Configuration and Environment Variables - Visual Studio 2010

How to create configuration or Environment variables in Visual Studio 2010.

Environment variables are a great thing for when you publish your website to multiple places.
It doesn't matter if you publish it to testing / staging / production environment or if you're publishing your site to several servers which require different methods to be called / different values assigned to parameters.

Lets create a web application project (further explanations will be granted later)
  1. Open Visual Studio 2010
  2. Create New Project -> ASP.NET Web Application

As you can see, you automatically have two configuration options:
  • Debug
  • Release
Right click on the project in the Solution Explorer.
Click on Properties.
Click on Build tab.

Under that tab you have many configuration options (which will be discussed in another post).
The field we're interested in is "Conditional compilation symbols".

While on Debug mode, we will write a variable name in this field.
Example: "vDebug"
After saving, you will have an identifier for when in Debug mode.

Before testing our work, we're gonna create another Configuration.
Click on the configuration drop down list and choose Configuration Manager

 Add new Configuration - TestRelease:

Now place the variables in Release Configuration and in TestRelease Configuration.
I've placed the variables: vRelease and vTestRelease

Now for the test.
Create a similar code on your Default.aspx.cs page:

When you will run the code, you'll see that for each configuration option it will it the correct method.

Hope it helped,
Elad Shalom,
CTO at


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