Relative path that works in development and after deployment


P

P_Prdn

I was wondering if somebody could show me on how to use relative path in
windows application that will work during DEVELOPMENT as well as after
DEPLOYMENT. In short, here's my situation. During development the files in my
project are located as follows:

MyProject\bin\Release\MyApplication.exe
MyProject\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml

During development I use this syntax to load to MyXMLFile.xml from the .exe:

xmlDocument.Load(@"..\..\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml");

Everything was fine until after I deployed the project whereas the file
location now changed to:

C:\Program Files\MyProject\MyApplication.exe
C:\Program Files\MyProject\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml

Now I started to get an error message stating that file
'C:\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml doesn't exist'.

Please keep in mind these limitations:

1. I do not want to hard-code the relative path in app.config, I just want
to use relative path.
2. I cannot use resource file because I need to change the MyXMLFile.xml
during runtime.
3. Basically what I need is the relative path that can point to the project
folder instead of the .exe, much like ~ sign to point to application root
folder in web application.

Thanks,
P_Prdn
 
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A

AMercer

I was wondering if somebody could show me on how to use relative path in
windows application that will work during DEVELOPMENT as well as after
DEPLOYMENT. In short, here's my situation. During development the files in my
project are located as follows:

MyProject\bin\Release\MyApplication.exe
MyProject\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml

During development I use this syntax to load to MyXMLFile.xml from the .exe:

xmlDocument.Load(@"..\..\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml");

Everything was fine until after I deployed the project whereas the file
location now changed to:

C:\Program Files\MyProject\MyApplication.exe
C:\Program Files\MyProject\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml

Now I started to get an error message stating that file
'C:\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml doesn't exist'.

Please keep in mind these limitations:

1. I do not want to hard-code the relative path in app.config, I just want
to use relative path.
2. I cannot use resource file because I need to change the MyXMLFile.xml
during runtime.
3. Basically what I need is the relative path that can point to the project
folder instead of the .exe, much like ~ sign to point to application root
folder in web application.

The way I've dealt with this problem is as follows:

1. Get the exe path, eg Application.ExecutablePath
2. Remove the file name (at the tail)
3. Search this directory (and all subdirectories) for the file you want
4. If found, you are done, otherwise, back up to the parent and try again.
5. Ditto, if necessary.

In my worst case, I needed to go to step 5, and it looks like you will too.
In deployment you will find the file in step 3, and in development, you will
find it in step 5. Variables that contains the paths to your files
(MyXMLFile.xml etc) could all be initialized with a function that implements
the above logic.
 
P

P_Prdn

Based on suggestion from AMercer, I wrote this recursive function:

public static string GetApplicationRoot()
{
return GetApplicationRootRecursive(Application.StartupPath);
}

private static string GetApplicationRootRecursive(string path)
{
if (Directory.GetParent(path) != null)
{
if (new DirectoryInfo(path).Name == Application.ProductName)
return path;
else
return
GetApplicationRootRecursive(Directory.GetParent(path).FullName);
}
return null;
}

Now I can call:

xmlDocument.Load(Utility.GetApplicationRoot() + @"\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml");

and it should work on both development and after deployment.

Thanks,
P_Prdn
 
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P

P_Prdn

I've found the solution that is quite simple for this problem.

Just click the file located in MyProject\Settings\MyXMLFile.xml in the
Solution Explorer and expand the Properties tab. Select "Copy always" under
"Copy to Output Directory" property.

What will happen is the VS will copy the \Settings\MyXMLFile.xml to your
\bin\Debug folder every time you run your project, so the relative path of
that file will always be the same during development as well as after
deployment.

Thanks,

Prdn
 

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