Visual Studio Team System: Overview of Authoring and Running Tests
This overview describes the features for authoring and running tests in
Visual Studio Team System and Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers.
To open a test, open a test project or a test metadata file (a file with
extension .vsmdi) that contains the definition of the test. You can find
test projects and metadata files in Solution Explorer.
To see which tests are available to you, open the Test View window. Or,
if you have installed Team Edition for Software Testers, you can also open
the Test List Editor window to view tests.
To open the Test View window, click the Test menu, point to Windows, and
then click Test View. To open the Test List Editor window (if you have
installed Team Edition for Software Testers), click Test, point to Windows,
and then click Test List Editor.
You can run tests from the Test View window and the Test List Editor window.
See Viewing Tests to learn how to open these windows. To run one or more
tests displayed in the Test View window, first select the tests in that
window; to select multiple tests, hold either the Shift or CTRL key while
clicking tests. Then click the Run Tests button in the Test View window
If you have installed Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers, you can
also use the Test List Editor window to run tests. To run tests in Test List Editor,
select the check box next to each test that you want to run. Then click the
Run Tests button in the Test List Editor window toolbar.
Viewing Test Results
When you run a test or a series of tests, the results of the test run will be
shown in the Test Results window. Each individual test in the run is shown on
a separate line so that you can see its status. The window contains an
embedded status bar in the top half of the window that provides you with
summary details of the complete test run.
To see more detailed results for a particular test result, double-click it in
the Test Results window. This opens a window that provides more information
about the particular test result, such as any specific error messages returned
by the test.
Changing the way that tests are run
Each time you run one or more tests, a collection of settings is used to
determine how those tests are run. These settings are contained in a “test
run configuration” file.
Here is a partial list of the changes you can make with a test run
- Change the naming scheme for each test run.
- Change the test controller that the tests are run on so that you can run
- Gather code coverage data for the code being tested so that you can see
which lines of code are covered by your tests.
- Enable and disable test deployment.
- Specify additional files to deploy before tests are run.
- Select a different host, ASP.NET, for running ASP.NET unit tests.
- Select a different host, the smart device test host, for running smart device unit tests.
- Set various properties for the test agents that run your tests.
- Run custom scripts at the start and end of each test run so that you can
set up the test environment exactly as required each time tests are run.
- Set time limits for tests and test runs.
- Set the browser mix and the number of times to repeat Web tests in the
By default, a test run configuration file is created whenever you create a
new test project. You make changes to this file by double-clicking it in
Solution Explorer and then changing its settings. (Test run configuration
files have the extension .testrunconfig.)
A solution can contain multiple test run configuration files. Only one of
those files, known as the “Active” test run configuration file, is used to
determine the settings that are currently used for test runs. You select
the active test run configuration by clicking Select Active Test Run
Configuration on the Test menu.
Using Visual Studio Team Edition for Software Testers, you can create a number
of different test types:
Unit test: Use a unit test to create a programmatic test in C++, Visual C# or
Visual Basic that exercises source code. A unit test calls the methods of a
class, passing suitable parameters, and verifies that the returned value is
what you expect.
There are three specialized variants of unit tests:
- Data-driven unit tests are created when you configure a unit test to be
called repeatedly for each row of a data source. The data from each row
is used by the unit test as input data.
- ASP.NET unit tests are unit tests that exercise code in an ASP.NET Web
- Smart device unit tests are unit tests that are deployed to a smart device
or emulator and then executed by the smart device test host.
Web Test: Web tests consist of an ordered series of HTTP requests that you
record in a browser session using Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can have
the test report specific details about the pages or sites it requests, such
as whether a particular page contains a specified string.
Load Test: You use a load test to encapsulate non-manual tests, such as
unit, Web, and generic tests, and then run them simultaneously by using
virtual users. Running these tests under load generates test results,
including performance and other counters, in tables and in graphs.
Generic test: A generic test is an existing program wrapped to function as a
test in Visual Studio. The following are examples of tests or programs that
you can turn into generic tests:
- An existing test that uses process exit codes to communicate whether the
test passed or failed. 0 indicates passing and any other value indicates
- A general program to obtain specific functionality during a test scenario.
- A test or program that uses a special XML file (called a “summary results
file”), to communicate detailed results.
Manual test: The manual test type is used when the test tasks are to be
completed by a test engineer as opposed to an automated script.
Ordered test: Use an ordered test to execute a set of tests in an order you
If a file you wish to view isn't highlighted, and is a text file (not binary), please
let us know and we'll add colourisation support for it.