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Configuration Class
 

Represents a configuration file that is applicable to a particular computer, application, or resource. This class cannot be inherited.

Namespace:   System.Configuration
Assembly:  System.Configuration (in System.Configuration.dll)

System.::..Object
  System.Configuration.::..Configuration

CSharp
public sealed class Configuration
C++
public ref class Configuration sealed 
FSharp
[<Sealed>]
type Configuration = class end
VisualBasic
Public NotInheritable Class Configuration
NameDescription
System_CAPS_pubpropertyAppSettingsAppSettingsAppSettingsAppSettings

Gets the AppSettingsSection object configuration section that applies to this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyAssemblyStringTransformerAssemblyStringTransformerAssemblyStringTransformerAssemblyStringTransformer

Specifies a function delegate that is used to transform assembly strings in configuration files.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyConnectionStringsConnectionStringsConnectionStringsConnectionStrings

Gets a ConnectionStringsSection configuration-section object that applies to this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyEvaluationContextEvaluationContextEvaluationContextEvaluationContext

Gets the ContextInformation object for the Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyFilePathFilePathFilePathFilePath

Gets the physical path to the configuration file represented by this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyHasFileHasFileHasFileHasFile

Gets a value that indicates whether a file exists for the resource represented by this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyLocationsLocationsLocationsLocations

Gets the locations defined within this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyNamespaceDeclaredNamespaceDeclaredNamespaceDeclaredNamespaceDeclared

Gets or sets a value indicating whether the configuration file has an XML namespace.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyRootSectionGroupRootSectionGroupRootSectionGroupRootSectionGroup

Gets the root ConfigurationSectionGroup for this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertySectionGroupsSectionGroupsSectionGroupsSectionGroups

Gets a collection of the section groups defined by this configuration.

System_CAPS_pubpropertySectionsSectionsSectionsSections

Gets a collection of the sections defined by this Configuration object.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyTargetFrameworkTargetFrameworkTargetFrameworkTargetFramework

Specifies the targeted version of the .NET Framework when a version earlier than the current one is targeted.

System_CAPS_pubpropertyTypeStringTransformerTypeStringTransformerTypeStringTransformerTypeStringTransformer

Specifies a function delegate that is used to transform type strings in configuration files.

NameDescription
System_CAPS_pubmethodEquals(Object)(Object^)(Object)(Object)

Determines whether the specified object is equal to the current object.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetHashCode()()()()

Serves as the default hash function. (Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetSection(String)(String^)(String)(String)

Returns the specified ConfigurationSection object.

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetSectionGroup(String)(String^)(String)(String)

Gets the specified ConfigurationSectionGroup object.

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetType()()()()

Gets the Type of the current instance.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodSave()()()()

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the current XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodSave(ConfigurationSaveMode)(ConfigurationSaveMode)(ConfigurationSaveMode)(ConfigurationSaveMode)

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the current XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodSave(ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the current XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodSaveAs(String)(String^)(String)(String)

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the specified XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodSaveAs(String, ConfigurationSaveMode)(String^, ConfigurationSaveMode)(String, ConfigurationSaveMode)(String, ConfigurationSaveMode)

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the specified XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodSaveAs(String, ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(String^, ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(String, ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)(String, ConfigurationSaveMode, Boolean)

Writes the configuration settings contained within this Configuration object to the specified XML configuration file.

System_CAPS_pubmethodToString()()()()

Returns a string that represents the current object.(Inherited from Object.)

Configuration settings are stored in a hierarchy of configuration files. The Configuration class instance represents the merged view of the configuration settings from all of the configuration files that apply to a specific physical entity, such as a computer, or to a logical entity, such as an application or a Web site. The logical entity can exist on the local computer or on a remote server. For information about configuration files, see Configuring Apps by using Configuration Files and ASP.NET Configuration Files.

When no configuration file exists for a specified entity, the Configuration object represents the default configuration settings as defined by the Machine.config file.

You can get a Configuration object by using the following classes:

The names of the methods that return a Configuration object begin with "Open".

You can also generate a configuration file that represents the configuration settings in a Configuration object. To do this, use one of the following methods:

  • Call the Save method to create a new configuration file.

  • Call the SaveAs method to generate a new configuration file at another location.

The names of the methods that create configuration files begin with "Save".

System_CAPS_noteNote

To enable access to configuration settings on a remote computer, use the Aspnet_regiis command-line tool. For more information about this tool, see ASP.NET IIS Registration Tool (Aspnet_regiis.exe). For information about creating and accessing custom configuration settings other than the intrinsic sections included in the .NET Framework, refer to ConfigurationSection.

Notes to Implementers:

The Configuration class provides programmatic access for editing configuration files. You use one of the "Open" methods provided by the WebConfigurationManager class for Web applications or by the ConfigurationManager class for client applications. These methods return a Configuration object, which in turn provides the methods and properties that handle the underlying configuration files. You can access these files for reading or writing configuration information.

You use the GetSection method or the GetSectionGroup method to read configuration information. Note that the user or process that reads must have the following permissions:

  • Read permission on the configuration file at the current configuration hierarchy level.

  • Read permissions on all the parent configuration files.

If your application needs read-only access to its own configuration, it is recommended that you use the GetSection method overloads for Web applications. For client application, use the GetSection method.

These methods provide access to the cached configuration values for the current application, which has better performance than the Configuration class.

System_CAPS_noteNote

If you use a static GetSection method that takes a path parameter, the path parameter must refer to the application in which the code is running, otherwise the parameter is ignored and configuration information for the currently running application is returned.

You use one of the Save methods to write configuration information. Note that the user or process that writes must have the following permissions:

  • Write permission on the configuration file and directory at the current configuration hierarchy level.

  • Read permissions on all the configuration files.

The following code example demonstrates how to use the Configuration class to access configuration file elements.

CSharp
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Globalization;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Collections.Specialized;

// Before compiling this application, 
// remember to reference the System.Configuration assembly in your project. 
#region CustomSection class

// Define a custom section. This class is used to
// populate the configuration file.
// It creates the following custom section:
//  <CustomSection name="Contoso" url="http://www.contoso.com" port="8080" />.
public sealed class CustomSection : ConfigurationSection
{

    public CustomSection()
    {

    }


    [ConfigurationProperty("name",
     DefaultValue = "Contoso",
     IsRequired = true,
     IsKey = true)]
    public string Name
    {
        get
        {
            return (string)this["name"];
        }
        set
        {
            this["name"] = value;
        }
    }

    [ConfigurationProperty("url",
        DefaultValue = "http://www.contoso.com",
        IsRequired = true)]
    [RegexStringValidator(@"\w+:\/\/[\w.]+\S*")]
    public string Url
    {
        get
        {
            return (string)this["url"];
        }
        set
        {
            this["url"] = value;
        }
    }

    [ConfigurationProperty("port",
        DefaultValue = (int)8080,
        IsRequired = false)]
    [IntegerValidator(MinValue = 0,
        MaxValue = 8080, ExcludeRange = false)]
    public int Port
    {
        get
        {
            return (int)this["port"];
        }
        set
        {
            this["port"] = value;
        }
    }



}

#endregion

#region Using Configuration Class
class UsingConfigurationClass
{


    // Show how to create an instance of the Configuration class
    // that represents this application configuration file.  
    static void CreateConfigurationFile()
    {
        try
        {

            // Create a custom configuration section.
            CustomSection customSection = new CustomSection();

            // Get the current configuration file.
            System.Configuration.Configuration config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None);

            // Create the custom section entry  
            // in <configSections> group and the 
            // related target section in <configuration>.
            if (config.Sections["CustomSection"] == null)
            {
                config.Sections.Add("CustomSection", customSection);
            }

            // Create and add an entry to appSettings section.

            string conStringname="LocalSqlServer";
            string conString = @"data source=.\SQLEXPRESS;Integrated Security=SSPI;AttachDBFilename=|DataDirectory|aspnetdb.mdf;User Instance=true";
            string providerName="System.Data.SqlClient";

            ConnectionStringSettings connStrSettings = new ConnectionStringSettings();
            connStrSettings.Name = conStringname;
            connStrSettings.ConnectionString= conString;
            connStrSettings.ProviderName = providerName;

            config.ConnectionStrings.ConnectionStrings.Add(connStrSettings);

            // Add an entry to appSettings section.
            int appStgCnt =
                ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.Count;
            string newKey = "NewKey" + appStgCnt.ToString();

            string newValue = DateTime.Now.ToLongDateString() +
              " " + DateTime.Now.ToLongTimeString();

            config.AppSettings.Settings.Add(newKey, newValue);

            // Save the configuration file.
            customSection.SectionInformation.ForceSave = true;
            config.Save(ConfigurationSaveMode.Full);

            Console.WriteLine("Created configuration file: {0}",
                config.FilePath);

        }
        catch (ConfigurationErrorsException err)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("CreateConfigurationFile: {0}", err.ToString());
        }

    }

    // Show how to use the GetSection(string) method.
    static void GetCustomSection()
    {
        try
        {

            CustomSection customSection;

            // Get the current configuration file.
            System.Configuration.Configuration config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            customSection =
                config.GetSection("CustomSection") as CustomSection;

            Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}", customSection.Name);
            Console.WriteLine("Url: {0}", customSection.Url);
            Console.WriteLine("Port: {0}", customSection.Port);

        }
        catch (ConfigurationErrorsException err)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Using GetSection(string): {0}", err.ToString());
        }

    }


    // Show how to use different modalities to save 
    // a configuration file.
    static void SaveConfigurationFile()
    {
        try
        {

            // Get the current configuration file.
            System.Configuration.Configuration config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            // Save the full configuration file and force save even if the file was not modified.
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigFull.config", ConfigurationSaveMode.Full, true);
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigFull.config using the mode: {0}",
                ConfigurationSaveMode.Full.ToString());

            config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            // Save only the part of the configuration file that was modified. 
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigModified.config", ConfigurationSaveMode.Modified, true);
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigModified.config using the mode: {0}",
                ConfigurationSaveMode.Modified.ToString());

            config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            // Save the full configuration file.
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigMinimal.config");
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigMinimal.config using the mode: {0}",
                ConfigurationSaveMode.Minimal.ToString());

        }
        catch (ConfigurationErrorsException err)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("SaveConfigurationFile: {0}", err.ToString());
        }

    }


    // Show how use the AppSettings and ConnectionStrings 
    // properties.
    static void GetSections(string section)
    {
        try
        {

            // Get the current configuration file.
            System.Configuration.Configuration config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            // Get the selected section.
            switch (section)
            {
                case "appSettings":
                    try
                    {
                        AppSettingsSection appSettings =
                            config.AppSettings as AppSettingsSection;
                        Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}",
                                appSettings.SectionInformation.SectionName);

                        // Get the AppSettings section elements.
                        Console.WriteLine();
                        Console.WriteLine("Using AppSettings property.");
                        Console.WriteLine("Application settings:");
                        // Get the KeyValueConfigurationCollection 
                        // from the configuration.
                        KeyValueConfigurationCollection settings =
                          config.AppSettings.Settings;

                        // Display each KeyValueConfigurationElement.
                        foreach (KeyValueConfigurationElement keyValueElement in settings)
                        {
                            Console.WriteLine("Key: {0}", keyValueElement.Key);
                            Console.WriteLine("Value: {0}", keyValueElement.Value);
                            Console.WriteLine();
                        }
                    }
                    catch (ConfigurationErrorsException e)
                    {
                        Console.WriteLine("Using AppSettings property: {0}",
                            e.ToString());
                    }
                    break;

                case "connectionStrings":
                    ConnectionStringsSection
                        conStrSection =
                        config.ConnectionStrings as ConnectionStringsSection;
                    Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}",
                        conStrSection.SectionInformation.SectionName);

                    try
                    {
                        if (conStrSection.ConnectionStrings.Count != 0)
                        {
                            Console.WriteLine();
                            Console.WriteLine("Using ConnectionStrings property.");
                            Console.WriteLine("Connection strings:");

                            // Get the collection elements.
                            foreach (ConnectionStringSettings connection in
                              conStrSection.ConnectionStrings)
                            {
                                string name = connection.Name;
                                string provider = connection.ProviderName;
                                string connectionString = connection.ConnectionString;

                                Console.WriteLine("Name:               {0}",
                                  name);
                                Console.WriteLine("Connection string:  {0}",
                                  connectionString);
                                Console.WriteLine("Provider:            {0}",
                                   provider);
                            }
                        }
                    }
                    catch (ConfigurationErrorsException e)
                    {
                        Console.WriteLine("Using ConnectionStrings property: {0}",
                            e.ToString());
                    }
                    break;

                default:
                    Console.WriteLine(
                        "GetSections: Unknown section (0)", section);
                    break;
            }

        }
        catch (ConfigurationErrorsException err)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("GetSections: (0)", err.ToString());
        }

    }

    // Show how to use the Configuration object properties 
    // to obtain configuration file information.
    static void GetConfigurationInformation()
    {
        try
        {

            // Get the current configuration file.
            System.Configuration.Configuration config =
                    ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(
                    ConfigurationUserLevel.None) as Configuration;

            Console.WriteLine("Reading configuration information:");

            ContextInformation evalContext =
                config.EvaluationContext as ContextInformation;
            Console.WriteLine("Machine level: {0}",
                evalContext.IsMachineLevel.ToString());

            string filePath = config.FilePath;
            Console.WriteLine("File path: {0}", filePath);

            bool hasFile = config.HasFile;
            Console.WriteLine("Has file: {0}", hasFile.ToString());


            ConfigurationSectionGroupCollection
                groups = config.SectionGroups;
            Console.WriteLine("Groups: {0}", groups.Count.ToString());
            foreach (ConfigurationSectionGroup group in groups)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("Group Name: {0}", group.Name);
               // Console.WriteLine("Group Type: {0}", group.Type);
            }


            ConfigurationSectionCollection
                sections = config.Sections;
            Console.WriteLine("Sections: {0}", sections.Count.ToString());

        }
        catch (ConfigurationErrorsException err)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("GetConfigurationInformation: {0}",err.ToString());
        }

    }

#endregion 

#region Application Main
    //*** User Interaction Class ***//

    // Obtain user's input and provide feedback.
    // This class contains the application Main() function.
    // It calls the ConfigurationManager methods based 
    // on the user's selection.
    class ApplicationMain
    {
        // Display user's menu.
        public static void UserMenu()
        {
            string applicationName =
                Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()[0] + ".exe";
            StringBuilder buffer = new StringBuilder();

            buffer.AppendLine("Application: " + applicationName);
            buffer.AppendLine("Make your selection.");
            buffer.AppendLine("?    -- Display help.");
            buffer.AppendLine("Q,q  -- Exit the application.");

            buffer.Append("1    -- Instantiate the");
            buffer.AppendLine(" Configuration class.");

            buffer.Append("2    -- Use GetSection(string) to read ");
            buffer.AppendLine(" a custom section.");

            buffer.Append("3    -- Use SaveAs methods");
            buffer.AppendLine(" to save the configuration file.");

            buffer.Append("4    -- Use AppSettings property to read");
            buffer.AppendLine(" the appSettings section.");
            buffer.Append("5    -- Use ConnectionStrings property to read");
            buffer.AppendLine(" the connectionStrings section.");

            buffer.Append("6    -- Use Configuration class properties");
            buffer.AppendLine(" to obtain configuration information.");

            Console.Write(buffer.ToString());
        }

        // Obtain user's input and provide
        // feedback.
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // Define user selection string.
            string selection;

            // Get the name of the application.
            string appName =
                Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()[0];


            // Get user selection.
            while (true)
            {

                UserMenu();
                Console.Write("> ");
                selection = Console.ReadLine();
                if (selection != string.Empty)
                    break;
            }

            while (selection.ToLower() != "q")
            {
                // Process user's input.
                switch (selection)
                {
                    case "1":
                        // Show how to create an instance of the Configuration class.
                        CreateConfigurationFile();
                        break;

                    case "2":
                        // Show how to use GetSection(string) method.
                        GetCustomSection();
                        break;

                    case "3":
                        // Show how to use ConnectionStrings.
                        SaveConfigurationFile();
                        break;

                    case "4":
                        // Show how to use the AppSettings property.
                        GetSections("appSettings");
                        break;

                    case "5":
                        // Show how to use the ConnectionStrings property.
                        GetSections("connectionStrings");
                        break;

                    case "6":
                        // Show how to obtain configuration file information.
                        GetConfigurationInformation();
                        break;


                    default:
                        UserMenu();
                        break;
                }
                Console.Write("> ");
                selection = Console.ReadLine();
            }
        }
    }
#endregion

}
VisualBasic
Imports System.Text
Imports System.Configuration
Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.ComponentModel
Imports System.Collections.Specialized

' Before compiling this application, 
' remember to reference the System.Configuration assembly in your project. 
#Region "CustomSection class"

' Define a custom section. This class is used to
' populate the configuration file.
' It creates the following custom section:
'  <CustomSection name="Contoso" url="http://www.contoso.com" port="8080" />.
Public NotInheritable Class CustomSection
    Inherits ConfigurationSection

    Public Sub New()

    End Sub


    <ConfigurationProperty("name", DefaultValue:="Contoso", IsRequired:=True, IsKey:=True)> _
    Public Property Name() As String
        Get
            Return CStr(Me("name"))
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As String)
            Me("name") = value
        End Set
    End Property

    <ConfigurationProperty("url", DefaultValue:="http://www.contoso.com", IsRequired:=True), RegexStringValidator("\w+:\/\/[\w.]+\S*")> _
    Public Property Url() As String
        Get
            Return CStr(Me("url"))
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As String)
            Me("url") = value
        End Set
    End Property

    <ConfigurationProperty("port", DefaultValue:=CInt(8080), IsRequired:=False), IntegerValidator(MinValue:=0, MaxValue:=8080, ExcludeRange:=False)> _
    Public Property Port() As Integer
        Get
            Return CInt(Fix(Me("port")))
        End Get
        Set(ByVal value As Integer)
            Me("port") = value
        End Set
    End Property



End Class

#End Region

#Region "Using Configuration Class"
Friend Class UsingConfigurationClass

    ' Show how to create an instance of the Configuration class
    ' that represents this application configuration file.  
    Public Shared Sub CreateConfigurationFile()
        Try

            ' Create a custom configuration section.
            Dim customSection As New CustomSection()

            ' Get the current configuration file.
            Dim config As System.Configuration.Configuration = ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None)

            ' Create the section entry  
            ' in <configSections> and the 
            ' related target section in <configuration>.
            If config.Sections("CustomSection") Is Nothing Then
                config.Sections.Add("CustomSection", customSection)
            End If

            ' Create and add an entry to appSettings section.

            Dim conStringname As String = "LocalSqlServer"
            Dim conString As String = "data source=.\SQLEXPRESS;Integrated Security=SSPI;AttachDBFilename=|DataDirectory|aspnetdb.mdf;User Instance=true"
            Dim providerName As String = "System.Data.SqlClient"

            Dim connStrSettings As New ConnectionStringSettings()
            connStrSettings.Name = conStringname
            connStrSettings.ConnectionString = conString
            connStrSettings.ProviderName = providerName

            config.ConnectionStrings.ConnectionStrings.Add(connStrSettings)

            ' Add an entry to appSettings section.
            Dim appStgCnt As Integer = ConfigurationManager.AppSettings.Count
            Dim newKey As String = "NewKey" & appStgCnt.ToString()

            Dim newValue As String = Date.Now.ToLongDateString() & " " & Date.Now.ToLongTimeString()

            config.AppSettings.Settings.Add(newKey, newValue)

            ' Save the configuration file.
            customSection.SectionInformation.ForceSave = True
            config.Save(ConfigurationSaveMode.Full)

            Console.WriteLine("Created configuration file: {0}", config.FilePath)

        Catch err As ConfigurationErrorsException
            Console.WriteLine("CreateConfigurationFile: {0}", err.ToString())
        End Try

    End Sub

    ' Show how to use the GetSection(string) method.
    Public Shared Sub GetCustomSection()
        Try

            Dim customSection As CustomSection

            ' Get the current configuration file.
            Dim config As System.Configuration.Configuration = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            customSection = TryCast(config.GetSection("CustomSection"), CustomSection)

            Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}", customSection.Name)
            Console.WriteLine("Url: {0}", customSection.Url)
            Console.WriteLine("Port: {0}", customSection.Port)

        Catch err As ConfigurationErrorsException
            Console.WriteLine("Using GetSection(string): {0}", err.ToString())
        End Try

    End Sub


    ' Show how to use different modalities to save 
    ' a configuration file.
    Public Shared Sub SaveConfigurationFile()
        Try

            ' Get the current configuration file.
            Dim config As System.Configuration.Configuration = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            ' Save the full configuration file and force save even if the file was not modified.
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigFull.config", ConfigurationSaveMode.Full, True)
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigFull.config using the mode: {0}", ConfigurationSaveMode.Full.ToString())

            config = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            ' Save only the part of the configuration file that was modified. 
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigModified.config", ConfigurationSaveMode.Modified, True)
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigModified.config using the mode: {0}", ConfigurationSaveMode.Modified.ToString())

            config = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            ' Save the full configuration file.
            config.SaveAs("MyConfigMinimal.config")
            Console.WriteLine("Saved config file as MyConfigMinimal.config using the mode: {0}", ConfigurationSaveMode.Minimal.ToString())

        Catch err As ConfigurationErrorsException
            Console.WriteLine("SaveConfigurationFile: {0}", err.ToString())
        End Try

    End Sub


    ' Show how use the AppSettings and ConnectionStrings 
    ' properties.
    Public Shared Sub GetSections(ByVal section As String)
        Try

            ' Get the current configuration file.
            Dim config As System.Configuration.Configuration = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            ' Get the selected section.
            Select Case section
                Case "appSettings"
                    Try
                        Dim appSettings As AppSettingsSection = TryCast(config.AppSettings, AppSettingsSection)
                        Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}", appSettings.SectionInformation.SectionName)

                        ' Get the AppSettings section elements.
                        Console.WriteLine()
                        Console.WriteLine("Using AppSettings property.")
                        Console.WriteLine("Application settings:")
                        ' Get the KeyValueConfigurationCollection 
                        ' from the configuration.
                        Dim settings As KeyValueConfigurationCollection = config.AppSettings.Settings

                        ' Display each KeyValueConfigurationElement.
                        For Each keyValueElement As KeyValueConfigurationElement In settings
                            Console.WriteLine("Key: {0}", keyValueElement.Key)
                            Console.WriteLine("Value: {0}", keyValueElement.Value)
                            Console.WriteLine()
                        Next keyValueElement
                    Catch e As ConfigurationErrorsException
                        Console.WriteLine("Using AppSettings property: {0}", e.ToString())
                    End Try

                Case "connectionStrings"
                    Dim conStrSection As ConnectionStringsSection = TryCast(config.ConnectionStrings, ConnectionStringsSection)
                    Console.WriteLine("Section name: {0}", conStrSection.SectionInformation.SectionName)

                    Try
                        If conStrSection.ConnectionStrings.Count <> 0 Then
                            Console.WriteLine()
                            Console.WriteLine("Using ConnectionStrings property.")
                            Console.WriteLine("Connection strings:")

                            ' Get the collection elements.
                            For Each connection As ConnectionStringSettings In conStrSection.ConnectionStrings
                                Dim name As String = connection.Name
                                Dim provider As String = connection.ProviderName
                                Dim connectionString As String = connection.ConnectionString

                                Console.WriteLine("Name:               {0}", name)
                                Console.WriteLine("Connection string:  {0}", connectionString)
                                Console.WriteLine("Provider:            {0}", provider)
                            Next connection
                        End If
                    Catch e As ConfigurationErrorsException
                        Console.WriteLine("Using ConnectionStrings property: {0}", e.ToString())
                    End Try

                Case Else
                    Console.WriteLine("GetSections: Unknown section (0)", section)
            End Select

        Catch err As ConfigurationErrorsException
            Console.WriteLine("GetSections: (0)", err.ToString())
        End Try

    End Sub

    ' Show how to use the Configuration object properties 
    ' to obtain configuration file information.
    Public Shared Sub GetConfigurationInformation()
        Try

            ' Get the current configuration file.
            Dim config As System.Configuration.Configuration = TryCast(ConfigurationManager.OpenExeConfiguration(ConfigurationUserLevel.None), Configuration)

            Console.WriteLine("Reading configuration information:")

            Dim evalContext As ContextInformation = TryCast(config.EvaluationContext, ContextInformation)
            Console.WriteLine("Machine level: {0}", evalContext.IsMachineLevel.ToString())

            Dim filePath As String = config.FilePath
            Console.WriteLine("File path: {0}", filePath)

            Dim hasFile As Boolean = config.HasFile
            Console.WriteLine("Has file: {0}", hasFile.ToString())


            Dim groups As ConfigurationSectionGroupCollection = config.SectionGroups
            Console.WriteLine("Groups: {0}", groups.Count.ToString())
            For Each group As ConfigurationSectionGroup In groups
                Console.WriteLine("Group Name: {0}", group.Name)
                ' Console.WriteLine("Group Type: {0}", group.Type);
            Next group


            Dim sections As ConfigurationSectionCollection = config.Sections
            Console.WriteLine("Sections: {0}", sections.Count.ToString())


        Catch err As ConfigurationErrorsException
            Console.WriteLine("GetConfigurationInformation: {0}", err.ToString())
        End Try

    End Sub
End Class

#End Region

#Region "Application Main"
'*** User Interaction Class ***//

' Obtain user's input and provide feedback.
' This class contains the application Main() function.
' It calls the ConfigurationManager methods based 
' on the user's selection.
Public Class ApplicationMain
    ' Display user's menu.
    Public Shared Sub UserMenu()
        Dim applicationName As String = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()(0) & ".exe"
        Dim buffer As New StringBuilder()

        buffer.AppendLine("Application: " & applicationName)
        buffer.AppendLine("Please, make your selection.")
        buffer.AppendLine("?    -- Display help.")
        buffer.AppendLine("Q,q  -- Exit the application.")

        buffer.Append("1    -- Instantiate the")
        buffer.AppendLine(" Configuration class.")

        buffer.Append("2    -- Use GetSection(string) to read ")
        buffer.AppendLine(" a custom section.")

        buffer.Append("3    -- Use SaveAs methods")
        buffer.AppendLine(" to save the configuration file.")

        buffer.Append("4    -- Use AppSettings property to read")
        buffer.AppendLine(" the appSettings section.")
        buffer.Append("5    -- Use ConnectionStrings property to read")
        buffer.AppendLine(" the connectionStrings section.")

        buffer.Append("6    -- Use Configuration class properties")
        buffer.AppendLine(" to obtain configuration information.")

        Console.Write(buffer.ToString())
    End Sub

    ' Obtain user's input and provide
    ' feedback.
    Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
        ' Define user selection string.
        Dim selection As String

        ' Get the name of the application.
        Dim appName As String = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()(0)


        ' Get user selection.
        Do

            UserMenu()
            Console.Write("> ")
            selection = Console.ReadLine()
            If selection <> String.Empty Then
                Exit Do
            End If
        Loop

        Do While selection.ToLower() <> "q"
            ' Process user's input.
            Select Case selection
                Case "1"
                    ' Show how to create an instance of the Configuration class.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.CreateConfigurationFile()

                Case "2"
                    ' Show how to use GetSection(string) method.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.GetCustomSection()

                Case "3"
                    ' Show how to use ConnectionStrings.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.SaveConfigurationFile()

                Case "4"
                    ' Show how to use the AppSettings property.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.GetSections("appSettings")

                Case "5"
                    ' Show how to use the ConnectionStrings property.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.GetSections("connectionStrings")

                Case "6"
                    ' Show how to obtain configuration file information.
                    UsingConfigurationClass.GetConfigurationInformation()


                Case Else
                    UserMenu()
            End Select
            Console.Write("> ")
            selection = Console.ReadLine()
        Loop
    End Sub
End Class
#End Region
.NET Framework
Available since 2.0

Any public static ( Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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System.Configuration
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