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Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

Use the Golioth Firmware SDK for all Zephyr projects

The Golioth Zephyr SDK is deprecated. Please use the Golioth Firmware SDK. (Migration Guide)

The Golioth Remote Procedure Call (RPC) allows a server-side command to execute a function on the remote device, including supplying input parameters and receiving output data from the function. RPC is handy for things like executing a device reset, or running a function with input that was not available at compile time.


#include <net/golioth/system_client.h>
#include <net/golioth/rpc.h>
#include <qcbor/qcbor.h>
#include <qcbor/qcbor_spiffy_decode.h>

Including the Golioth System Client, RPC, and QCbor header files makes the Golioth API and helper functions available to your program.

Registering a callback

static void golioth_on_connect(struct golioth_client *client)
int err = golioth_rpc_register(client, "multiply", on_multiply, NULL);

if (err) {
LOG_ERR("Failed to register RPC: %d", err);

Use the golioth_rpc_register() function to register a callback that will execute asynchronously when an RPC request is received from the Golioth Cloud. Required parameters are the Golioth Client object, the method name (as a string), the name of the callback function, and an optional user-defined parameter.

Register RPC callbacks whenever connected

We recommend that this callback be registered in the client->on_connect callback that runs each time the device connects to Golioth. This way, the device will register the RPC at every reconnect.

Callback function

static enum golioth_rpc_status on_multiply(QCBORDecodeContext *request_params_array,
QCBOREncodeContext *response_detail_map,
void *callback_arg)
double a, b;
double value;
QCBORError qerr;

QCBORDecode_GetDouble(request_params_array, &a);
QCBORDecode_GetDouble(request_params_array, &b);
qerr = QCBORDecode_GetError(request_params_array);
if (qerr != QCBOR_SUCCESS) {
LOG_ERR("Failed to decode array items: %d (%s)", qerr, qcbor_err_to_str(qerr));

value = a * b;
QCBOREncode_AddDoubleToMap(response_detail_map, "value", value);

Golioth uses CBOR serialization to transfer RPC information between the device and the server. This conserves bandwidth and radio-on time (battery) by keeping the data transfer as small as possible.

If input parameters were included in the RPC message they can be extracted from the request_params_array object. Any return values should be encoded in the response_detail_map.

The callback is responsible for returning the GOLIOTH_RPC_OK status message to the Golioth servers indicating that the RPC was successful, or an error status indicating why it was not. There are a number of different error status messages that can be returned. View the golioth_rpc_status enumeration in the Golioth Zephyr SDK reference for more information.


Send an RPC request from the Golioth Console

Once the firmware is running, an RPC request can be sent from the device-level "Remote Procedure Call" tab in the Golioth Console (shown above) or via a call to our REST API.

RPC response received from the device

The status of the RPC request is shown in the same tab. The response can be viewed by clicking the three-dot button in the "Recent calls" list.

The best example of Remote Procedure Call is found in the RPC sample code.

Further documentation of the device SDK is available in the Golioth Zephyr SDK Reference (Doxygen).