Anatomy of a Coded UI Test


For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017 RC, see Visual Studio 2017 RC Documentation.

When you create a Coded UI Test in a coded UI test project, several files are added to your solution. In this topic, we will use an example Coded UI Test to explore these files.


  • Visual Studio Enterprise

When you create a Coded UI Test, the Coded UI Test Builder creates a map of the user interface under test, and also the test methods, parameters, and assertions for all tests. It also creates a class file for each test.

UIMap.Designer.csDeclarations section

 UIMap class (partial, auto-generated)


UIMap.csUIMap class (partial)Yes
CodedUITest1.csCodedUITest1 class


UIMap.uitestThe XML map of the UI for the test.No


This file contains code that is automatically created by the Coded UI Test Builder when a test is created. This file is re-created every time that a test changes, so that it is not a file in which you can add or modify code.

Declarations section

This section includes the following declarations for a Windows UI.

using System;  
using System.CodeDom.Compiler;  
using System.Collections.Generic;  
using System.Drawing;  
using System.Text.RegularExpressions;  
using System.Windows.Input;  
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Extension;  
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting;  
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.WinControls;  
using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting;  
using Keyboard = Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.Keyboard;  
using Mouse = Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.Mouse;  
using MouseButtons = System.Windows.Forms.MouseButtons;  

The Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.WinControls namespace is included for a Windows user interface (UI). For a Web page UI, the namespace would be Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.HtmlControls; for a Windows Presentation Foundation UI, the namespace would be Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.WpfControls.

UIMap class

The next section of the file is the T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Common.UIMap.UIMap class.

[GeneratedCode("Coded UITest Builder", "10.0.21221.0")]  
public partial class UIMap  

The class code starts with a GeneratedCodeAttribute that is applied to the class, which is declared as a partial class. You will notice that the attribute is also applied to every class in this file. The other file that can contain more code for this class is UIMap.cs, which is discussed later.

The generated UIMap class includes code for each method that was specified when the test was recorded.

public void LaunchCalculator()  
public void AddItems()  
public void VerifyTotal()  
public void CleanUp()  

This part of the T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Common.UIMap.UIMap class also includes the generated code for each property that is required by the methods.

public virtual LaunchCalculatorParams LaunchCalculatorParams  
public virtual AddItemsParams AddItemsParams  
public virtual VerifyTotalExpectedValues VerifyTotalExpectedValues  
public virtual CalculateItemsParams CalculateItemsParams  
public virtual VerifyMathAppTotalExpectedValues   
public UIStartMenuWindow UIStartMenuWindow  
public UIRunWindow UIRunWindow  
public UICalculatorWindow UICalculatorWindow  
public UIStartWindow UIStartWindow  
public UIMathApplicationWindow UIMathApplicationWindow  

UIMap methods

Each method has a structure that resembles the AddItems() method. This is explained in more detail under the code, which is presented together with line breaks to add clarity.

/// <summary>  
/// AddItems - Use 'AddItemsParams' to pass parameters into this method.  
/// </summary>  
public void AddItems()  
    #region Variable Declarations  
    WinControl uICalculatorDialog =   
    WinEdit uIItemEdit =   
    // Type '{NumPad7}' in 'Calculator' Dialog  
    // Type '{Add}{NumPad2}{Enter}' in 'Unknown Name' text box  

The summary comment for each method definition tells which class to use for parameter values for that method. In this case, it is the AddItemsParams class, which is defined later in the UIMap.cs file, and which is also the value type that is returned by the AddItemsParams property.

At the top of the method code is a Variable Declarations region that defines local variables for the UI objects that will be used by the method.

In this method, both UIItemWindow and UIItemEdit are properties that are accessed by using the UICalculatorWindow class, which is defined later in the UIMap.cs file.

Next are lines that send text from the keyboard to the Calculator application by using properties of the AddItemsParams object.

The VerifyTotal() method has a very similar structure, and includes the following assertion code.

// Verify that 'Unknown Name' text box's property 'Text' equals '9. '  

The text box name is listed as unknown because the developer of the Windows Calculator application did not provide a publicly available name for the control. The Assert.AreEqual method fails when the actual value is not equal to the expected value, which would cause the test to fail. Also notice that the expected value includes a decimal point that is followed by a space. If you ever have to modify the functionality of this particular test, you must allow for that decimal point and the space.

UIMap properties

The code for each property is also very standard throughout the class. The following code for the AddItemsParams property is used in the AddItems() method.

public virtual AddItemsParams AddItemsParams  
        if ((this.mAddItemsParams == null))  
            this.mAddItemsParams = new AddItemsParams();  
        return this.mAddItemsParams;  

Notice that the property uses a private local variable that is named mAddItemsParams to hold the value before it returns it. The property name and the class name for the object it returns are the same. The class is defined later in the UIMap.cs file.

Each class that is returned by a property is structured similarly. The following is the AddItemsParams class.

/// <summary>  
/// Parameters to be passed into 'AddItems'  
/// </summary>  
[GeneratedCode("Coded UITest Builder", "10.0.21221.0")]  
public class AddItemsParams  
    #region Fields  
    /// <summary>  
    /// Type '{NumPad7}' in 'Calculator' Dialog  
    /// </summary>  
    public string UICalculatorDialogSendKeys = "{NumPad7}";  
    /// <summary>  
    /// Type '{Add}{NumPad2}{Enter}' in 'Unknown Name' text box  
    /// </summary>  
    public string UIItemEditSendKeys = "{Add}{NumPad2}{Enter}";  

As with all classes in the UIMap.cs file, this class starts with the GeneratedCodeAttribute. In this small class is a Fields region that defines the strings to use as parameters for the Keyboard.SendKeys method that is used in the UIMap.AddItems() method that was discussed earlier. You can write code to replace the values in these string fields before the method in which these parameters are used is called.


By default, this file contains a partial UIMap class that has no methods or properties.

UIMap class

This is where you can create custom code to extend the functionality of the T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Common.UIMap.UIMap class. The code that you create in this file will not be regenerated by the Coded UI Test Builder every time that a test is modified.

All parts of the T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Common.UIMap.UIMap can use the methods and properties from any other part of the T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITest.Common.UIMap.UIMap class.


This file is generated by the Coded UI Test Builder, but is not re-created every time that the test is modified, so that you can modify the code in this file. The name of the file is generated from the name that you specified for the test when you created it.

CodedUITest1 class

By default, this file contains the definition for only one class.

public class CodedUITest1  

The T:Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UITesting.CodedUITestAttribute is automatically applied to the class, which allows the testing framework to recognize it as a testing extension. Also notice that this is not a partial class. All class code is contained in this file.

CodedUITest1 properties

The class contains two default properties that are located at the bottom of the file. They must not be modified.

/// <summary>  
/// Gets or sets the test context which provides  
/// information about and functionality for the current test run.  
public TestContext TestContext  
public UIMap UIMap  

CodedUITest1 methods

By default, the class contains only one method.

public void CodedUITestMethod1()  

This method calls each UIMap method that you specified when you recorded your test, which is described in the section on the UIMap Class.

A region that is titled Additional test attributes, if uncommented, contains two optional methods.

// Use TestInitialize to run code before running each test   
public void MyTestInitialize()  
    // To generate code for this test, select "Generate Code for Coded   
    // UI Test" from the shortcut menu and select one of the menu items.  
    // For more information on generated code, see   
    // You could move this line from the CodedUITestMethod1() method  
// Use TestCleanup to run code after each test has run  
public void MyTestCleanup()  
    // To generate code for this test, select "Generate Code for Coded   
    // UI Test" from the shortcut menu and select one of the menu items.  
    // For more information on generated code, see   
    // You could move this line from the CodedUITestMethod1() method  

The MyTestInitialize() method has the TestInitializeAttribute applied to it, which tells the testing framework to call this method before any other test methods. Similarly, the MyTestCleanup() method has the TestCleanupAttribute applied to it, which tells the testing framework to call this method after all other test methods have been called. Use of these methods is optional. For this test, the UIMap.LaunchCalculator() method could be called from MyTestInitialize() and the UIMap.CloseCalculator() method could be called from MyTestCleanup() instead of from CodedUITest1Method1().

If you add more methods to this class by using the CodedUITestAttribute, the testing framework will call each method as part of the test.


This is an XML file that represents the structure of the coded UI test recording and all its parts. These include the actions and the classes in addition to the methods and properties of those classes. The UIMap.Designer.cs file contains the code that is generated by the Coded UI Builder to reproduce the structure of the test and provides the connection to the testing framework.

The UIMap.uitest file is not directly editable. However, you can use the Coded UI Builder to modify the test, which automatically modifies the UIMap.uitest file and the UIMap.Designer.cs file.

Use UI Automation To Test Your Code
Creating Coded UI Tests
Best Practices for Coded UI Tests
Testing a Large Application with Multiple UI Maps
Supported Configurations and Platforms for Coded UI Tests and Action Recordings