EntityFramework, DbContextScope and Effort - exception: DbContext has been disposed inside unit test

c# dbcontext effort entity-framework unit-testing


I am trying to write unit tests (with NUnit) for service layer which uses:

  1. Entity Framework as Data Access Layer
  2. DbContextScope for managing DbContext lifetime

I also use Effort.EF6 for mocking DbContext in unit tests. Unfortunately, I cannot find a way to make DbContextScope compatibile with Effort so that I can correctly test all cases.

Overview of the code

Service layer consists of classes (services) which do some business logic. Each method is treated as a complete transaction, ended with context.SaveChanges(). Example:

    private IDbContextScopeFactory _dbContextScopeFactory;

    public DepartmentsService(IDbContextScopeFactory dbContextScopeFactory)
        _dbContextScopeFactory = dbContextScopeFactory;

    public BusinessModel.Department Insert(BusinessModel.Department department)
        using (var dbContextScope = _dbContextScopeFactory.Create())
            // Validation
            ValidateAndThrowOnFailure(department, new DepartmentAddValidator());

            // Operation
            DBModel.Department newDepartment = Mapper.Map<DBModel.Department>(department);

            newDepartment.InsertDateUTC = DateTime.UtcNow;


            return Mapper.Map<BusinessModel.Department>(newDepartment);

To unit test such method, I do some preparation before each test:

    private IDepartmentsService _departmentsService;
    private IDbContextScopeFactory _dbContextScopeFactory;
    private IDbContextFactory _dbContextFactory;
    private DBModel.DPSContext _dbEntities;

    public void ReInitializeTest()
        // Setup DbContext with Effort.EF6
        string connStr = ConfigurationManager.ConnectionStrings["DPSContext"].ConnectionString;
        DbConnection connection = EntityConnectionFactory.CreateTransient(connStr);
        _dbEntities = new DBModel.DPSContext(connection);

        // Fill DbContext with in-memory data

        // Mock IDbContextFactory so that it returns in-memory context
        var contextFactoryMock = new Mock<IDbContextFactory>();

            .Setup(f => f.CreateDbContext<DBModel.DPSContext>())

        _dbContextFactory = contextFactoryMock.Object;

        // Setup DbContextScopeFactory to use mocked context
        _dbContextScopeFactory = new DbContextScopeFactory(_dbContextFactory);
        _departmentsService = new DepartmentsService(_dbContextScopeFactory);

The test and the problem

Here is a simple unit test:

    public void Insert_WhenValidModelPassed_ShouldInsertNewRecord()
        // Given
        BusinessModel.Department newDepartment = DataInitializer.GetExampleOfNewDepartment();

        // When

        // Then
        Assert.AreEqual(3, _dbEntities.Departments.Count());

The problem is that the test fails with exception:

System.InvalidOperationException : The operation cannot be completed because the DbContext has been disposed.

It seems that DbContextScope used inside Insert method internally disposes assigned contexts at the end of the using block and thus the Assert throws exception when invoked. Has anybody come across a similar problem or just knows what I should do to successfuly test this and similar scenarios?

4/18/2017 9:31:47 PM

Accepted Answer

For anyone who comes across a similar issue, I've created a bit dirty-but-working solution (at least I hope so). In addition to what I wrote in the question, I created a class derived from real context and made Dispose method do... nothing. I also added a RealDispose method which is called at the end of each test.

    public class TestableDPSContext : DBModel.DPSContext
        public TestableDPSContext(DbConnection connection)
            : base(connection)


        protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
            // Do nothing

        public void RealDispose(bool disposing)
            // Invoke real dispose

    public void FinishTest()

Maybe there is a better solution, but for now it seems to resolve the problem with DbContext being disposed too early in tests.

4/19/2017 10:08:29 PM

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