ASP.NET is configured with XML files. The base server-wide configuration file is called machine.config, described in the next section, "Hierarchical Configuration." This is supplemented by an optional server-wide web.configuration file located in the same directory as machine.config, and a number of application-specific configuration files, all called web.config, located in the application root directory and subdirectories.
The XML files that control the configuration can be edited with any standard text editor. It is not necessary to use the IIS control panel, as was the case with classic ASP. Although the configuration files can be edited in any text editor, VS2005 and IIS provide UIs for editing the most common configurations.
Since the configuration is accomplished with XML files and since these files are text, it is easy to administer your configuration remotely. Files can be created or edited from a development machine and then copied into place via FTP or remote network access by anyone with suitable security clearance. There is no need for the developer to be physically present at the server machine hosting the application in order to perform configuration chores, as was the case with classic ASP.
The configuration system is hierarchical . Each application inherits a baseline configuration from machine.config, located on the server. An optional web.config file, located in the same folder as machine.config, layers on top of that baseline configuration. ...