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Application Configuration Files

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Submitted on: 1/1/2015 4:37:00 AM
By: D. de Haas (from psc cd)  
Level: Intermediate
User Rating: By 11 Users
Compatibility: C#, VB.NET, ASP.NET, C++.NET
Views: 2645
 
     How to use Application Configuration Files.

This article has accompanying files
 
				In de .NET Framework are no build-in statements
to access INI files. To do this, you must access the
file directly or use the Win32 API's.

In DotNet we now have Configuration Files.
This are XML files that can be changed as needed
without recompiling the application.

There are four different kind of configuration files:
- Machine Configuration Files
- Application Configuration Files
- Security Configuration Files
- ASP.NET Configuration Files

The Application Configuration File is to compare
with an INI file. With one big difference that
you only can Read settings, but not Write settings!
Writing has to be done manualy.


To use a configuration file you must add an
'Application Configuration File' to your project.

In the Visual Studio Environment this can be done by
right clicking the project, choose 'add new item'.
Then look for the item 'Application Configuration File'.
This will add an 'App.Config' file to your project.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration>
</configuration>

To add your own settings, you must add a section
called 'appSettings'.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration>
<appSettings>
</appSettings>
</configuration>

Here you can store your settings as key/value pairs.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<configuration>
<appSettings>
<add key="Test1" value="This is the value of Test1" />
<add key="Test2" value="This is the value of Test2" />
</appSettings>
</configuration>

!!! BEWARE.......THE TEXT IS CASE SENSITIVE !!!

'appSettings' is not the same as 'appsettings'
Notice the captial S.
A runtime error will occure if you make a typing error.


An VB.NET example to read from the Configuration file.

Imports System
Imports System.Console

Module Module1

Sub Main()
Try
Dim config As Configuration.ConfigurationSettings

' Read the key:Test2
WriteLine(config.AppSettings("Test2"))

' To read all key's
Dim key As String

For Each key In config.AppSettings.AllKeys
WriteLine(key & " -- " & config.AppSettings(key))
Next

WriteLine("")

Catch ex As Exception
WriteLine("")
WriteLine(ex.ToString)

Finally
Read()

End Try
End Sub

End Module


After compiling the assembly, you also will get
an config file in your bin directory.

For example: an project called MyTest, results in
MyTest.exe
MyTest.exe.config

The two files must be placed in the
same directory to work.

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