How to increment version information after each build in Visual C++

This article was previously published under Q237870
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Visual C++ doesn't have a feature to automatically increment the version resource information of your project after each build. This article describes one way to provide such a feature.
You can write a program to modify the resource compiler (.rc) file instead of using the steps described here. However, the RC file is under the control of Visual C++. Visual C++ modifies the RC file while saving, and this may affect the version resource. The approach described in this section can be applied to any Visual C++ project. This example uses a Microsoft Foundation Classes project.

Create a new project using the MFC (EXE) Appwizard and call it MyProject. MyProject will have a MyProject.rc file, which includes MyProject.rc2. The .rc2 file is meant for user-defined resources. Follow these steps to increment MyProject's version information after each build:
  1. Remove the version resource from the .rc file and place it in the .rc2 file:

    1. Open both MyProject.rc and MyProject.rc2 (found in the Res folder), in a text editor. To use the Visual C++ editor, click Open on the File menu and select Text in the Open As list for the MyProject.rc file.
    2. Find the version resource statements in MyProject.rc. It should look something like:
      /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// // // Version// VS_VERSION_INFO VERSIONINFO FILEVERSION 1,0,0,1 PRODUCTVERSION 1,0,0,1 FILEFLAGSMASK 0x3fL#ifdef _DEBUG FILEFLAGS 0x1L#else FILEFLAGS 0x0L#endif FILEOS 0x4L FILETYPE 0x1L FILESUBTYPE 0x0LBEGIN    BLOCK "StringFileInfo"    BEGIN        BLOCK "040904b0"        BEGIN            VALUE "Comments", "Sample Application\0"            VALUE "CompanyName", "Microsoft Corp.\0"            VALUE "FileDescription", "MyProject MFC Application\0"            VALUE "FileVersion", "1, 0, 0, 1\0"            VALUE "InternalName", "MyProject\0"            VALUE "LegalCopyright", "Copyright (C) 1999\0"            VALUE "OriginalFilename", "MyProject.EXE\0"            VALUE "ProductName", "MyProject Application\0"            VALUE "ProductVersion", "1, 0, 0, 1\0"        END    END    BLOCK "VarFileInfo"    BEGIN        VALUE "Translation", 0x409, 1200    ENDEND							
    3. Cut the version resource from the MyProject.rc file and paste it into the MyProject.rc2 file below the comment "Add manually edited resources here." For information about what each one of the fields in the resource means, see the VERSIONINFO resource statement in Help.
  2. Replace the FILEVERSION and PRODUCTVERSION data with macros FILEVER and PRODUCTVER. Similarly, replace the FileVersion and ProductVersion string data with the macros STRFILEVER and STRPRODUCTVER.
  3. Add a #include VersionNo.h immediately before the VS_VERSION_INFO resource statement. Now the version resource will look like:
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// // // Version// #include "VersionNo.h"VS_VERSION_INFO VERSIONINFO FILEVERSION FILEVER PRODUCTVERSION PRODUCTVER FILEFLAGSMASK 0x3fL#ifdef _DEBUG FILEFLAGS 0x1L#else FILEFLAGS 0x0L#endif FILEOS 0x4L FILETYPE 0x1L FILESUBTYPE 0x0LBEGIN    BLOCK "StringFileInfo"    BEGIN        BLOCK "040904b0"        BEGIN            VALUE "Comments", "Sample Application\0"            VALUE "CompanyName", "Microsoft Corp.\0"            VALUE "FileDescription", "MyProject MFC Application\0"            VALUE "FileVersion", STRFILEVER            VALUE "InternalName", "MyProject\0"            VALUE "LegalCopyright", "Copyright (C) 1997\0"            VALUE "OriginalFilename", "MyProject.EXE\0"            VALUE "ProductName", "MyProject Application\0"            VALUE "ProductVersion", STRPRODUCTVER        END    END    BLOCK "VarFileInfo"    BEGIN        VALUE "Translation", 0x409, 1200    ENDEND					
  4. Create a header file called VersionNo.h in the same directory as your project. This file will contain the following statements, which are the definitions for macros used in step 2:
    #define FILEVER        1,0,0,1#define PRODUCTVER     1,0,0,1#define STRFILEVER     "1, 0, 0, 1\0"#define STRPRODUCTVER  "1, 0, 0, 1\0"						
    NOTE: Add linefeed and carriage return characters on the last line.

    Now, MyProject.rc file includes MyProject.rc2, and MyProject.rc2 file includes VersionNo.h.
  5. The VersionNo.h file contents will be modified using a Visual Basic Script macro. The macro described below handles the Visual C++ BuildFinish event, so it will not be fired until a build completes. Whenever this VB Script code is called, it first increments the version numbers inside the header file by a fixed amount, then it saves the file and closes it. During a subsequent build, the new version number is included in the executable.

    To install and use the VB Script code, do the following:

    1. Open an existing DSM (macro) file or create a new DSM file in Visual C++. To create a new file, click New on the File menu, select Macro File on the Files tab, give it a name, and click OK.
    2. Paste the following VB Script code below (an empty DSM file cannot be installed in Visual C++; the next step explains installing):
      Function GetProjectDir(FullName)'VC++ doesn't provide any method for getting the path of the active project'See the VB Script reference for more information on the VB Script functions 'used in this functionDim proj_pathproj_path = Split(StrReverse(FullName),"\",-1,1)Dim countcount = UBound(proj_path)Dim full_pathfull_path = ""Dim ifor i = 1 to count 	full_path = full_path & "\" & proj_path(i)nextGetProjectDir = StrReverse(full_path)End FunctionSub ReplaceText(selection, count, incrementby)'selection represents the TextSelection object'count represents the position of the version number to be incremented'incrementby represents a number that will be added to the existing version numberselection.WordRight dsMove, countselection.WordRight dsExtend, 1Dim strstr = selection.Textstr = str + incrementbyselection.Text = strEnd SubSub Application_BuildFinish(numError, numWarning)'This event will be triggered after every build of a project'You can check numError and/or numWarning to determine if you want to continue'If numError <> 0 Then    'exit sub'Obtain the full path of the active projectDim full_pathfull_path = GetProjectDir(ActiveProject.FullName)full_path = full_path & "versionno.h"'Open the VersionNo.h fileDocuments.Open full_path'Obtain the TextSelection objectDim selectionset selection = ActiveDocument.Selectionselection.StartOfDocument 'Increment the version informationReplaceText selection, 9, 1selection.LineDownselection.StartOfLineReplaceText selection, 9, 1selection.LineDownselection.StartOfLineReplaceText selection, 10, 1selection.LineDownselection.StartOfLineReplaceText selection, 10, 1ActiveDocument.SaveActiveDocument.Close End Sub								
      NOTE: This code is an unsupported sample. You may modify it for your build scenario.
    3. Install the DSM file if it is not already installed. To install, click Customize on the Tools menu, click the Add-in and Macro Files tab, browse to select the DSM file, and click Close.
  6. Select Build MyProject.exe from the Build menu. After the build finishes, open the VersionNo.h file. It will contain the following statements:
    #define FILEVER        1,0,0,2#define PRODUCTVER     1,0,0,2#define STRFILEVER     "1, 0, 0, 2\0"#define STRPRODUCTVER  "1, 0, 0, 2\0"						
    If you build the code again, this version information in included in the executable, and the version information is incremented. You can introduce some code in the macro described earlier to prevent incrementing version numbers if the build produced errors.
For more information on the Visual C++ object model see the following topic in the MSDN library:
For more information on VB Script macros, see the following topic in the MSDN library:
For more information on VB Script language, see the following topic in the MSDN library:
For more information on the Visual C++ VERSIONINFO resource statement, see the following topic in the MSDN library:

Article ID: 237870 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 15:18:11 - Revision: 3.2

Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Professional Edition, Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Professional Edition, Microsoft Visual C++, 32-bit Learning Edition 6.0

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