Introduction: Versioning Troubles
In the project I'm currently working on, we have multiple projects in one solution. One of the problems we've faced is how to keep all the version numbers (generally found in the ApplicationInfo file) in sync. Ok, so "problem" might be too strong of a word. It's more of an annoyance, but nonetheless, it would be nice to have some sort of automated solution. The other day, I downloaded some sample code for an unrelated issue, but they had a really nice solution to the versioning puzzle. I've now added this solution to my current project, with a few little wrinkles, and it seems to be working really well (we won't know for sure until the next release). [NOTE: this solution assumes you want the same version number for each project in the solution]
The Short of It
Here's what you need to do:
- Remove these attributes from the AssemblyInfo files in each project in the solution:
- Create a new file in the root directory of the solution (I named mine VersionInfo).
- Add the attributes that we removed from the AssemblyInfo file to your new file (you'll also need to add a reference to the
- On each project in the solution, right click the project and select Add->Existing Item.
- HERE'S THE KEY. Browse to your newly created version file, but instead of clicking the "Add" button, click the little down arrow next to the word "Add" and then click "Add as link" from the menu it drops down.
What Did We Just Do?
Normally when you add an existing file, the IDE copies the selected file to the current directory. By selecting "Add as link," what we've done is link the file in from its original location (yes, I know you figured that out from the name "Add as link"). Now when we build our solution, each project will compile in the exact same file (VersionInfo in my case) , thus giving each project the same version number.
The Next Step
To make this really cool (well, at least I think it's cool) I've created a build script to automate the process of creating the release build. The script prompts for the version number of the release and updates the version file before doing the build. Here's a snippet of my script (parts of this script were omitted to protect the innocent)...
Set shell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set fileSystemObject = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Echo "Getting version number"
versionNumber = InputBox("What version is this build?", "Version")
"""C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe""_
SolutionName.sln /Rebuild Release", "Failed to build"
Set file = fileSystemObject.OpenTextFile("Version.cs", 2)
file.WriteLine "using System.Reflection"+ vbcrlf + _
vbcrlf + _ "[assembly:AssemblyVersion""" + _
versionNumber + ".0.0"")]" + _
vbcrlf + "[assembly:AssemblyFileVersion""" + _
versionNumber + ".0.0"")]"
sub RunCommand(command, failMessage)
result = shell.Run(command, 1 , 1)
TestResult result, failMessage
sub TestResult(result, failMessage)
if result <> 0 then
I now have a very simple and very automated versioning process. It makes sure that our projects' version numbers are never out of sync and, more importantly, makes sure that I don't forget to update the version numbers when I do a final release build. I hope this helps.