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Testing .NET applications

Testing an Application as a black box can be as simple as creating scenarios, running the tests and verify the results. But the modern testing involves getting more below the surface, testing few integration points, application setup and very often automating repetitive behaviors. Testing your .NET Applications in that way can be very challenging since the close ties to the operating system and likely web servers and database servers. Today we explore the tools and techniques you need to test .NET applications.

Test tools for .NET

Visual Studio – this is the main integrated development environment, Visual Studio is the place where programmers live in to create applications. Most of the Microsoft test tools extend Visual Studio to do test case management, test automation or project management.

Test Case Management – A part of Visual Studio Enterprise, Microsoft Test Manager is a sort of repository of coverage: you can track the test ideas (sometimes called “Test Cases”), along with the runs of those test ideas. Test Manager is fully integrated with Excel or Word and supports exploratory testing, including tools to view a test run or even collect diagnostic data while performing a test.

Team Foundation Server (TFS) – It main purpose is to help Team to deliver applications together, Team Foundation Server (TFS) provides version control, project management and application lifecycle management services. For example, the programmers create the code in Visual Studio for a given story, store it in TFS and then can track time against TFS. A tester could create test cases in Microsoft Test Manager and “link” those to a particular story in TFS.

Automated test execution (Coded UI) – is a Microsoft tool that can help to record a test run, set the ideas on what the text could contain, then generate C# code to execute the test. This C# code exists in a test project in Visual Studio; testers can just run the test or edit the code to build C# code libraries to perform repetitive function. Creating these sample codes automatically that exists in the same programming language used by programmers makes tester/programmer collaboration much easier.

Virtual Machines – Very often we need to test old versions of Microsoft browsers and operating systems. Purchasing a new computer per person, per browser and operating system can be expensive, so Microsoft provides free Virtual Machines for testing. The downloadable machines are essentially the disks to an operating system.

NUnit – A free, open unit test tool for C# that is becoming the standard. Programmers that create a test project in Visual Studio can write directly some NUnit tests in the same style as Java’s JUnit and Smalltalk’s xUnit – the original unit testing framework.

Selenium WebDriver – A free, open GUI test program that can run in C#. Selenium is a portable software-testing framework for web applications. Selenium provides a record/playback tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language (Selenium IDE). Selenium WebDriver makes direct calls to the browser using each browser’s native support for automation. How these direct calls are made, and the features they support depends on the browser you are using.

Other tools

There are a variety of tools that could work with testing .NET applications. As we mentioned before, the core issue is the depth of integration. Since Microsoft changes .NET all the time, most tools tend to be left behind, supporting the previous version of the operating system, browser or version of Microsoft Visual Studio just as the next version appears.

Most tools are either free or include a 30 to 90 day trial, so download the tool and attempt to use it with your software. At the same time, when testing .NET applications, look at the versions of the .NET, Internet Explorer, operating system and devices supported. Also look at what support means; you might try dialing in before the software expires to get a feel for wait time, depth of expertise and general attitude.

Many general test tools work well with .NET applications. Just to mention just a few tools, SmartBear Software’s TestComplete, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Unified Functional Tester (UFT) and the Telerik test tools have shown their attitude to go deeper into testing .NET applications.

In conclusion, testing .NET applications is very similar to other applications. With the right tools, investigating and testing, .NET applications can be easier, faster and less painful. That’s a prerequisites for more accurate testing done earlier.

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