Sebastiaan Dammann

Blogging, coding, 3D printing and reviews

Ordered NUnit testing with the NUnitTestOrdering library

When it comes to integration tests, especially when developing web automation tests, test ordering can be useful. In larger web applications where you might want to test out a workflow, you need to have tests execute in a certain order. MSTest has built-in support for ordered testing, but that implementation it’s own disadvantages. So, what about ordered testing in NUnit? NUnit has very limited support for ordered testing, so I decided to build a library to allow test ordering in NUnit. I gladly announce the NUnitTestOrdering library: Allowing you to order NUnit tests similar to MSTest.


The library offers the following features:

  • Build complex test ordering hierarchies
  • Skip subsequent tests if an test fails
  • Order your test methods by dependency instead of integer order
  • Supports usage side-by-side with unordered tests. Unordered tests are executed first


Include the library into your project and include the following code in your AssemblyInfo file:


Now you can start writing ordered tests. You can order both test fixtures and the methods within fixtures themselves.

Note: If you use the NuGet package this has already been arranged for you!

Test Fixture ordering

The main feature of the library is to order test fixtures. In order to set-up fixture ordering, derive a class from TestOrderingSpecification. Decorate your new class with the OrderedTestFixtureAttribute. Override and implement the DefineTestOrdering method.

In the DefineTestOrdering method you can call TestFixture and OrderedTestSpecification to register an TestFixture or OrderedTestSpecification to run in order.

Let’s say we’re building a webshop, and want to run an UI automation test on the workflow of:

  • Enter a product as administrator
  • Buy the product as a customer
  • Ship the order as administrator

We could model this scenario like:

public sealed class WebUITestFixture : TestOrderingSpecification {
    protected override void DefineTestOrdering() {

    protected override bool ContinueOnError => false; // Or true, if you want to continue even if a child test fails, but in this case we depend on the workflow to complete, so we don't want to do that.

And from the commandline execute this scenario using:

nunit3-console.exe MyAssembly.dll -where "test==Ordered.WebUITestFixture"

This also allows us to build multiple test scenario’s. We might have a smoke test we want to execute when we do a daily deployment to the staging environment:

public sealed class SmokeTestFixture : TestOrderingSpecification {
    // ...

Ordering test methods within fixtures

Within test fixtures you’Il often want to order the individual test methods as well. Let’s check this scenario:

public sealed class EnterProductFixture {

	[Test]public void EnterProduct();

	[Test]public void FindProductInOverview();

We need to enter a product before we can look it up in the overview. Sometimes, the test fixture itself may be generated, for example by the excellent SpecFlow framework.

In that case you can apply an ordered to the test fixture, to allow test methods to execute in the order you want:

partial class EnterProductFixture {
    private sealed class Orderer : TestOrderer<Tests> {
        protected override void DefineOrdering() {


Download the current prerelease from NuGet:

Install-Package NUnitTestOrdering -Pre

Or download and compile build the binaries yourself.

How can you help

The library is currently in alpha stage. It has tests for many scenario’s and > 75% code coverage. I’m currently looking for feedback to improve the library to be able to release a first a first stable version on NuGet.

Just drop me a comment here or open an issue on GitHub. Thanks!

What are your thoughts?