xUnit support two different types of unit test, Fact and Theory. We use xUnit Fact when we have some criteria that always must be met, regardless of data. For example, when we test a controller’s action to see if it’s returning the correct view. xUnit Theory on the other hand depends on set of parameters and its data, our test will pass for some set of data and not the others. We have a theory which postulate that with this set of data, this will happen. In this post, I’m going to discuss what are our options when we need to feed a theory with a set of data and see why and when to use them.
xUnit Theory With InlineData
This is a simplest form of testing our theory with data, but it has its drawbacks, which is we don’t have much flexibility, let’s see how it works first.
As you see above, we provide some values in
InlineData and xUnit will create two tests and every time populates the test case arguments with what we’ve passed into
InlineData. I said there are some limitation on what we can pass in
InlineData attribute, look what happens when we try to pass a new instance of some object:
We can pass this kind of data to our theory with ClassData or MemberData.
xUnit Theory With ClassData
ClassData is another attribute that we can use with our theory, with
ClassData we have more flexibility and less clutter:
Here I’ve created a class that inherits from
IEnumerable<object>, note that it has to be an object, otherwise xUnit will throws an error. Next I create a private list of object that I intend to pass to my theory and finally I implemented the
GetEnumerator method with piggybacking on our list Enumerator. Now we can pass our
TestDataGenerator class to ClassData attribute and the returned data form that class will populate the test case’s parameters.
xUnit Theory With MemberData
MemberData gives us the same flexibility but without the need for a class. I’ve created an static method called
GetNumbers which is local to our test class, and I passed it to
AllNumbers_AreOdd_WithMemberData‘s MemberData attribute. But it doesn’t need to be a local method, we can pass a method from another class too, as I did with
AllNumbers_AreOdd_WithMemberData_FromDataGenerator test case. Also you’re not limited to primitive types, I’ve generated and passed a complex object called Person to
AllPersons_AreAbove14_WithMemberData_FromDataGenerator test, and this was something that we couldn’t do with InlineData attribute, but we can do with ClassData or MemberData attribute.