Sharing Config File Setting

Posted on 2009-05-17
Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi Experts,
I've few application which share same settings. They all located at different folders. Some of the application are running as com dll so App.exe.config refers to the diff app name at run time.

Is there a way to use only 1 config file and shared by all the applications and com dlls? This will also simplify the process of maintaining too many config files with same settings.

Question by:pcssecure
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 24406155
For more flexibility with settings I use xml serialization and a custom settings class.  You can then serialize the class to disk in a controlled location.

I normally get the application data folder and append the appropriate path which can be done similar to the SettingsLocation function below.   You can change AllUsersApplicationData to CurrentUserApplicationData for user specific settings.

Word to the wise use the ApplicationData location if you want your application to act nice with Vista.
Public Class MySettings
Private _Value1 as string
Property Value1 as string
 return _value1
end get
set (byval value as string)
 _value1 = value
end set
end property
Public Sub SerializeToXML (byval path as string)
'there is a nice snippet under XML for this
Public Shared Sub ReadXML (byval Path as string) as MySettings
Public Shared Function SettingsLocation () as string
        Dim fileLocation As String = My.Computer.FileSystem.SpecialDirectories.AllUsersApplicationData
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
fileLocation = io.path.combine(filelocation,"MyAppDirectory\MySettingsFileName.xml"
end sub
end class

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Author Comment

ID: 24406478
Hi Corey,
Thanks for the response.

To be more precise, I only need to read the settings.

It would be more helpful if could give me some working sample code.

LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Corey2 earned 500 total points
ID: 24406998
Even if you only need to read the settings it is nice to have a default xml created this example creates the xml if it doesn't exist. All you would have to do is modify the MySettings class to have a property for each setting you want.  The properties can also be classes as long as all the types are serializable.  (windows controls are not serializable)  anything you don't need to be serialized you can add an attribute of <System.Xml.Serialization.XmlIgnore()>
Imports System.Configuration
Imports System.Xml.Serialization
Imports System.IO
Public Class Form1
    Private _Stgs As MySettings = Nothing
    Public Property Stgs() As MySettings
            Return _Stgs
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As MySettings)
            _Stgs = value
        End Set
    End Property
    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        'Dim cs As ConnectionStringSettings
        'Dim bldTestDB As New System.Data.Common.DbConnectionStringBuilder
        If My.Computer.FileSystem.FileExists(MySettings.SettingsLocation) Then
            Stgs = MySettings.ReadXML(MySettings.SettingsLocation)
            Stgs = New MySettings
        End If
        Me.TextBox1.Text = Stgs.Value1
        Me.TextBox2.Text = String.Format("The Settings are saved to: {0}", MySettings.SettingsLocation)
    End Sub
End Class
Public Class MySettings
    Private _Value1 As String = "This is the Default Value"
    Property Value1() As String
            Return _value1
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As String)
            _value1 = value
        End Set
    End Property
    Public Sub SerializeToXML(ByVal path As String)
        'there is a nice snippet under XML for this
        Dim writer As New XmlSerializer(GetType(MySettings))
        Dim file As New StreamWriter(path)
        writer.Serialize(file, Me)
    End Sub
    Public Shared Function ReadXML(ByVal Path As String) As MySettings
        Dim reader = New XmlSerializer(GetType(MySettings))
        Dim file = New StreamReader(Path)
        Dim fileData = CType(reader.Deserialize(file), MySettings)
        Return fileData
    End Function
    Public Shared Function SettingsLocation() As String
        Dim fileLocation As String = My.Computer.FileSystem.SpecialDirectories.AllUsersApplicationData
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
        fileLocation = IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(fileLocation)
        fileLocation = IO.Path.Combine(fileLocation, "MyAppDirectory\MySettingsFileName.xml")
        Return fileLocation
    End Function

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