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SPWebConfigModification Class

We wanted to use SPWebConfigModification class to modify the web.config of web applications (some entries are made manually already).  Also different entries for different web applications. All these in powershell 🙂

Here is our important finding before we proceed..

  • The entries which are made in web.config that are not through this class cannot be modified/deleted using this class.
  • You can apply the modification only a particular web application by calling WebAppObject.WebService.ApplyWebConfigModifications() like our last line in the below given powershell
  • Also test to remove the entries through this class to confirm our entries are getting removed safely and to identity possible bugs in making the entries.

-> .

So, clean this mess… we have to first clear those entries manually and then put it back again through SPWebConfigModification. Now i want to read the entries from a xml file so that it easily manageable and easy to ask someone in production to execute it.

<!–entry for caching config section–>
<add name=”Caching1″ connectionString=”Initial dd Catalog=Caching;Data Source={Server name};Integrated Security=false;Uid=sqlCachingUser; Pwd=p@ssw0rd” providerName=”System.Data.SqlClient” />

Now comes our powershell

Write-Host “Enter WebApplication”
$IURL = Read-Host
Write-Host “Enter Config.xml file name”
$IConfigName = Read-Host
$IWebApp = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebApplication]::Lookup($IURL)
Write-Host “Reading the Config.xml file..”
$configFile=[xml](get-content $IConfigName)
Write-Host “Config.xml file read”
foreach($config in $configFile.WebConfigModifications.WebConfig)
$Entry = new-object  Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebConfigModification
$Entry.Path = $config.NodePath
$Entry.Name = $config.NodeKey
$Entry.Type =[Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebConfigModification+SPWebConfigModificationType]::EnsureChildNode
$Entry.Owner = ‘APlainTextisEnough’
$Entry.Value =  $config.NodeValue.get_InnerXml()

now execute this powershell script in SharePoint 2010 management shell. Provide the first input as the web applicaiton url for which you want to enter the modifications. And secondly provide the path to .xml file which was stored earlier like .\config.xml.

That’s it.. your modification will reflect only to the web application what you have provided.

[Update 1] If you try to apply a webconfig entry and if that is not going through successfully then most likely that entry remains in configuration database. And when you try to apply webconfig modifications sometime later, the older entry will be still attempted in web.config file. So to check what are the webconfig modifications that are being applied you can check through


Through this, you can see what are the modifications that are being applied, but may not be actually present in web.config file.

Download .xml & powershell file from here

  1. Vibhu
    June 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hey Satheesh’s,

    Thanks for such an important post. I tried executing the same but getting the below exception.

    Exception calling “ApplyWebConfigModifications” with “0” argument(s): “” is an invalid expression.”
    At C:\Users\contosoCA\Desktop\AddEntriesWebConfig.ps1:18 char:48
    + $IWebApp.WebService.ApplyWebConfigModifications <<<< ()
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : DotNetMethodException

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again

  2. June 5, 2011 at 9:43 am


    I have executed this script and i could not see any issues. Probably, what can be attempted is to try executing from SharePoint Management Shell.

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