There has always been a need to configure applications for the specific machines on which they run. This need arises because of a number of factors, including differing security requirements, differing levels of functionality provided in different environments, and differing capabilities provided by the machines on which the applications execute.
Text-Based Configuration Files
UNIX and Windows 3.x have traditionally solved the issue of configuration using text files. Often these files follow a specific format and are stored in system directories, such as \Windows\System or /etc. When applications start up, they read these files to configure themselves. For example, the process syslogd, which logs system messages into files, ...