If you’re a developer working with ASP.NET, you’ve likely heard the term “middleware” thrown around quite a bit. But what exactly is it, and why is it so important? Put simply, middleware in ASP.NET is a crucial software component that is responsible for handling HTTP requests and responses within the web application pipeline.

In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into what middleware is, what benefits it can offer, and how you can start using it in your own ASP.NET projects.

Why Middleware?

Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just getting started with ASP.NET, understanding middleware is essential to building robust and reliable web applications.

Before getting into the core functionality of the Middleware in ASP.Net, let’s uncover some of its notable benefits:

  • Reusability: Middleware components can be reused across multiple parts of an application, making it easier to share functionality and keep code organized.
  • Separation of Concerns: Middleware components allow developers to separate concerns such as authentication, logging, and error handling into separate components. This improves the maintainability and testability of the codebase.
  • Customization: Middleware components can be customized to meet specific requirements. For example, a logging middleware component can be configured to log requests and responses to a specific destination, such as a file or a database.
  • Pipeline Execution: Middleware components are executed in a specific order, allowing developers to control the request-handling process. This makes it possible to add or remove components as needed to modify the request-handling behaviour.
  • Performance: Middleware components can be used to implement caching, compression, and other performance optimizations, improving the performance of an application.
Middleware in ASP.NET
Middleware in ASP.NET

How to Use Middleware in ASP.Net?

Eager to learn how Middleware is used in ASP.Net? We have a step-by-step procedure right here for you:

Open the ASP.Net Project

First, create a new ASP.NET project in Visual Studio.

Open the Startup.cs File and Add Malware Components

First things first, let’s open up the “Startup.cs” file. That’s the one where the Configure method is hiding. This is where you’ll be able to add your middleware components. Once you’re in the Configure method, you can add in whatever middleware component you want to use. 

So let’s say you’re trying to handle authentication. Just copy and paste this code snippet:


Add Custom Malware Components

You can also add custom middleware components containing code snippets. To do this, create a new class file in the project and add your middleware code. Here’s an example:

using System.Threading.Tasks;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
public class MyMiddleware
    private readonly RequestDelegate _next;
    public MyMiddleware(RequestDelegate next)
        _next = next;
    public async Task InvokeAsync(HttpContext context)
        // Add your code here
        await _next(context);

Now, add that custom middleware in the pipeline as follows:

public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
    // Add the custom middleware to the pipeline
    // Add other middleware components here...

Now, what’s after that? Build/Run the application to test the functionality of the middleware.

Adding Third-Party Middleware Components

Apart from the custom middleware components, you can add third-party middleware components. For this, you need to install the middleware component using the Nuget package manager. As an example, the following code is executed: 


To add the Microsoft.AspNetCore.StaticFiles middleware component, you could add the following code:


After that, save the changes in the “Startup.cs,” and the middleware component will be executed for all incoming requests. 

Wrap Up

Middleware in ASP.NET is a simple and powerful way to build web applications that are easy to maintain, test, and customize. You have learned the purpose/benefit of the Middleware in ASP.NET and how to use it for HTTP requests.

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