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Mehul Harry is the DevExpress Web Program Manager. Follow him on twitter: @Mehulharry

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How to easily convert your project to a new DevExpress release

When new DevExpress components are released or updated you'll need to convert your Visual Studio project to use the new release. The simplest and easiest way to convert it is to use the DevExpress Project Converter tool.

The Project Converter exe is in "Program Files/Developer Express/", you can find a shortcut to it in the Start Menu under Developer Express.


You'll find that this little tool is very easy to use. You just set the Project Path and click Upgrade. If you want to convert several projects at once then choose a base directory like your projects or websites folder.

In my case, for Windows Vista, I select: "C:\Users\Mehul\Documents\Visual Studio 2005\WebSites\" since there are usually several different types of projects being worked on.

The Project Converter has a checkbox option that will create backup files for you, so you don't need to worry about it. In the lower part, you can also see every file that has been modified, skipped and backed up by the tool.


How to Add DevExpress Project Converter to Visual Studio

For faster access, you can easily integrate this tool into Visual Studio. So you can launch it from the Visual Studio 2005 menu or the toolbar. Let me show you how:

  1. Click on the Tools -> External Tools menu option inside Visual Studio.
  2. Click Add and then define the following properties:
    • Title: Name as you would like to see it in the menu, e.g., DevExpress Project Converter
    • Command: Location where the Project Converter is installed. Typically this will be in a directory such as: "C:\Program Files\Developer Express .NET v7.2\Tools\DXperience\ProjectConverter.exe". Please note, that with every major release from us, you'll want to update the command path to the latest location. 
    • Arguments: These are arguments that will be passed to the Project Converter tool. Visual Studio should generate the "$(SolutionDir)\" for you but if not, enter it. This argument is the location of the project currently open in Visual Studio.
  3. Finally, click OK. You should now see a new menu item under your Tools menu.



Published Sep 10 2007, 09:44 PM by
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Marc Greiner (DevExpress MVP)

Hi Mehul,

Good to know that the converter can be used in VS !

I have been using the project converter for a while now, and have a question regarding the "Create backup files" as I never used it checked.

Are there situations where the project converter could harm the project and I need my original files back ?



September 11, 2007 2:28 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Mark,

Thanks. The project converter mainly sets the proper version numbers in your code, project, and config files. So there shouldn't be such a situation but if there is, you can rely on the backup files.

September 11, 2007 2:57 AM

Dirk Illenberger

This is just to mention an important point for developers that use texts with special characters (e.g. german Umlauts).

If the code file is not saved with the correct encoding (e.g. Unicode) then the project converter is not able to determine the correct encoding and will mess up the texts. All non-english alphabet characters will look strange and it's a pain to correct them manually if you don't have a backup copy.

So my insight for non-English developers before running the project converter:

- Use backup copies or checked in versions of a version control system

- Make sure that you have saved your code files with the correct encoding.

To learn more about that issue and how to choose the encoding see

Does anyone know how to make Visual Studio use "Unicode (UTF-8 with signature) - Codepage 65001" encoding as the default?

It would make life a lot easier since every now and then I forget about that issue and create a new standard source file which then hasn't the right encoding. And when converting my project I might mess up strings in that particular file.

— Dirk.

September 11, 2007 3:34 AM

Steven Rasmussen

This is probably a dumb question... but what exactly is the HintPath behavior for?

September 11, 2007 9:54 AM

Denis V. Volman

Is it possible to launch Project Converter tool from command line with parameters?

Another words convert my projects from a batch file...

September 11, 2007 1:52 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Steve,

The Hint Path option determines the processing method for the HintPath tag, which may appear next to an assembly reference in your project file (~.csproj / ~.vbproj). The recommended value for this option is "Remove". And it's not a dumb question. :-)

Hi Denis,

Unfortunately, from the command line, you can only launch and pass the project path as a parameter. I recommend creating a suggestion for support to make a full command line version.


September 11, 2007 6:57 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Dirk,

Thanks for bring up the point about encoding. I don't know if there is a standard way to set the encoding in VS but you might try this link. There are a couple of workarounds suggested here:

Good luck.

September 11, 2007 8:06 PM

Michael Cheng

Yep, I often use this tool, it's very useful!

September 12, 2007 4:58 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Michael,

You sound like you're up to date on the latest releases. I'm the same way. :)


September 12, 2007 7:34 AM

Rollie Claro

on one comment, i'd love to see DX's controls in action in regards to the project converter. :)

September 12, 2007 8:05 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Rollie,

If you have a suggestion and a mockup then please submit it through our support center for consideration.


September 14, 2007 1:23 AM


I have DevExpress 7.1.2 installed.  So all I need to do is run DXperience-7.2.4.exe.

Then for each project that I want to start using in 7.2.4, I need to run this converter tool.  Is there anything else?

September 27, 2007 11:52 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Ashley,

Yes, uninstall 7.1.2 and install latest version. Then you can use the Project Converter to upgrade your projects.


October 1, 2007 4:02 AM


If I am running a web project in VS2005 and we are using the DevExpress ASPxGridView Control Version= (yes its VERY OLD),   can I use the Project Converter to convert this grid to the latest version?  If so, please provide details.

August 26, 2009 2:54 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Lee,

Unfortunately no. The ASPxGridView and ASPxGrid are different controls with different APIs. The ASPxGridView has a better approach and API and is much more flexible. Unfortunately, we didn't want to limit it to same setup as the previous ASPxGrid.

Therefore, it's best that when upgrading to the ASPxGridView that it's done manually.

August 27, 2009 9:22 PM

Amita Singh

Hi Mehul,

I have DevExpress v8.3 installed. I need to upgrade it to 9.2.6. I have installed it.

I have a solution with several projects in it, my doubt is can i upgrade the complete solution using ProjectConverter or i have to go about upgrading individual projects.

October 12, 2009 1:12 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Amita,

My first recommendation is to have a backup of the projects (always have a backup). And, yes, the ProjectConverter can upgrade several projects at once. It mainly updates the references in the project and config file. If you have any issues then please contact our support team and they can help you resolve it:

October 12, 2009 1:30 PM

Ross Withers


Is there any recommendation for how I update web.config files for customers. We install our web application on the customer site and the web.config file contains setting relevant to the customer so we don't want to overwrite it with each release.

December 8, 2009 2:38 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Ross,

The project converter will only update the references in the web.config and not replace the entire web.config file.

January 16, 2010 4:21 PM

The ASPx Blog - Mehul Harry's DevExpress Blog

  Check out Brendon Muck’s awesome utility that helps you deploy DevExpress runtime DLLs to your

February 5, 2010 1:34 PM


I get error when I deploy my windows application at client side, I have used Xtragrid of DExpress v 9.3. I hv added setup and deployment project in my Project, so it will automatically create setup.exe for me, and I run this exe at client side,so my project installs there with devexpress dlls. but when I run project it gives me error at the first place

April 29, 2010 3:23 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Can you please upload a small sample to support so they can have a closer look?


April 29, 2010 5:22 PM

Fatih COŞKUN 1


We use Devx 9.1 and we buy 12 version. But we cant update our project from 9 to 12 version via Project Converter. How we solve this problem? Can you help us?


November 6, 2012 3:23 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Please contact our support team and they can help you:


November 9, 2012 12:09 AM

Steve Frank_1

Is there a standalone dowload for the Project Converter? I don't want to have to install the entire latest release on one of my customer's servers to get the app and to upload a single site.

Please advise.

March 17, 2013 11:36 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


There is not but the project converter tool is for converting code and not DLLs. So, you can upgrade the project for them and then deploy using the new runtime dlls as usual.

March 25, 2013 4:32 PM

Rajesh Chauhan 2

Hi Mehul,

I have DevExpress v12.1 installed. I need to upgrade it to 13.2.5. I have installed it.

Actually i upgraded but i am getting old .dll errors. That means u have both files.

I have a solution with several projects in it, my doubt is can i upgrade the complete solution using ProjectConverter or i have to go about upgrading individual projects.

December 9, 2013 3:13 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Rajesh,

Contact our team and they can help you.


December 9, 2013 5:16 AM

Praneet Nadkar

Hi Mehul,

Firstly thanks for sharing this info. This is great.

I wanted to know that how to upgrade from versin 9.2 to 13.2.

Removing and aading the new dll and then using the project converter or vice versa ?

What could be the best line of action here.

Thanks in advance.



May 9, 2014 12:05 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Praneet,

That's a big conversion and a lot has changed since 4-5 years. :)

I suppose you can start by using the project converter and if you face any issues that you cannot solve by checking then please create a ticket with our excellent support team and they can help you:


May 9, 2014 9:53 AM

Praneet Nadkar

Hi Mehul,

Thanks  for your reply :)



May 11, 2014 10:25 PM

Robert Smith 21

We use NuGet to install DevExpress dll's. We are upgrading from v13.1.2 to v14.2.4. Does the DevExpress Project Converter tool use the NuGet UnInstall-Package and Install-Package operations?

February 12, 2015 11:14 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Hi Robert, can you email me please with the question? Thanks.

February 12, 2015 11:49 AM

jitin narang

Hi! I see the project converter upgrades the references. But does it convert or suggests the api's which has been changed and can be used. We have not upgraded our prod code for a long time, we are still stuck in dev express 9.x version. Now with some new requirements we will have to upgrade to the latest version 14.2. Which is a big jump. I ran the converter it just replaced the references in all the projects. Nothing more. And it marks most of the UI classes which uses Dev express component as skipped. Please let me know that this is how the converter works. or is it supposed to change the api too which has changed to newer version.

April 24, 2015 1:28 PM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Please contact the DevExpress support team and they can help you:


May 6, 2015 2:51 PM

Ashutosh Bhalerao

Hi Mehul,

If i am launching the Projectconverter exe from clicking on Program list and set the path of project to upgrade the version is it not worked? Is it necessary to add it in external tool.

May 21, 2015 9:15 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


If you have the most recent builds, then you can launch the Project converter tool from the DevExpress menu in Visual Studio. If you need help then contact our support team and they can help you:


May 21, 2015 1:38 PM


I ran the Project Converter for v15.1.7 (from v14.2) and none of my references were changed; I have no DevExpress tools in my Toolbox; and I now have hundreds of errors saying "Error Creating Control". This is not good.

October 29, 2015 11:59 AM

Mehul Harry (DevExpress)


Sorry to hear that. Could you please report this to our support team so they can help you?

October 30, 2015 2:06 PM

About Mehul Harry (DevExpress)

Mehul Harry is an ASP.NET technical evangelist at Developer Express. You can reach him directly at You can also follow him on Twitter:

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