You configure applications in .NET primarily through XML files. This is replacing previous, more cryptic stores such as the Windows registry or a database. If you are involved with .NET and are not yet familiar with XML, I recommend you purchase a good book to study it. All settings within the .NET Framework can be managed through XML configuration files, and the IIS metabase is moving in the same direction, too. I recommend Microsoft ASP.NET Setup and Configuration Pocket Reference (Microsoft Press). This work provides outstanding detail into the management of ASP.NET applications. It is a reference guide that covers ASP.NET along with a good amount of general .NET information.
The .NET Framework defines two types of XML configuration files: Security Policy and Settings.
Security Policy files define the code access security policy, which specifies what type of actions code is allowed to perform. I will cover code access security in detail later in this chapter.
These files are far too big and ugly to display here. I strongly recommend using the .NET Configuration MMC, pictured in Figure 9-1, to administer these files.
Figure 9-1. .NET Configuration MMC
Settings files are probably the most exciting breakthrough in .NET from a management perspective. These files have consolidated all application settings into a single ...