Unlocking C# Chain of Responsibility Pattern


In the world of software design, one of the key principles is the separation of concerns. This separation not only helps in making the code modular but also ensures that each module has a single responsibility. However, as applications grow in complexity, managing the flow of responsibilities can become a daunting task. This is where design patterns come to the rescue. Among the many design patterns available, the Chain of Responsibility pattern stands out as a powerful tool for handling responsibilities in a flexible and decoupled manner. In this article, we will explore the Chain of Responsibility pattern in the context of C#, its implementation, and its real-world applications.

The Chain of Responsibility Pattern: An Overview

The Chain of Responsibility (CoR) is a behavioral design pattern that allows you to pass requests along a chain of handlers. Each handler decides either to process the request or to pass it to the next handler in the chain. This pattern promotes loose coupling between senders and receivers of requests, enabling you to build a chain of handlers dynamically and process requests without knowing the exact handler that will ultimately fulfill them.

The CoR pattern consists of several key components.

  1. Handler Interface (or Abstract Class): This defines the common interface for all concrete handlers. It usually includes a method for handling requests and a reference to the next handler in the chain.
  2. Concrete Handlers: These are the actual handler implementations. Each concrete handler decides whether to process the request or pass it to the next handler in the chain.
  3. Client: The client initiates requests and sends them through the chain of handlers. It is unaware of the specific handlers in the chain.

Implementing the Chain of Responsibility in C#

Now, let's dive into a basic example of how to implement the Chain of Responsibility pattern in C#.

// Handler Interface
public interface IHandler
    void HandleRequest(Request request);
    void SetNextHandler(IHandler nextHandler);

// Concrete Handler
public class ConcreteHandler : IHandler
    private IHandler _nextHandler;

    public void SetNextHandler(IHandler nextHandler)
        _nextHandler = nextHandler;

    public void HandleRequest(Request request)
        // Process the request if conditions are met
        if (CanHandle(request))
            Console.WriteLine("Request handled by ConcreteHandler");
        else if (_nextHandler != null)
            // Pass the request to the next handler in the chain
            Console.WriteLine("Request could not be handled");

    private bool CanHandle(Request request)
        // Determine if this handler can handle the request
        // Implement your logic here
        return true;

// Request class
public class Request { }

// Client
public class Client
    public void Main()
        // Create handlers
        var handler1 = new ConcreteHandler();
        var handler2 = new ConcreteHandler();

        // Set up the chain

        // Send requests
        handler1.HandleRequest(new Request());

In this example, we have defined a simple chain of two concrete handlers, but you can extend it with more handlers as needed. The client initiates a request by calling the HandleRequest method on the first handler in the chain. If the first handler cannot process the request, it passes the request to the next handler until a handler can handle it or the end of the chain is reached.

Real-World Applications of the Chain of Responsibility Pattern

The Chain of Responsibility pattern is particularly useful in scenarios where you have multiple objects that can handle a request in various ways. Here are a few real-world examples where the CoR pattern shines:

  1. Logging and Error Handling: In a logging framework, you can have multiple loggers that handle log entries based on severity. A log entry can be passed through a chain of loggers until one of them decides to handle it.
  2. Middleware in Web Development: Middleware components in web frameworks often use the Chain of Responsibility pattern to process incoming HTTP requests. Each middleware component can choose to handle the request, modify it, or pass it along to the next middleware in the pipeline.
  3. Event Handling: In event-driven systems, multiple event handlers may be interested in an event. The Chain of Responsibility pattern allows these handlers to process the event one after the other.
  4. Approval Workflows: In business applications, approval workflows can involve multiple approvers with varying levels of authority. Each approver can decide to approve, reject, or pass the request to a higher-level approver.


The Chain of Responsibility pattern is a powerful design pattern that promotes loose coupling and flexibility in handling responsibilities within an application. By using this pattern, you can easily create chains of handlers that process requests in a structured and maintainable way. When implemented correctly, the CoR pattern can simplify complex processing logic and improve the maintainability and scalability of your code. Whether you are working on a logging framework, a web application, or any other system with varying responsibilities, the Chain of Responsibility pattern is a valuable tool to have in your software design toolbox.

Happy Learning  :) 

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