Advanced WPF automation – read dependency property

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Post summary: What is dependency property in .NET and how to read it from Telerik Testing Framework.

In this post I’ll show advanced way for getting more details from object and sophisticate your automation.


This post is part of Advanced WPF desktop automation with Telerik Testing Framework and TestStack White series. Sample application can be found in GitHub SampleAppPlus repository.

Dependency property

Dependency properties are easy way to easy extend available in .NET framework functionality. In SampleAppPlus there is CustomControl defined. Purpose of this control is to store text and visualise this text as image. Text is stored in dependency property.

public partial class CustomControl : UserControl
	public static readonly DependencyProperty MessageProperty =
									typeof(string), typeof(CustomControl),
									new PropertyMetadata(OnChange));


	public string Message
		get { return (string)GetValue(MessageProperty); }
		set { SetValue(MessageProperty, value); }



Read dependency property

In order to be able to properly automate something you have to know internal structure of the application. Generally you will try to locate and read the element and it will not work in the ways you are used to work with elements. At this point you have to inspect source code of application under test and see how it is done internally. Most important if dependency property is used you should know its name. Once you know the name reading is easy.

public class MainWindow : XamlElementContainer

	private UserControl CustomControl_Image
			return Get<UserControl>(mainPath + "CustomControl[0]");

	public Verification VerifyCustomImageText(string expected)
		string actual =
			CustomControl_Image.GetAttachedProperty<string>("", "Message");
		return BaseTest.VerifyText(expected, actual);


GetAttachedProperty is powerful method. Along with reading dependency properties you can read much more. In some cases WPF elements are nested in each other or in tooltip windows. In other cases some object is bound to WPF element. In such situations you can try to access the elements and method will return you FrameworkElement object. From this object you can again get GetAttachedProperty to access some class specific property. In all cases you will need access to application under test code to see how it is working internally.

FrameworkElement tooltip = wpfElement.
	GetAttachedProperty<FrameworkElement>("", "ToolTip");
string value = tooltip.GetAttachedProperty<string>("", "SomeSpecificProperty");


GetAttachedProperty is powerful method. Once you get stuck with normal processing of elements you can always try it. I would say definitely give it a try.

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