Microsoft Fakes and Shims

This is pretty cool that you can use this technique to test around .net framework items like this

// Code under test:
public int GetTheCurrentYear()
return DateTime.Now.Year;
public class TestClass1
public void TestCurrentYear()
int fixedYear = 2000;

// Shims can be used only in a ShimsContext:
using (ShimsContext.Create())
// Arrange:
// Shim DateTime.Now to return a fixed date:
System.Fakes.ShimDateTime.NowGet =
() =>
{ return new DateTime(fixedYear, 1, 1); };

// Instantiate the component under test:
var componentUnderTest = new MyComponent();

// Act:
int year = componentUnderTest.GetTheCurrentYear();

// Assert:
// This will always be true if the component is working:
Assert.AreEqual(fixedYear, year);


Using nant to build projects from the command line

NAnt is a tool that can help you build your .net applications. 

You can get really detailed with it, but what if you just want to set it up to quickly build projects/solutions or run automated builds.  This is especially useful if you are rebuilding 1 project that you are in the process of testing so you don’t have to wait for VS to figure out if any of the referenced projects need to be rebuilt.

Well, with a few quick steps you can have this.

After downloading NAnt you need to create a little batch file somewhere in your PATH (for example, c:windows).  Name the file nant.bat and put this in it:

@echo off
"C:appsnantnant-0.86-beta1binNAnt.exe" %*

You will obviously want to replace my path with your own path to your nant exe that you downloaded.

Then add an entry to your PATH system variable to the directory that contains  For me this path is:
C:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual Studio 8Common7ide

Then you just need to add a .build file to your project.  I name it the same as my project name but you can do whatever you want.

This build file should contain the following XML:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<project name="ProjName" default="build" basedir=".">
  <target name="build">
    <exec failonerror="true" program="" commandline="ProjName.vbproj /build Debug" />

Rename ProjName as needed in this file as well.

Then all you need to do is navigate to the folder that contains the .build file from a command line and run:


It will scan for the build file, and use to build it.

You can also use this to build solutions, just change the .vbproj file to a .sln file.

WebAii Website Automated Testing Framework

I am always on the lookout for better and easier ways to automate testing of my applications.  Mostly, this stems from my teams not being too keen on implementing testing, so the easier I can make it, the easier it will be to convince others to write tests.

So Phil Haack has suggested a free framework called WebAii, and after taking a quick look, it looks promising.

It supports some nice features like mouse/keyboard actions for Ajax testing, and dom actions (find an element and click it, or whatever).  It also supports unit testing your javascript functions by having your test call the functions.  It also integrates with Nunit.  Nice!

Hopefully I can find some free time (HAHAHHAAH) when I can test this out more in a project.


Plasma Unit Testing

I came across this CodePlex project called Plasma which is supposed to aid in testing web apps with standard unit test frameworks.

I couldn’t find much info on their codeplex site, but I will be keeping track of it to see if I can find some info.

Writing Tests that work in NUnit and MSTest

As someone who is trying to jump into the unit testing world, one of the major problems I had was deciding on using NUnit (which everyone uses) or use MSTest(built in).

I didn’t want to jump into this and realize 500 hours later that I picked the wrong framework.  Well, now it seems I don’t have to worry about that as much. 

First I was reading this article by Roy Osherove, and somehow I ended up on this page talking about converting between NUnit and VSTS projects, and from there I found a link to this page, which contained this great piece of code:

#If NUNIT Then
Imports NUnit.Framework
Imports TestClass = NUnit.Framework.TestFixtureAttribute
Imports TestMethod = NUnit.Framework.TestAttribute
Imports TestInitialize = NUnit.Framework.SetUpAttribute
Imports TestCleanup = NUnit.Framework.TearDownAttribute
Imports Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting
#End If

This allows you do have the came code for NUnit and MSTest.  Just change the NUNIT variable and recompile.

The other thing you need to do is use <TestAttribute()> instead of <Test()> on your NUnit tests, but I don’t see the difference there.


Unit testing data access

Roy Osherove blogs that he was mistaken when he suggesting using mocks for data access code.  With the improved Rollback attributes that he helped create, along with people like Justin Burtch who created a similar attribute for VSTS, they are now thinking that this is the way to go: rolling back database changes.

Roy is no fan of VSTS testing, finding a few bugs and some questionable design decisions.  Those don’t seem like deal breakers for me, but we will see.