This chapter focused on the configuration system in the .NET Framework and paid particular attention to the settings for ASP.NET web.config files. The various sections of the system.web configuration section were discussed, and you learned how to store and retrieve custom settings in the configuration files by using the framework classes.
Also discussed was the hierarchy of settings within the configuration files. Settings in an application configuration file generally take precedence over settings in a machine configuration file, with the exception of settings in the appSettings section.
Finally, you looked at some practical applications of the configuration system. For simple configuration information that's relatively static (such as directory structures and database connection strings), the configuration files are favored over other storage mechanisms (such as custom files or the database). Because the configuration system provides a structured and uniform means of accessing and configuring data, it also aids in maintenance tasks that would otherwise require significant documentation.