We have many windows services and web apps which all rely on a lot of common settings. Currently we use just appSettings as needed and they are referenced by key. Some of the settings are app specific and only know by the app team while others are environment specific and only know by the deployment team. Also we have issues when we have to make a change to common setting necessitating the change 100s of files and restarting all corresponding services. With the great variety of settings there are duplicates ones that are no longer used and many that don't mean the same thing to different applications.
To solve the problem I had a two fold idea one we would write a custom config sections group for the company with custom config sections for each app and one for common. The common section would be able to accessed by a wcf service and validate that all of its settings are the current settings.
My question is am I reinventing the wheel are there any good frameworks/projects/products that are designed to manage many many configurations files in a distributed environment, and if not is the approach I have decided take a reasonable one.