What is TestStack all about?

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TestStack is a collection of open source projects which mainly focus on making the left side of Marick’s agile testing quadrant easier!

What are the Agile Testing Quadrants?

The agile testing quadrants show the different categories of tests that accomplish different purposes and reflects the different reasons that we test. The concept was introduced by Brian Marrick and is discussed in depth in the book Agile Testing, by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. The tests on the left side support the agile team. The tests on the right, the ones that “critique the product,” are what you might consider the traditional testing that testers have done after a feature is developed.

agile testing quadrants

TestStack is focused on the tests on the left (Q1 and Q2). These tests support the agile team of developer, tester and customer. They are test first, promoting the “testing as design” mindset, and tend to be automated. Things like unit and integration tests, acceptance tests, and UI tests and methodologies like Behaviour Driven Development and Acceptance Test Driven Development.

Quadrant 1 has unit tests and component tests (or integration tests as they are also known) which are the tests written by developers, usually(?) following TDD, to test whether the system does what they intended it to do. These tests tell you that your code is technically correct and that you are “doing things right.”

Quadrant 2 tests tells you that you are “doing the right thing”, meaning you are actually building what the customer wants. Tests in this quadrant attempt to solve the biggest problem in software development – communication - so that the customer, testers and developers can agree on what will be built. They are functional tests, consisting mainly of story-level acceptance tests that the teams use to validate that each story works the way the customer intended. When developers automate the acceptance tests they become executable specifications, which is expressing requirements such that they are also tests. The benefits of executable specifications are that they are meaningful to all interested parties, they unambiguously demonstrate if the requirement is met, and they drive out a testable application design. They help the developer know where to start testing and when they are finished, and keep them on track to only implement the required functionality. They also provide a form of living documentation, such as the BDDfy report below, where the documentation is always in sync with the code.

BDDfy report

Who are we?

In 2011 Mehdi Khalili created BDDfy (then called bddify), a simple yet powerful and extensible BDD framework for .Net. In 2012 Mehdi and Michael Whelan decided to setup a new open source project for automated UI testing with Selenium, called Seleno, and this GitHub organisation, TestStack, for the two projects. Since then, they have been joined by Krzysztof Kozmic, Jake Ginnivan and Rob Moore.

TestStack Projects

TestStack provides a number of projects that help with automated testing that supports the team:


The framework is called BDDfy because it BDDfies (as in turns into BDD) your otherwise traditional unit tests. Pronounced B D Defy, it is very simple to turn your AAA tests into a BDD test/behavior. BDDfy can work with any and all testing frameworks. In fact, it works even if you are not using any testing framework.


Seleno helps you to write automated UI tests in the right way by implementing Page Objects and Page Components and by reading and writing web page data using strongly typed view models. It uses Selenium for browser automation.

Convention Tests

Convention over Configuration is a great way to cut down repetitive boilerplate code. But how do you validate that your code adheres to your conventions? ConventionTests is a code-only NuGet that provides a simple API to build validation rules for convention validation tests.


White is a framework for automating rich client applications based on Win32, WinForms, WPF, Silverlight and SWT (Java) platforms. It is .NET based and does not require the use of any proprietary scripting languages. Tests/automation programs using White can be written with whatever .NET language, IDE and tools you are already using. White provides a consistent object-oriented API, hiding the complexity of Microsoft's UI Automation library (on which White is based) and windows messages

Fluent MVC Testing

The Fluent MVC Testing library provides a fluent interface for creating terse and expressive tests against ASP.NET MVC controllers. The motivation behind this library is to provide a way to test MVC actions quickly and maintainably.

We're here to help!

We would encourage you to download the projects from github and try them out. Get in touch with us on twitter or email if you have any issues or questions about the projects or agile testing in general. We love this stuff and are happy to help!