Test Cases

Individual tests in TC-Lite are called "Test Cases" and are represented in the code by methods annotated with one or more special attributes used to tell TC-Lite to run them as tests.

Test Methods

A method intended for use as a test must be public. It may be an instance method or a static method. It may not be abstract.

If the test method returns a value, the attribute must provide an expected return value That value will be checked against the return value of the test method when it is run.

If the test method takes arguments, you must provide the required number and type of arguments through the attribute. If it takes none, you must not provide any.

The various attributes that indicate test cases each have their own way of supplying both arguments and expected return values. Consult the documentation for the specific attribute you are using.

If any of the above requirements are violated, a test case is still generated but is marked as non-runnable, causing your run to fail. This is done to avoid silent errors, which might lead you to think the test passed.

Simple Test Cases

A simple test case is one that takes no arguments. It is represented by a method annotated using [TestCase]. Here is an example:

public void TestAddition()
    Assert.That(2 + 2, Is.EqualTo(4));

As you can see, the method representing the test is public void and takes no arguments. This is the simplest use of [TestCase].

Test Cases With Arguments

We might want to test addition using various values passed to the same method. Here is a test method that generates three test cases:

[TestCase(2, 2, 4)]
[TestCase(0, 99, 99)]
[TestCase(21, 21, 42)]
public void TestAddition(int x, int y, int answer)
    Assert.That(x + y, Is.EqualTo(answer));

In this case, the test method takes three arguments of Type int. The three TestCase attributes supply all of them for three different cases, which are executed independently.

Other Sources of Arguments

Use of [TestCase] for parameterized tests is convenient because the intended arguments are easily visible. There are, however, some inconveniences:

  • .NET itself limits the kinds of arguments that may be used to construct an attribute, so some arguments cannot be specified in this way.
  • If several methods need the same arguments, they must be repeated for each method.
  • The test cases must be specified by the programmer at the time the code is written.

To overcome these limitations, TC-Lite provides a variety of attributes for use with parameterized tests. Some attributes allow you to specify arguments inline - directly on the attribute. Others use a separate method, property or field to hold the arguments. Still others use an entirely separate class.

An additional distinction is that some attributes identify complete test cases, with all the necessary arguments, while others only provide data for a single argument. TC-Lite then combines the individual arguments to form test cases.

Location Complete Test Cases Data for One Argument
Inline [TestCase] [Random]
Separate [TestCaseData] [ValueSource]

When data is specified for individual arguments, the Combinatorial attribute may be added to indicate that TC-Lite is generating all combinations of the supplied values. Adding the attribute is optional, since TC-Lite sees the parameter attributes and knows how to combine them, but its use may be desireable for its documentation value.

Multiple Attributes

For parameterized tests, these attributes may be applied more than once, generating a different test case each time. They may even be mixed. For example, some data might be provided through [Random] with important corner cases provided using [TestCase].

Of course, when multiple sources of data are used on a method, they must all be compatible with that method's signature. That means they will each provide an expected result where required or omit it if the method is void. Similarly, they would normally each supply the same number of arguments, with exception made only for optional arguments to the method and for any final argument in the form of a params array.

No matter how the data is supplied, the individual test cases are executed in an indeterminate order, which may vary between different compilers or different .NET platforms. In keeping with TC-Lite's design as a microtest framework, there is no facility for controlling the order of tests.

Note that [TestCase] without arguments may appear only once, and only only on a method that takes no arguments,