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NUnit Cookbook

This page is out of date.

The NUnit Cookbook (working title) is my book-in-progress about NUnit. I'm aiming to create a comprehensive guide to using and extending NUnit. It will include material for programmers at all levels of experience and will be the first book to provide detailed information about many aspects of NUnit use.

This page is a placeholder for the book site that I'm developing as a part of NUnit.org. Chapters will be available on that site. The rest of this page describes the rationale for the book and the approach I'm taking. Your comments and suggestions are welcome. I'll be setting up a mailing list for the book, but until them please contact me by email at <charlie AT nunit DOT com>.

About the Book

The use of test frameworks for unit testing has become a standard practice in software development today. Although it originated in the agile development movement, this is one practice that has achieved much wider mainstream adoption. For example, Steve McConnell, who is somewhat critical of certain agile practices, has called the use of automated testing frameworks one of the major advances of the 1990s.

In the .NET world, NUnit has achieved the status of a standard testing framework. It is used more extensively than any other framework by a large margin. Unfortunately, there are only a few books that give basic information about how to use NUnit and none that deal with the more advanced questions that arise as soon as the basic material is digested. Generally, people learn by word of mouth, from mailing lists and by re-inventing solutions to commonly seen problems.

This book will fill the gap. It will provide all the information needed to make use of NUnit from writing your first tests, through dealing with problems of configuration, to customizing and extending the framework. As such, it will serve the needs of a broad range of readers at multiple levels of experience:

  • Novice through experienced .NET users who are new to NUnit
  • Users of other testing frameworks - such as JUnit - who are new to .NET and NUnit
  • Experienced users of .NET and NUnit in search of more advanced information.

An introductory section will provide those new to NUnit with what they need to get started. Next, the book will go into detail on every feature of NUnit. Summary tables will be provided in an appendix. Every feature description will be marked with the version of NUnit that first introduced it.

The book will assume some knowledge of .NET, but will give a brief explanation of advanced features where it is necessary in order to understand the operation of NUnit.

I plan to include my ideas on best practices, test design and other software development issues in brief sidebars. There are lots of other books on those topics, and I'm pretty sure that my audience is primarily interested in better information about NUnit.

Previously unpublished information about the design of NUnit will be included. Alternative approaches to extending NUnit will be shown, together with some useful working examples.