c# request - Mock HttpContext.Current in Test Init Method

mvc unit (5)

I'm trying to add unit testing to an ASP.NET MVC application I have built. In my unit tests I use the following code:

public void IndexAction_Should_Return_View() {
    var controller = new MembershipController();


With the following helpers to mock the controller context:

public static class FakeControllerContext {
    public static HttpContextBase FakeHttpContext(string username) {
        var context = new Mock<HttpContextBase>();

        context.SetupGet(ctx => ctx.Request.IsAuthenticated).Returns(!string.IsNullOrEmpty(username));

        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(username))
            context.SetupGet(ctx => ctx.User.Identity).Returns(FakeIdentity.CreateIdentity(username));

        return context.Object;

    public static void SetFakeControllerContext(this Controller controller, string username = null) {
        var httpContext = FakeHttpContext(username);
        var context = new ControllerContext(new RequestContext(httpContext, new RouteData()), controller);
        controller.ControllerContext = context;

This test class inherits from a base class which has the following:

public void Init() {

Inside this method it calls a library (which i have no control over) which tries to run the following code:


Now you can probably see the problem. I have set the fake HttpContext against the controller but not in this base Init method. Unit testing / mocking is very new to me so I want to make sure I get this right. What is the correct way for me to Mock out the HttpContext so that it is shared across my controller and any libraries which are called in my Init method.


Below Test Init will also do the job.

public void TestInit()
  HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(new HttpRequest(null, "http://tempuri.org", null), new HttpResponse(null));
  YourControllerToBeTestedController = GetYourToBeTestedController();

If your application third party redirect internally, so it is better to mock HttpContext in below way :

HttpWorkerRequest initWorkerRequest = new SimpleWorkerRequest("","","","",new StringWriter(CultureInfo.InvariantCulture));
System.Web.HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(initWorkerRequest);
System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Request.Browser = new HttpBrowserCapabilities();
System.Web.HttpContext.Current.Request.Browser.Capabilities = new Dictionary<string, string> { { "requiresPostRedirectionHandling", "false" } };

HttpContext.Current returns an instance of System.Web.HttpContext, which does not extend System.Web.HttpContextBase. HttpContextBase was added later to address HttpContext being difficult to mock. The two classes are basically unrelated (HttpContextWrapper is used as an adapter between them).

Fortunately, HttpContext itself is fakeable just enough for you do replace the IPrincipal (User) and IIdentity.

The following code runs as expected, even in a console application:

HttpContext.Current = new HttpContext(
    new HttpRequest("", "http://tempuri.org", ""),
    new HttpResponse(new StringWriter())

// User is logged in
HttpContext.Current.User = new GenericPrincipal(
    new GenericIdentity("username"),
    new string[0]

// User is logged out
HttpContext.Current.User = new GenericPrincipal(
    new GenericIdentity(String.Empty),
    new string[0]

I know this is an older subject, however Mocking a MVC application for unit tests is something we do on very regular basis.

I just wanted to add my experiences Mocking a MVC 3 application using Moq 4 after upgrading to Visual Studio 2013. None of the unit tests were working in debug mode and the HttpContext was showing "could not evaluate expression" when trying to peek at the variables.

Turns out visual studio 2013 has issues evaluating some objects. To get debugging mocked web applications working again, I had to check the "Use Managed Compatibility Mode" in Tools=>Options=>Debugging=>General settings.

I generally do something like this:

public static class FakeHttpContext
    public static void SetFakeContext(this Controller controller)

        var httpContext = MakeFakeContext();
        ControllerContext context =
        new ControllerContext(
        new RequestContext(httpContext,
        new RouteData()), controller);
        controller.ControllerContext = context;

    private static HttpContextBase MakeFakeContext()
        var context = new Mock<HttpContextBase>();
        var request = new Mock<HttpRequestBase>();
        var response = new Mock<HttpResponseBase>();
        var session = new Mock<HttpSessionStateBase>();
        var server = new Mock<HttpServerUtilityBase>();
        var user = new Mock<IPrincipal>();
        var identity = new Mock<IIdentity>();

        context.Setup(c=> c.Request).Returns(request.Object);
        context.Setup(c=> c.Response).Returns(response.Object);
        context.Setup(c=> c.Session).Returns(session.Object);
        context.Setup(c=> c.Server).Returns(server.Object);
        context.Setup(c=> c.User).Returns(user.Object);
        user.Setup(c=> c.Identity).Returns(identity.Object);
        identity.Setup(i => i.IsAuthenticated).Returns(true);
        identity.Setup(i => i.Name).Returns("admin");

        return context.Object;


And initiating the context like this


And calling the Method in the controller straight forward

long lReportStatusID = -1;
var result = moController.CancelReport(lReportStatusID);

In win32, you need to specify FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED to make use of asynchronous File IO. In .net world you use isAsync parameter of FileStream to achieve the same. If you fail to do so, operations will not be asynchronous.

It is a shame that FileStream.ReadAsync and its related methods failed to document it.

You can confirm this by peeking into the implementation.

public override Task<int> ReadAsync(byte[] buffer, int offset, int count, CancellationToken cancellationToken)
    if (!this._isAsync || !Environment.IsWindowsVistaOrAbove)
        return base.ReadAsync(buffer, offset, count, cancellationToken);
    return stateObject;

base.ReadAsync will eventually call to Stream.Read method synchronously in ThreadPool giving the impression that operation is async, but really not.

Related information from Concurrent Programming On Windows book (Pg:818):

As with CreateFile, you must specify at creation time that you'd like to use a FileStream for asynchronous execution. With FileStream, you do this by passing true as the isAsync argument to the constructor overloads, which accept it. The stream's IsAsync property will subsequently return true. If you fail to pass this value, calls to BeginRead and BeginWrite will succeed. But they will use the base class implementation from Stream, which provides none of the benefits of true asynchronous file I/O.

Above information is about APM methods(as this is old book) but still relevant one.

c# unit-testing mocking httpcontext