Config from an external source

Say you want your connectionStrings to be pulled in from an external file, you can do that like this:

<connectionStrings configSource="ConnectionStringsProduction.xml" />

That way, for example, your web.config, your application.config (for some other apps) and your linqpad.config can all use the exact same file for connectionStrings (even though the rest of their config is very unique).

Or if you have 3 different web applications that all want the same config for just part of their config file, you can use this trick.

Or dynamically/manually load connection string info yourself

More extreme is this method:

(I used this for analyzing a lot of connection strings in different projects)

Make your own connection string object:

public class ConnectionInfo
	public string ConnectionString { get; set; }
	public string Name { get; set; }
	public string Provider { get; set; }

And use this method to load a connection string file, all by itself.

private IEnumerable<ConnectionInfo> LoadConfig(string fileName)
	using (var reader = XmlReader.Create(fileName))
		var connectionStrings = new List<ConnectionInfo>();
		while (reader.ReadToFollowing("add"))
			var c = new ConnectionInfo();

			if (reader.MoveToAttribute("name")) c.Name = reader.Value;
			if (reader.MoveToAttribute("connectionString")) c.ConnectionString = reader.Value;
			if (reader.MoveToAttribute("providerName")) c.Provider = reader.Value;

	return connectionStrings;

Like so


See also