Integrating Javascript Unit Tests with Visual Studio – Testing your Javascript

First, let’s pause…the point of this post series is how to integrate your javascript unit tests with Visual Studio, not to teach you how to use the frameworks I’m discussing.  The rest of this post is going to assume you’re familiar with KnockoutJS and Qunit.

Knockout is a framework in javascript that let’s you create javascript viewmodels for your html page.  When done correctly, your view model simply maintains it’s own state and is blissfully unaware of the existence of any HTML elements. This is one of the death knells of your javascript unit tests.  When your javascript knows about html structure and elements it forces you to mock your view out when unit testing otherwise you can’t properly test it.  Knockout let’s you write clean testable javascript and move the glue between your code and the HTML DOM into a declaritive data binding syntax in the HTML.  Again, not here to teach you Knockout, much better places to learn that, like so:

Likewise, Qunit is the javascript unit testing framework used by jQuery.  It seems like the modern internet wouldn’t exist without jQuery, so we might as well run with that, even though there a number of javascript unit test frameworks out there.

To integrate our tests we’re going to need some code to tests and tests to test it first, so let’s start there.  I’ve stolen the following view model from the knockout tutorial site:

function AppViewModel() {
    this.firstName = ko.observable("Nick");
    this.lastName = ko.observable("Olson");

    this.fullName = ko.computed(function() {
        return this.firstName() + " " + this.lastName();
    }, this);

    this.capitalizeLastName = function() {
        var currentVal = this.lastName();        // Read the current value
        this.lastName(currentVal.toUpperCase()); // Write back a modified value

What should we unit test? Well, we’ve got the fullName property which has some logic, and the function to capitalize the last name, so let’s start there.

$(function () {
        module("My First Tests");

        test("FullNameTest", function () {
            var model = new AppViewModel();
            equal("Nick Olson",model.fullName(), "full name built properly");

        test("capitalizeTest", function()
            var model = new AppViewModel();
            equal("OLSON",model.lastName(), "capitalize works");

To see it all in action, check it out here:



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