W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator 1.1.0

.NET Standard 2.0
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NuGet\Install-Package W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator -Version 1.1.0
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
dotnet add package W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator --version 1.1.0
<PackageReference Include="W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator" Version="1.1.0" />
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator --version 1.1.0
#r "nuget: W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator, 1.1.0"
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive, C# scripting and .NET Interactive. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator&version=1.1.0

// Install W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=W4k.AspNetCore.Correlator&version=1.1.0


Correlator helps you with handling correlation ID (known also as request ID): reading, generating new one and forwarding to subsequent requests.

Correlation ID is sent within HTTP headers. If header is not set, Correlator will happily generate new one for you (ASP.NET itself generates TraceIdentifier - and it is still possible to stick with its value).

Apart of accepting or generating correlation ID, it is also possible to emit correlation ID back to caller within HTTP response headers.

To forward correlation ID to subsequent request, it is necessary to use designated HTTP message handler, see examples below.

W3: Trace Context

Please be aware that Trace Context is not supported, Correlator helps you with older systems using non-standard headers. See links below for more alternatives.

Basic usage

Correlator consists of two components. Middleware which reads (generates if missing) correlation ID, and HTTP message handler which adds your correlation to outbound requests.

Following examples demonstrate how to wire everything up.

Startup class

Register components and add CorrelatorMiddleware to application pipeline:

public class MyLittleStartup
    public void ConfigureServices(IServiceCollection services)

        // other stuff
        // ...

    public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
        // register as first middleware

        // other stuff
        // ...


Forwarding correlation ID

Add CorrelatorHttpMessageHandler to HTTP client's message handler pipeline like this:


Accessing correlation ID within application

Correlation ID of current request is always available from HttpContext.TraceIdentifier. Even if you disable generating of correlation ID, ASP.NET itself already sets its value.

To be able to access HttpContext from your component, you need to inject IHttpContextAccessor.

using Microsoft.AspNetCore.Http;

public class MyLittleService
    private readonly IHttpContextAccessor _contextAccessor;

    public MyLittleService(IHttpContextAccessor contextAccessor)
        _contextAccessor = contextAccessor ?? throw new ArgumentNullException(nameof(contextAccessor));

    public async Task DoMagicalStuff()
        HttpContext context = _contextAccessor.HttpContext;
        string correlationId = context?.TraceIdentifier;
        // We found a Correlation ID, of Candy Mountain. Candy Mountain, Charlie.
        // ...


By default, correlator behaves following way:

  • Headers used for accepting correlation ID are: Request-Id, X-Correlation-Id and X-Request-Id
  • If correlation ID header is missing or has empty value, new correlation ID is generated in form of GUID
  • Correlation ID is forwarded to subsequent requests using CorrelatorHttpMessageHandler (as X-Correlation-ID)
  • Correlation ID is not set to HTTP response headers

To adjust setting, use AddCorrelator overload:

    correlatorOptions =>
        // disable correlation ID factory, stick with ASP.NET value
        correlatorOptions.Factory = null;

        // read only custom header

        // include correlation ID in response
        correlatorOptions.Emit = PropagationSettings.PropagateAs("X-RID");

        // forward via message handler, using same header name ("X-CID")
        correlatorOptions.Forward = PropagationSettings.KeepIncomingHeaderName;

Correlation ID factory (Factory)

Property CorrelatorOptions.Factory, of type Func<CorrelationId>.

If set to null then generating of correlation ID is disabled and ASP.NET value is used instead. For more details look up for HttpContext.TraceIdentifier.

// default
correlatorOptions.Factory = () => CorrelationId.NewCorrelationId();

// custom (don't even try this, this is just demonstration)
correlatorOptions.Factory = () => CorrelationId.FromString("hello world!").Value;

// disable (stick with ASP.NET TraceIdentifier)
correlatorOptions.Factory = null;

Read from headers (ReadFrom)

Property CorrelatorOptions.ReadFrom, of type ICollection<string>.

Note that order matters - first header satisfying match is returned.

// add to defaults

// read only from given header

Correlation ID propagation (Emit, Forward)

There are two directions to propagate correlation ID:

  1. CorrelatorOptions.Emit: Include correlation ID of request in response headers
  2. CorrelatorOptions.Forward: Forward correlation ID to subsequent requests using CorrelatorHttpMessageHandler
No propagation

Correlation ID is not set.

// don't expose correlation ID in HTTP response
correlatorOptions.Emit = PropagationSettings.NoPropagation;

// don't forward correlation ID to subsequent requests
correlatorOptions.Forward = PropagationSettings.NoPropagation;
Use incoming header name

Correlation ID is propagated with same header name as it was read from.

// if correlation was taken from 'X-My-Custom-Correlation-Id', it is exposed with same header
correlatorOptions.Emit = PropagationSettings.KeepIncomingHeaderName;
correlatorOptions.Forward = PropagationSettings.KeepIncomingHeaderName;
Predefined header name

Correlation ID is propagated with predefined header name.

// if correlation was read from 'X-My-Custom-Correlation-Id', it is exposed as 'X-Correlation-Id'
correlatorOptions.Emit = PropagationSettings.PropagateAs("X-Correlation-Id");
correlatorOptions.Forward = PropagationSettings.PropagateAs("X-Correlation-Id");

Alternative packages

Advanced tracing

This package is designed to solve simple scenario with reading and writing correlation ID from/to HTTP headers. If you are looking for more advanced tracing, consider checking: OpenTracing / Zipkin / Jaeger.

Product Versions
.NET net5.0 net5.0-windows net6.0 net6.0-android net6.0-ios net6.0-maccatalyst net6.0-macos net6.0-tvos net6.0-windows
.NET Core netcoreapp2.0 netcoreapp2.1 netcoreapp2.2 netcoreapp3.0 netcoreapp3.1
.NET Standard netstandard2.0 netstandard2.1
.NET Framework net461 net462 net463 net47 net471 net472 net48
MonoAndroid monoandroid
MonoMac monomac
MonoTouch monotouch
Tizen tizen40 tizen60
Xamarin.iOS xamarinios
Xamarin.Mac xamarinmac
Xamarin.TVOS xamarintvos
Xamarin.WatchOS xamarinwatchos
Compatible target framework(s)
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NuGet packages

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Version Downloads Last updated
2.2.2 249 7/25/2022
2.2.1 7,864 9/8/2020
2.2.0 293 9/6/2020
2.2.0-preview2 298 9/5/2020
2.2.0-preview1 280 9/4/2020
2.1.1 286 9/4/2020
2.1.0 420 9/1/2020
2.0.1 288 8/31/2020
2.0.1-beta 310 8/30/2020
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1.1.0 6,703 9/26/2019
1.0.1 1,819 6/27/2019
1.0.0 1,168 10/22/2018
0.2.0-alpha 482 9/28/2018
0.1.0-alpha 484 9/27/2018