Ordered and Generic Tests in Visual Studio 2010

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Software Testing using Visual Studio 2010

Software Testing using Visual Studio 2010

A step by step guide to understand the features and concepts of testing applications using Visual Studio.

  • Master all the new tools and techniques in Visual Studio 2010 and the Team Foundation Server for testing applications
  • Customize reports with Team foundation server.
  • Get to grips with the new Test Manager tool for maintaining Test cases
  • Take full advantage of new Visual Studio features for testing an application’s User Interface
  • Packed with real world examples and step by step instructions to get you up and running with application testing


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Generic Tests are just like any other tests except that they are used for running the existing third party tool or program, which can also be run using command line.

Ordered tests

The following screenshot shows the list of all the tests. You can see that the tests are independent and there is no link between the tests. We have different types of tests like Unit Test, Web Performance Test, and Load Test under the test project. Let’s try to create an ordered test and place some of the dependent tests in an order so that the test execution happens in an order without breaking.

Creating an ordered test

There are different ways of creating ordered tests similar to the other tests:

  1. Select the test project from Solution Explorer, right-click and select Add Ordered Test, and then select ordered test from the list of different types of tests. Save the ordered test by choosing the File | Save option.
  2. Select the menu option Test then select New Test…, which opens a dialog with different test types. Select the test type and choose the test project from the Add to Test Project List drop-down and click on OK.

Now the ordered test is created under the test project and the ordered test window is shown to select the existing tests from the test project and set the order.

Software Testing using Visual Studio Team System 2010

The preceding window shows different options for ordering the tests.

The first line is the status bar, which shows the number of tests selected for the ordered test.

The Select test list to view dropdown has the option to choose the display of tests in the available Test Lists. This dropdown has the default All Loaded Tests, which displays all available tests under the project. The other options in the dropdown are Lists of Tests and Tests Not in a List. The List of Tests will display the test lists created using the Test List Editor. It is easier to include the number of tests grouped together and order them. The next option, Tests Not in a List, displays the available tests, which are not part of any Test Lists.

The Available tests list displays all the tests from the test project based on the option chosen in the dropdown.

Selected tests contains the tests that are selected from the available tests list to be placed in order.

The two right and left arrows are used for selecting and unselecting the tests from the Available tests list to the Selected Tests list. We can also select multiple tests by pressing the Ctrl key and selecting the tests.

The up-down arrows on the right of the selected tests list are used for moving up or down the tests and setting the order for the testing in the Selected tests list.

The last option, the Continue after failure checkbox at the bottom of the window, is to override the default behavior of the ordered tests, aborting the execution after the failure of any test. If the option Continue after failure is unchecked, and if any test in the order fails, then all remaining tests will get aborted. In case the tests are not dependent, we can check this option and override the default behavior to allow the application to continue running the remaining tests in order.

Properties of an ordered test

Ordered tests have properties similar to the other test types, in addition to some specific properties. To view the properties, select the ordered test in the Test View or Test List Editor window, right-click and select the Properties option. The Properties dialog box displays the available properties for the ordered test.

Software Testing using Visual Studio Team System 2010

The preceding screenshot shows that most of the properties are the same as the properties of the other test types. We can associate this test with the TFS work items, iterations, and area.

Executing an ordered test

An ordered test can be run like any other test. Open the Test View window or the Test List Editor and select the ordered test from the list, then right-click and choose the Run Selection option from Test View or Run Checked Tests from the Test List Editor. Once the option is selected, we can see the tests running one after the other in the same order in which they are placed in the ordered test. After the execution of the ordered tests, the Test Results window will show the status of the ordered test. If any of the tests in the list fails, then the ordered test status will be Failed. The summary of statuses of all the tests in the ordered test is shown in the following screenshot in the toolbar. The sample ordered test application had four tests in the ordered tests, but two of them failed and one had an error.

Software Testing using Visual Studio Team System 2010

Clicking the Test run failed hyperlink in the status bar shows a detailed view of the test run summary:

Software Testing using Visual Studio Team System 2010

The Test Results window also provides detailed information about the tests run so far. To get these details, choose the test from the Test Results window and then right-click and choose the option, View Test Results Details, which opens the details window and displays the common results information such as Test Name, Result, Duration of the test run, Start Time, End Time, and so on.

Software Testing using Visual Studio Team System 2010

The details window also displays the status of each and every test run within the ordered test. In addition it displays the duration for each test run, name, owner, and type of test in the list. Even though the second test in the list fails, the other tests continue to execute as if the Continue after failure option was checked.


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