Connection Strings and ( External ) Configuration Files

May put in a solution folder and add to project using Add As Link.
Then the SharedApp.Config file must have > properties > Copy to Output Directory = Copy if newer or Copy Always
For it to deploy successfully must also have > properties > Build Action = Content. This will include it > Publish > Application Files


Using External Configuration Files

External configuration files are separate files that contain a fragment of a configuration file consisting of a single section. The external configuration file is then referenced by the main configuration file. Storing the connectionStrings section in a physically separate file is useful in situations where connection strings may be edited after the application is deployed. For example, the standard ASP.NET behavior is to restart an application domain when configuration files are modified, which results in state information being lost. However, modifying an external configuration file does not cause an application restart. External configuration files are not limited to ASP.NET; they can also be used by Windows applications. In addition, file access security and permissions can be used to restrict access to external configuration files. Working with external configuration files at run time is transparent, and requires no special coding.

To store connection strings in an external configuration file, create a separate file that contains only the connectionStrings section. Do not include any additional elements, sections, or attributes. This example shows the syntax for an external configuration file.

    <add name="Name" 
     connectionString="Valid Connection String;" />

In the main application configuration file, you use the configSource attribute to specify the fully qualified name and location of the external file. This example refers to an external configuration file named connections.config.

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
    <connectionStrings configSource="connections.config"/>

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