cfix 1.3.0 Released, Introducing WinUnit Compatibility

cfix 1.3, the latest version of the unit testing framework for C/C++ on Windows, has just been released. As announced in the last blog post, the major new feature of this release is WinUnit compatibility, i.e. the ability to recompile existing WinUnit test suites into cfix test suites without having to change a single line of code.

To demonstrate that this compatibility indeed works, consider the following simple example:

#include "WinUnit.h"

  WIN_ASSERT_STRING_EQUAL( "foo", "bar" "Descriptive message");

Compile it:

cl /I %CFIX_HOME%\include /LD /EHa /Zi winunittest.cpp /link /LIBPATH:%CFIX_HOME%\lib\i386

Or, in case %INCLUDE% and %LIB% already happen to be set properly:

cl /LD /EHa winunittest.cpp

Note that the only difference to compiling the test for WinUnit ist that a different include path is used — rather than the original winunit.h, cfix’ own winunit.h is used, which in turn implements the WinUnit API on top of the existing API.

The resulting DLL is a valid cfix DLL and its tests can be run in the usual manner. As the example contains a failing test, cfix will print the stack trace and error description to the console:

D:\sample>cfix32 -ts -z winunittest.dll
cfix version (fre)
(C) 2008-2009 - Johannes Passing -
[Failure]      winunittest.DummyTest.DummyTest
      winunittest.cpp(5): DummyTest

      Expression: Descriptive message: [foo] == [bar] (Expression: "foo" == "bar")
      Last Error: 0 (The operation completed successfully. )

      cfix!CfixpCaptureStackTrace +0x40
      cfix!CfixPeReportFailedAssertion +0xd2
      winunittest!cfixcc::Assertion::Relate ...
      winunittest!DummyTest +0x9c
      cfix!CfixsRunTestRoutine +0x33
      cfix!CfixsRunTestCaseMethod +0x27
      cfix!CfixsRunTestCase +0x25

Of course, cfix also supports WinUnit fixtures, as the following example, taken from the original WinUnit article on MSDN demonstrates:

#include "WinUnit.h"
#include <windows.h>

// Fixture must be declared.

  TCHAR s_tempFileName[MAX_PATH] = _T("");
  bool IsFileValid(TCHAR* fileName);

// Both SETUP and TEARDOWN must be present. 
  // This is the maximum size of the directory passed to GetTempFileName.
  const unsigned int maxTempPath = MAX_PATH - 14; 
  TCHAR tempPath[maxTempPath + 1] = _T("");
  DWORD charsWritten = GetTempPath(maxTempPath + 1, tempPath);
  // (charsWritten does not include null character)
  WIN_ASSERT_TRUE(charsWritten  0, 
    _T("GetTempPath failed."));

  // Create a temporary file
  UINT tempFileNumber = GetTempFileName(tempPath, _T("WUT"), 
    0, // This means the file will get created and closed.

  // Make sure that the file actually exists
    _T("File %s is invalid or does not exist."), s_tempFileName);

// TEARDOWN does the inverse of SETUP, as well as undoing 
// any side effects the tests could have caused.
  // Delete the temp file if it still exists.
  if (IsFileValid(s_tempFileName))
    // Ensure file is not read-only
    DWORD fileAttributes = GetFileAttributes(s_tempFileName);
    if (fileAttributes & FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY)
          fileAttributes ^ FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY),
          _T("Unable to undo read-only attribute of file %s."),

    // Since I'm testing DeleteFile, I use the alternative CRT file
    // deletion function in my cleanup.
      _T("Unable to delete file %s."), s_tempFileName);

  // Clear the temp file name.
    ARRAYSIZE(s_tempFileName) * sizeof(s_tempFileName[0]));

BEGIN_TESTF(DeleteFileShouldDeleteFileIfNotReadOnly, DeleteFileFixture)
    _T("DeleteFile did not delete %s correctly."),

BEGIN_TESTF(DeleteFileShouldFailIfFileIsReadOnly, DeleteFileFixture)
  // Set file to read-only
  DWORD fileAttributes = GetFileAttributes(s_tempFileName);
    fileAttributes | FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY));

  // Verify that DeleteFile fails with ERROR_ACCESS_DENIED
  // (according to spec)

  bool IsFileValid(TCHAR* fileName)
    return (GetFileAttributes(fileName) != INVALID_FILE_ATTRIBUTES);

Compiling and running this test yields the expected output:

d:\sample>cl /I %CFIX_HOME%\include /LD /EHa /Zi fixture.cpp /link /LIBPATH:%CFIX_HOME%\lib\i386
d:\sample>cfix32 -ts -z fixture.dll
cfix version (fre)
(C) 2008-2009 - Johannes Passing -
[Success]      fixture.DeleteFileFixture.DeleteFileShouldDeleteFileIfNotReadOnly
[Success]      fixture.DeleteFileFixture.DeleteFileShouldFailIfFileIsReadOnly

       1 Fixtures
       2 Test cases
           2 succeeded
           0 failed
           0 inconclusive


All compatibility has its limitations — although cfix supports all major WinUnit constructs and assertions, there are a small number of known limitations, which are listed in the documentation. And although I am confident that most WinUnit code should compile and run just fine, it is, of course, possible, that further limitations pop up. In such cases, I would welcome an appropriate bug report and will try to fix cfix accordingly.


In order to have cfix be a fully adequate replacement for cfix, the cfix documentation has additionally been augmented to include a documentation of the entire WinUnit API.

Technical background

Technically, implementing the compatibility layer went rather smoothly. On the one hand, WinUnit and cfix have similar architectures, which makes many things easier. On the other hand, WinUnit has a clean, single public header file (contrast that to CppUnit!), which also simplified things. And as WinUnit is limited to C++, I was able to use C++ templates (in combination with some preprocessor macros) to implement the entire WinUnit compatibility layer without having to change a single line of cfix itself. Rather, the WinUnit macros/classes are all mapped onto the existing cfix C++ API, which already includes most of what was neccessary to implement the WinUnit functionality.


In case have been using WinUnit the past and have a set of existing WinUnit-based test suites, give cfix a try — Not only should it be a full-featured replacement for WinUnit, you can also expect to see, and benefit from new features in upcoming releases!

Last but not least, the release contains a number of minor bugfixes. So upgrading is recommended even if you do not intend to use the new WinUnit compatibility feature.

cfix can be downloaded here.

2 Responses to “cfix 1.3.0 Released, Introducing WinUnit Compatibility”

  1. 1 kmmbvnr March 23, 2009 at 10:03 am

    I have a problem with cfix.

    I have tests that statically linked with some DLL only present on Vista.

    I thought if i run it on Windows XP, cfix tell me that some dll is missing. But when i run it – it just does not found any tests, and doesn’t report on any error.

    The output is:

    >> cfix version (fre)
    >> (C) 2008-2009 – Johannes Passing –
    >> .

    Thats all. Is it correct behaviour for cfix?

  2. 2 jpassing March 23, 2009 at 11:07 am

    It depends on the command line you are using. Say the DLL is named foo.dll, then:

    “cfix32 foo.dll” should yield:
    cfix version (fre)
    (C) 2008-2009 – Johannes Passing –
    The specified module could not be found.

    …which is caused by the unsatisfied dependency.

    If, however, you specify a wildcard or a directory, like “cfix32 *.dll” or “cfix32 .”, foo.dll will silently be skipped and the output may be empty. This behavior is correct — but indeed, it would be better if an appropriate error message would be output in this case, too.

    If you have further questions, please drop me a mail: passing at users dot sourceforge dot net

Comments are currently closed.


About me

Johannes Passing, M.Sc., living in Berlin, Germany.

Besides his consulting work, Johannes mainly focusses on Win32, COM, and NT kernel mode development, along with Java and .Net. He also is the author of cfix, a C/C++ unit testing framework for Win32 and NT kernel mode, Visual Assert, a Visual Studio Unit Testing-AddIn, and NTrace, a dynamic function boundary tracing toolkit for Windows NT/x86 kernel/user mode code.

Contact Johannes: jpassing (at) acm org

Johannes' GPG fingerprint is BBB1 1769 B82D CD07 D90A 57E8 9FE1 D441 F7A0 1BB1.

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