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

(133) Review
Visual Studio
2013, 2012, 2010
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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.

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.

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  • How to configure for TFS2015?
    1 Posts | Last post Fri 12:56 PM
    • Has anyone found any article explaining how to make this awesome product work on TFS2015 as part of a team build?
  • Transformed XML no longer deployed via Web Deploy
    2 Posts | Last post October 02, 2015
    • For years I've been working on project that uses SlowCheetah to transform XML files for on screen text. 
      During the Web Deploy process for Windows Azure - the files are transformed, copied to ASPNETCompileMerge, packaged and delivered to my Azure website. Nice and simple. 
      Recently this process has stopped working.
      The files are clearly transformed and copied to the bin/app_data folder correctly. But when I take a look at the obj/BUILDXXX/Source/ASPNETCompileMerge/Source/App_Data I only see the untransformed version of XML document.
      From there the wrong xml file is packaged and deployed to the server.
      Any ideas? Comments? Anything? I've spent 5 full days trying to figure it out and I'm no closer now than when I started.
    • Hi Justin,
      I have the same problem! 
      Everything worked fine and now it stopped working. 
      Did you find a solution?
  • Need SlowCheetah Installation Help
    3 Posts | Last post September 22, 2015
    • On a newly installed Visual Studio 2013 (Windows Server 2012), I have created a new Console project, then installed SlowCheetah 2.5.15 using the NuGet manager. I right-click on App.config file but I don't see the "Transform" menu option as I expect. The same happens in Visual Studio 2015. This has worked for me on other boxes. Any suggestions on how to debug this? 
    • fwiw, here is the Package Manager output after installing SC 2.5.15:
      Attempting to gather dependencies information for package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' with respect to project 'ConsoleApplication1', targeting '.NETFramework,Version=v4.5.2'
      Attempting to resolve dependencies for package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' with DependencyBehavior 'Lowest'
      Resolving actions to install package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15'
      Resolved actions to install package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15'
      For adding package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to project 'ConsoleApplication1' that targets 'net452'.
      For adding package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to project 'ConsoleApplication1' that targets 'net452'.
      Adding package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to folder 'c:\users\<name obscured>\documents\visual studio 2015\Projects\ConsoleApplication1\packages'
      Added package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to folder 'c:\users\<name obscured>\documents\visual studio 2015\Projects\ConsoleApplication1\packages'
      Added file 'SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets' to folder 'Properties\SlowCheetah'.
      Added file 'Properties\SlowCheetah\SlowCheetah.Transforms.targets' to project 'ConsoleApplication1'.
      Added package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to 'packages.config'
      Added file 'packages.config' to project 'ConsoleApplication1'.
      For adding package 'SlowCheetah.2.5.15' to project 'ConsoleApplication1' that targets 'net452'.
      Executing script file 'c:\users\<name obscured>\documents\visual studio 2015\Projects\ConsoleApplication1\packages\SlowCheetah.2.5.15\tools\Install.ps1'...
      Installing SlowCheetah to project [c:\users\<name obscured>\documents\visual studio 2015\Projects\ConsoleApplication1\ConsoleApplication1\ConsoleApplication1.csproj]
      Name              : SlowCheetahToolsPath
      Value             : $([System.IO.Path]::GetFullPath( $(MSBuildProjectDirectory)\..\packages\SlowCheetah.2.5.15\tools\))
      Condition         : 
      Label             : 
      Parent            : Microsoft.Build.Construction.ProjectPropertyGroupElement
      AllParents        : {Microsoft.Build.Construction.Projec
    • Its because that the Nuget package does not provide the Visual studio extension for previewing the transforms, it only provides transforms on build. In order to preview the transforms you have to install the visual studio extension called SlowCheetah found on visual studio gallery or using the VS extension manager.
  • SlowCheetah XML transform app.config at deploy stage
    1 Posts | Last post September 10, 2015
    • Hi all, 
      I use SlowCheetah 2.5.15 with VS2015 to manage an app.config file for a Win8.1 universal app in order to manage connectionStrings based on build config. Everything is ok about the transformation but at the deploy stage the wrong file is publish to the ..\AppX\ folder - i.e. the default app.config (with no transformation) is published ! Does anyone have a solution. 
      It seems that the target _ComputeAppxPackagePayload building _UnfilteredAppxPackagePayload and _CalculateInputsForGenerateAppxPackageRecipe list building _GenerateAppxPackageRecipeInput list contains the wrong file. This lead to have a (my app is HelloWorld) with the wrong file - i.e. the app.config with non transformation ! 
      Thx for your help. Let me know if you need the complete build log or file. 
  • 2 questions
    1 Posts | Last post September 08, 2015
    • Hi,
      Thanks for this cool tool!
      Questions (VS2012 update 4):
      1 - No "Preview Transform" on "Web.Release.config". I do get it when I right-click on the Debug config. Why is that?
      2 - I have a separate config for connection strings. I configured profile configs for each, but it doesn't seem the tool picked it up. Do I need to configure this somewhere?
  • VS2015 Support
    2 Posts | Last post August 25, 2015
    • Excellent project. Is there an e.t.a for VS2015 support?
    • Visual Studio 2015 Support:
  • VS2013 Update 5
    1 Posts | Last post July 30, 2015
    • Hi,
      Does it support VS2013 Update 5 ?
  • VS2015
    1 Posts | Last post July 21, 2015
    • Is there an ETA when this will be updated to support VS 2015?
  • Preserve format of original config file
    1 Posts | Last post June 16, 2015
    • Is there some way to preserve the format of the original config file?
      We've got the VS option "Align attributes each on separate line" for XML files
      But after running a web config transform, the replaced section goes back to a single line 
  • TransformXml skipped due to false condition
    3 Posts | Last post June 04, 2015
    • I have a problem with log4net config files not being updated by SlowCheetah in Visual Studio 2010.  I'm using SlowCheetah  When I look at diagnostic build output, I receive the message:
      Task "SlowCheetah.Xdt.TransformXml" skipped, due to false condition; (Exists('%(RelativeDir)%(Filename).$(Configuration)%(Extension)')
      and '%(Link)'!='' ) was evaluated as (Exists('Log4Net.Prod.config')
      and '' != '').
      I have two questions:
      1)  Where is SlowCheetah getting the "Prod" configuration from?  I'm using the "Release" build profile in Visual Studio 2010.
      2)  In the csproj file for my project, I see no references to a "<Link>" element but the log4net config file is referenced in a "<None>" element.  Clearly Slowcheetah is finding the log4net.config file to attempt the transformation but won't the fact that there is no <Link> element always prevent the transformation from happening?
    • Ok, since posting this, I answered my questions.  The above issue with the "<Link>" element isn't relevant to my problem at all.
      Nevermind.  :)
    • Hi Tom, 
      I am getting this same error. How did you fix it? Can you post your solution in this forum please for everyone's benefit?
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