Monday, April 14, 2014

Web Deployment Made Easy: If You're Using Web.config transformations, You're Doing it Wrong

With all due respect to Scott Hanselman and his Web Deployment Made Awesome: If You're Using XCopy, You're Doing It Wrong post, using Config Transforms can represent a significant amount of work over just copying a separate file with the complete config for each deployment environment.

There is something to be said for having a file that contains the entire config file as it will be deployed to the server. For one, it is easy to run through a Diff tool and see how the server configuration differs from a local build without first having to do a Preview Transform command.

To be fair, the following is certainly the wrong way to be approaching XML transforms. It is however quick and easy to do. Especially when migrating an existing large project. I didn't need to go through the configs line be line to diff between the local build, the shared dev environment, the staging/QA environments, and the production environments. I just copied each complete config into its separate build configuration based config file and carried on with my life.

Overtime I'll probably revisit each configuration and work towards defining the numerous differences between each environment.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<!-- For more information on using web.config transformation visit -->

<configuration xmlns:xdt="" xdt:Transform="Replace">
    <!-- Dump the entire contents of the configuration element from the other .config file here -->
        <!-- ... -->
        <!-- ... -->
        <!-- ... -->
        <!-- ... -->
    <!-- and so on... -->