.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  • Your email address will not be published.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

  • On-demand Event Event Date: January 27, 2015 For years, identity and access management (IAM) has been seen as the project of denial, restriction, limitation and sometimes failure. The processes and technologies required to enhance security seemed also destined to stifle collaboration and interfere with revenue-generating work. In fact, at times, the processes forced employees, partners and customers to spend precious time searching for ways to circumvent the IAM infrastructure in order to do their jobs. The …

  • Today's agile organizations pose operations teams with a tremendous challenge: to deploy new releases to production immediately after development and testing is completed. To ensure that applications are deployed successfully, an automatic and transparent process is required. We refer to this process as Zero Touch Deployment™. This white paper reviews two approaches to Zero Touch Deployment--a script-based solution and a release automation platform. The article discusses how each can solve the key …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date