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Deploy the right app.config every time with build events

It’s been a while since i have been “searching” build events but recently i made a mistake in creating setup for a customer by packing my own app.config so i have to do this all over again(poor me) so i decided to find a way to deploy the “right” app.config file every time.

Of course you can use many apps/procedures to do this and in large teams you can use servers just for this thing (along with unit testing and stuff of course …) but for a poor developer like me which comes from the all-time-classic-keeping-things-simple-DOS-age this is the most sufficient solution. Here it goes(i suppose you have a windows project with a app.config file ready)…


Create a app_deploy.config file in project directory




then while app_deploy.config is selected go to properties (F4) and change the “Do not copy” property to “Copy if newer”




after that right click on project and select “Properties”, select “Build Events” tab and push the “edit post-build” button




finally you can write this script into the window (or you can write your own DOS-like scripts using the macros described there)

IF $(ConfigurationName) == Debug GOTO end
md c:\Build\TestProject
copy $(TargetPath) c:\Build\TestProject
copy $(TargetDir)app_deploy.config c:\Build\TestProject\$(ProjectName).exe.config
copy $(TargetDir)*.dll c:\Build\TestProject


this line is checking that it isn’t debug mode

IF $(ConfigurationName) == Debug GOTO end

second line makes a build directory

md c:\Build\TestProject

the third line copies the .exe file to output directory

copy $(TargetPath) c:\Build\TestProject

the forth line deploy our configuration file and rename’s it to match the exe file

copy $(TargetDir)app_deploy.config c:\Build\TestProject\$(ProjectName).exe.config

the fifth line copies the necessary dll’s that application requires

copy $(TargetDir)*.dll c:\Build\TestProject

and the last is the “escape” line of the debug mode


after this you can build your project in any other mode than debug and then the “deployable” files in c:\Build\TestProject


Thank you for reading this and see you soon!!!

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  1. July 9th, 2009 at 11:07 | #1

    Nice blog.. really like it..

  2. naati translator
    July 17th, 2009 at 19:01 | #2

    Great post – Just subscriped to your RSS feed.. Thanks

  3. July 18th, 2009 at 05:53 | #3

    thank you!

    Hope my "findings" help you!

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