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Using embedded resources in testing projects

· 2 min read

Quite often when you are writing tests it's necessary to store some data together with the testing project to make them available in the test functions.

The solution is quite simple:

  1. You put necessary files to some folder of your testing project (e.g. Resources)

  2. Mark them as "Embedded Resource"

  3. After that, you can access any of these resources in any place of your testing module.

Here is an example of a resource file included in your testing project: an embedded resource file

Here is a static class with extension functions which may help you on step #3:

public static class ResourceUtils
public static Stream GetResourceStream(this Assembly assembly, string resourceFolder, string resourceFileName)

string[] nameParts = assembly.FullName.Split(',');

string resourceName = nameParts[0] + "." + resourceFolder + "." + resourceFileName;

var resources = new List<string>(assembly.GetManifestResourceNames());
if (resources.Contains(resourceName))
return assembly.GetManifestResourceStream(resourceName);
return null;

public static string GetResourceAsString(this Assembly assembly, string folder, string fileName)
string fileContent;
using (StreamReader sr = new StreamReader(GetResourceStream(assembly, folder, fileName))) {
fileContent = sr.ReadToEnd();
return fileContent;

public static Stream GetResourceStream(this Type type, string resourceFolder, string resourceFileName)
var assembly = type.GetTypeInfo().Assembly;
return assembly.GetResourceStream(resourceFolder, resourceFileName);

public static string GetResourceAsString(this Type type, string folder, string fileName)
var assembly = type.GetTypeInfo().Assembly;
return assembly.GetResourceAsString(folder, fileName);

public class ResourceUtilsException : Exception {
public ResourceUtilsException(string message) : base(message) { }

To make it even simpler - we put these and some other functions to a Nuget package you can reference in your project.

Finally, here is how your testing function will access the resource file defined on the first step:

public void TestMethod1() {
string xml = typeof(UnitTest1).GetResourceAsString("Resources", "XMLFile1.xml");
. . . . . .

(here, for the typeof function parameter you use any class from the same assembly where your resources are placed)