I have configured connection string in my IIS since I'm reusing it through my sharepoint solutions and custom services running next to sharepoint sites.

I'm using following snippet throughout my solutions, which works very well:

var connectionStrings = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings;
connectionString = connectionStrings["FooDB"].ConnectionString;

But unfortunately that doesn't work for my custom sharepoint job, throwing exception Object reference not set to an instance of an object.. I suppose it is happening because job is executed by OWSTIMER process and not w3wp. How one can get around this issue?

3 Answers 3


You can open web.config in your timer job. How could you do it you can read this post. But the approach with property of timer job is easily. )

  • I like this approach more, since for it's more flexible. When I decide to change connection string, I don't have to manually update job properties. Whenever web.config gets updated, change is available in job.
    – jjczopek
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 2:09

You can use job properties to pass connection string. In FeatureActivated you can install and set your job schedule, also you can set job properties like this:


and then in your job class (the one that inherits from SPJobDefinition) you can get this property in Execute method like this:

public override void Execute(Guid targetInstanceId) {

      string _cString=this.Properties["connectionString"].ToString();   


Since your code is executing in the timer process, the CongfigurationManager instance isn't pulling from the web.config of the web application. It is pulling from the config for the timer service. This config file is located at {SharePointRoot}\BIN\OWSTIMER.EXE.CONFIG. You could put your connection strings in here as well and your above code should work.

There is another method you can use but I am less familiar with it. If you get the SPWebApplication instance, you can use the IisSettings property to find the path on disk to the web.config. You could either read it as XML or pass into the ConfigurationManager constructor (I believe it's an option).

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