in .NET Framework

Method chaining with deferring object creation

I have decided to write a couple of posts about how I used Method Chaining to help solve and better handle the creation of test data within my Unit Tests. This post and the example code via GitHub shows how I created test data using Method Chaining in a more generic form. There will be more posts to come regarding how this test data gets persisted into a in-memory database which will get used in XUnit Tests.

For my problem, I had to build up test data that will be used within a number of Unit Tests. Creating objects and assigning values to properties through Factory classes is considered a fairly normal approach, however being able to build up objects using method chaining gives me the flexibility to create objects with different characteristics.

For example, var foo = MyFooBuilder.Create().WithName(“My Foo”).WithAge(5).WithCar(“Audi”).Build(). This allows me to build up a foo object using a nice fluent chaining of methods compared to var foo = new Foo() { Name = “My Foo”, Age = 5, Car = “Audi” }. This allows me to keep all the Foo created code in a nice and tidy builder class which provides the flexibility to extend the builder to introduce new characteristics in the future.

What I ended up creating was a generic builder class that allows me to use a object of type T, build up a set of actions to get a newly created object. for example, var foo = MyBuilder.Create().WithProperty(new { Name = “MyPropertyName”, Value = “MyValue” }).Build();

You can view my builder class at https://github.com/codelabnz/BuilderExample