Category Archives: 2914

UITestException: Automation engine is unable to playback the test because it is not able to interact with the desktop.

You receive the following message as part of a build process that contains UI automation:

UITestException: Automation engine is unable to playback the test because it is not able to interact with the desktop.  This could happen if the computer running the test is locked or it’s remote session window is minimized."


  • If you are connected to the build server using Remote Desktop make sure the Windows is not minimized. Do not close or minimize the window. If you close the Remote Desktop window you disconnect from the session and the workstation will be locked, therefore interactive tests cannot be executed anymore.
    (If you enable autologin on the build server you need to restart in ordner to unlock the station once you finished working with Remote Desktop)
  • If you are not connected using Remote Desktop make sure that the session is not locked and the build account is logged on.
    (You can turn on autologin using the Autologon tool)

Unable to publish test results from Visual Studio to TFS

Error message similar to:

username@servername (mailto:username@servername) 2008-10-13 2:21:50          0.28 MB            10/13/2008 3:19:14 PM    Failed    Access to the path ‘\\DropFolder\Buildname_20080723.3\TestResults\fd8883e0-2153-44c6-8671-6d6db460c4a8\uesrname 2008-10-13 _02_21.trx’ is denied.

Cause: Permission issue

A Workaround can be found in the KB article 958726.

Enable logging to troubleshooting Team System issues

Here’s a list of how to enable logging for the various client and server components of VIsual Studio Team System:

TFS Client (Visual Studio IDE and command line tools):
devenv.exe.config (for Visual Studio IDE), tf.exe.config (for command line tools) as described in Ed Hintz on TFS Client Tracing. If you mainly want to measure performance the web service performance dialog can be added as a trave listener and is very helpful in that case.

Team Foundation Server
You can turn on tracing globally or for specified components only.

Team Foundation Server Activity Logging
Records web service method calls. See here how to enable and here, here and here how to analyze the data.

Team Build Server
Look into the config file for instructions on how to enable tracing, typically found in: %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\tfsbuildservice.exe.config.

Team Test Load Agent
You can turn on logging in the QTController.exe.config (for the Controller) and QTAgentService.exe.config (for the Agents). More information can be found here.

You might also be interested in other useful logging options for .NET.


Videos on how to improve the quality and integrity of your software solutions

are available on the ASP.NET site:

#6 | Measuring the Business Value of AJAX

(10 minutes, 27 seconds)

#7 | Code Coverage of Automated Tests

(6 minutes, 49 seconds)

#9 | The Effects of Caching

(15 minutes, 36 seconds)

#10 | Using the Load Test Agent

(5 minutes, 43 seconds)

#11 | The Effects of ViewState

(10 minutes, 4 seconds)

[Web Tests] Debugging Web Tests

Did you know that you can debug web tests you created with Visual Studio 2005 Team System?


  1. Place breakpoints in your ASP.NET code you want to test.
  2. Run ASP.NET website (with debug enabled and debugger attached).
  3. Run Web Tests (right-click the test project in Solution Explorer: Debug » Create new instance, if it’s in the same solution file).


  Screenshot: A Web Test during a Debug session
Screenshot: A Web Test during a Debug session

For more detailed information over the debugging of Web Tests take a look at this excellent post by Sean Lumley.

Download: Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite and Team Foundation Server Service Pack 1 (SP1)

Now available for download:

WARNING: Before Installing TFS SP1

Install the following tool that will stop the TFS service sprior to updating them (otherwise your database might get corrupted as explained here):