the proxy, and receive a response. It is a client responsibility to match the server's API.

Future<dynamic> call(String method, [dynamic params])
  • proxy.call('method_a') // no args

  • proxy.call('method_b', arg1) // one arg, general case

  • proxy.call('method_c', arg1) // one arg, arg is neither [] nor {}

  • proxy.call('method_d', arg1, arg2, arg3) // more than one arg

  • proxy.call('method_e', [item1, item2, item3, item4]) // one arg, arg is []

  • proxy.call('method_f', {'a': 'hello', 'b': 'world'}) // one arg, arg is {}

  • proxy.call('method_g', {'name_a':value_a,'name_b':value_b}) // named args

Creating a Client (ServerProxy) Class

  1. Import the client library.
import 'package:jsonrpc2/jsonrpc2.dart';
import 'package:rpc_exceptions/rpc_exceptions.dart';
  1. Create a server proxy class, extended from ServerProxyBase, initialized with a server resource. resource may be used in the transmit method.
class MyServerProxy extends ServerProxyBase {
  /// constructor. extend this, if you want, then superize properly
  MyServerProxy(resource) // resource can be anything
      : super(resource);
  1. In your server proxy class override the transmit method, which sends a String to the remote JSON-RPC server and returns the returned string. You may use the server resource identified earlier.
/// Return a Future with the JSON-RPC response. Use a real transport,
/// like package:http instead of imaginary ExampleTransport.
  Future<String> transmit(String package) async {

    // for example, create a transport using a string resource name. 
    var transport = ExampleTransport(resource);

    // send the package using the transport, and await response
    var response = await transport.send(package);

    // return the String response for further processing
    return response;
  1. Use an instance of your server proxy to call a method on that endpoint, and do something with the result.
  /// get the item in the server's list that follows this item
  MyViewItem nextItem (String lastItemId) async {
    var remoteSite = MyServerProxy('https://example.org/');
    var item = await remoteSite.call('nextItem', lastItemId);
    // Or, if you have mirrored the server API in your proxy, 
    // var nextItem = await remoteSite.nextItem(lastItemId);  // nice!
    return MyViewItem.fromJson(item);


Example JSON-RPC Client using http.dart from pub.dev: http_client

more examples

Client Notifications

JSON-RPC supports the concept of notifications. A notification is for calling a method on the remote server without requiring a response. Do this by calling a remote method using notify instead of call with your client (or server proxy).

void notify(String method, [dynamic params])

The JSON-RPC specification requires that no there will be no response to notifications. Some transports, like HTTP, always return a response. You may handle this appropriately in the overridden transmit method of your server proxy. For HTTP, my examples return an empty string or 204 status from the server, and the server proxy returns an empty string. Regardless, the notify method of a ServerProxyBase does not return anything.

Batch Requests

JSON-RPC V2 supports batching several method requests into a single transport request.

To support this on a client, after you have created your client (server proxy) class, do the following

  1. Create a client BatchServerProxy class, using your client ServerProxy class as instance proxy.
/// see the documentation in [BatchServerProxyBase]
class MyBatchServerProxy extends BatchServerProxyBase {
  dynamic proxy;

  /// constructor
  MyBatchServerProxy(String url, [customHeaders = const <String, String>{}]) {
    proxy = MyServerProxy(url, customHeaders);
  1. Using your BatchServerProxy class, call an arbitrary number methods, like you are using the normal proxy. Then send the methods as a batch.
/// call a bunch of methods to return three items
  List threeItems () async {
    var remoteSite = MyBatchServerProxy('https://example.org/');
    var item1 = remoteSite.call('firstItem');
    var item2 = remoteSite.call('secondItem');
    remoteSite.notify('happyLog', 'I hope the last item comes through!');
    var item3 = remoteSite.call('lastItem');
    // Or, if you have mirrored the server API in your proxy, 
    // var item1 = remoteSite.item1();  // ...etc.

    // now, send the request to the server.
    await remoteSite.send();

    // now do something with the Futures from the calls.
    return [fromJson(await item1), fromJson(await item2), fromJson(await item3)]

Server Basics

The server library decodes JSON-RPC request packages and allows association of the JSON-RPC request with an object that calls the remote methods, and returns a result. Network and transport issues are outside the scope of this implementation. That said, this is designed to be fairly easy with the transport or framework you are using. It's just a method that uses a dispatcher. In a server implementation, make an endpoint for a particular Dispatcher, and use these utilities to decode the request and package the result.

This server implementation uses a Dispatcher concept. Essentially, a dispatcher is an instantiated class that contains the remote methods to be called at an endpoint. The server accepts a call request, deconstructs the JSON, then creates or associates a dispatcher to call the method on that instance, with the requested parameters. The returned value (or exception) is assembled in JSON as a response and sent back to the client.

  • Import the server library
import 'package:jsonrpc2/jsonrpc2.dart';
  • Create a class implementing the service methods at an endpoint. Just about any class with methods will do. example api class, and import it, if it is in a different file.
import 'rpc_methods.dart';
  • make a method for your listener that accepts JSON-RPC strings from the client. This string may be, for example, the body of a HTTP POST. Within this method, use this library's jsonRpc method to associate the string with the Dispatcher, which performs the method. The jsonRpc method will ultimately produce a string, which should be sent back to the client as a response.

The jsonRpc method has the following signature.

Future<String> jsonRpc(String request, Dispatcher dispatcher)

-- request is a JSON-RPC request string, the request from the client.

-- a dispatcher meets the Dispatcher interface. You will want to use one of the following:

These two implementations work equivalently. Mirror_dispatcher is easier to use, but it uses dart:mirrors, which cannot be used inside a flutter app. There may be other trade-offs.

Example server using shelf_io and mirror_dispatcher

Example server using shelf_io and reflector_dispatcher

more examples (server example names start with 'server2')