Learn how to write an interceptor and how to install an interceptor in your invocation pipeline.

An interceptor is a piece of code that intercepts an outgoing request before it's sent over the network connection. The same code also intercepts the incoming response returned by the remote service before it reaches the caller.

At a more technical level, an interceptor is an invoker that holds another invoker ("next") and calls invoke on this next invoker as part of the implementation of its own invoke method. This next invoker can be a client connection, a connection cache`, another interceptor, or some other kind of invoker; as far as the interceptor is concerned, it's just another invoker.

An interceptor can include logic before calling invoke on the next invoker (before the request is sent) and after calling invoke on the next invoker (after it receives the response). An interceptor can also short-circuit the invocation pipeline returning a cached response or throwing an exception.

For example, a simple C# interceptor could look like:

public class SimpleInterceptor : IInvoker
private readonly IInvoker _next;
public SimpleInterceptor(IInvoker next) => _next = next;
public async Task<IncomingResponse> InvokeAsync(OutgoingRequest request, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
Console.WriteLine("before _next.InvokeAsync");
IncomingResponse response = await _next.InvokeAsync(request, cancellationToken);
Console.WriteLine($"after _next.InvokerAsync; the response status code is {response.StatusCode}");
return response;

In C#, you can create an invocation pipeline by creating an instance of class Pipeline and then calling Use{Name} extension methods to install interceptors on this pipeline.

For example:

Pipeline pipeline = new Pipeline()

You need to specify the last invoker of the pipeline with Into. It's usually a client connection or a connection cache, but it can also be another pipeline since Pipeline is itself an invoker.

When you make an invocation on a pipeline, the request goes through this chain of invokers. On the way back, the incoming response goes through the same chain of invokers in reverse order.

The order in which you install these interceptors is often important. The first interceptor you install is the first interceptor to execute. With the pipeline we created above, the logger interceptor executes first, then calls InvokeAsync on the compressor interceptor, and then finally the compressor interceptor calls InvokeAsync on the client connection.

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