Functional Testing of Cmdlets


While developing unit and functional tests for Windows Installer PowerShell Extensions, I needed a way to invoke cmdlets without requiring elevation on Vista. That is, of course, because running elevated has always been a bad idea unless it is required. In order to load a PowerShell snap-in, however, one must write to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE which requires elevated privileges. Other than that, there really isn’t another reason to run elevated.

Fortunately, PowerShell allows developers to define a RunspaceConfiguration object which, among other properties, allows developers to add specific types as cmdlets. Without being defined by a registered snap-in, cmdlets can then be invoked in a Runspace as shown below in a sample Visual Studio test class.

When it is time to install and register your PowerShell snap-in, I recommend you take a look at the WiX PowerShell extension to avoid using managed custom actions which can also cause problems.

Heath Stewart

Senior Software Engineer

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