Visual Studio: Bower is Dead Long Live LibMan

rip_bower.pngSo, Bower is dead for Visual Studio.  NPM and WebPack are external tools and overkill if all you really want to do is add a simple open source project like Bootstrap-Datepicker.

As of Visual Studio 2017.7, you can use a Visual Studio tool to get client side libraries.

The goal of this tutorial is to include Bootstrap-Datepicker, a popular javascript open source project.

Step 1: Turn on Library Manager by right clicking the Project and choosing Manage Client-side libraries


A new file called LibMan.json is added. If you open it you’ll see this:


By default LibMan.json uses the content provider “CDNJS” to provide the JS. Other providers are available. Remember this isn’t a CDN, it’s just where to download the JS from.

Let’s add a defaultDestination for our packages:


Step 2: To add a library, go to and find the package, for example:

We now know the name of the package “bootstrap-datepicker”.  Add that and use a @ at the end to get intellisence for the version number:


Save the file, then right click libman.json and choose Enable Restore on Build to have a NuGet package added which will cause MSBuild to download JS packages.

Build the solution and you’ll see bootstrap-datepicker.js added.


That’s the fastest way to get started, here’s some more documentation for finer control.



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