.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  • Your email address will not be published.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

  • Complex hybrid environments can make it difficult to track interdependencies, increasing the risk of disrupting critical business services. In this white paper by EMA, you'll learn how application discovery and dependency mapping can help you: Meet granular targets for availability, cost, and time-to-revenue for cloud services. Accelerate mean time to repair (MTTR) while communicating better with stakeholders. Manage even the most complex hybrid environments more efficiently and effectively Understand the …

  • When individual departments procure cloud service for their own use, they usually don't consider the hazardous organization-wide implications. Read this paper to learn best practices for setting up an internal, IT-based cloud brokerage function that service the entire organization. Find out how this approach enables you to retain top-down visibility and control of network security and manage the impact of cloud traffic on your WAN.

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

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