Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Testing Console Applications

I did some work this week on a command line installer for RBS. I needed to make some modifications to the install process. I wanted to-do this the TDD way. I did not want to refactor the entire project just to make it testable, I thought I would try to come up with a nice way to test my console application. I needed to capture the output of the console application to check that my new features were working correctly.

RBS is remote blob storage, see the RBS blog

Firstly I tried to launch the exe and capture the output, this worked well but I could not debug my new code. I know true TTDers don't use debuggers, but I needed to :)

I managed to get this working by referencing my Console Project from my test project (yes you can reference an EXE). I could then add code like :

InstallProviderSetup.Main(new string[] { "-CLIENTCONFIG" });

As you can see, you can just call the static Main method from code. To see if my test worked I need to check the output of the console application. I did this with the following code :

var stdout = GetStdOut();
Assert.AreEqual(true, stdout.Contains("The required switch CONFIGURATIONFILE"),"The required switch CONFIGURATIONFILE not in console out");
Assert.AreEqual(true, stdout.Contains("The required switch NAME"),"The required switch NAME not in console out");

The rest of the code is :

MemoryStream memoryStreamConsole;
StreamWriter streamWriterConsole;

public void TestInitialize()
memoryStreamConsole = new MemoryStream();
streamWriterConsole = new StreamWriter(memoryStreamConsole);

protected string GetStdOut()
var rval = Encoding.Default.GetString(memoryStreamConsole.ToArray());
return rval;

Feel free to view the entire project at codeplex


Diagonal are using Microsoft RBS to give Wisdom (an Electronic Records Management System (EDRM) ) Content Addressable storage (CAS). So far we have integrated with EMC. As more CAS vendors create RBS providers. Wisdom will support more CAS systems.
You can find out more about Diagonal and Wisdom by visting the wisdom website

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