Automated testing of GUI applications is tricky. It is not only tricky because testing the GUI itself is hard (despite there being good tools around), it is also tricky because GUI applications often tend to be a bit hostile towards unit testing.
One class of GUI applications for which this kind of hostility often applies is MFC applications. Although MFC allows the use of DLLs, components, etc, the framework still encourages the use of relatively monolithic architectures.
Along with JUnit, JWebUnit, NUnit, and SimpleTest, cfix was one of the nominees for the Automated Testing Institute’s Automation Honors Award 2009 in the category Best Open Source Unit Automated Test Tool. A few days ago, the results were published and cfix finished second – surpassed only by JUnit, which finished 1st (No real surprise here). If you are interested, there is a video in which the results are presented.
A new version of the cfix unit testing framework is now ready for download.
Unlike the previous release, which was mainly a maintenance release, cfix 1.5 adds major new features: kernel mode multithreading and EXE-based unit tests.
EXE based unit tests As I discussed in a previous post in the context of Visual Assert/cfix studio, cfix’ restriction to DLL based unit tests has turned out to be quite a limitation for certain kinds of projects.
N.B. cfix studio was the code name of what has become Visual Assert
The biggest shortcoming of the current cfix studio version certainly is that it requires all tests be implemented in a DLL. Conceptually, keeping test cases separated from the remaining code certainly is a good idea – and implementing tests in a DLL is a way to accomplish this. However, there are many projects in which such separation is either not feasible or just too much effort.