What is Middleware Anyway?

If you spend a bit of time around the net ASP.NET Core there is a word you’re going to hear thrown around a bunch and that is “middleware”. I find middleware to be a confusing term which doesn’t mean anything or perhaps means everything. Let’s figure out what middleware means and what sorts of middleware we can slot into ASP.NET Core.

Middleware sits between two pieces of software which talk with one another piece. It is responsible for connecting the softwares together and may intercede to alter the communication or even intercept it. I know what you’re thinking: that’s a super vague definition, by that definition almost everything is middleware. Yep. See why I consider the term to be so confusing? The software we use these days is hugely abstracted and there are a lot of layers. Any of these layers in between are middleware.

Middleware as a hamburger