.NET Tip: Managing Development and Production Configuration Files

Most developers have one server they use to develop their applications and another server where they deploy the applications. The problem with this configuration is that you typically have to change your database connection settings, file locations, and so forth, each time you deploy your files. Inevitably, you'll add or remove settings from your configuration files and those settings won't be set up properly in the production environment.

A quick way to fix this problem is to use a prefix on your configuration settings and a function to determine which settings to use at runtime. Here's an example of a configuration file's appSettings section that is set up this way:

<appSettings>
   <add key="Location" value="dev"/>
   <add key="dev.ConnectionString"
        value="server=(localhost);database=mydb;
               uid=sa;pwd=sapassword"/>
   <add key="prod.ConnectionString"
        value="server=prodserver;database=mydb;
               uid=prodserver_user;pwd=produser_pwd"/>
</appSettings>

You then would create a function to wrap the ConfigurationManager class to determine which settings to retrieve, based on the Location setting:

private string GetSetting(string setting)
{
   string location = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["Location"];
   return ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[location + "." + setting];
}

Using this function is pretty easy:

Response.Write(GetSetting("ConnectionString"));

When you deploy your code for this example, you can copy the entire configuration file to the server and simply change the Location from 'dev' to 'prod'. It's a fairly simple way to manage multiple configurations without a lot of work. You'd obviously want to beef up the GetSetting function to make sure that the setting wasn't empty, and so on, but the concept is something you might be able to use in your own applications.

About the Author

Eric Smith is the owner of Northstar Computer Systems, a Web-hosting company based in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is also a MCT and MCSD who has been developing with .NET since 2001. In addition, he has written or contributed to 12 books covering .NET, ASP, and Visual Basic. Send him your questions and feedback via e-mail at questions@techniquescentral.com.



Comments

  • There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • Live Event Date: October 29, 2014 @ 11:00 a.m. ET / 8:00 a.m. PT Are you interested in building a cognitive application using the power of IBM Watson? Need a platform that provides speed and ease for rapidly deploying this application? Join Chris Madison, Watson Solution Architect, as he walks through the process of building a Watson powered application on IBM Bluemix. Chris will talk about the new Watson Services just released on IBM bluemix, but more importantly he will do a step by step cognitive …

  • Agile methodologies give development and test teams the ability to build software at a faster rate than ever before. Combining DevOps with hybrid cloud architectures give teams not just the principles, but also the technology necessary to achieve their goals. By combining hybrid cloud and DevOps: IT departments maintain control, visibility, and security Dev/test teams remain agile and collaborative Organizational barriers are broken down Innovation and automation can thrive Download this white paper to …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

Latest Developer Headlines

RSS Feeds