SlowCheetah - XML Transforms


This package enables you to transform your app.config or any other XML file based on the build configuration. It also adds additional tooling to help you create XML transforms.. Written by: Sayed Ibrahim Hashimi, Chuck England and Bill Hiebert

(102) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
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by maskey | Thu 6:11 AM

by Mathias Colpaert | April 01 2014

SlowCheetah might be a bit buggy to set up, but once it works its great!

by Micky D | March 28 2014

Conflicts with ReSharper 8.1. Had to Suspend and Resume Resharper because I could not edit any file after applying a template

by Craig Brett (JP) | March 25 2014

I spent an afternoon trying to get this going for a team project. After a fair while thrashing with the already-mentioned "The SlowCheetah.Xdt.TransformXml" task could not be loaded from the assembly" problem, I eventually solved it by deleting the %localappdata%\Microsoft\MsBuild\Slowcheetah folder and it semed to resolve itself on my local machine and I was allowed to build and run stuff. I then deployed this to my colleagues who didn't have the plugin, under the impression that the NuGet package would make everything alright. No joy, regardless of what I tried. I'm now having to see if I can hand-roll a solution for changing config settings for people. Gets 2 stars because I like the idea and it kind of worked on my machine.

by Daniel Castenholz | February 07 2014

Nice integration with VS. Makes a chore much more manageable.

by Spesimensen | January 30 2014

Excelent tool! Thank you very much.

by Leonidas1 | December 06 2013

by AranV | November 27 2013

by 2Toad | November 23 2013

An invaluable addition to Visual Studio! Totally beats editing project files by hand. Well done!

by schleeke | November 11 2013

by Eric A. Duesing | November 01 2013

by Christoffer Johnsson | November 01 2013

Very nice tool, keep up the good work.

FYI to all people that get's build errors and use Ncrunch. You must include the package in Ncrunch, else you will get build errors.

Version works well with ncrunch, version and doesn't.

by ankgupta067 | November 01 2013

facing error -
Error 1 The "SlowCheetah.Xdt.TransformXml" task could not be loaded from the assembly C:\Users\SESA254846\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSBuild\SlowCheetah\v2.5.10\SlowCheetah.Xdt.dll. Could not load file or assembly 'file:///C:\Users\SESA254846\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSBuild\SlowCheetah\v2.5.10\SlowCheetah.Xdt.dll' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified. Confirm that the <UsingTask> declaration is correct, that the assembly and all its dependencies are available, and that the task contains a public class that implements Microsoft.Build.Framework.ITask. ConsoleApplication2

by WorkAByte | October 22 2013

amazing, cant believe I haven't found this sooner!
thanks for the simply awesome plug in

by MToons | October 08 2013

Excellent work -- so far only one major problem with web applications (solved here:

by e.sabbadin | September 19 2013

It works in vsnet 2012, but NOT on the TFS build server. I did not installed the plugin on the built server
I expected that the plugin was required only in the configuration phase, not to trigger the magic
, that is that it used the native xmltrasform features .. isn0t it the case ?

Sayed-Ibrahim-Hashimi September 21 2013
| Edit |

Hi e.sabbadin, when you install SlowCheetah into a project there is a message in the package manager console regarding build server support. Because of the way NuGet package restore is implemented there is some additional steps that need to be taken. You can read more info on how to enable that at

by Ed Schimmel | September 13 2013

It really annoys me that after an upgrade Slow Cheetah suddenly stopped working. In the first instance I was really pleased with this tool, but I can not use it when it is this buggy. It is a shame that there are no other tools doing the transformations, as far as I know.

Sayed-Ibrahim-Hashimi September 14 2013
| Edit |

Did you file a question in Q&A regarding your issue?

FYI please don't expect each release to be bug free. This is a one man project so I rely on the community to help in reporting issues when they arise.

by Mohammad Azis Fatoni | September 13 2013

by Pbsharper | September 06 2013

Highly recommended!
Used it for polyglot (f# c#) project. Worked without a hitch!

by zendu | September 06 2013

Release simply sucks. It cannot even build project by throwing error - Could not copy the file"...exe.config" because it was not found.

PS: I wonder why there is no way to download earlier versions. It would at least made it easy to downgrade. With corporate firewall blocking NuGet packages, I am left with no options but to uninstall SlowCheetah and wait for next release that will fix the issue. So bad!

Sayed-Ibrahim-Hashimi September 14 2013
| Edit |

Sorry I had some issues with Things should be better with 2.5.8, can you try and let me know? FYI regarding installing older versions you can always use the NuGet package manager console to install a specific version of the build support.

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  • Transform an Embedded Resource XML
    2 Posts | Last post September 30, 2013
    • Is it possible to transform an XML file that is set as Embedded Resource?. I'm having problems with a transformation like that. Thanks.
    • This is not possible.
  • SlowCheetah changes XML character references
    1 Posts | Last post September 19, 2013
    • I'm using the SlowCheetah 2.5.8 NuGet package for config transforms and it's automatically transforming XML character references as follows
          <param name="Header" value="&#13;&#10;[HEADER]"/>
          <param name="Header" value="&#xD;&#xA;[HEADER]"/>
      How do I keep the original XML character references intact?
  • work in vsnet 2012, but NOT on the TFS build server
    1 Posts | Last post September 18, 2013
    • Hi, i'm facing this problem. 
      Is it supported ? What should i check ? 
      thank you 
  • Can you use SlowCheetah with the Wix harvesting feature
    2 Posts | Last post September 18, 2013
    • We are trying to use SlowCheetah with a Wix 3.7 installer project. When we try to use the Wix harvesting feature, the Wix build fails with the Heat error shown below. 
      We are new to SlowCheetah and also to Wix, so please accept our apologies if there is something obvious here that we are missing. Thanks in advance for any ideas and/or suggestions! 
      Here is the compile error received when we try to build the solution.
      Build error during harvesting: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSBuild\SlowCheetah\v1\SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets(91,5): Could not open Transform file: Could not find file 'C:\Users\UserName\Desktop\Source\Applications\AppName\Branches\\NET\MonikerInstaller\app.Debug.config'.
    • Same problem here. Any ideas?
  • Bug in
    15 Posts | Last post September 09, 2013
    • Hi!
      Thanks for a great product, although it seems to be a bug in the latest version. When I compile I get an error MSB3030 that is telling me that my bin/debug/*.config could not be found. 
      If I uninstall SlowCheetah and manually removes the content in C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSBuild\SlowCheetah it compiles as expected.
      Anyways thanks again
    • I too am seeing this problem. Is there any fix short of uninstalling?
    • I'm also seeing this behavior.  Is it possible to roll back to the previous version until this gets fixed?
    • I'll add to that I am also experiencing the issue.
    • I too am getting this behavior.  My project builds just fine right up to the point that I add transforms.  As soon as those App.<build level>.config files are created, my app builds halt having only created the .vshost.* files in the bin folder.  Delete the transform files and the build can resume.  
      VS2010, SlowCheetah
    • More complicated than I first thought.  Messing with a new project, the tool works for me.  But I can't seem to get my existing application to get past the errors mentioned above.  
      I found the project in GitHub and I'm submitting an issue.
    • Sorry to hear you are having issues. Can you tell me: what types of projects have this issue and what version of VS are you using?
    • I'm using VS2012 Update 3 and see the problem with two WinForms apps. There isn't anything special about these two apps that I can see. Just run of the mill WinForms. I do have very simple usage of app.config transforms in both of these, literally one appsetting change in release mode and none in debug.
    • Any chance of someone sharing the project and source code for an impacted project? I am not able to reproduce this issue.
    • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012
      Version 11.0.60610.01 Update 3
      Microsoft .NET Framework
      Version 4.5.50709
      Installed Version: Ultimate
      Doesn't seem to matter what project type.  Doesn't work on winform or wpf projects.
    • I was able to get it to work for specific projects by adding the 2.5.5 version of the nuget package to my project.  Prior to this version that broke things, I never used the nuget package and just used the vs extension.
    • I am using VS2012 Ultimate update 3. Project types: wpf, wcf and windows service.
    • Sayed, my two apps have too many dependencies and hooks into the larger solution to offer as a repro case. So I went and created a new WinForms app and cannot cause the problem, even with exactly the same config files and transforms. I'm not sure what to make of this. Clearly something is wrong in the two projects I have. If it helps any I am willing to offer you the project file itself, though it won't build of course due to the lack of dependencies.
    • Sayed, the most recent update has resolved this problem for me. Thank you so much, and thanks for the awesome product!
    • Also reporting that 2.5.8 has repaired the issue for me.  Thanks again.
  • Limit on default number of web.config transforms
    1 Posts | Last post September 09, 2013
    • Hi,
      Is there a limit on default number of web.config transforms that can be added. Beyond 11 transforms, I don't get the option to "Add Config Transforms" when I right click on web.config. I then have to create a transform manually and associate to the web.config.
      Another thing I noticed is that though I have more than 11 build configs defined, only 11 web.config transforms get added. Any further transforms have to be added manually. Is there a way I can change this setting?
  • Transform on build works but on publish not so much
    3 Posts | Last post August 30, 2013
    • I have been trying to get this to work with a web application called EPiServer CMS. The Web.config loads configuration sections from a number of files (configSource=). for example: Appsettings.config, episerver.config and episerverframework.config. 
      I have successfully got this working for all my files on "build" so that all the files build according to the correct transform file. Thanks to your page here: Wonderful, thank you :)
      But, the issue I am having is on publish. When I choose to publish my website only the web.config file and appsettings.config are delivered to the output folder (and correctly transformed). There are two other files in the project (EPiServerLog.config and FileSummary.config) which I do not transform and both of these files are also copied.
      Can you suggest any reason why some of the files would not be copying? (episerver.config and episerverframework.config do not copy). It doesn't matter what I set the Build Action or the Copy to Output Directory to.
      Thanks in advance, both for any light you can shed on the issue and for an amazing extension =)
    • I seem to have solved it by removing the files from my project and re-adding them. Now all seems to be working the way I want it =)
    • Just a quick note: The files before I removed them all appeared under web.config in visual studio (I mean there was a + button and the files would be grouped under) - now they are not grouped there it works fine. Hope this helps anyone else :)
  • What is wrong?
    2 Posts | Last post August 21, 2013
    • Hi,
      I'm using xdt:Locator="Condition(ID/text()='1')" to select <data> from:
      Sometimes it works and smonetimes not, can you tell me what can I do wrong that it isnt working?
    • PS. I'm doing this that way:
          <Data xdt:Locator="Condition(ID/text()='1')">
  • Must be missing something...
    1 Posts | Last post August 20, 2013
    • Just tried adding this to a VS2010 web application project and everything seemed to be ok but when I right click the web.config file I just see the stock Add Config Transform.  I can see it added to packages.config etc
      Is there something else I need to do to enable it?  
  • Visual Studio 2013
    1 Posts | Last post August 09, 2013
    • Can we expect an update for VS2013 in the near future by any chance? Was very sad to find out this is not currently compatible. Only extension from my toolset that is missing currently :/
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