SettingsProvider Class
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SettingsProvider Class


Acts as a base class for deriving custom settings providers in the application settings architecture.

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

public abstract class SettingsProvider : ProviderBase


Initializes an instance of the SettingsProvider class.


Gets or sets the name of the currently running application.


Gets a brief, friendly description suitable for display in administrative tools or other user interfaces (UIs).(Inherited from ProviderBase.)


Gets the friendly name used to refer to the provider during configuration.(Inherited from ProviderBase.)


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


Allows an object to try to free resources and perform other cleanup operations before it is reclaimed by garbage collection.(Inherited from Object.)


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

System_CAPS_pubmethodGetPropertyValues(SettingsContext, SettingsPropertyCollection)

Returns the collection of settings property values for the specified application instance and settings property group.


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

System_CAPS_pubmethodInitialize(String, NameValueCollection)

Initializes the provider.(Inherited from ProviderBase.)


Creates a shallow copy of the current Object.(Inherited from Object.)

System_CAPS_pubmethodSetPropertyValues(SettingsContext, SettingsPropertyValueCollection)

Sets the values of the specified group of property settings.


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

A settings provider defines the mechanism for storing configuration data used in the application settings architecture. The .NET Framework contains a single default settings provider, LocalFileSettingsProvider, which stores configuration data to the local file system. However, you can create alternate storage mechanisms by deriving from the abstract SettingsProvider class. The provider that a wrapper class uses is determined by decorating the wrapper class with the SettingsProviderAttribute. If this attribute is not provided, the default, LocalFileSettingsProvider, is used.

When you create a custom settings provider, at minimum, you must provide implementations for the three methods of this class: GetPropertyValues, SetPropertyValues and ApplicationName.

For client applications, you can add more standardized functionality to a custom provider by also implementing the IApplicationSettingsProvider interface. This interface mirrors methods found in the ApplicationSettingsBase class, which mainly enables versioning support.

Typically, you should design settings providers to be single-instanced to avoid storage resource contention. Providers should also be thread-safe because they can be called simultaneously from multiple wrapper instances in a single application domain or from multiple applications in different domains.

At minimum, a settings provider must recognize three attributes—ApplicationScopedSettingAttribute, UserScopedSettingAttribute, and DefaultSettingValueAttribute. For a full listing of attributes that can be applied to application settings, see Application Settings Attributes. A custom setting provider should resolve attributes applied to settings properties in the following manner:

  1. If the provider can fulfill the request implied by the attribute, obviously it should do so.

  2. If the provider cannot fulfill the request, it should ignore it silently.

  3. If two or more properties conflict; for example, a property being decorated with both ApplicationScopedSettingAttribute and UserScopedSettingAttribute; the provider should throw a ConfigurationException.

.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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