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Specifying Return Values

One of the most common tasks on a newly-created Fake is to specify the return value for some method or property that might be called on it. This is often done by using the Returns method on the result of an A.CallTo:

A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.GetTopSellingCandy()).Returns(lollipop);

Now, whenever the parameterless method GetTopSellingCandy is called on the fakeShop Fake, it will return the lollipop object.

A get property on a Fake can be configured similarly:

A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.Address).Returns("123 Fake Street");

Return Values Calculated at Call Time

Sometimes a desired return value won't be known at the time the call is configured. ReturnsNextFromSequence and ReturnsLazily can help with that. ReturnsNextFromSequence is the simpler of the two:

A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.SellSweetFromShelf())
                       .ReturnsNextFromSequence(lollipop, smarties, wineGums);

will first return lollipop, then smarties, then wineGums. The next call will not take an item from the sequence, but will rely on other configured (or default) behavior.

On to the very powerful ReturnsLazily:

// Returns the number of times the method has been called
int sweetsSold = 0;
A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.NumberOfSweetsSoldToday()).ReturnsLazily(() => ++sweetsSold);

If a return value depends on input to the method, those values can be incorporated in the calculation. Convenient overloads exist for methods of up to 8 parameters.

A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.NumberOfSweetsSoldOn(A<DateTime>.Ignored)) 
                       .ReturnsLazily((DateTime theDate) => 
                                          theDate.DayOfWeek == DayOfWeek.Sunday ? 0 : 200);

The convenience methods may be used with methods that take out and ref parameters. This means that the previous example would work even if NumberOfSweetsSoldOn took an out DateTime or a ref DateTime.

Note that the type of the Func sent to ReturnsLazily isn't checked at compile time, but any type mismatch will trigger a helpful error message.

If more advanced decision-making is required, or the method has more than 8 parameters, the convenience methods won't work. Use the variant that takes an IFakeObjectCall instead:

A.CallTo(() => fakeShop.SomeCall(…))
                       .ReturnsLazily(objectCall => calculateReturnFrom(objectCall));

The IFakeObjectCall object provides access to

  • information about the Method being called, as a MethodInfo,
  • the Arguments, accessed by position or name, and
  • the original FakedObject