2.0.0 • Public • Published


    A middleware chain component for Node and the Browser.

    Build Status CodeFactor

    Current version: 2.0.0

    Lead Maintainer: Halim Qarroum


    npm install --save middleware-chain-js


    The chain of responsibility pattern is pretty useful in a lot of components I write. It allows to separate responsibilities in the form of pluggable handlers along a processing chain which decouples the treatments made on the chain, while having the ability to declare in which order they will be executed.

    It also makes hot-plugging of new treatments possible while the application is running, and exposes a clean and evolutive interface.

    The programming interface provided by this component draws its inspiration from the Express framework, in which routers and middlewares are in charge of sequentially treating received requests.


    A chain holds a collection of middlewares, and iterates over them as a treatment is handled.

    A middleware is a software component that handles an input, decides whether it can handle it, and if it does, will execute a particular routine producing an output. If a middleware cannot handle an input, the next middleware in the chain is called.

    What an input and an output concretely are, is dependant on the implementation, and the client of the library will have to provide them. However, in order to keep an appropriate logic, their semantics should not change.


    Requiring the library

    The entry point of the library can be required through different means, each one depending on the environment in which the library is executed.


    import Chain from 'middleware-chain-js';

    Common JS

    const gravatar = require('middleware-chain-js');

    Browser (ESM)

    import gravatar from 'https://unpkg.com/middleware-chain-js/dist/index.esm.js'

    Browser (UMD)

    <script src="https://unpkg.com/middleware-chain-js/dist/index.umd.js"></script>

    Creating a chain

    Creating a middleware chain is as simple as calling its constructor. A new instance does not contain any middleware.

    const chain = new Chain();

    Adding middlewares

    It is then possible to push new middlewares in the chain using the .use method.

    chain.use(function (input, output, next) {
      // Perform some treatment.

    It is also possible to push many middlewares at once using an array, which comes in handy when grouping a particular set of actions together.

        function (input, output, next) {
            // Verify for instance that the
            // `input` is correctly formatted.
        function (input, output, next) {
            // Perform some treatment on
            // the `input`.

    Similarly, you can push many middlewares by simply passing them in the argument list of .use.

    Middleware lifecycle

    When a middleware is called in the chain, it can handle an input, and interact with the output. If the middleware cannot handle the given input, it should call the next middleware in the chain.

    chain.use(function (input, output, next) {
      if (!handled(input)) {
        // Calling the next middleware.
        return next();
      // Otherwise, we treat the input.
      // In this example we "pipe" the input
      // with the output.

    Error handlers

    Sometimes, it is useful to signal that an error occurred along the chain and to have an approriate handler gracefully taking care of it. As such, it is possible to insert error handlers in the chain and to signal an error in a middleware.

    // A regular middleware can trigger an `Error`
    // object by passing it to the next function.
    chain.use(function (input, output, next) {
      next(new Error('An error occurred');
    // An event handler can be recognized because he
    // declares an error object as first argument.
    chain.use(function (err, input, output, next) {
      // Handle the error, or forward it to another error
      // handler using `next`.

    Once an Error has been triggered by a middleware, the next error callback will be called right away, and subsequent regular middleware will not be called in this case. If no error handlers are declared, the chain processing is stopped.

    Triggering the chain

    In order to start the chain and process the input, you need to call the .handle method. It needs two arguments, being respectively the input and the output.

    // In this example, we pass to the middleware
    // chain an input stream, and an output stream.
    chain.handle({ stream: input }, { stream: output });


    npm i middleware-chain-js

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    • hqm