Categories of Data

Before putting data into the registry, an application should divide the data into two categories: computer-specific data and user-specific data. By making this distinction, an application can support multiple users, and yet locate user-specific data over a network and use that data in different locations, allowing location-independent user profile data. (A user profile is a set of configuration data saved for every user.)

When the application is installed, it should record the computer-specific data under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key. In particular, it should create keys for the company name, product name, and version number, as shown in the following example:


If the application supports COM, it should record that data under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes.

An application should record user-specific data under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key, as shown in the following example: