Code First can't enable migrations

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I'm trying to enable migrations but it's throwing an exception:

Checking if the context targets an existing database... System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'System.Data.Entity.Migrations.DbMigrationsConfiguration`1' threw an exception. ---> System.TypeInitializationException: The type initializer for 'System.Data.Entity.Internal.AppConfig' threw an exception. ---> System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: Configuration system failed to initialize ---> System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException: The 'name' attribute must be specified on the 'section' tag.

I'm assuming that the App.config file is not correctly set up (it was automatically set up when I added EF package). All I did was add the connection string:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

  <section Name="entityFramework" type="System.Data.Entity.Internal.ConfigFile.EntityFrameworkSection, EntityFramework, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089" requirePermission="false" />
 <!-- For more information on Entity Framework configuration, visit --></configSections>

   <add Name="MyContext" connectionString="data source=MYSERVER;initial catalog=CodeFirstTest;user id=***;password=***;MultipleActiveResultSets=True;App=EntityFramework" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" />

   <defaultConnectionFactory type="System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.LocalDbConnectionFactory, EntityFramework">
       <parameter value="v11.0" />
     <provider invariantName="System.Data.SqlClient" type="System.Data.Entity.SqlServer.SqlProviderServices, EntityFramework.SqlServer" />

I'm using SQL Server 2008 R2.

As I do have a connection string, I don't believe I need the defaultconnectionfactory. Am I correct? (Note: Even without this section I'm still getting the same exception)

What else am I missing?

I had the same issue when my <connectionString /> entry is on top part of the Web.config, Right after <configuration>. Then I tried moving it right before </configuration>, and it worked.

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This is mainly to do with the config file. So the actual stack trace that helps is "System.Configuration.ConfigurationErrorsException". There can be many reasons but they all majorly include the correction in the config file as answered earlier. Couple of possibilities which are little different than this are given below (But the stack really tells us)

  1. One possible out of the way reason can be that, your project where the migrations are getting enabled can be different from the startup project. So be sure to add -StartUpProject to your nuget commmand.
  2. Version of the entity framework used can be different in case of two different projects.

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I met with the same issue. My problem is that there are double connection string on the Web.config file. like as below:

<add name="DB1234" ..../> <add name="DB1234" ..../> So we have to check our web.config file first! Good Luck!

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In my case I had several projects in the solution and another project was set as the StartUp project. Setting the project that I was trying to enable migrations for as the StartUp project resolved it.

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check the spelling of your 'connectionString' and make sure it is 'connectionStrings' I omitted the 's' before in my own case. After adding the 's', that solved it.

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  • Name should be name, I'm guessing. =)
  • You're correct. This is the answer. Under <entityFramework> I have <providers> and this is not in the xsd. Should it be removed somewhere else?
  • That I have no idea about, sorry.
  • Just so future readers know, the first element after <configuration> must be <configSections> if there are any custom configuration sections defined. Entity Framework adds a custom configuration section named <entityFramework>. Therefore, especially when using Entity Framework, you'll break your app if you put anything else right after <configuration>.
  • For me, my <connectionString> was placed in the right place, but we had some build transformations going on. When the code was built by TFS after we deployed it it was using the wrong values for the connection string.
  • Nice one, #1 was the problem. Thanks.
  • This error occurred for me when Web.config (or App.config in the original author's case) had some unintended characters in it. Check your version control diff and see if you've made any unwanted changes to that config file.
  • Simply right-clicking the desired project and setting as the startup worked for me. Thanks for this.