C# and NUnit – testing interface implementations


A common development strategy is to generate interface definitions and then code against these – allowing the implementations to be varied easily.

When writing NUnit test cases for interfaces and implementing classes – it is possible to generate a set of test cases for the interface and then apply these test cases to each concrete implementation. A strategy is outlined below.

Within the class library containing the test cases generate a test fixture for the interface itself. A class member, m_fileManager in this case, is used to hold the interface instance to test and a second member m_runTests is used to track whether the fixture holds an interface realisation.

A virtual function CreateConcrete is defined to create the concrete interface implementation – it is called in the SetUp method.

Add the interface test cases to this class – checking whether tests should by run using the m_runTests member.

[TestFixture]
public class Test_IFileManager
{

    /// Interface to use for testing
    protected IFileManager m_fileManager;

    /// Indicator that we are in a realisation test fixture
    protected bool m_runTests = false;

    /// Create a concrete instance
    virtual public void CreateConcrete()
    {
    }
        
    [SetUp]
    /// Test set up
    public void Setup()
    {
        CreateConcrete();
    }

    [TearDown]
    /// Test tear down
    public void TearDown()
    {
        m_fileManager = null;
        m_runTests = false;
    }

    [Test]
    /// A simple test
    public void NonExistentDirectoryThrowsException()
    {
        if (m_runTests)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Running test: NonExistentDirectoryThrowsException");

            Assert.Throws<DirectoryNotFoundException>
                ( delegate
                  {
                    m_fileManager.GetFreeFileName(@"ZZ:\BadDrive\", "stem", "txt");
                  });
        }
    }
}

To attach the set of test cases to a concrete implementation, generate a class that inherits this base interface testing class. Override the CreateConcrete method to assign the interface instance and to indicate that the tests should be run.

[TestFixture]
public class Test_IFileManager_SimpleFileManager : Test_IFileManager
{

    /// Create a concrete instance
    override public void CreateConcrete()
    {
        // Using static method
        m_fileManager = (IFileManager) SimpleFileManager.GetFileManager();
        m_runTests = true;
    }

}

Each implementing class can be tested by creating a separate concrete implementation testing class. When NUnit runs it finds all of the interface tests and runs them for each concrete implementation.

If any implementation-specific test cases exist, then they can be added to the concrete testing class. If a class implements multiple interfaces, then each interface can be tested in a similar manner by generating a concrete implementation testing class for each interface / implementer pair.

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