Resolving Null TestContext in Base Class Virtual Methods for Automation Testing

Resolving Null TestContext in Base Class Virtual Methods for Automation Testing

11 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When working with automated tests in a class inheritance structure, it’s not uncommon to encounter issues where the TestContext is null when accessed from a base class’s virtual method. This article will guide you through a solution to ensure that your TestContext is properly initialized and accessible in derived classes.

Understanding the Issue

In a scenario where you have a base class that contains a virtual method intended to initialize the TestContext, you may find that when this method is called from a derived class, the TestContext instance is null. This can be problematic for running tests that rely on the context for execution.

Proposed Solution

To address this issue, a ClassInitialize method can be utilized. This method is responsible for initializing the TestContext at the class level before any tests are run. Here’s how you can implement this:

Step 1: Create a ClassInitialize Method

Add a ClassInitialize method to your base class. This method should be static and take a TestContext parameter which will be assigned to your base class’s TestContext.

public class ScriptsBase
    private static TestContext bingTestContext;

    public static void ClassInit(TestContext context)
        bingTestContext = context;

    //... existing methods and properties ...

Step 2: Assign the TestContext in Derived Classes

In your derived classes, ensure that you are overriding the base class’s initialization method and that the TestContext is properly assigned.

public class DestinationMasterTestScripts : ScriptsBase
    public override void MyTestInitialize()

    // ... additional test methods ...


By implementing a ClassInitialize method in your base class and ensuring that the TestContext is properly assigned in derived classes, you can resolve the issue of a null TestContext when accessed from a base class’s virtual method. This setup ensures that your automated tests have the necessary context to execute correctly.

Remember that the TestContext instance is critical for accessing information about the current test run and for providing functionality that supports test execution. Proper initialization and assignment are key to leveraging the full capabilities of your automated tests.

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