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

(123) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
Download (182,944)
E-mail Twitter Digg Facebook
Add to favorites
Reviews (123)
Q and A (241)
Sign in to write a review
Sort by:

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.

by Rehan Saeed | December 15 2014

Vote for this feature to be built into Visual Studio. Find out more here:

by Omar Gameel Salem | December 08 2014

by Slammer17 | December 02 2014

Recently updated via nuget from :

<package id="SlowCheetah" version="" targetFramework="net45" />


<package id="SlowCheetah" version="2.5.14" targetFramework="net45" />

and after this update, Slow Cheetah stopped transforming files within VS2013 Ultimate Update 4

I rolled back to and it now works fine again.

by Josh Gallagher | October 15 2014

The simple mechanisms for replacing parts of XML that are used by
msdeploy on web.config are equally useful with any other config files.
SlowCheetah does a great job of extending that functionality in a
transparent way to other files.

by chris.morgan | September 04 2014

This extension has saved my countless hours setting up automated builds and continuous deployments. This is a must have if you need to do configuration file transforms during your build and deployment process.

by Gustin G | September 02 2014

Excellent tool - I use it in every project to achieve a clear configuration scenario.

by Thomas TwoAngel Rud Rasmussen | August 20 2014

Doesnt transforms, doesnt add new transforms, doesnt transform web.config as stated.

Soo, that's a no go im my environment

by Toons33 | July 21 2014

Terrific work -- the only problem with web.config can be solved with a little trickery (

THANK YOU SlowCheetah team.

by Victor Pascual Villanueva | July 15 2014

Making things a lot easier for Selenium testing across different browsers:

by Dmitriy N. Dokshin | July 08 2014

by Frank Fajardo | June 26 2014

Very useful. I like that it looks at the Publish Profiles, although be cautious when you rename a Profile, it does not rename the previously generated transform files. But you can always regenerate and delete the old.

by tomKober | June 24 2014

Works like a breeze. :)

by dkehring | June 24 2014

Simply does not work with ClickOnce. I have not found any information that shows how to make XML transformations work with ClickOnce. You can run the transform preview and it looks correct, but the .config.deploy file generated by ClickOnce is the original, untransformed config file. Very frustrating and completely unusable in my situation.

by Henrick P | June 19 2014

A real must if you wish to deploy to different machine with different configuration settings stored inside some other [filename].config. Still wonder why Microsoft don't have this functionality out of the box.

by marcelnita | May 22 2014


1 - 20 of 123 Items   
Sign in to start a discussion

  • Viktor Kuznetsov
    4 Posts | Last post March 02, 2013
    • We plan to use SlowCheetah to transform config files in the studio and on build server TeamCity.
      <MSBuild Projects="WebUi\WebUi.csproj"
      Transformation: Web.config + Web.$(Configuration).config + Web.$(PublishProfile).config
      We would like to use this scheme to other configuration files, such as App.config and NLog.config and etc.
    • I found answer for question :)
    • Why packageRestore.proj is created in project and not in root of solution? Have to call a build packageRestore.proj before each build project.
    • Its at the project level because NuGet package restore is a project level concept. With that said if you have multiple projects in a solution which each have SlowCheetah you only need to invoke the packageRestore.proj for one project. All the files for the solution go into the same folder. So there is no benefit of calling packageRestore.proj multiple times for the same solution.
  • Work with Visual Studio 2008
    5 Posts | Last post February 25, 2013
    • Hi,
      I'm working on visual studio 2008 environment. I read the compatibility with only 2010 or 2012. 
      Is there an older versions which supports 2008 visual studio?
      Can you post the link?
      I'm trying to use this to my BIDS 2008 app to configure test and dev environment.
    • Sorry, there is no support for VS 2008.
    • So that means in order to use it, I should install SQL Server/BIDS 2012. Correct?
    • Also, do you recommend any other plugins or recommended way to achieve multi environment config files for the same SSIS package. I would appreciate it.
    • SlowCheetah does not have any support for DB projects. I'm not sure what support you were envisioning there. We are prioritizing features at The best thing to do here is to create an item with the behavior you are looking for. After that we can prioritize that work against the other requests.
  • Unit testing with MSTest
    2 Posts | Last post February 17, 2013
    • Hi,
      I was wondering if anyone has managed to get this working with MSTest and deploying item.
      I have a BBCSearch.config file that has transforms for the different Environments. This file get transformed and outputted to the correct directory when build.
      I can not find away to deploy the TRANSFORMED file to the test directory 
      When i add it as a deployment items as <projectpath>\BBCSearch.config, the original file is copied not the TRANSFORMED file.
      Any ideas?
    • Sorry I do not have much knowledge in this area, perhaps someone else in the community may be able to help out.
  • Missing Build Configuration Transform Files
    4 Posts | Last post February 07, 2013
    • We have a solution with 8 different build configurations. When I right-click on an app.config file in one of the projects and choose "Add Transform", only app.Debug.config and app.Release.config transform files are created. In other solutions, SlowCheetah works as expected. Anyone have any idea what's going on? Here's a list of the build configurations we have:
      Debug (with DB Deploy)
      Could the problem be based on one of the build configuration names? Thanks in advance. Using VS 2010 with SlowCheetah 2.5.1.
    • I'm having the same issue on VS2012.  Did you figure it out?
    • The issues is likely how you have created your build configurations. In VS when you create a build configuration it asks if you want to create a Project Configuration as well. You should check that checkbox. With SlowCheetah the transforms are based on Project Configurations, not solution config.
    • Just solved this, which is somewhat embarrassing, but the issue is that the individual project doesn't have all the configurations that the solution does.  Manually adding the new configurations should fix the issue.
  • ClickOnce not working
    3 Posts | Last post February 06, 2013
    • I just installed version 2.5.2.  I'm trying to publish a WPF application for ClickOnce.  I just started up a blank WPF project, added a transform to the App.config, and published.  When I install the application, the config file isn't there.  Can anybody else confirm?  I'm using Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate.
      What I do see is that an App.config.deploy file gets created in the publish\Application Files\WpfApplication1_1_0_0_0\obj\Debug\SlowCheetah directory when I publish.  When the application is installed, an App.config file gets created using that same folder structure, but there's no WindowsApplication1.exe.config file created where the application needs it.
    • Hi Frank, sorry about that. I just posted a new version it should resolve this issue. Can you update and try again?
    • That fixed it.  Thanks a lot for your quick response.
  • How to Transform Value inside Colletion
    1 Posts | Last post January 31, 2013
    • I have a collection of nodes, in a particular node i want to find a node and replace its values. This is custom section
          <Type name="t1">
              <subType name="t1s1">
              <subType name="t1s2">
              <subType name="t1s3">
           <Type name="t2">
              <subType name="t2s1">
              <subType name="t2s2">
              <subType name="t3s3">
      How would i replace the Value in Type="t1" , subType ="t1s2" ?
      Also how can i write a sysntax, that if node is present replace it otyherwise insert it?
  • Packaging an Azure app.. no transform
    8 Posts | Last post January 29, 2013
    • I have a Worker Role project with an app.config.  I have 6 different configurations with transforms in them.
      When packaging an Azure app for deployment (right-click the "Cloud" project and select "Package"), the worker role's configuration files do not get transformed, or at least packaged up properly.
      Is there a way to make this happen?
    • I have same problem Tom. Did you find a solution?
      Can anyone help please?
    • Hello Tom,
      I found this version working:
      Please download the new version pointed in this comment.
      Gautam Jain
    • Thanks for sharing the link. If there are any further comments regarding this feature its best to keep those on the issue page <a href=""></a>
    • Would I have to uninstall and reinstall it?
    • I am having the same issue.  Your comments look hopeful.  However, I can't seem to get to the link provided by by gautambjain.  Is the link correct?  Does it reference a version other than what is currently on the web site?  Do I need any permissions to get into ?
      Please advise.  Thanks.
    • I have an update.  I did find the 2.5.1 release in the drop box.  I uninstalled the prior release, and installed 2.5.1 on an existing project.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to do the transform when I create a new package for an existing worker role.  I am trying to transform app.config (which transforms as desired/expected when I go into debug). Is there anything else I need to do after the install besides re-generate the Azure worker role package?
      Note I am using the November 2011 Azure SDK.  Are the transforms dependent on the June 2012 Azure SDK release?
    • Chuck, you will need the latest Azure SDK. I have not tested the support with prior versions.
  • XML-Transformation error when build deployment package
    2 Posts | Last post January 25, 2013
    • Hello,
      The XML-translation works very well in Visual Studio for my web project, but when I build a deployment package, I get a web.config with one error : only one XML-transformation doesn't done. I have $(ReplacableToken_xxx)" instead of :
          <add name="MyConnectionString"
               connectionString="$(ReplacableToken_MyConnectionString-Web.config Connection String_0)"
      Here is my xml-transformation :
              <add connectionString="Data Source=MyDB\BE,1433; Initial Catalog=MyDB;Integrated Security=SSPI" xdt:Transform="SetAttributes(connectionString)" xdt:Locator="Condition(@name='MyConnectionString')"/>
      Thank you for your help.
    • Thanks for the feedback this is not related to SlowCheetah. This is a part of the Web Project publish/package support. I've blogged more details of this at
  • Build not transforming on TFS Build Server
    7 Posts | Last post January 14, 2013
    • When I build a package on my local machine it transforms just fine, all transforms are good.  But when I submit the job to the build server it doesn't work.  I get multiple versions of the configs and they are not transformed.  I've followed the instructions and included the dll and targets file in TFS, and even embeded it in my web project.  I've pointed the project file to where the target file is: <SlowCheetahTargets Condition=" '$(SlowCheetahTargets)'=='' ">$(MSBuildProjectDirectory)\App_Data\SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets</SlowCheetahTargets>
      But I still seem to be using the transform file in my %appdata% directory - when I rename it I can't even preview the transform.  Shouldn't it use the one defined in the project file and in TFS instead?  If I am still using the .target in appdata then the build server is too...
        Using TFS 2010, VS 2010, my build is building configurations "Any CPU|Ext.Prod", same as my workstation.  I have nothing in my Build events.
       Any ideas?
    • The only info I have regarding this is my blog post at <a href=""></a>. If you are still having issues try to see if a community member can help out.
    • I have the same issue. I've already set up my project exactly as laid out in the post by Sayed, but the build server still does not transform my config files. Using the local publishing from Visual Studio works fine, though. 
    • If you take a look at the build log you should see if the .targets file is getting imported or not. I am guessing that the file is not being imported. Could you take a look and let me know if you are able to determine that?
    • You are right. The .targets file is not even being referenced. My path to the targets file was not correct. Anyway, once I've got that fixed, I found one more issue. When I access the source files in my TFS Build server (_PublishedWebsites\ProjectName), the config files are NOT transformed. However, they are transformed within the packages (_PublishedWebsites\ProjectName_Package). Is there any way to correct this? 
    • I am having the same problem. What can I expect to see in the log file if the SlowCheetah targets file is being imported?
    •   So, apparently my transforms may have been working the whole time on the build server.  I was looking at the configs in the _PublishedWebsites build directory, seeing that they were not transformed.  It didn't occur to me that the zipped package might contain different configuration values than the unzipped directory! (Thanks deweaver!)
        Also, my server build log does not contain references to ".targets" or "SlowCheetah" anywhere.
        Everyone needs to check the config files deep inside of the zipped Project_Package file to tell if the transform worked on the build server.
        I will now re-assess our use of this tool (I had given up on it).  Certainly fixing it to do the transforms in both build directories would make it much more useful.
  • I'm Stumped
    1 Posts | Last post December 27, 2012
    • My environment is VS 2010 Ultimate. I have a web app with 2 xml files - web.config and a metadata file for use with Indentity Framework. I have 3 build configurations set up.
      FYI - I took the lazt way out on the transforms. Rather than including only the deltas in the transform file, I am doing a complete REPLACE action in the first node of the files.
      I set up the web.config for Transform first, populated the transform files. The transform for the web.config works.
      The metadata file is a different story. Right after the Add Transform step I knew something was up. This is the first line of the original file before the Add Transform:
      <EntityDescriptor ID="_86192c4f-2aaa-43de-aec5-705f61278051" entityID="http://localhost/myapp/" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata"></EntityDescriptor>
      Here's the first line of one of the transform files right after the Add Transform:
      <EntityDescriptor xmlns:xdt="" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata"></EntityDescriptor>
      As you can see several attributes are missing. I can add those back and everything is good. However, in this transform file the REPLACE action needs to be on the EntityDescriptor line. If I add the REPLACE transform action:
      <EntityDescriptor xmlns:xdt="" xdt:Transform="Replace" ID="_86192c4f-2aaa-43de-aec5-705f61278051" entityID="http://localhost/SavaSecurity/" xmlns="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:metadata"></EntityDescriptor>
      and try to preview it I get an error dialog "There was an error processing the transformation". 
      Not sure where to go from here. Am wondering whether the additional attributes on that line are causing a problem.
      Your help will be appreciated......
101 - 110 of 241 Items