Archive for category Design Patterns

Unit testing a static method which calls another static method using Moq

Recently I came across code like below in UI (code behind) which basically calls a static method on a repository :-

RandomPage.aspx.cs :-

protected void btnSave_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
          Guid id = Guid.NewId();
          string name = txtName.Text;
          RandomRepository.RandomStaticMethod(id, name);
}

Now let us look at the “RandomStaticMethod()” method in the “RandomRepository”
class. The method just calls couple of another static methods in the “DataAccess” class.
RandomRepository.cs :-

/// <summary>
/// Repository for some random data access
/// </summary>
public class RandomRepository
{
     /// <summary>
     /// Name of the stored procedure to insert data in a table
     /// </summary>
     private const string SomeRandomTableInsertSP = "SomeRandomTable_Insert";

     /// <summary>
     /// The connection string
     /// </summary>
     private const string ConnectionString = "Random connection string";

     #region Static method
     /// <summary>
     /// A random static "Factory" method
     /// </summary>
     /// <param name="id">The value for the Id parameter.</param>
     /// <param name="name">The value for the Name parameter.</param>
     public static void RandomRepositoryMethod(Guid id, string name)
     {
         DataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery(
         ConnectionString,
         SomeRandomTableInsertSP,
         DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Id", SqlDbType.UniqueIdentifier, id),
         DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Name", SqlDbType.NVarChar, name));
     }
    #endregion  
}

DataAccess.cs:-

/// <summary>
/// Classes for the database operations
/// </summary>
public class DataAccess
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Creates the parameter.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="name">The name of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="type">The type of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="value">The value of the parameter.</param>
    /// <returns>The SqlParameter</returns>
    public static SqlParameter CreateParameter(string name, SqlDbType type, object value)
    {
        return new SqlParameter { ParameterName = name, SqlDbType = type, Value = value };
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Executes the query.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="connectionString">The connection string.</param>
    /// <param name="storedProcedure">The stored procedure.</param>
    /// <param name="inParameters">The in parameters.</param>
    public static void ExecuteNonQuery(string connectionString, string storedProcedure, params DbParameter[] inParameters)
    {
        // Do some actual database operations here
    }
}

What do we need to test?
– RandomRepositoryMethod().
We need to test If It could call DataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery() with appropriate number/type/values of parameters.
Why? In this example, I have only two parameters. However, in real world, you might be using a lot more than that. I have seen about 20 parameters being passed and many time have made mistakes by copying pasting the same parameters and getting the error later. If you say you never made that mistake, you must be lying. Smile

Now, read on…

If you look at RandomRepositoryMethod() you see that the RandomRepository class is dependent on the DataAccess class which does the actual database operations. Since this is a unit test for RandomRepositoryMethod() and not for DataAccess and we don’t want to interact with the actual database, we need to “mock” the DataAccess class.

How to mock the DataAccess here?

  1. Add an interface “IDataAccess” which has the dependency methods – CreateParameter and ExecuteNonQuery.
  2. Explicitly implement the IDataAccess methods – CreateParameter() and ExecuteNonQuery() on the DataAccess class.
  3. The explicitly implemented interface methods – CreateParameter() and ExecuteNonQuery() should just call their static counter parts.
  4. Inject the dependency (DataAccess) to the dependent method.
  5. Write the unit test method using Moq.

IDataAccess interface :-

/// <summary>
/// An interface for DataAccess
/// </summary>
public interface IDataAccess
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Creates a SqlParameter with the given name, type, and value.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="name">The name of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="type">The type of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="value">The value of the parameter.</param>
    /// <returns>Returns a SqlParameter created with the given arguments.</returns>
    SqlParameter CreateParameter(string name, SqlDbType type, object value);

    /// <summary>
    /// Executes the given stored procedure.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="connectionString">The connection string.</param>
    /// <param name="storedProcedure">The stored procedure.</param>
    /// <param name="inParameters">The parameters to pass into the stored procedure.</param>
    void ExecuteNonQuery(string connectionString, string storedProcedure, params DbParameter[] inParameters);
}

Explicitly implementing the interface
Explicitly implemented methods are in line 35 and 47 which just call their static counterparts.

/// <summary>
/// Classes for the database operations
/// </summary>
public class DataAccess : IDataAccess
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Creates the parameter.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="name">The name of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="type">The type of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="value">The value of the parameter.</param>
    /// <returns>The SqlParameter</returns>
    public static SqlParameter CreateParameter(string name, SqlDbType type, object value)
    {
        return new SqlParameter { ParameterName = name, SqlDbType = type, Value = value };
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Executes the query.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="connectionString">The connection string.</param>
    /// <param name="storedProcedure">The stored procedure.</param>
    /// <param name="inParameters">The in parameters.</param>
    public static void ExecuteNonQuery(string connectionString, string storedProcedure, params DbParameter[] inParameters)
    {
        // Do some database operation here
    }
  
    /// <summary>
    /// Calls the static ExecuteNonQuery() method
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="connectionString">The connection string.</param>
    /// <param name="storedProcedure">The stored procedure.</param>
    /// <param name="inParameters">The in parameters.</param>
    void IDataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery(string connectionString, string storedProcedure, params DbParameter[] inParameters)
    {
        DataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery(connectionString, storedProcedure, inParameters);
    }
    
    /// <summary>
    /// Calls the static CreateParameter() method
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="name">The name of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="type">The type of the parameter.</param>
    /// <param name="value">The value of the parameter.</param>
    /// <returns>The SqlParameter</returns>
    SqlParameter IDataAccess.CreateParameter(string name, SqlDbType type, object value)
    {
        return DataAccess.CreateParameter(name, type, value);
    }
}   

Inject the dependency in the dependent method (Method injection)
Modify the dependent method to accept a parameter of type IDataAccess. You need to pass an instance of DataAccess from your UI code too.

/// <summary>
/// A random static "Factory" method
/// </summary>
/// <param name="id">The value for the Id parameter.</param>
/// <param name="name">The value for the Name parameter.</param>
/// <param name="dataAccess">The data access.</param>
public static void RandomRepositoryMethod(Guid id, string name, IDataAccess dataAccess)
{
    dataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery(
        ConnectionString,
        SomeRandomTableInsertSP,
        DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Id", SqlDbType.UniqueIdentifier, id),
        DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Name", SqlDbType.NVarChar, name));
}

Write the unit test method :-

/// <summary>
///A test for RandomRepositoryMethod
///</summary>
[TestMethod()]
public void RandomRepositoryMethodTest()
{
	Guid idValue = new Guid("73592249-AD57-4CDF-B5FC-9C30F65C2376");
	string nameValue = "test";
	var dataAccess = new Mock<IDataAccess>();
	IDataAccess actualDataAccess = new DataAccess();
	dataAccess.Setup(a => a.CreateParameter(It.IsAny<string>(), It.IsAny<SqlDbType>(), It.IsAny<object>()))
		.Returns<string, SqlDbType, object>((name, type, value) => actualDataAccess.CreateParameter(name, type, value));

	RandomRepository.RandomRepositoryMethod(idValue, nameValue, dataAccess.Object);
	dataAccess.Verify(
		d => d.ExecuteNonQuery(It.IsAny<string>(), "SomeRandomTable_Insert", new DbParameter[]{
			It.Is<SqlParameter>(p=>p.ParameterName == "@Id" && p.SqlDbType == SqlDbType.UniqueIdentifier && (Guid)p.Value == idValue),
			It.Is<SqlParameter>(p=>p.ParameterName == "@Name" && p.SqlDbType == SqlDbType.NVarChar && (string)p.Value == nameValue)}
			), Times.Once());
}

Lines 07 and 08 set up the value for the “Id” and “Name” parameters.

Line 09 creates a mock of the IDataAccess interface.

Line 10 creates an instance of real DataAccess class.
Why do we need an instance of DataAccess class? – Because, the ExecuteNonQuery() calls CreateParameter() to return an instance of SqlParameter. We need to set that up to return a SqlParameter If we call CreateParameter() with “any” string parameter, “any” SqlDbType and “any” object value. That’s what line 11 and 12 (they are actually one statement) are doing.

Line 14 – Calls the static method.

Lines 15 – 19 (all lines are actually one statement)
Verifies that dataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery was called with “any” string (any connection string), the required stored procedure (“SomeRandomTable_Insert”) and
two SqlParameters – first having parameter name “@Id”, type SqlDbType.UniqueIdentifier and of value “73592249-AD57-4CDF-B5FC-C30F65C2376” AND second having parameter name “@Name”, type SqlDbType.NVarChar and of value “test”. It also verifies that the DataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery() was called exactly one time.

That’s it – you have unit tested your static method. There is one caveat – you need to pass the DataAccess object to each method you want to test (Method Injection). You couldn’t pass the dataAccess object to the class’s constructor because then that instance of dataAccess can not be accessed in the static method. It won’t compile.

public class RandomRepository
{
	/// <summary>
	/// DataAccess object
	/// </summary>
	IDataAccess dataAccess = null;

	/// <summary>
	/// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="RandomRepository" /> class.
	/// </summary>
	/// <param name="dataAccess">The data access.</param>
	public RandomRepository(IDataAccess dataAccess)
	{
		this.dataAccess = dataAccess;
	}

	/// <summary>
	/// A random static "Factory" method
	/// </summary>
	/// <param name="id">The value for the Id parameter.</param>
	/// <param name="name">The value for the Name parameter.</param>
	public static void RandomRepositoryMethod(Guid id, string name)
	{
	    // Won't compile - "An object reference is required to access non-static member"
		dataAccess.ExecuteNonQuery(
			ConnectionString,
			SomeRandomTableInsertSP,
			DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Id", SqlDbType.UniqueIdentifier, id),
			DataAccess.CreateParameter("@Name", SqlDbType.NVarChar, name));
	}
}

Personally, I didn’t like the ExecuteNonQuery() and CreateParameter() being static. Sure, static methods have their own advantages. My personal preference is to limit them in the utility classes because I find them difficult (read “less easy”) to unit test. I just wanted to mention that performance difference between static method and instance method is negligible.
From http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/79b3xss3.aspx

A call to a static method generates a call instruction in Microsoft intermediate language (MSIL), whereas a call to an instance method generates a callvirt instruction, which also checks for a null object references. However, most of the time the performance difference between the two is not significant.

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2 Comments

Dependency Injection

Sample code can be downloaded from here.

First – What is a dependency?
– We are talking about a class (say “ATest”) which needs another class (say “BTest”) to call Its (“ATest”) methods (See below example). Therefore, class “BTest” is a dependency for class “ATest”.

public class BTest
{
     public int DoBTestWork()
     {
           // Do some work
     }
}

public class ATest
{
        private readonly BTest bTest;  // Dependency
        public ATest() 
        {
            bTest = new BTest();
        }
        public void DoATestWork()
        {
            var  bTestOutput = bTest.DoBTestWork();
            // Do something with bTestOutput
        }      
}

image

 

Can we try decoupling class ATest and BTest.
Yes – try interfaces. Here in the below example. We have the same classes as above. However – this time we have the method in BTest coming from the interface IBTest. Class ATest is now have the object reference of interface IBTest instead of BTest class.

public interface IBTest
{
     int DoBTestWork()
}
public class BTest : IBTest
{
    public int DoBTestWork()
   {
   // Do some work
   }
}

public class ATest
{
    private readonly IBTest bTest;
    void ATest()
    {
      bTest = new BTest();
   }

   public void DoATestWork()
   {
      var bTestOutput = bTest.DoBTestWork();
     // Do something with bTestOutput
    } 
}

Is this good enough? No. Because we we still have the reference of BTest in the ATest class. See – the even though the object bTest is of type IBTest, It is getting instantiated from BTest. So the classes – ATest and BTest are still not decoupled.

image

What is Dependency injection?
– It’s a type of IoC which let us take out the dependencies of a class and handles their (dependencies) creation and binding. This way the class no longer has to have the references of the dependencies.

How to we implement it :-

  • Constructor Injection
  • Property/Setter Injection
  • Method Injection

Constructor Injection
Pass dependency into the dependent class via the constructor. Here, the constructor on ATest is taking an interface of IBTest and we don’t have any reference of the concrete class BTest.

public interface IBTest
{
        int DoBTestWork()
}

public class BTest : IBTest
{
          public int DoBTestWork()
          {
             // Do some work
          }
}

public class ATest
{
         private readonly IBTest bTest;
         void ATest (IBTest bTest)
         {
           this.bTest = bTest;
          }

          public void DoATestWork()
          {
            var bTestOutput = bTest.DoBTestWork();
            // Do something with bTestOutput
          } 
}

Following is the code which would call use ATest and pass the its dependency BTest in it.

IBTest bTest = new BTest();
ATest aTest = new ATest(bTest);
aTest.DoATestWork();

Property/Setter Injection
Don’t pass dependency in the constructor of the dependent class. Just have the interface dependency types as public properties in the dependent class.

public interface IBTest
{
       int DoBTestWork()
}

public class BTest : IBTest
{
       public int DoBTestWork()
      {
       // Do some work
      }
}

public class ATest
{
       public IBTest BTestObject { get; set; }
       public void DoATestWork()
       {
         var bTestOutput = BTestObject.DoBTestWork();
        // Do something with bTestOutput
        } 
}

Following is the code which would call use ATest. It just sets the the public property of dependency interface type (IBTest) to the concrete type(BTest).

IBTest bTest = new BTest();
ATest aTest = new ATest();
aTest.BTestObject = bTest;
aTest.DoATestWork();

We should use this have some optional properties and having those properties not assigned won’t impact calling methods.

Method Injection
Don’t pass dependencies in the constructor or set them on the properties of the dependent class. Just pass them in the method of the dependent class.

public interface IBTest
{
   int DoBTestWork()
}

public class BTest : IBTest
{
     public int DoBTestWork()
     {
        // Do some work
     }
}

public class ATest
{
       public void DoATestWork(IBTest bTest)
       {
          var bTestOutput = bTest.DoBTestWork();
         // Do something with bTestOutput
       } 
}

Following is the code which would call use ATest. It just passes the dependency interface type (IBTest) to the dependent ATest method DoATestWork.

ATest aTest = new aTest();
IBTest bTest = new BTest();
aTest.DoATestWork(bTest);

, ,

2 Comments

Inversion of Control (IoC)

image

  • Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP) – Principle of inverting dependencies in software architecture.
  • Inversion Of Control (IoC) – Pattern which uses DIP.
  • Dependency Injection (DI) – An Implementation of IoC (but there are many other ways to implement IoC).
  • IoC Container – Framework to implement IoC.

Dependency Inversion Principle :-
The higher level modules define interfaces which lower level modules implement. This needs to be done instead of higher level modules depending and using the interfaces which lower level modules expose.

Example :- The computer is a high level device/module. It has an USB port – the interface exposed – to which all other (low level modules) devices e.g iPhone, mouse, Keyboard can plug into. The computer can make use of any device as long as that device can connect to the USB port.

Inversion of Control :-
Provide ways to implement DIP.

  • Interface Inversion
  • Dependency Creation/Binding Inversion
        • Factory methods
        • Service Locator
        • Dependency Injection

Interface Inversion :-
Suppose we have following classes :-
ATest, BTest1, BTest2, BTest3

BTest1, BTest2 and BTest3 do similar BTest type of work which they have implemented with DoB1Work(), DoB2Work() and DoB3Work() respectively.
Now class ATest needs to call public methods (interface) of BTest1, BTest2 and BTest3 separately. Here Class “ATest” is the consumer and all those B classes are providers.

public class ATest
{
    public void DoSomeAWork()
    {
         BTest1 b = new BTest1();
         b.DoSomeBWork();
         // Do something else
    }
}
public class BTest1
{
     public void DoSomeBWork()
     {
          // Do something          
     }
}

So here, the consumer (ATest) needs to know about each provider (BTest1, BTest2 and BTest3). The “control” here is in providers’ (B classes) hand because they are defining interfaces (public methods) which the consumer needs to call and need to be changed If the public method changes.

What should really happen – We create an interface IBTest having one method DoBWork() which would be implemented by all the B classes with their own concrete implementation. Here we inverted the control. The control is in consumer’s (Class A) hands now.

Now we end up having something like below in Class ATest.

IBTest bTest = new B1Test();

Now with above, we are still instantiating a concrete class (B1Test) and this makes the ATest (Consumer) dependent on class B1Test (Provider).

Dependency Creation/Binding Inversion patterns
These patterns let creation of dependencies to be done by another class. Following are the ways to do it.

a) Factory Pattern
b) Service Locator
c) Dependency Injection

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