An attempt to make defining .net configuration sections a bit simpler
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README.markdown

SimpleConfigSections

An attempt to simplfy defining .net ConfigurationSections. If you don't like repeating yourself in code and ugly string values referencing property names this package is definitely for you.

Installation

From Nuget Package Manager Console

Install-Package SimpleConfigSections

Simple way of defining ConfigurationSection

public class SimpleSection : ConfigurationSection<ISimpleSection>
{
}

public interface ISimpleSection
{
    string StringValue { get; }
    IChildSection Child {get;}
    IEnumerable<IChildSection> Elements { get; }
}

public interface IChildSection
{
    double ChildDouble { get; }
}

Accessing configuration:

ISimpleSection config = Configuration.Get<ISimpleSection>();

You can also use classes for defining configuration section:

public class Question 
{
	public virtual string Value {get;set;}
	public virtual string Answer {get;set;}
	
	public string AnswerAndValue 
	{
		get { return Answer + Value; }
	}
}
public class QuestionSection : ConfigurationSection<Question> {}

Question questionConfiguration = Configuration.Get<Question>();

Note that properties that are to be read from configuration file must be virtual.

Classic way of defining ConfigurationSection

public class ClassicSection : ConfigurationSection
{
    [ConfigurationProperty("StringValue")]
    public string StringValue
    {
        get { return (string) base["StringValue"]; }
    }
	
    [ConfigurationProperty("Child")]
    public ChildClassicElement Child
    {
        get { return (ChildClassicElement)base["Child"]; }
    }

    [ConfigurationProperty("Elements")]
    public ElementsCollection Elements
    {
        get { return (ElementsCollection) base["Elements"]; }
    }
}

public class ElementsCollection : ConfigurationElementCollection
{
    protected override ConfigurationElement CreateNewElement()
    {
        return new ChildClassicElement();
    }

    protected override object GetElementKey(ConfigurationElement element)
    {
        return Guid.NewGuid();
    }
}

public class ChildClassicElement : ConfigurationElement
{
    [ConfigurationProperty("ChildDouble")]
    public double ChildDouble
    {
        get { return (double) base["ChildDouble"]; }
    }
}

Accessing configuration:

ClassicSection config = (ClassicSection)ConfigurationManager.Get("ClassicSection");

All configuration sections have to be declared in application configuration file

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<configuration>
  <configSections>
	<section type="MyNameSpace.ClassicSection, MyNameSpace" name="ClassicSection"/>
	<section type="MyNameSpace.SimpleSection, MyNameSpace" name="SimpleSection"/>
  </configSections>
  
  <SimpleSection StringValue="YourValue">
	<Child ChildDouble="3.14" />
	<Elements>
		<add ChildDouble="2.8" />
		<add ChildDouble="-2.8" />
	</Elements>
  </SimpleSection>
  <!-- Classic configuration section element looks pretty much the same -->
</configuration>

Naming Convention

You can change how configuration elements are named by customizing NamingConvention.

Configuration.WithNamingConvention(new MyCustomNamingConvention());

class MyCustomNamingConvention : NamingConvention 
{
	public override string AddToCollectionElementName(Type collectionElementType, string propertyName)
	{
		return "addToCollection";
	}
}

Validation

You can mark your properties with attributes deriving from System.ComponentModel.DataAnnotations.ValidationAttribute to get validation

public interface ISectionWithValidators
{
    [StringLength(3)]
    string ToLong { get; set; }
    
    [Required]
    string RequiredButNotPresent { get; set; }
}

Note that, as with any ConfigurationSection a validation occurs when retreiving it. If your configuration section is not valid the

 System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException

will be thrown when you call

Configuration.Get<ISectionWithValidators>();