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

(138) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
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by Dave_MEC | January 19 2016

This is an extension I can't live without. We use this in everyone of our applications. It should be added as part of Visual Studio going forward.

by jmelllo | November 19 2015

by DragonOfId | November 12 2015

This extension has made configuring console programs for multiple environments SO much easier. I have no idea why this functionality isn't native in VS!

by George Birbilis | November 05 2015

see for VS2015

by the real Tim Partridge | October 23 2015

Works as advertised. Downloaded, installed, restarted Visual Studio. Done

by Toomas Talviste | September 23 2015

by Kevin Landymore | September 15 2015

Doesn't work with a build controller. Useless for me sadly, these things should work "out of the box".

by Richard M Lee | September 06 2015

Invaluable! A feature that should definitely be native to visual studio.

by SabbirSpider | August 14 2015

Great Package.It reduces my lot of manual task for my windows application

by sukhdeep.singh1 | July 31 2015

Great plugin, a life saver :)

by ronnotel | July 18 2015

I've been coding large financial trading frameworks in VS/C# since .NET 1.1 days (12/13 years). From this perspective, I can affirmatively state that Slow Cheetah is by far the most productive package that is not currently integrated into the VS tool. I'm walking through a major rollout now involving five different staging environments and over twenty different server configs. Without Slow Cheetah, the other 35 people in the deployment team waiting on my builds would be left high and dry while I tried to manage the configs by hand. VS management - what the *hell* are you thinking? Integrate!

by MGSman123 | June 30 2015

Excellent extension! Definitely essential to my VS toolbelt going forward. Works like a charm in VS2015 too. Just needed to tweak the vsextension xml inside the package :)

by Blue Ajaz | June 03 2015

by dittodhole | April 23 2015

by Tim Long | April 20 2015

5 stars, a genuinely useful tool whenever you need different connection strings, diagnostic logging (etc, etc) configuration for release vs. debug builds.

by MSreenath | March 17 2015

Hi Ibrahim,

Thanks for writing this great tool. I have a question regarding this tool.

Question 1:

How this tool will help if I am creating ONE setup project (msi project) for all my environments and have multiple configuration files ? How can I build and deploy in this case.

As far as I can see this tool works great if you are doing file copy deployment. It just does not make sense to create setup file (read msi) for each environment, if that route I am taking for this

Question 2:

I have 5 different applications (Three Console Applications, Two Windows Service and Two Web)

Can I keep a one master config file and update all these five applications without copying same settings to app.staging.confing likewise to all applications.

Again, it takes lot of time and create this tool, I myself struggled create such tool but it is far from the level you have reached.

Please let me know. I am waiting for your response.


by jhjhkl758 | March 12 2015


by Cosmin Vana | January 19 2015

by Victor Lindsey | January 16 2015

I really like this tool for Visual Studio (both 2010 and 2013), and cannot understand Microsoft's reluctance to adopt this as a standard feature for all future versions of the IDE.

I found that for me, using the VSIXinstaller for each edition of Visual Studio I'm using, worked well to get it installed. And I have to make sure that custom XML-styled configuration files are marked with "Copy always" or "Copy if newer".

by 程湘之間 | January 06 2015

It's a very good add-on for Visual Studio.
Maybe making a formal part of Visual Studio will be a good idea.

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  • SlowCheetah and NLog config files?
    1 Posts | Last post June 14, 2013
    • Does SlowCheetah support NLog config files? I was able to use the "Add Transform" function to create NLog.Debug.config and NLog.Release.config but when I edit NLog.Release.config I don't get the Intellisense for the xdt xml entries. 
  • SlowCheetah transforms &quot wrong
    1 Posts | Last post June 13, 2013
    • I have a Sitecore include config file with the following XML. I have added a transform to this config, but before I add anything to the transform, it changes the following
      <setting name="InvalidItemNameChars">
      	<patch:attribute name="value">\/:?&quot;&lt;&gt;|[]</patch:attribute>
      <setting name="InvalidItemNameChars">
        <patch:attribute name="value">\/:?"&lt;&gt;|[]</patch:attribute>
      Why will &quot; be converted to ", when I have added nothing to the transform.
  • Build error with Slow Cheetah
    1 Posts | Last post June 04, 2013
    • I am trying to run msbuild on Hudson build server. The builds fail with following error - 
       D:\Hudson\jobs\MyProj\ASSEMBLIES\SlowCheetah\SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets(101,5): error : Name cannot begin with the '<' character, hexadecimal value 0x3C. Line 23, position 1. [D:\Hudson\jobs\MyProj\MyProj.csproj]
      The same project however builds from Visual Studio. Any idea what might be wrong here?
  • SlowCheetah does not transform during build
    2 Posts | Last post May 30, 2013
    • Slow Cheetah has worked perfectly for over a month. Now, all of the sudden, my builds are not transforming. I do have the configuration setup on multiple projects within the solution. Both projects have the associated Debug & Release configuration files associated with the parent app.config file.
      Here is an example of my transformation statement.
          <add name="MSSQL" connectionString="ConnectionStringHere" xdt:Transform="Replace" xdt:Locator="Match(name)"/>
      After building in either Debug or Release, I am checking the (ApplicationName).exe.config file. Here, the values do not change. I have even selected the "Preview Transformation" and the preview works without failure. It seems like Slow Cheetah is not getting the call during build.
      I have uninstalled and re installed the Slow Cheetah extension. No luck.
      Any recommendations on how to fix this problem?
    • ***Update
      I am able to create an entirely new project and the transforms work fine. It would appear something became corrupt or missing altogether. It seems odd that both projects would do this simultaneously.
  • Using SlowCheetah with edmx file
    1 Posts | Last post May 30, 2013
    • I'm trying to use SlowCheetah on an .edmx file to change an attribute of the Schema element from ProviderManifestToken="2008" to ProviderManifestToken="2005".
      But, before I can get even that far I created the most minimal transformation file which only includes the root element. Previewing the transform should result in no changes, but what happens is that the final section of the transformed EDMX files has been changed. It incorrectly changes the <Designer> element to <edmx:Designer>.
      Here's the transform file I'm starting with:
      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
      <!-- For more information on using transformations 
           see the web.config examples at -->
      <edmx:Edmx Version="3.0" xmlns:edmx="">
      I imagine this problem could be reproduced with any edmx file.
  • Slow Cheetah will not install using nuget package manager
    1 Posts | Last post May 30, 2013
    • I have installed SlowCheetah - XML Transforms and installed SlowCheetah using the Nuget Package Manager.  I am using Visual Studio Professional 2012 Update 2.
      I have an .net console application where SlowCheetah is working successfully for me.  I created a Release build of my .net console application and placed it in a different directory.  
      When I use Visual Studio 2012 to access this copy of the .net console application SlowCheetah does not show as an installed package.  I then attempted to install SlowCHeetah using the Nuget Package Manager.  A window appears with messages about the install progressing.  The window closes and the package does not show under the installed packages in Nuget Pacakage manager.  Because the installation fails the transforms are not working.
      Is there an installation log file that I can read to see if any errors happened during installation.  
  • config files in my web project are being transformed on build
    3 Posts | Last post May 23, 2013
    • Hi, 
        I have just installed slow cheetah. I have other config files such as connectionStrings.config in my web project. When I build they are getting transformed and updating the config files in my application route.. The default behavior is for them to only transform on publish? 
    • where can I download a previous version.. cant use nuget atm
    • Ok i have used nuget but can't figure out how to use slowcheetah version 2.5.1 without the plugin from this page.. 
      Any links to the 2.5.1 visx?
  • Slowcheetah keeps adding a 32bit log4net dll on building the project
    1 Posts | Last post May 23, 2013
    • If i have slowcheetah installed I keep getting a 32bit version of log4net added. This in turn breaks my app as I have a 64bit machine. 
      Is there any way round this?
  • How do You make this work on Web projects (MVC)
    2 Posts | Last post May 22, 2013
    • Hi, 
      I've been using this tool for windows apps and it works perfect.. 
      What I was expecting though - that after I add it to the WEB-MVC project and hit "F5" (as the picture above says - the transform would be applied. 
      How do I make this work for WEB projects ? 
    • I was expecting this functionality as well.
  • Config transform files are hidden in VS2012 ?
    1 Posts | Last post May 21, 2013
    • I'm running VS2012. After I add the transforms to either web.config or app.config, the only way to see the new transform templates is to "Show All Files" in solution Explorer. Why can't I expand the the .config files without showing all files? Am I missing a setting in VS2012 or ???
      Tony W
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