Click here to Skip to main content
15,500,921 members
Articles / Programming Languages / C#
Posted 17 Apr 2008


40 bookmarked

Integrating Visual Studio Team System 2008 Unit Tests with CruiseControl.NET

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
4.53/5 (23 votes)
17 Apr 2008CPOL3 min read
Explains how to integrate Visual Studio 2008 unit tests with the CCNET build process


Recently I had to work on a project that used VSTS unit tests and we needed to integrate the tests into our continuous integration process. We were using cruise control.NET. After doing a lot of research on the Web, I decided to write this small article since there is little information on the subject. This article assumes that you have already created a working continuous integration environment with CCNET for your Visual Studio 2008 project.

Executing the Unit Tests

You can use the command line test runner tool MSTest.exe to run your unit tests from CCNET. This requires that you install Visual Studio 2008 on the continuous integration server.

For example, the following command line can be used to execute the unit tests contained in the TestAssembly.dll and store the test results into results.xml.

MSTest.exe /testcontainer:TestAssembly.dll

One problem with MSTest is that it complains if the results file already exists. To avoid this, you have to delete the results file before calling MSTest. We can create a batch file in the projects working directory to do this, let’s call it RunTests.bat.

del results.xml
MSTest.exe /testcontainer:<PathtoTestProject>\Bin\Debug\TestAssembly.dll

You need to replace <PathToTestProject> with the absolute path of your unit test project and make sure the path to MSTest.exe is added to the system path. Everytime this batch file runs, it will delete the results.xml in the working directory and call MSTest that in turn will run the tests and create a new results file.

Now we need to call this batch file from CCNET. Open your ccnet.config file and insert an exec task just after the msbuild task that builds your project as given below:


Including the Results in the Build Report

First we need to merge the results.xml file to the build log. To do that, update the publishers section of the ccnet.config file as given below:


To include the unit test results in the build report, we need XSL files to generate the appropriate HTML. Unfortunately the XSL files supplied with CruiseControl as of version do not support the output format generated by MSTest version 9. I have created 2 XSL files called MSTest9Report.xsl and MSTest9Summary.xsl that are available in the download. These files are based on the MSTestReport.xsl and MSTestSummary.xsl distributed with CCNET version

Download and copy the files to the \CruiseControl.NET\server\xsl folder and \CruiseControl.NET\webdashboard\xsl folders. Then modify the ccservice.exe.config (or ccnet.exe.config if you use ccnet.exe instead of the ccservice) file by modifying the xslFiles section as given below:

    <file name="xsl\header.xsl"/>
    <file name="xsl\compile.xsl"/>
    <file name="xsl\mstest9summary.xsl"/>
    <file name="xsl\modifications.xsl"/>

In the above section, I have removed the unittests.xsl which is there by default and added mstest9summary.xsl instead.

Now we need to configure the Web dashboard. Open the dashboard.config file and update the buildPlugins section as given below:

      <buildLogBuildPlugin />

      <xslReportBuildPlugin description="MSTest Report" actionName="MSTESTReport" 

Again, I have removed the unittestsummary.xsl and added mstest9summary instead. The new xslReportBuildPlugin element causes a link to be displayed on the left side called “MSTest Report”, and when clicked it will display the detailed test results in a table.


That's it, now restart your ccservice and your VSTS unit tests should be fully integrated with cruise control. The XSL files supplied displays the Test Name, Outcome, Duration, Message and the Stack Trace but they can be easily modified to display additional information available in the test results.


  • 17th April, 2008: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Software Developer
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
This member has not yet provided a Biography. Assume it's interesting and varied, and probably something to do with programming.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralIssue with running MSTest with CC.NET Pin
xxpatanaxx30-May-08 15:06
Memberxxpatanaxx30-May-08 15:06 
GeneralCruiseControl v.s. CruiseControl.NET Pin
Orri Eiriksson14-May-08 13:00
MemberOrri Eiriksson14-May-08 13:00 
GeneralRe: CruiseControl v.s. CruiseControl.NET Pin
ntrunnermc3-Jul-08 11:18
Memberntrunnermc3-Jul-08 11:18 
GeneralGreat help Pin
RameshVasu30-Apr-08 11:50
MemberRameshVasu30-Apr-08 11:50 
GeneralRe: Great help Pin
chamindu15-May-08 1:24
Memberchamindu15-May-08 1:24 
GeneralThanks for that. Pin
Derek Knight26-Apr-08 20:46
MemberDerek Knight26-Apr-08 20:46 
GeneralRe: Thanks for that. Pin
chamindu27-Apr-08 17:58
Memberchamindu27-Apr-08 17:58 
GeneralAwesome - thanks! Pin
Steve Michelotti25-Apr-08 8:47
MemberSteve Michelotti25-Apr-08 8:47 
This is just what we needed.
GeneralRe: Awesome - thanks! Pin
chamindu27-Apr-08 17:59
Memberchamindu27-Apr-08 17:59 
GeneralGood work Pin
surangac24-Apr-08 22:32
Membersurangac24-Apr-08 22:32 
NewsConverting VS2008 unit tests to NUnit tests Pin
Tuomas Hietanen23-Apr-08 5:28
MemberTuomas Hietanen23-Apr-08 5:28 
GeneralRe: Converting VS2008 unit tests to NUnit tests Pin
chamindu24-Apr-08 22:13
Memberchamindu24-Apr-08 22:13 
QuestionWhat about with a CruiseControl.NET? Pin
Philip Ratcliff (Tenet Group)22-Apr-08 23:26
MemberPhilip Ratcliff (Tenet Group)22-Apr-08 23:26 
GeneralRe: What about with a CruiseControl.NET? Pin
chamindu23-Apr-08 21:37
Memberchamindu23-Apr-08 21:37 
GeneralPretty Nice Pin
real_harami21-Apr-08 3:01
Memberreal_harami21-Apr-08 3:01 
GeneralRe: Pretty Nice Pin
chamindu27-Apr-08 18:01
Memberchamindu27-Apr-08 18:01 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.