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Posted 24 Feb 2011
Licenced CPOL

Incrementing AssemblyVersion revision number on each build

, 2 Oct 2011
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Change the revision number of your project without manual intervention.

On each release (or build operation), we are incrementing our build number to flag that we've done something different. Although Visual Studio has an auto-build/revision feature (use the "*" in the AssemblyVersion attribute), like the following code shows:

[assembly: AssemblyVersion("1.0.0.*")]

However, that number begins from a very large value. Some of us would love to start from 1 and increment the revision number one by one. Hereby, I wrote this script to do the job.

var al = WScript.Arguments.length;
if (al < 1) {
    WScript.StdErr.WriteLine ("Error: Missing input file name.");
var n = WScript.Arguments(0); // file name
var c = al > 1 ? WScript.Arguments(1) : ""; // config name

var sh = new ActiveXObject("Shell.Application");
var f = sh.NameSpace(n.replace(/\\[^\\]+$/g, "")).ParseName(n.replace(/.+?\\([^\\]+)$/g, "$1"));
var ft = f.ModifyDate; // Keep the original modification date/time of the file

var s = new ActiveXObject("ADODB.Stream");
    s.Type = 2;
    s.CharSet = "UTF-8"; // Make SURE that the encoding is correct, otherwise damage may occur
    s.LoadFromFile (n);
var t = s.ReadText ();
var r = /\[assembly:\s*(System\.Reflection\.)?AssemblyVersion(
var a = r.exec(t);
if (a != null && a.length > 1) {
    var ns = a[1]; // System.Reflection.
    var m = a[2]; // Major.Minor.
    var b = parseInt(a[3]); // Build
    var rv = parseInt(a[4]); // Revision
    if (c != "Release") { // change the number according to the build configuration
    else {
    var v = "[assembly: "+ns+"AssemblyVersion (\""+m+b+"."+rv+"\")]";
    WScript.StdOut.WriteLine ("Assembly version changed: " + a[0] + "->" + v);
    t = t.replace(r, v);
else {
    WScript.StdErr.WriteLine ("Error: AssemblyVersion not found.");

// further processing of the file is possible here

// save the result
s.Position = 0;
s.WriteText (t);
s.SetEOS ();
s.SaveToFile (n, 2);
s.Close ();

f.ModifyDate = ft; // Reset the modification date/time to prevent unnecessary rebuild afterwards

The above code simply reads a C# file, searches the "[assembly: AssemblyVersion" part of it and uses a regular expression to replace the revision number.

Having the above code, we can save it as a JavaScript file (I save the file into the solution directory and name it as "AutoIncrementBuildNumber.js") and add the following line onto the post-build procedure of the project. Therefore, the build/revision number will automatically be increased by one after each successful release or rebuild.

CScript.exe "$(SolutionDir)AutoIncrementBuildNumber.js" 
  "$(SolutionDir)Properties\AssemblyInfo.cs" "$(ConfigurationName)"

The build number will be incremented after each release. The revision number will be incremented on each debug build. If you don't provide the "$(ConfigurationName)" argument on the above line of post-build event, only revision number will be changed.

If you don't want to increment the build/revision number when you are debugging, you can use conditional statements to limit the increment to "Release" builds only, like the following command shows:

if /I "$(ConfigurationName)" == "Release" CScript.exe "$(SolutionDir)AutoIncrementBuildNumber.js" 

Rewriting the AssemblyInfo.cs file will change its modification time and cause the compiler to rebuild the project each time you build the solution in Visual Studio, even if you don't change any code files in that project, since the AssemblyInfo.cs file is modified after a successful build and has a later modification time than the target assembly file. This can cause some problems. To avoid such kind of unnecessary rebuilds, the code first retrieves the modification time of the AssemblyInfo.cs file and then reset it after incrementing the build number. Therefore, the modification time is unchanged and Visual Studio won't rebuild the project unless you do make some modification to the source code files. The following is the code which does the job of avoiding rebuild:

var sh = new ActiveXObject("Shell.Application");
var f = sh.NameSpace(n.replace(/\\[^\\]+$/g, "")).ParseName(n.replace(/.+?\\([^\\]+)$/g, "$1"));
var ft = f.ModifyDate; // Keep the original modification date/time of the file
f.ModifyDate = ft; // Reset the modification date/time to prevent unnecessary rebuild

Hope this helps.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Team Leader
China China
I am now programming applications for the Internet of Things.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralReason for my vote of 4 good Pin
Jai Mallesh10-Oct-11 20:35
memberJai Mallesh10-Oct-11 20:35 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 very good thanks Pin
fredatcodeproject13-Sep-11 3:00
professionalfredatcodeproject13-Sep-11 3:00 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Good work Pin
Pravin Patil, Mumbai12-Sep-11 22:12
memberPravin Patil, Mumbai12-Sep-11 22:12 
GeneralYou were right. The copy and paste was wrong. You've earned ... Pin
Nicolò Beltrame20-Apr-11 0:06
professionalNicolò Beltrame20-Apr-11 0:06 
GeneralRe: Thank you for verifying this. :) Pin
wmjordan22-Apr-11 2:52
professionalwmjordan22-Apr-11 2:52 
GeneralI found very interesting your article and tried it. But I ca... Pin
Nicolò Beltrame19-Apr-11 0:45
professionalNicolò Beltrame19-Apr-11 0:45 
GeneralRe: I've tested the code and found nothing wrong. It might due t... Pin
wmjordan19-Apr-11 1:29
professionalwmjordan19-Apr-11 1:29 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Very cool; and extensible. Pin
SBJ1-Mar-11 8:46
memberSBJ1-Mar-11 8:46 
GeneralWhy not use Build Version Increment (http://autobuildversion... Pin
Ansgar Hellwig28-Feb-11 22:39
memberAnsgar Hellwig28-Feb-11 22:39 
Why not use Build Version Increment (
GeneralRe: Thanks for sharing the information. Actually I've checked ou... Pin
wmjordan2-Mar-11 2:22
professionalwmjordan2-Mar-11 2:22 
Generalnice solution for common problem - i like it! Pin
johannesnestler26-Feb-11 5:13
memberjohannesnestler26-Feb-11 5:13 
QuestionTFS? Pin
rkb10-Oct-11 10:13
memberrkb10-Oct-11 10:13 
AnswerRe: TFS? Pin
wmjordan10-Oct-11 22:40
professionalwmjordan10-Oct-11 22:40 
GeneralAutomatic version number Pin
Rosenne18-Apr-11 23:55
memberRosenne18-Apr-11 23:55 
GeneralRe: Automatic version number Pin
wmjordan19-Apr-11 1:41
professionalwmjordan19-Apr-11 1:41 
GeneralNice; you got my 5 Pin
SBJ1-Mar-11 8:48
memberSBJ1-Mar-11 8:48 
GeneralRe: Nice; you got my 5 Pin
wmjordan2-Mar-11 2:57
professionalwmjordan2-Mar-11 2:57 

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