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📓 Using the Test Database

In this lesson, we'll connect our test project to the test database and update our teardown method to empty it.

Using the Test Database

First, let's run dotnet restore in our ToDoList.Tests directory to update the Tests project with the MySqlConnector package that we added to the production project.

Next, let's update appsettings.json in our production directory to include a new database connection string, this time for our test database. As usual, make sure to update the pwd and uid keys with your own values. In the lessons in, we always assume the uid is root and the pwd is epicodus.

"ConnectionStrings": {
"DefaultConnection": "Server=localhost;Port=3306;database=to_do_list_with_mysqlconnector;uid=[YOUR-USERNAME-HERE];pwd=[YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE];",
"TestConnection": "Server=localhost;Port=3306;database=to_do_list_with_mysqlconnector_test;uid=[YOUR-USERNAME-HERE];pwd=[YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE];"

Next, we'll refactor our existing ItemTests.cs file. Take a look at the new code, and then we'll discuss it below.

using Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration;

namespace ToDoList.Tests

public class ItemTests : IDisposable
// we've added a new property
public IConfiguration Configuration { get; set; }

public void Dispose()

// we've added a constructor
public ItemTests()
IConfigurationBuilder builder = new ConfigurationBuilder()
Configuration = builder.Build();
DBConfiguration.ConnectionString = Configuration["ConnectionStrings:TestConnection"];

// existing tests here

  • First, we include a new using directive to import Microsoft.Extensions.Configuration namespace. From this namespace, we'll use the ConfigurationBuilder(); method to load appsettings.json with our app's configurations.

  • Then we create a property that we'll use to set our app's configurations.

  • Finally, we set up a constructor for the ItemTests class that does the work of setting up the database connection:

    • We create a Configuration object that includes all of the data in our appsettings.json.
    • We set DBConfiguration.ConnectionString to the "TestConnection" database connection string, which we access through the Configuration object. This overrides the DBConfiguration.ConnectionString we set in DatabaseConfig.cs, ensuring that our tests are connected to our test database, not our development database.

Take note of one detail: we're loading our app's configurations with different tools than we use in Program.cs. In Program.cs, appsettings.json is implicitly loaded when we create a WebApplicationBuilder with the WebApplication.CreateBuilder(args); method. This does not happen with the ConfigurationBuilder() method that we use in ItemTests.cs. Instead, we need to load application configurations manually, which is why we call .AddJsonFile("appsettings.json");.

The scope of these two methods is also different: ConfigurationBuilder() focuses on creating a configuration object, which is one aspect of creating a web application host, whereas WebApplication.CreateBuilder(); creates a basic web application host. It's not important to remember these details, just to note that we're using two different processes of loading appsettings.json in our project.

Finally, note that our ClearAll() method isn't programmed to interact with the database yet, but we'll tackle that in the next lesson.