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InterSystems Testing Manager for VS Code

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Integrate the %UnitTest framework with VS Code

What's new in this version

Initial Release

InterSystems Testing Manager

This preview extension uses VS Code’s Testing API to discover, run and debug unit test classes built with the %UnitTest testing framework of the InterSystems IRIS platforms, plus Caché-based predecessors supporting the /api/atelier REST service.

It augments the ObjectScript, InterSystems Language Server and Server Manager extensions, which are elements of the InterSystems ObjectScript Extension Pack.

Classes extending %UnitTest.TestCase are shown in VS Code’s Test Explorer view, from where they can be run and any failures investigated. An additional folder in Test Explorer gives easy access to the results of recent test runs on the server.

InterSystems Testing Manager works with both of the source code location paradigms supported by the ObjectScript extension. Your unit test classes can either be mastered in VS Code’s local filesystem (the ‘client-side editing’ paradigm) or in a server namespace (the ‘server-side editing’ paradigm). In both cases the actual test runs occur in a server namespace.

Client-side paradigm animation

Client-side editing workspace

Server-side paradigm animation

Server-side editing workspace

In order to support topologies in which client-side-managed test classes have to be run in the namespace of a remote server, this extension uses the /_vscode web application on the test-running server, no matter whether local or remote.

Server Preparations

  1. Using the server’s Management Portal, go to System Administration > Security > Applications > Web Applications and look for an application named /_vscode.

    • If it doesn’t exist, follow these instructions to create it. Make a note of the Physical Path value you entered. The convention suggested in the linked instructions is to use a .vscode subfolder of the server’s install folder, for example C:\InterSystems\IRIS\.vscode on Windows.

    • If the web application already exists, note its Physical Path.

  2. Using an IRIS terminal session on the server, set the ^UnitTestRoot global in each namespace you will run unit tests in via the extension. Start with the path string noted in the previous step, appending two subfolders to it. The first must match the uppercase namespace name and the second must be UnitTestRoot. For example, in the USER namespace of a default Windows install of IRIS:

    USER>set ^UnitTestRoot="C:\InterSystems\IRIS\.vscode\USER\UnitTestRoot"

If you previously used the %UnitTest framework in a namespace, be aware that you are probably replacing an existing value. Consider taking a note of that in case you need to revert.

Workspace Preparations

For a workspace using client-side editing, test classes are by default sought in .cls files under the internal/testing/unit_tests subfolder, using the conventional layout of one additional subfolder per package-name element. If your test classes are located elsewhere, use the intersystems.testingManager.client.relativeTestRoot setting to point there.

By setting this at the workspace level you can have different file layouts for different projects.

Running Tests

VS Code provides several different ways to run tests.

In the Test Explorer view expand the first root folder, which is captioned ‘Local Tests’ or ‘Server Tests’ depending on which paradigm your workspace uses.

A subfolder is shown for each root folder of your workspace, which may be a multi-root one. Within this you are shown the test classes. The ‘Local Tests’ tree uses a hierarchical structure with one subfolder per segment of the package name. The ‘Server Tests’ tree uses a flat structure.

At the level of an individual test class the final expansion shows a leaf for each TestXXX method.

Hovering over any level of a tests tree will reveal action buttons that run all the tests from this level down. The ‘Run’ button does so without stopping at any breakpoints, in contrast to the ‘Debug’ button. At class or method level a ‘Go to Test’ button opens the class code and positions the cursor appropriately. At higher levels this button navigates to Explorer View.

When a test class is open in an editor tab it displays icons in the gutter at the top of the class and at the start of each test method. These show the outcome of the most recent run, if any, and can be clicked to perform testing operations.

The ... menu of the Testing panel in Test Explorer includes several useful commands, including ones to collapse the tree and to clear all locally-stored test results.

Debugging Tests

After opening a test class, click in the gutter to set a VS Code breakpoint in the normal manner. Then launch the test-run with the Debug option on the context menu of the testing icons in the gutter.

Recent Testing History

The %UnitTest framework persists results of runs in server-side tables. The ‘Recent History’ root folder lets you explore the most recent ten sets of results for each server and namespace the workspace uses.

Hovering on a run’s folder reveals an action button which launches %UnitTest’s own results browser in an external web browser.

Known Limitations

This extension is a preview and has some known limitations:

  • The extension uses server-side REST support for debugging even when tests are not being debugged. Debug support is broken in InterSystems IRIS 2021.1.3, and maybe also in earlier 2021.1.x versions. Either upgrade to a later version or request an ad-hoc patch from InterSystems.
  • In client-side mode test-run results don’t update the testing icons in the editor gutter or the Local Tests tree in Testing view. Workaround is to view them under the Recent History tree.
  • The extension has only been tested with InterSystems IRIS instances that use the English locale. Its technique for parsing the output from %UnitTest is likely to fail with other locales.
  • The /autoload feature of %UnitTest is not supported. This is only relevant to client-side mode.
  • The loading and deleting of unit test classes which occurs when using client-side mode will raise corresponding events on any source control class that the target namespace may have been configured to use.


Initial development of this extension by George James Software was sponsored by InterSystems.

Please create issues at https://github.com/intersystems-community/intersystems-testingmanager/issues to report bugs, questions or suggestions for improvement.

We also invite you to post about this extension at https://community.intersystems.com

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0.2.024 May, 2023
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Works with
InterSystems IRISInterSystems IRIS for HealthHealthShareCachéEnsemble
First published
23 May, 2023