Visual Studio Test Platform Released To Open Source Community

Portions of the unit test execution infrastructure that's used in Visual Studio is now an open source project.

The Visual Studio team says it has released portions of its Visual Studio Test Platform to the open source community. It's available on Github here, with the docs here. It's currently available to look around and test out, but not for contributions and comments, which is planned for later.

Visual Studio Test Platform, or VSTest, is a unit test execution infrastructure that is extensible, in that it supports running tests using various test platforms. A good overview of VSTest is here and here. "If you use unit testing in VS, there's a good chance you use this infrastructure already," writes Microsoft's Brian Harry, in a blog post. "If you are using the unit testing capabilities that have been delivered in the .NET Core previews, you are also using it."

Harry notes that the open source portions currently are the cross-platform vstest.console.exe test runner and the execution hosts, testhost.exe (for .NET) and the cross-platform dotnet.exe testhost.dll.

Test frameworks, also called test adapters, are available in the VS Marketplace, and many of them are open source. Harry's team also has a home-grown adapter, MSTestV2, which he said the group is planning to release as an open source project some time in the future. "We did not open source that framework at this time but we plan to in the next few months -- it just wasn't ready at this time," he said.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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