TimeProviderExtensions 1.0.0-preview.1

This is a prerelease version of TimeProviderExtensions.
There is a newer version of this package available.
See the version list below for details.
dotnet add package TimeProviderExtensions --version 1.0.0-preview.1                
NuGet\Install-Package TimeProviderExtensions -Version 1.0.0-preview.1                
This command is intended to be used within the Package Manager Console in Visual Studio, as it uses the NuGet module's version of Install-Package.
<PackageReference Include="TimeProviderExtensions" Version="1.0.0-preview.1" />                
For projects that support PackageReference, copy this XML node into the project file to reference the package.
paket add TimeProviderExtensions --version 1.0.0-preview.1                
#r "nuget: TimeProviderExtensions, 1.0.0-preview.1"                
#r directive can be used in F# Interactive and Polyglot Notebooks. Copy this into the interactive tool or source code of the script to reference the package.
// Install TimeProviderExtensions as a Cake Addin
#addin nuget:?package=TimeProviderExtensions&version=1.0.0-preview.1&prerelease

// Install TimeProviderExtensions as a Cake Tool
#tool nuget:?package=TimeProviderExtensions&version=1.0.0-preview.1&prerelease                

TimeProvider Extensions

Extensions for System.TimeProvider API. It includes a test version of the TimeProvider type, named ManualTimeProvider, that allows you to control the progress of time during testing deterministically.

Currently, the following .NET time-based APIs are supported:

TimeProvider method .NET API it replaces
GetUtcNow() method DateTimeOffset.UtcNow property
CreateTimer() method System.Threading.Timer type
Delay(TimeSpan, CancellationToken) method Task.Delay(TimeSpan, CancellationToken) method
Task.WaitAsync(TimeSpan, TimeProvider) method Task.WaitAsync(TimeSpan) method
Task.WaitAsync(TimeSpan, TimeProvider, CancellationToken) method Task.WaitAsync(TimeSpan, CancellationToken) method
TimeProvider.CreatePeriodicTimer(TimeSpan) method System.Threading.PeriodicTimer type
TimeProvider.CreateCancellationTokenSource(TimeSpan) method new CancellationTokenSource(TimeSpan) method

The implementation of TimeProvider is abstract. An instance of TimeProvider for production use is available on the TimeProvider.System property, and ManualTimeProvider can be used during testing.

During testing, you can move time forward by calling ForwardTime(TimeSpan) or SetUtcNow(DateTimeOffset) on ManualTimeProvider. This allows you to write tests that run fast and predictable, even if the system under test pauses execution for multiple minutes using e.g. TimeProvider.Delay(TimeSpan), the replacement for Task.Delay(TimeSpan).

Known issues and limitations:

  • When using the ManualTimeProvider during testing to forward time, be aware of this issue: https://github.com/dotnet/runtime/issues/85326.
  • If running on .NET versions earlier than .NET 8.0, there is a constraint when invoking CancellationTokenSource.CancelAfter(TimeSpan) on the CancellationTokenSource object returned by CreateCancellationTokenSource(TimeSpan delay). This action will not terminate the initial timer indicated by the delay argument initially passed the CreateCancellationTokenSource method. However, this restriction does not apply on .NET 8.0 and later versions.
  • To enable controlling PeriodicTimer via TimeProvider in versions of .NET earlier than .NET 8.0, the TimeProvider.CreatePeriodicTimer returns a PeriodicTimerWrapper object instead of a PeriodicTimer object. The PeriodicTimerWrapper type is just a lightweight wrapper around the original System.Threading.PeriodicTimer and will behave identically to it.

Installation

Get the latest release from https://www.nuget.org/packages/TimeProviderExtensions

Set up in production

To use in production, pass in TimeProvider.System to the types that depend on TimeProvider. This can be done directly or via an IoC Container, e.g. .NETs built-in IServiceCollection like so:

services.AddSingleton(TimeProvider.System);

If you do not want to register the TimeProvider with your IoC container, you can instead create an additional constructor in the types that use it, which allows you to pass in a TimeProvider, and in the existing constructor(s) you have, just new up TimeProvider.System directly. For example:

public class MyService
{
  private readonly TimeProvider timeProvider;
  
  public MyService() : this(TimeProvider.System)
  {
  }
  
  public MyService(TimeProvider timeProvider)
  {
    this.timeProvider = timeProvider;
  }
}

This allows you to explicitly pass in a ManualTimeProvider during testing.

Example - control time during tests

If a system under test (SUT) uses things like Task.Delay, DateTimeOffset.UtcNow, Task.WaitAsync, or PeriodicTimer, it becomes hard to create tests that run fast and predictably.

The idea is to replace the use of e.g. Task.Delay with an abstraction, the TimeProvider, that in production is represented by the TimeProvider.System, which just uses the real Task.Delay. During testing it is now possible to pass in ManualTimeProvider, which allows the test to control the progress of time, making it possible to skip ahead, e.g. 10 minutes, and also pause time, leading to fast and predictable tests.

As an example, let us test the "Stuff Service" below that performs specific tasks every 10 seconds with an additional 1-second delay. We have two versions, one that uses the standard types in .NET, and one that uses the TimeProvider.

// Version of stuff service that uses the built in DateTimeOffset, PeriodicTimer, and Task.Delay
public class StuffService
{
  private static readonly TimeSpan doStuffDelay = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10);
  private readonly List<DateTimeOffset> container;

  public StuffService(List<DateTimeOffset> container)
  {
    this.container = container;
  }
  
  public async Task DoStuff(CancellationToken cancelllationToken)
  {
    using var periodicTimer = new PeriodicTimer(doStuffDelay);
    
    while (await periodicTimer.WaitForNextTickAsync(cancellationToken))
    {      
      await Task.Delay(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1));
      container.Add(DateTimeOffset.UtcNow);
    }
  }
}

// Version of stuff service that uses the built-in TimeProvider
public class StuffServiceUsingTimeProvider
{
  private static readonly TimeSpan doStuffDelay = TimeSpan.FromSeconds(10);
  private readonly TimeProvider timeProvider;
  private readonly List<DateTimeOffset> container;

  public StuffServiceUsingTimeProvider(TimeProvider timeProvider, List<DateTimeOffset> container)
  {
    this.timeProvider = timeProvider;
    this.container = container;
  }
  
  public async Task DoStuff(CancellationToken cancelllationToken)
  {
    using var periodicTimer = timeProvider.CreatePeriodicTimer(doStuffDelay);
    
    while (await periodicTimer.WaitForNextTickAsync(cancellationToken))
    {      
      await timeProvider.Delay(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(1));
      container.Add(timeProvider.GetUtcNow());
    }
  }
}

The test, using xUnit and FluentAssertions, could look like this:

[Fact]
public void DoStuff_does_stuff_every_11_seconds()
{
  // Arrange
  var timeProvider = new ManualTimeProvider();
  var container = new List<DateTimeOffset>();  
  var sut = new StuffServiceUsingTimeProvider(timeProvider, container);
  
  // Act
  _ = sut.DoStuff(CancellationToken.None);
  timeProvider.ForwardTime(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(11));
  
  // Assert
  container
    .Should()
    .ContainSingle()
    .Which
    .Should()
    .Be(timeProvider.GetUtcNow());
}

This test will run in nanoseconds and is deterministic.

Compare that to the similar test below for StuffService that needs to wait for 11 seconds before it can safely assert that the expectation has been met.

[Fact]
public async Task DoStuff_does_stuff_every_11_seconds()
{
  // Arrange
  var container = new List<DateTimeOffset>();  
  var sut = new StuffService(container);
  
  // Act
  _ = sut.DoStuff(CancellationToken.None);
  await Task.Delay(TimeSpan.FromSeconds(11));
  
  // Assert
  container
    .Should()
    .ContainSingle()
    .Which
    .Should()
    .BeCloseTo(DateTimeOffset.UtcNow, precision: TimeSpan.FromMilliseconds(50));
}
Product Compatible and additional computed target framework versions.
.NET net5.0 was computed.  net5.0-windows was computed.  net6.0 is compatible.  net6.0-android was computed.  net6.0-ios was computed.  net6.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net6.0-macos was computed.  net6.0-tvos was computed.  net6.0-windows was computed.  net7.0 was computed.  net7.0-android was computed.  net7.0-ios was computed.  net7.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net7.0-macos was computed.  net7.0-tvos was computed.  net7.0-windows was computed.  net8.0 is compatible.  net8.0-android was computed.  net8.0-browser was computed.  net8.0-ios was computed.  net8.0-maccatalyst was computed.  net8.0-macos was computed.  net8.0-tvos was computed.  net8.0-windows was computed. 
.NET Core netcoreapp2.0 was computed.  netcoreapp2.1 was computed.  netcoreapp2.2 was computed.  netcoreapp3.0 was computed.  netcoreapp3.1 was computed. 
.NET Standard netstandard2.0 is compatible.  netstandard2.1 was computed. 
.NET Framework net461 was computed.  net462 was computed.  net463 was computed.  net47 was computed.  net471 was computed.  net472 was computed.  net48 was computed.  net481 was computed. 
MonoAndroid monoandroid was computed. 
MonoMac monomac was computed. 
MonoTouch monotouch was computed. 
Tizen tizen40 was computed.  tizen60 was computed. 
Xamarin.iOS xamarinios was computed. 
Xamarin.Mac xamarinmac was computed. 
Xamarin.TVOS xamarintvos was computed. 
Xamarin.WatchOS xamarinwatchos was computed. 
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Version Downloads Last updated
1.0.0 11,463 11/14/2023
1.0.0-rc.3 2,347 11/12/2023
1.0.0-rc.2 613 9/25/2023
1.0.0-rc.1 83 9/19/2023
1.0.0-preview.7 84 9/11/2023
1.0.0-preview.6 335 9/4/2023
1.0.0-preview.5 511 8/21/2023
1.0.0-preview.4 2,814 5/24/2023
1.0.0-preview.3 72 5/24/2023
1.0.0-preview.2 85 5/20/2023
1.0.0-preview.1 80 5/19/2023