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Important This document may not represent best practices for current development, links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid. Current recommended version can be found here.

DeploymentItemAttribute Class

Used to specify deployment items such as files or directories for per-test deployment. This class cannot be inherited.

Namespace: Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting
Assembly: Microsoft.VisualStudio.QualityTools.UnitTestFramework (in microsoft.visualstudio.qualitytools.unittestframework.dll)

[AttributeUsageAttribute(AttributeTargets.Method, AllowMultiple=true)] 
public sealed class DeploymentItemAttribute : Attribute
/** @attribute AttributeUsageAttribute(AttributeTargets.Method, AllowMultiple=true) */ 
public final class DeploymentItemAttribute extends Attribute
AttributeUsageAttribute(AttributeTargets.Method, AllowMultiple=true) 
public final class DeploymentItemAttribute extends Attribute

Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Testers runs tests in a different folder than the folder that holds the built assemblies. When a test is run, the test and code-under-test assemblies, and the deployment items are placed in a test deployment folder unique to that test run. This attribute identifies files and directories that contain files that are used by the deployed test to run. The test engine makes a copy of the deployment items and places them in test deployment directory based upon the OutputDirectory specified or the default directory. See Test Deployment for additional information.

This attribute can be specified on a test method. There can be multiple instances of this attribute to specify more than one item. The item path can be absolute or relative. Relative paths are relative to the RelativePathRoot setting found in the .testrunconfig file.

The following examples demonstrate different usage of the DeploymentItemAttribute:

  • [DeploymentItem("file1.xml")]    Deploys an item named file1.xml located at the RelativeRootPath. The file is deployed to the deployment root directory.

  • [DeploymentItem("file2.xml", "DataFiles")]    Deploys an item named file2.xml located at the RelativeRootPath. The file is deployed to the DataFiles subdirectory of the deployment root directory.

  • [DeploymentItem("C:\\MyDataFiles\\")]    Deploys all items and directories found within the MyDataFiles directory. This does not create the MyDataFiles directory underneath the deployment directory. All files and directories within MyDataFiles will be deployed to the deployment root directory. To copy the entire MyDataFiles directory structure, you must specify MyDataFiles as an output directory.

  • [DeploymentItem("%myDir%\myFile.txt")]    Deploys the file myFile.txt if that file exists in the directory to which %myDir% resolves.

For more information about how to use attributes, see Extending Metadata Using Attributes.

The following class creates a file that will be used by the test method.

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace CarMaker
    public class Car
        private static string make = "myMake";
        private static string model = "myModel";

        public static void CarInfo()
            using (StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter("testFile1.txt"))

The following test class contains a test method that will instantiate the Car class which will create a file named "testFile1.txt". This file will be deployed as identified in the DeploymentItemAttribute. Then, the test method will test if the file exists in the same directory as the test assembly.

using System;
using System.IO;
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting;
using CarMaker;

namespace DeploymentTest
    public class UnitTest1
        public void ConstructorTest()
            // Create the file to deploy
            string file = "testFile1.txt";
            // Check if the created file exists in the deployment directory
            Assert.IsTrue(File.Exists(file), "deployment failed: " + file +
                " did not get deployed");


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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