Understanding OWIN and Katana Middleware Components

In this tutorial , I will talk about owin and katana.

Owin means Open Web Interface for .NET  and defines a standard interface between .NET web servers and web applications (www.owin.org) .  KATANA is microsoft implementation of OWIN Specification.
OWIN is just a specification that abstract the way we build web applications without taking care of how they will be hosted.
So we will focus only on solving the problem so as to build very flexible web applications.

Middleware components are pieces of code added to our application pipeline and whose job is to handle each request and response.

To follow this tutorial, you must undertand ASP.NET and Asynchronous Programming with async and await

In ASP.NET core we achieve this goal by using a RequestDelegate :

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But using Asp.NET MVC5,  we can define a RequestDelegate by using  a delegate and a dictionary from a Func

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It use a dictionary that contains all informations in the HttpRequest send to the server , and a Task that process the request

HOST : Console application, windows service or IIS, etc…

SERVER : Receive incoming HttpRequest and send HttpResponse

MIDDLEWARE : is similar to HttpModule but not depend on IIS

APPLICATION :  Generate the response

So client connect to the server and send HttpRequest, then the server split request into an environment dictionary  ( Method , Path ,RequestBody,ResponseBody).

The server pass the environment dictionary to the first Middleware of the pipeline  using the RequestDelegate and return a Task

The first Middleware process the request according to information in the dictionary and then pass the dictionary to the next Middleware,

The process continues until the application , then the application generate the response and send it back to the last Middleware.

The last Middleware process the request according to information in the dictionary and then pass the dictionary to the previous Middleware in the pipeline

If the dictionary reaches the beginning of the pipeline, the server notify the completion of the processing  by the task returing from the RequestDelegate  and finally the server send response to the client

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Creating our first middleware Components

Create an asp.net MVC5 application or ASP.NET core application

locate the Startup class and add the following :

app.Run(async (context) =>
{
await context.Response.WriteAsync(“Lets talk about owin and katana !!!” );
});

This is our first component . it uses a Run method wich accept a RequestDelegate and returns a Task

public delegate Task RequestDelegate(HttpContext context);

This middleware component handles each request and create a response.

Run is a method that use a RequestDelegate wich is terminal to the pipeline  and should only run at the end of the pipeline

So to control the order in wich middleware components are added in the application pipeline

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by missing  await next.Invoke();  the current middleware will be executed and terminate the pipeline

So in the figure below  my second component will run and terminate the pipeline because  await next.Invoke();  is commented in my second component

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Map

Map  ( string pathMatch, Action<IAppBuilder> configuration)

If the request path starts with the given path (MyBranchOne) executes the following code instead of continuing to the next component in the pipeline

Example : http://localhost:5643/MyBranchOne)

Image sans titre3It is also possible to execute the following middleware before returning back and executing the rest of the current branch

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MapWhen 

MapWhen(this IAppBuilder app, Func<IOwinContext, bool> predicate, Action<IAppBuilder> configuration);

Branches the request pipeline based on the QueryString

Example  : http://localhost:5643/?queryId=test

Executes if QueryString contains queryId

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Creating a Custom Middleware

To create our custom middleware we are going to define  a RequestDelegate  wich is an AppFunc  that takes a  dictionary<string,object> and returns a Task

To include our custom middleware in the application pipeline, we must define an extension method like this

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And finnaly use our extension method in Startup class

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Creating a Custom Middleware with Options

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Creating a HttpHandler

An ASP.NET HTTP handler ==>

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An ASP.NET HTTP handler using owin middleware ==>

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Creating a HttpModule

An ASP.NET HTTP module ==>

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An ASP.NET HTTP Module using owin middleware ==>

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Unit Testing

using Microsoft.Owin.Testing;

UniTest1

UniTest2

Self Hosting

using Microsoft.Owin.Hosting;

Hosting

Thank you for reading.

Best regards

Highlighted on Articles Of The Day at 01/02/2017 (https://www.asp.net/community/articles)

Gora LEYE

I’m a .NET Architect and Technical Expert skills located in Paris (FRANCE). The purpose of this blog is mainly to post general .NET tips and tricks,

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