How to use Boost.Test for C++ in Visual Studio

In Visual Studio 2017 version 15.5 and later, Boost.Test is integrated into the Visual Studio IDE as a component of the Desktop Develoment with C++ workload. To install it on your machine, open the Visual Studio Installer and find Boost.Test Adapter under the list of workload components:

Install Boost Test

Install Boost

Boost.Test requires Boost! If you do not have Boost installed, we recommend that you use the Vcpkg package manager.

  1. Follow the instructions at Vcpkg: a C++ Package Manager for Windows to install vcpkg (if you don't already have it).
  2. Run vcpkg install boost to install the Boost libraries.
  3. Run the vcpkg integrate install command to configure Visual Studio with the library and include paths to the Boost headers and binaries.

Create a project for your tests

In Visual Studio 2017 version 15.5, no pre-configured test project or item templates are available for Boost.Test. Therefore, you have to create a console application project to hold your tests. Test templates for Boost.Test are planned for inclusion in a future version of Visual Studio.

  1. In Solution Explorer, right click on the solution node and choose Add | New Project.
  2. In the left pane, choose Windows Desktop and then choose Windows Console Application in the center pane.
  3. Give the project a name and click OK.

Add include directives

In your test .cpp file, add any needed #include directives to make your program's types and functions visible to the test code. Typically, the program is up one level in the folder hierarchy. If you type #include "../" an IntelliSense window will appear and enable you to select the full path to the header file.

Add #include directives

At a minimum you need to include to include the single header variant of Boost.Test with #include <path>/unit_test.hpp and define BOOST_TEST_MODULE. The following example is sufficient for the test to be discoverable in Test Explorer:

#include "stdafx.h"
#include <boost/test/included/unit_test.hpp>
#include "../MyProgram/MyClass.h" // project being tested
#include <string>

    std::string name = "Bill";
    MyClass mc(name);
    BOOST_CHECK(name == mc.GetName());

Write and run tests

You are now ready to write and run Boost Tests. See the Boost Test Library Documentation for information about the test macros. See Run unit tests with Test Explorer for information about discovering, running, and grouping your tests by using Test Explorer.

See Also

Writing Unit Tests for C/C++