.net – How to set a connection string config programmatically in .net


I'd like to set a connection string programmatically, with absolutely no change to any config files / registry keys.

I have this piece of code, but unfortunately it throws an exception with "the configuration is read only".

string connectionString = "Server=myserver;Port=8080;Database=my_db;...";
ConnectionStringSettings connectionStringSettings = 
  new ConnectionStringSettings("MyConnectionStringKey", connectionString);

The problem is that I have existing code that reads the connection string from the configuration. So setting the config string manually, or through a resource, don't seem like valid options. What I really need is a way to modify the configuration programmatically.

Best Solution

I've written about this in a post on my blog. The trick is to use reflection to poke values in as a way to get access to the non-public fields (and methods).


var settings = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings[ 0 ];

var fi = typeof( ConfigurationElement ).GetField( "_bReadOnly", BindingFlags.Instance | BindingFlags.NonPublic );

fi.SetValue(settings, false);

settings.ConnectionString = "Data Source=Something";