C# Selenium MSTest QuickStart Guide

Image by Andras Vas

In this article we'll be using MSTest and Selenium to write tests for web applications. This will be a starter project we can build on for various projects and in future articles.


Here are the requirements before we get started:

Selenium Prep

If you haven't read through my quick Overview of Selenium you should do that now. Selenium will need a few things configured before it'll do its magic!

Create Project

To kick things off we'll need a new project.

File > New > Project

Select the Unit Test Project template (Templates > Visual C# > Test), give it a name and configure some options. Press Ok to create the project. Visual Studio will create the project and open up your first UnitTest class.

Import/Install Selenium

Now we'll need to grab the Selenium DLLs and give our project access to them.

Tools > NuGet Package Manager > Manage NuGet Packages for Solution

Select Browse, search for 'Selenium' and install both Selenium.WebDriver and Selenium.Support for your new project.

Write Test

Now the fun begins; we can write the first Selenium test! We'll write our test against The Internet[^theinternet].

[^theinternet]: Credit to Dave Haeffner.

Here's some code to put inside the TestMethod1()

//var driver = new OpenQA.Selenium.Firefox.FirefoxDriver
//var driver = new OpenQA.Selenium.Edge.EdgeDriver
//var driver = new OpenQA.Selenium.IE.InternetExplorerDriver
var driver = new OpenQA.Selenium.Chrome.ChromeDriver
Url = "http://the-internet.herokuapp.com/"
Assert.IsTrue(driver.Title == "The Internet");
  1. Get a web driver
  2. Set the URL property (tells the driver to go to that URL)
  3. Assert on the title of the driver
  4. Dispose of the driver

Run Test

Now that we have a functional test we can run it. First, if the Test Explorer isn't displayed we need to add it.

Test > Windows > Test Explorer

Our test isn't showing up yet. We need to build the solution for it to recognize that we've written a test it can run. Right click on the solution in the Solution Explorer and Build or Rebuild the solution. If the build is successful we should see our test show up in the Test Explorer. Now we can right click on our test and tell it to run. If all went according to plan we should see a Chrome window pop up, navigate to Google's home page and then close.

This is a basic, and brittle, example of how Selenium works. If our assertion returns false the test will report a failure but the browser window will still be alive. This test is brittle in that it can't run any code after the Assert if the Assert returns false. We'll cover a much better testing approach in a later post to avoid such things! This is not an example of best practices by any means. This is to get you a working example of Selenium. Stay tuned for more posts on how to use Selenium and best practices for automating tests!

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© 2023
Stephen Cavender
Made in the USA