Upgrading custom code

The Kentico Code upgrade tool provides a way to analyze projects and helps convert code that uses the Kentico API to version 12. You can download the tool from the API Changes page on the DevNet portal.

The tool has the following functionality:

  • Detects custom code that is no longer valid in version 12
  • Provides recommendations for each occurrence of invalid code
  • Automatic conversion of most code to the Kentico 12 API


The machine where you plan to run the code upgrade tool must have the following installed:

The solution that you wish to analyze must compile without errors.

To allow the tool to check the code of Kentico virtual objects used by Portal Engine sites, such as transformations and page layouts, you need to enable Deployment mode for your Kentico 11 instance.

Analyzing Kentico 11 projects

You can run the code upgrade tool for any ASP.NET project that uses the Kentico API in its code. This includes:

  • Kentico web projects (i.e. the projects used to develop and run Portal Engine sites, and to provide the administration interface for MVC sites)
  • Projects that integrate the Kentico API through NuGet packages (for example MVC site projects)

Limitation: The code upgrade tool does not process Razor view files in MVC projects (files with the .cshtml extension). You need to update the code of your views manually after upgrading the Kentico NuGet packages for the MVC project.

Basic detection

Run CodeUpgrade.exe from the command line, with the path to your project’s solution file as the parameter (for example WebApp.sln or WebSite.sln for Kentico projects).

For example:

CodeUpgrade.exe C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico11\WebApp.sln

The tool generates a csv file containing a list of custom code occurrences in your project that are no longer valid in Kentico 12. The information will help you update your custom code after you perform the upgrade.

Each listed occurrence in the csv file has one of the following statuses:

  • Detected – an occurrence of invalid code that the tool cannot resolve automatically. See the Instructions value of the occurrence for more information.
  • CanBeResolved – a detected code occurrence that the tool can resolve automatically if you run it with the -resolve parameter (see the Automatic conversion section).
  • Resolved – invalid code that the tool automatically resolved in the specified output folder. Only used when running the tool with the -resolve parameter.

Automatic conversion

You can also use the tool to provide automatic resolutions for most types of code expressions. Add the -resolve parameter when running CodeUpgrade.exe.

For example:

CodeUpgrade.exe -resolve C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Kentico11\WebApp.sln

If the tool detects code issues that can be automatically resolved, it creates copies of the given files under the Converted folder in the tool directory. All resolvable issues in the files are updated to be compatible with the Kentico 12 API.

Optional parameters

You can also add the following parameters when running the tool:

  • -vstoolspath=<path> – sets the path to the Visual Studio build tools required to analyze the solution. You need to set the path if your build tools are installed in a different directory than the default (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\BuildTools\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v15.0).
  • -output=results.csv – sets the name of the file containing the tool’s results.
  • -verbose=0 – determines how detailed the tool’s output is in the console (enter values from 0 to 3). Does not affect the output file.

For more details about the available parameters, run the tool without any parameters.

Limiting the scope of the analysis

For customized Kentico files, the tool reports all detected issues, including the default Kentico 11 code. You can avoid reporting of these false positives by enclosing your custom code into #region directives with a specific name. For ASPX markup, use the following syntax:

<%-- #region Name --%> ... <%-- #endregion --%>

To analyze only the code placed inside the regions, run the tool with an additional parameter: -customregion=<regionName>

Implementing the API changes

Use the output of the tool to update your custom code AFTER you upgrade the project to Kentico 12.

The output file lists all occurrences of invalid custom code, including:

  • The path of the affected file and line number
  • The exact source code of the expression
  • A set of instructions on how to resolve the issue

If you generated automatic conversions for your code, use the following approaches to insert the new code into your upgraded project:

  • Fully custom files – directly replace the files using the converted files created by the tool.
  • Customized Kentico files – use a code comparison tool and merge the Kentico 12 files with the matching files in the Converted output folder.

Tip: To update the code of virtual objects used by Portal Engine sites, enable Deployment mode. You can then fix the code in the corresponding physical files, which match the output of the code upgrade tool. Disable deployment mode to return the updated virtual objects back into the database.