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A feature of ours requires the SUT's execution over various days. We would like to cover this functionality within our integration tests.

So I was wondering, is it possible and safe to advance/modify the system time during the execution of a test suite? What are the (side) effects? I assume that the dates and execution spans in the report will get mixed up inevitably.

Regarding code to change the system time in C#, I have found this Stack Overflow post: Change system date programmatically.

Do other test strategies/approaches/patterns come to your mind, that avoid fiddleing around with the system time?

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It depends on how much impact changing the system dates/time has on your work.

  • As you mentioned in your question, I assume that the dates and execution spans in the report will get mixed up inevitably. Personally, I do not see it as a major impact as you can easily generate your report after you undo the changes you have made to your system dates/time.

Several major impacts I can think of are:

  • Is your SUT automatically synced to an external clock? What kinds of consequences are there if you changes system dates/time when SUT constantly complaints about it.
  • Your security certificates, anti-malware, anti-virus, VPN link and even website admin sessions will fail.

The safest strategy I can think of is:

  • Sandbox your SUT in a virtual environment first, make changes to your system dates/time, run your tests, observe what consequences there are.

If you are not really under a tight schedule, run your integration tests without fiddling with system dates/time; it is more realistic that way.

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