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Creating production, testing, and development connection strings for a DLL

Posted on 2008-10-17
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I'm developing a site using Visual C# 2008. I have a solution with the following projects:

Web site
Business Logic Layer (BLL)
Data Access Layer (DAL)

When I publish the website, the BLL and DAL are compiled into DLLs, and placed in the bin directory of the website.

I want to have the DAL use different connection strings when I deploy the application to development, testing, and production environments. Right now, though, the settings in app.config file for the DAL are embedded into the DLL when it's compiled, rather than read from an external file.

While one could obviously switch all the settings to the production settings before publishing the site, this introduces a high likelihood of error (leaving the development settings on in prod, using production settings in dev, etc). I'd like to have the DAL read its configuration settings in its deployment environment.

How best to do this?
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Question by:incapital
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Expert Comment

by:TechTiger007
ID: 22744114
if you are using sql server you can create alias with same name in production and development server and use  the alias name in connection string

details on creating alias
http://www.alpesh.nakars.com/blog/howto-configure-port-alias-for-sql-server/


If you are using oracle as backend, you can create an entry in TNSNames.Ora file with connection name same as that of production server but internally you can give the entries for the development machine
details on creating tns names
http://aspen.ithaca.edu:7778/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/TOPLEVELPAGES/ARGUS_HOME_PG/TAB59/ARGUS_RECOURCE_CENTER/INSGNG01.PDF

basically both does the same job and this is what we do to avoid the issue you mentioned


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by:incapital
ID: 22744875
Thank you for your reply. While what you describe would work, I'd prefer to handle this within the application code itself. That would allow me to extend the same solution to other areas of the application (beyond connection strings) if needed.
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Expert Comment

by:TechTiger007
ID: 22745423
ok.
If you want to handle that in code then

have a configuration file which stores connection string for production, development and testing servers. Have another configuration that will specify which configuration to use.
in your app.config
<add key="production" value=""/>
<add key="development" value=""/>
<add key="testing" value=""/>
<add key="activeconnection" value ="production"/>

in your code you can do
string activeconnection = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings["activeconnection"];
string connectionstring = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings[activeconnection];

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by:incapital
ID: 22757206
Thank you for the reply. I'll give it a try.
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incapital earned 0 total points
ID: 22758567
Thank you for your suggestion. The app config file doesn't get deployed with the web site, so that wasn't a viable option.

The solution was to remove the default value that was baked into the dll at compile time, and insert a new value in the web config. I can then point the connection strings settings to read from a local file:

<connectionStrings configSource="myLocal.config"/>

and then myLocal.config contains:

<connectionStrings>
    <remove name="DAL.Properties.Settings.my_connection"/>
    <add name="DAL.Properties.Settings.my_connection" connectionString="Data Source=myDataSource;Initial Catalog=myCatalog;User Id=myUser;Password=myPassword;" />
</connectionStrings>

Mods, please close question at your convenience.
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