Robert Höglund Robert Höglund - 7 months ago 46
C# Question

Automatically update version number

I would like the version property of my application to be incremented for each build but I'm not sure on how to enable this functionality in Visual Studio (2005/2008). I have tried to specify the AssemblyVersion as 1.0.* but it doesn't get me exactly what I want.

I'm also using a settings file and in earlier attempts when the assembly version changed my settings got reset to the default since the application looked for the settings file in another directory.

I would like to be able to display a version number in the form of 1.1.38 so when a user finds a problem I can log the version they are using as well as tell them to upgrade if they have an old release.

A short explanation of how the versioning works would also be appreciated. When does the build and revision number get incremented?


With the "Built in" stuff, you can't, as using 1.0.* or 1.0.0.* will replace the revision and build numbers with a coded date/timestamp, which is usually also a good way.

For more info, see the Assembly Linker Documentation in the /v tag.

As for automatically incrementing numbers, use the AssemblyInfo Task:

AssemblyInfo Task

This can be configured to automatically increment the build number.

There are 2 Gotchas:

  1. Each of the 4 numbers in the Version string is limited to 65535. This is a Windows Limitation and unlikely to get fixed.
  2. Using with with Subversion requires a small change:

Retrieving the Version number is then quite easy:

Version v = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().GetName().Version;
string About = string.Format(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture, @"YourApp Version {0}.{1}.{2} (r{3})", v.Major, v.Minor, v.Build, v.Revision);

And, to clarify: In .net or at least in C#, the build is actually the THIRD number, not the fourth one as some people (for example Delphi Developers who are used to Major.Minor.Release.Build) might expect.

In .net, it's Major.Minor.Build.Revision.