Integration Tests in ASP.Net

time to read 6 min | 1033 words

As you probably noticed, I am doing a fair amount of integration testing with ASP.Net currently. I am using Selenium, and after a brief struggle to get myself aligned with it, I think that I like it :-)

It is simple, it is extensible, and it works. Here is a simple example, I needed to check that a drop down is disabled, Selenium has no support for this out of the box, so I could just extend the DefaultSelenium class (in Selenium RC for .NET) and add this:

public bool IsDisabled(string partialElementId)


    string result = GetElementAttribute(partialElementId, "disabled");

    return bool.Parse(result);



public string GetElementAttribute(string partialElementId, string attribute)


    string evalScript = string.Format(@"'//select[contains(@id, \'{0}\')]').{1};

", partialElementId.Replace("'", @"\'"), attribute);

    string result = GetEval(evalScript);

    return result;


Note the funky syntax that I have to use in order to get around the ASP.Net element naming. Another thing that I run into was the compilation model for ASP.Net. That one was a biggie.

The problem was that I wanted to specify a default value for page load times (all pages must load in under 0.5 seconds, for instnace). The problem was the just from the command line build, it started giving errors about timeouts when loading a page. Accessing the page manually or running the tests from Visual Stuido always succeeded.

After a bit of head scratching I realized that the problem was that the build recompiled the site, so every time that I hit a new page, ASP.Net had to compile it for the first time. I ended up keeping a list of pages that I already visited and increasing the wait time for pages that I access for the first time.

The last problem that I have is getting the correct information from the pages, let us take a page that threw an error, in the Selenium test, I usually just get an error about an expected element not found. I added an assert that check that "error" and "exception" do not appear on the page, but I didn't figure out yet how to take just the exception text from the page and put it in the error message for the test.