Understanding the Web Configuration File - Part 1
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by Steven Swafford
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Your First Web Configuration File

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The first thing you should be familiar with is the default structure of the Web.config file. The following example is generated by Visual Studio .NET when you choose to add a new Web configuration file. [ view screenshot ]

Listing 1: Sample Web.config file

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    <compilation defaultLanguage="c#" debug="true" />
    <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" />
    <authentication mode="Windows" />
      <allow users="*" /> <!-- Allow all users -->
      localOnly="true" />

      sqlConnectionString="data source=;Trusted_Connection=yes"
      timeout="20" />

      responseEncoding="utf-8" />


If you are not familiar with creating a Web.config file, simply follow these steps.

  1. From the File menu, select New, and then Blank Solution. [ view screenshot ]
  2. Now that you have a Blank Solution the next step is to add a new Project. [ view screenshot ]
  3. In this case I am adding a VB.NET Project, and then selecting an ASP.NET Web Application choice. [ view screenshot ]
  4. Once your new Project has been established, you should see a screen similar to the following [ view screenshot ]. Notice that Visual Studio .NET has created a Web.config file. This default configuration file will have the settings shown in Listing 1.
  5. If you want to create additional Web configuration files within any folders you have created within this project, right-click the folder in the Solution Explorer, and select Add, Add New Item, and Web Configuration File. [ view screenshot ]

Now that you have been provided with two methods of establishing a Web configuration file, it is time to move on to breaking this file down into greater details.

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