Archive for June, 2009

Introducing cfix studio, the Visual Studio AddIn for C/C++ Unit Testing

N.B. cfix studio was the code name of what has become Visual Assert

There is little doubt that native code, and C and C++ in particular, is here to stay. And still, it is pretty obvious that when it comes to tools and IDEs, it is the managed world that has gotten most attention from tool vendors over the past years.

While there are lots and lots of useful tools for native development, many of them probably even better than their managed counterparts, there are some areas where the managed language fraction is far ahead: One of these areas certainly is IDE support for unit testing.

JUnit for Eclipse, TestDriven.Net for Visual Studio and MS Test make test-driven development so much more convenient and efficient that it is almost ridiculous that using command line tools is still state of the art for C/C++ development.

That said, there is great news: With cfix studio, there finally is a solution filling in this gap! cfix studio, based on the cfix unit testing framework, is a Visual Studio-AddIn that allows you to easily write, manage, run, and debug your unit tests from within Visual Studio. No fiddling with command line tools, complex configuration, or boilerplate code required!

Among lots of other features, cfix studio also has first-class support for multi-architecture development – you can easily switch back and forth between 32-bit and 64-bit and can even mix tests of different architectures in a single test run. Needless to say, cfix studio, like cfix, is also fully compatible to WinUnit.

If that has caught your interest, you are invited to check out the first beta version of cfix studio:

Download cfix studio Beta 1
Version 1.0.0.3458

It is free, quick to install and comes with a set of example projects. Give it a try — and please let me know about all your crticism, suggestions and other feedback!

Here are some screenshots of cfix studio in action:

Test Explorer
The Test Explorer allows you to start a single or set of tests, the Run Window shows the results

Run Window
Run Window: Viewing test progress

Failed Assertion
Run Window: Viewing test results and details of a failed assertion

Debgging a failed assertion
When running in the debugger, a failed assertion will hit a breakpoint and the Run Window will show additional details

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cfix 1.4 released

Today, a new version of cfix, the open source unit testing framework for user and kernel mode C and C++, has been released. cfix 1.4, in addition to the existing feature of allowing test runs to be restricted to specific fixtures, now also allows single testcases to be run in isolation, which can be a great aid in debugging. Besides several minor fixes, the cfix API has been slightly enhanced and cfix now degrades more gracefully in case of dbghelp-issues.

Updated cfix binaries and source code are now available for download


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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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