ASP.NET Tutorial : Understanding and Making Use of Middleware in Applications

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What exactly is middleware?
As the name implies, middleware resides in the center of your application's workflow, between incoming requests and outgoing responses. It provides a gateway via which you can add additional logic before and after an HTTP request. This means you can modify and improve the way your application interacts with customers and processes data.

 What is the purpose of Middleware?

Middleware is extremely adaptable and may be used for a variety of applications, increasing the power and efficiency of your online application. Here are some examples of common middleware applications.

  1. Caching: Middleware can store and retrieve frequently used data, lowering server load and increasing response times.
  2. Logging: You may capture and analyze data about requests and responses, which is useful for debugging and monitoring the performance of your application.
  3. Middleware can help direct requests to the relevant areas of your application, ensuring they reach the necessary handlers.
  4. Static Files: Serve static files like as images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files without the need for special code.
  5. Rate Limiting: Limit the number of queries a client can make to your server to avoid abuse and ensure equitable usage.
  6. Compression: Compress answers to save bandwidth and improve loading speeds, especially when dealing with big amounts of data such as photos or videos.
  7. Implement security checks to ensure that only authenticated and authorized users can access particular areas of your application.
  8. Middleware can manage user authentication, which simplifies the process of confirming user identities.
  9. Error Handling: Customize error answers to give clients with useful information or log errors for later study.
  10. Content Type Negotiation: Tailor replies to the client's desired content type, whether HTML, JSON, XML, or another.
  11. CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing): Manage cross-origin requests to enable secure data sharing between domains.

Making Middleware
Now that you understand the value and variety of middleware, let's look at how to develop it. There are three popular ways to accomplish this.

  • Request Delegate: This method entails creating a piece of middleware that handles an HTTP request explicitly. It is the most fundamental type of middleware.
  • By convention: Some middleware is automatically added by your framework or application in accordance with specified norms. Routing middleware, for example, can be introduced without having to create specific code for each route.
  • Middleware Factory: This method allows you to create middleware in a factory-like manner. You create a function that builds middleware with customized settings or behavior. 

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
using System;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

public class LoggingMiddleware
    private readonly RequestDelegate _next;

    public LoggingMiddleware(RequestDelegate next)
        _next = next;

    public async Task Invoke(HttpContext context)
        // Log information about the incoming request
        Console.WriteLine($"Request: {context.Request.Method} {context.Request.Path}");

        // Call the next middleware in the pipeline
        await _next(context);

        // You can also log information about the response here
        Console.WriteLine($"Response Status Code: {context.Response.StatusCode}");

public static class LoggingMiddlewareExtensions
    public static IApplicationBuilder UseLoggingMiddleware(this IApplicationBuilder builder)
        return builder.UseMiddleware<LoggingMiddleware>();

public class Startup
    public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
        app.UseLoggingMiddleware(); // Add our custom logging middleware
        app.Run(async (context) =>
            await context.Response.WriteAsync("Hello, Middleware!");

We construct a LoggingMiddleware class with an Invoke function that logs the incoming request, runs the next middleware in the pipeline, and optionally logs the response.
To make it easy to add our custom middleware to the pipeline, we built the extension function UseLoggingMiddleware.
Using app, we add our custom middleware to the Startup class.Use LoggingMiddleware() to record information about each incoming request and response.

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