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Convert a project to use centralised package management

If you have never heard about Central Package Management(CPM), first have a look at my blog post a few months ago. Done reading? Ok, we continue...

To summarize, with CPM you bring all your dependencies in one place (the Directory.Packages.props file). This makes it easier to manage your dependencies for a large multiproject solution and helps you to avoid version drift where multiple versions of the same package are used inside your solution.

Remark: CPM works both in Visual Studio and in JetBrains Rider.

Convert your .NET solution to CPM manually

If you want to start using CPM for your existing solutions, there are a few steps you need to repeat for every project inside your solution:

  • Go through all of the csproj files and copy the references into the centralised Directory.Packages.props file
  • Remove all the versions from the package reference entries in the csproj files.

Although not that hard to do, it would be nice if this can be done automatically.

Automate the process with CentralisedPackageConverter

I was wondering if I would try to create my own tool to automate this. Luckily someone else already did this.

Let me introduce the CentralisedPackageConverter global tool.

First install the tool using:

dotnet tool install CentralisedPackageConverter –global

Now we can run the tool using:

central-pkg-converter <folder path>

The tool will ask for confirmation. Hit 'y' to continue.

If you want to check what the impact of running the tool will be, you can run it in ‘dry mode’ using –d

central-pkg-converter <folder path> –d

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