Settings

Configuration system is a good way to configure the application on startup. In addition to the configurations, ABP provides another way to set and get some application settings.

A setting is a name-value pair stored in a dynamic data source, generally in a database. Setting system is extensible and there are pre-built provides for a user, a tenant, global and default.

Defining Settings

A setting must be defined before its use. ABP was designed to be modular, so different modules can have different settings. A module must create a class derived from the SettingDefinitionProvider in order to define its settings. An example setting definition provider is shown below:

public class EmailSettingProvider : SettingDefinitionProvider
{
    public override void Define(ISettingDefinitionContext context)
    {
        context.Add(
            new SettingDefinition("Smtp.Host", "127.0.0.1"),
            new SettingDefinition("Smtp.Port", "25"),
            new SettingDefinition("Smtp.UserName"),
            new SettingDefinition("Smtp.Password", isEncrypted: true),
            new SettingDefinition("Smtp.EnableSsl", "false")
        );
    }
}

ABP automatically discovers this class and registers the setting definitions.

SettingDefinition

SettingDefinition class has the following properties:

  • Name: Unique name of the setting in the application. This is the only mandatory property. Used to get/set the value of this setting in the application code (It's a good idea to define a const string for a setting name instead of using a magic string).
  • DefaultValue: A setting may have a default value.
  • DisplayName: A localizable string that can be used to show the setting name on the UI.
  • Description: A localizable string that can be used to show the setting description on the UI.
  • IsVisibleToClients: A boolean value indicates that whether this setting value is available in the client side or not. Default value is false to prevent accidently publishing an internal critical setting value.
  • IsInherited: A boolean value indicates that whether this setting value is inherited from other providers or not. Default value is true and fallbacks to the next provider if the setting value was not set for the requested provider (see the setting value providers section for more).
  • IsEncrypted: A boolean value indicates that whether this setting value should be encrypted on save and decrypted on read. It makes possible to secure the setting value in the database.
  • Providers: Can be used to restrict providers available for a particular setting (see the setting value providers section for more).
  • Properties: A name/value collection to set custom properties about this setting those can be used later in the application code.

Reading Setting Values

ISettingProvider

ISettingProvider is used to get the value of a setting or get the values of all the settings. Example usages:

public class MyService
{
    private readonly ISettingProvider _settingProvider;

    //Inject ISettingProvider in the constructor
    public MyService(ISettingProvider settingProvider)
    {
        _settingProvider = settingProvider;
    }

    public async Task FooAsync()
    {
        //Get a value as string.
        string userName = await _settingProvider.GetOrNullAsync("Smtp.UserName");

        //Get a bool value and fallback to the default value (false) if not set.
        bool enableSsl = await _settingProvider.GetAsync<bool>("Smtp.EnableSsl");

        //Get a bool value and fallback to the provided default value (true) if not set.
        bool enableSsl = await _settingProvider.GetAsync<bool>(
            "Smtp.EnableSsl", defaultValue: true);
        
        //Get a bool value with the IsTrueAsync shortcut extension method
        bool enableSsl = await _settingProvider.IsTrueAsync("Smtp.EnableSsl");
        
        //Get an int value or the default value (0) if not set
        int port = (await _settingProvider.GetAsync<int>("Smtp.Port"));

        //Get an int value or null if not provided
        int? port = (await _settingProvider.GetOrNullAsync("Smtp.Port"))?.To<int>();
    }
}

ISettingProvider is a very common service and some base classes (like IApplicationService) already property-inject it. You can directly use the SettingProvider in such cases.

Reading Setting Values on the Client Side

If a setting is allowed to be visible on the client side, current value of the setting can also be read from the JavaScript code. Examples:

//Gets a value as string.
var language = abp.setting.get('Abp.Localization.DefaultLanguage');

//Gets an integer value.
var requiredLength = abp.setting.getInt('Abp.Identity.Password.RequiredLength');

//Gets a boolean value.
var requireDigit = abp.setting.getBoolean('Abp.Identity.Password.RequireDigit');

In addition, use abp.setting.values to get a dictionary of all the setting values.

Setting Value Providers

Setting system is extensible, you can extend it by defining setting value providers to get setting values from any source and based on any condition.

ISettingProvider uses the setting value providers to obtain a setting value. It fallbacks to the next value provider if a value provider can not get the setting value.

There are 5 pre-built setting value providers registered by the order below:

  • DefaultValueSettingValueProvider: Gets the value from the default value of the setting definition, if set (see the SettingDefinition section above).
  • ConfigurationSettingValueProvider: Gets the value from the IConfiguration service.
  • GlobalSettingValueProvider: Gets the global (system-wide) value for a setting, if set.
  • TenantSettingValueProvider: Gets the setting value for the current tenant, if set (see the multi-tenancy document).
  • UserSettingValueProvider: Gets the setting value for the current user, if set (see the current user document).

Setting fallback system works from bottom (user) to top (default).

Global, Tenant and User setting value providers use the ISettingStore to read the value from the data source (see the section below).

Custom Setting Value Providers

If you need to extend the setting system, you can define a class derived from the SettingValueProvider class. Example:

public class CustomSettingValueProvider : SettingValueProvider
{
    public override string Name => "Custom";

    public CustomSettingValueProvider(ISettingStore settingStore) 
        : base(settingStore)
    {
    }

    public override Task<string> GetOrNullAsync(SettingDefinition setting)
    {
        /* Return the setting value or null
           Use the SettingStore or another data source */
    }
}

Alternatively, you can implement the ISettingValueProvider interface. Remember to register it to the dependency injection in this case.

Every provider should have a unique Name (which is "Custom" here). Built-in providers use the given names:

  • DefaultValueSettingValueProvider: "D".
  • ConfigurationSettingValueProvider: "C".
  • GlobalSettingValueProvider: "G".
  • TenantSettingValueProvider: "T".
  • UserSettingValueProvider: "U".

One-letter names were preferred to reduce the data size in the database (provider name is repeated in each row).

Once you define a custom setting value provider, you need to explicitly register it to the AbpSettingOptions:

Configure<AbpSettingOptions>(options =>
{
    options.ValueProviders.Add<CustomSettingValueProvider>();
});

This example adds it as the last item, so it will be the first value provider used by the ISettingProvider. You could add it to another index in the options.ValueProviders list.

ISettingStore

While a setting value provider is free to use any source to get the setting value, theISettingStore service is the default source of the setting values. Global, Tenant and User setting value providers use it.

ISettingEncryptionService

ISettingEncryptionService is used to encrypt/decrypt setting values when IsEncrypted property of a setting definition was set to true.

You can replace this service in the dependency injection system to customize the encryption/decryption process. Default implementation uses the StringEncryptionService which is implemented with the AES algorithm by default (see string encryption document for more).

Setting Management Module

The core setting system is pretty independent and doesn't make any assumption about how you manage (change) the setting values. Even the default ISettingStore implementation is the NullSettingStore which returns null for all setting values.

The setting management module completes it (and implements ISettingStore) by managing setting values in a database. See the Setting Management Module document for more.

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