Enhancing Client Responses: Crafting Custom Middleware for Effective Error Handling


Designing a robust error handling mechanism and returning meaningful error responses to clients is crucial for enhancing the reliability and user experience of your ASP.NET Core Web API. Here's a concise guide on how to achieve this using custom middleware.

Step 1. Create a new ASP.NET Core Web API project

Create the Asp.net core Web API Project using Visual Studio or CLI Command.

Step 2. Implement custom error-handling middleware

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;
using Newtonsoft.Json;
using System;
using System.Net;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

Author: Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan
public class ErrorHandlingMiddleware
    private readonly RequestDelegate _next;

    public ErrorHandlingMiddleware(RequestDelegate next)
        _next = next;

    public async Task Invoke(HttpContext context)
            await _next(context);
        catch (Exception ex)
            await HandleExceptionAsync(context, ex);

    private static Task HandleExceptionAsync(HttpContext context, Exception exception)
        var statusCode = HttpStatusCode.InternalServerError;
        var message = "An error occurred while processing your request.";

        if (exception is ApplicationException)
            statusCode = HttpStatusCode.BadRequest;
            message = exception.Message;

        var response = new { error = message };
        var payload = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(response);
        context.Response.ContentType = "application/json";
        context.Response.StatusCode = (int)statusCode;

        return context.Response.WriteAsync(payload);

Step 3. Configure the custom error-handling middleware

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Builder;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Hosting;
using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;
using Microsoft.Extensions.DependencyInjection;
using Microsoft.Extensions.Hosting;

Author: Sardar Mudassar Ali Khan
public class Startup
    public IConfiguration Configuration { get; }

    public Startup(IConfiguration configuration)
        Configuration = configuration;

    public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)

        // Add error handling middleware

    public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app, IWebHostEnvironment env)
        if (env.IsDevelopment())

        // Use the custom error handling middleware


        app.UseEndpoints(endpoints =>

With this implementation, any unhandled exceptions thrown within your API's actions will be caught by the ErrorHandlingMiddleware. It will then generate appropriate error responses based on the exception type and send them back to the client.

Using custom middleware for error handling ensures that your ASP.NET Core Web API returns meaningful error responses to clients, enhancing user experience and making troubleshooting easier. This approach centralizes error-handling logic, making your codebase cleaner and more maintainable.


Implementing a robust error handling mechanism and returning meaningful error responses to clients using custom middleware is a fundamental practice in building reliable ASP.NET Core Web APIs. Let's summarize the key takeaways from this approach:

Custom Error Handling Middleware

  1. Custom middleware, such as ErrorHandlingMiddleware, intercepts unhandled exceptions within the API's actions.
  2. It generates appropriate error responses based on the exception type and sends them back to the client.

Enhanced User Experience

  1. By returning well-structured error responses, you provide clients with clear and meaningful information about what went wrong.
  2. Users receive error messages that are easier to understand, enhancing their experience and minimizing confusion.

Centralized Logic and Maintainability

  1. Using custom middleware centralizes error-handling logic in one place, making it easier to manage and maintain.
  2. You can apply consistent error-handling behavior across different actions and controllers.

Differentiating Error Types

  1. The middleware can differentiate between different types of exceptions, enabling you to provide specific error messages and HTTP status codes.
  2. This approach ensures that clients receive appropriate responses for various error scenarios.

Cleaner Codebase

  1. Separating error-handling logic into middleware helps keep your action methods focused on their primary responsibilities.
  2. Middleware improves the readability and maintainability of your codebase.

Improving Troubleshooting

  1. Meaningful error responses aid developers and administrators in diagnosing issues more effectively.
  2. Clear error messages guide troubleshooting efforts and reduce the time required to identify and fix problems.

By implementing custom middleware for error handling, you're taking a proactive step towards building a reliable and user-friendly ASP.NET Core Web API. This methodology ensures that when errors occur, clients receive actionable information, promoting better communication and problem resolution between the API and its consumers.

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