It’s been a while since I had to create a config section handler and my god did I forget how cumbersome a process it is!
Instead of doing all these work to make a bespoke config section handler every time you want to parse some data out of the app.config file, wouldn’t it be nice to have a more generic, reusable component to do all the work for you? Well, turns out it wasn’t all that hard to make one either!
Broadly speaking, you usually want to parse either an object, or a collection of objects out of the config file, and they required slightly different handling so I ended up writing one for each.
The single object case is fairly easy, all you need is an XmlSerializer for deserializing the XML node:
Assuming you have a simple class like this:
To parse it out of your app.config file, you need something like this in the config file:
And your code will be the same as before:
Collections usually represent a whole new level of pain because to get an array of objects out of the config file you have to first create a wrapper object to hold the array. You then need to set up your config section to parse the wrapper object instead of the array itself, just an additional hoop you have to jump through to get something simple done…
Well, with this GenericCollectionConfigSectionHandler class hopefully you won’t ever have to do that again!
As you can see, this class is pretty simple, to use it your config file ought to look a little like this:
So you see, no wrapper class required and you get an array of MyClass instances back:
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