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
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!
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".
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.
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.
Terrific work -- the only problem with web.config can be solved with a little trickery (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/16225304/using-slowcheetah-config-transforms-on-web-config-in-a-3-5-web-forms-app).
After hours of debugging trying to understand why SlowCheetah stopped working after updating to the last Nuget package I discovered that if the "SlowCheetah" PropertyGroup is at the end of the csproj file, file transformation stops working.
If I move it to the top, it works.
It stopped working because when I updated the Nuget package, the PropertyGroup has been removed from the csproj file and added back, but at the end.
After more research, it seems that the "SlowCheetah" PropertyGroup must be before the following import (the reason being obvious when you know it ^^) :
<Import Project="$(SlowCheetahTargets)" Condition="Exists('$(SlowCheetahTargets)')" Label="SlowCheetah" />
Could you do something about that ?
It's a quite hard issue to identify and a simple package update might break SlowCheetah...
Thank you julienN!!! You saved my day. At first I thought that the problem is in the build server, but no, actually it's the problem inside Slow Cheetah. I think it should be fixed ASAP, it's too dangerous to use such tool in production...
I added a transformation file from right click context menu of my Connections.config file subsequent to previous additions done a few months ago.
The file added is labeled 'Connections.Profile1.config'. Right click on the file, but there is no option to rename the file. How do I rename the file to Connections.QA2.config.
I have a class library project with custom .config files. Build Action for these config files are set to 'Content' and 'Copy Always'. This library project is then referenced in at least 4-5 console applications within the same solution. When the solution is built the class library's assembly and the custom config files are copied on to the the referenced projects bin folder.
What I am trying to do:
Use SlowCheetah to transform custom config files
Though SlowCheetah transforms the config files within the class library project it doesn't copy the transformed file into the referenced projects. i.e it always copies the source/original file.
Found couple of other threads but none of them were solutions based on SlowCheetah, any suggestions would be helpful. Note that I am using Install Shield Limited Edition, so the solution needs to work for .msi/setup files. Also, I dont want to link files and apply transform on the linked files as then I would have to do the same transform on all referenced projects.
Given ClassLibararyA references ClassLibraryB:
* Ensure configs from both class libraries are named App.config
* Configure transformations for both App.configs using SlowCheetah (even if you only care about one)
In the output folder for ClassLibraryA, you will find ClassLibraryB.dll.config (the transformed App.config of ClassLibraryB).
I'm using slow cheetah to manage a custom XML file. The elements that I want to update/replace don't have an attribute assigned for me to be able to use the xdt:Locator="Match(Attribute)" type of syntax.
Can you point me to an example/sample of xdt:Locator that does not use the Match syntax? I've tried using Xpath statements but not having any luck - maybe I'm doing something wrong?
Clarification to my question above, if my XML file is formatted as below:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<Configuration xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xdt="http://schemas.microsoft.com/XML-Document-Transform" xmlns="http://tempuri.org/Configuration.xsd">
I would like to use Xpath locator to find all instances where ConfigValue = ##ConnectionVariable1 and replace with a new value in the transform. I'm having difficulty with how to leverage the locator syntax to accomplish this.
Hi I've been using SlowCheetah for over a year. Awesome, thanks!
However I've run into an issue I need help with please. Apologies it's not a one line question...
The scenario is that in a solution which uses the "old" NuGet package restore (NuGet.exe and targets file checked into source control, no packages checked in), SlowCheetah v22.214.171.124 does not work on my Team Foundation Build server. This is the actual error I get on the build server:
C:\Builds\11\PaulSlowCheetahTest25105\Properties\SlowCheetah\SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets (153): The "TransformXml" task could not be loaded from the assembly C:\Builds\11\PaulSlowCheetahTest25105\Properties\SlowCheetah\SlowCheetah.Xdt.dll. Could not load file or assembly 'file:///C:\Builds\11\PaulSlowCheetahTest25105\Properties\SlowCheetah\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.
The \Poperties\SlowCheetah dir of course just has the targets file inside.
I have another solution using v126.96.36.199 with NuGet package restore and that is fine. It seems a recent change since 10.3 has introduced this issue.
I searched the web and found this:
At then end of the comments lucusc says: "What fixed it for me was to change how Nuget was restoring packages from the old way (right click solution and click Enable Nuget Package Restore) to the new preferred way. See the 2 links below for more details."
However, using Automatic Package Restore poses other issues for me as my build workflow is customised from an earlier TFS version so I can't use the new TFS2013 build workflow which has Package Restore built in.
Can you suggest a way forward?
I see a few possible options at the moment:
1. Stick with the "old" NuGet package restore, and install older SlowCheetah v188.8.131.52 which does work OK on my build server.
2. Move to Automatic Package Restore, with latest SlowCheetah, but use this workaround to force the Package Restore to happen before the solution is built: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dotnet/archive/2013/08/27/nuget-package-restore-with-team-foundation-build.aspx
3. Move to Automatic Package Restore, with latest SlowCheetah, and modify my Team Build workflow to run the NuGet Package Restore before doing the solution build.
None of these options are particularly attractive to me. I guess 3 is the right way to go but I don't relish the idea of tinkering with the TFS build workflow.
I'd be keen to hear your thoughts!!
FYI I went with option 3 in the end. So updated my build workflow to do a NuGet restore before the MSBuild. When I looked into it I found a "NuGetRestore" workflow activity so it was pretty simple to achieve. I hope this helps somebody else!
The transforms work as expected for me, but they have broken the Git integration in Visual Studio so that I cannot .gitignore any of the transformations (or at least, when I do, I can't use Visual Studio's git integration).
I need *.Debug.config files to be ignored, because they have developer specific configurations that should not be committed.
This is caused by the ms-persist.xml file that SlowCheetah puts within the .git folder, which Visual Studio then uses as an override to the .gitignore file.
There are various work-arounds to this issue, but ultimately, I'd like SlowCheetah to not put that file into .git at all, so that I can manage my ignores.
new project in Visual Studio, and in a git repo.
Add "app.Debug.config" to .gitignore and save everything.
In Visual Studios "Team Explorer" window, the app.Debug.config shows as a pending change that needs to be committed.
In Git command line, git status does not show app.Debug.config as a pending change.
Like many others here, we're seeing Slow Cheetah fail. It has been working in our web app for several months, allowing us to have different configs, one for release, one for cloud. It would be really nice to have it run on F5, but we can live with it for now.
However last week it suddenly started throwing errors in our build, the MSI is still created but we're getting messages about Slow Cheetah dll not being found. In Visual Studio 2010, I can right button click and "Preview Transform" and it does show me the before and after. However it no longer works when we publish to Azure (we use VS2010 on a deployment box to do that - too small a team to have a dedicated build manager).
Similarly, the regular "Release" transform no longer works on the build server.
I think the time has come for Microsoft to adopt this tool, which is basically sound, and give it the support it deserves.
I have an xml file as an embedded resource to be used for nhibernate configuration. I would like to embed the transformed file as the embedded resource rather than the original. Since the transformed files are copied in to the relative bin\$(Configuration) the build will and does include the non transformed file as the embedded resource. I was wondering if there is a simple way using "Slow Cheetah" to get the transformed file included as the embedded resource.
One way would be to run the transforms before the build begins and add the xml file as a Link from the bin\$(Configuration) so that you always get the transformed file rather that the original.
Hello Sayed and Kamran,
I am not at all familiar with msbuild tasks, but I also have the need to transform embedded .resx files and .settings files. Do either of you have suggestions how to modify the .csproj file to accomplish this?
I tried to build an asp.net project including slowsheetah 184.108.40.206 version and i got the following build error:
error MSB3191: Unable to create directory "C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\MSBuild\SlowCheetah\v220.127.116.11\"
Although the slowcheeta files are not located there.
When i replaced the line in the slowcheeta.transforms.targets file:
so, are you going to modify your that file or i miss something to be added?
fyi: similar issue at: https://github.com/sayedihashimi/slow-cheetah/issues/118.
i testing your package. It's great!!!
One question, when I package a worker role it doesn't copy the transformed App.config to the package. How can i fix it?
PD: I'm using visual studio 2013 (update 1)