VS Unit Test Progress Indication

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12 Apr 2015 09:37 AM

If you do unit tests (and if not, you should), chance is once in a while a test will, (perhaps by design), take a long time to complete.

Visual Studio’s Unit Testing Framework frontend gives an indication of progress between different tests, but not what the running test is doing (this seems to be the case even for VS2012).

In some cases, for example, when doing a sanity check on generated DB tables, it would be more helpful to know what the current test is doing and perhaps when it will finish.

I’ve had this situation a few times and the solution, although not very elegant, seems to be to spawn your own UI thread that does the job. I haven’t been able to find some ready code to do the job, so I did my own.

As a minimum, you need add a reference to these two assemblies in your test project:

  • System.Windows.Forms
  • System.Drawing

This is because they are required in order to build our UI. With those in place, one just needs to instantiate the UI in a new thread (in Single Threaded Apartment mode). From then on, it’s a matter of updating the form as desired (but keeping in mind we’re doing this across threads, so SetControlPropertyThreadSafe() is required).

The code for all of this can be found on GithHub (of course). Enjoy!