.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  • Your email address will not be published.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: October 29, 2014 It's well understood how critical version control is for code. However, its importance to DevOps isn't always recognized. The 2014 DevOps Survey of Practice shows that one of the key predictors of DevOps success is putting all production environment artifacts into version control. In this webcast, Gene Kim discusses these survey findings and shares woeful tales of artifact management gone wrong! Gene also shares examples of how high-performing DevOps …

  • On-demand Event Event Date: December 18, 2014 The Internet of Things (IoT) incorporates physical devices into business processes using predictive analytics. While it relies heavily on existing Internet technologies, it differs by including physical devices, specialized protocols, physical analytics, and a unique partner network. To capture the real business value of IoT, the industry must move beyond customized projects to general patterns and platforms. Check out this webcast and join industry experts as …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds