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Testing

CakePHP comes with comprehensive testing support built-in. CakePHP comes with integration for PHPUnit. In addition to the features offered by PHPUnit, CakePHP offers some additional features to make testing easier. This section will cover installing PHPUnit, and getting started with Unit Testing, and how you can use the extensions that CakePHP offers.

Installing PHPUnit

CakePHP uses PHPUnit as its underlying test framework. PHPUnit is the de-facto standard for unit testing in PHP. It offers a deep and powerful set of features for making sure your code does what you think it does. PHPUnit can be installed through the pear installer. To install PHPUnit run the following:

pear upgrade PEAR
pear config-set auto_discover 1
pear install pear.phpunit.de/PHPUnit-3.7.32

Note

PHPUnit 4 is not compatible with CakePHP’s Unit Testing.

Depending on your system’s configuration, you may need to run the previous commands with sudo

Once PHPUnit is installed with the PEAR installer, you should confirm that the PHPUnit libraries are on PHP’s include_path. You can do this by checking your php.ini file and making sure that the PHPUnit files are in one of the include_path directories.

Tip

All output is swallowed when using PHPUnit 3.6+. Add the --debug modifier if using the CLI or add &debug=1 to the URL if using the web runner to display output.

Test Database Setup

Remember to have a debug level of at least 1 in your app/Config/core.php file before running any tests. Tests are not accessible via the web runner when debug is equal to 0. Before running any tests you should be sure to add a $test database configuration. This configuration is used by CakePHP for fixture tables and data:

public $test = array(
    'datasource' => 'Database/Mysql',
    'persistent' => false,
    'host'       => 'dbhost',
    'login'      => 'dblogin',
    'password'   => 'dbpassword',
    'database'   => 'test_database'
);

Note

It’s a good idea to make the test database and your actual database different databases. This will prevent any embarrassing mistakes later.

Checking the Test Setup

After installing PHPUnit and setting up your $test database configuration you can make sure you’re ready to write and run your own tests by running one of the core tests. There are two built-in runners for testing, we’ll start off by using the web runner. The tests can then be accessed by browsing to http://localhost/your_app/test.php. You should see a list of the core test cases. Click on the ‘AllConfigure’ test. You should see a green bar with some additional information about the tests run, and number passed.

Congratulations, you are now ready to start writing tests!

Test Case Conventions

Like most things in CakePHP, test cases have some conventions. Concerning tests:

  1. PHP files containing tests should be in your app/Test/Case/[Type] directories.
  2. The filenames of these files should end in Test.php instead of just .php.
  3. The classes containing tests should extend CakeTestCase, ControllerTestCase or PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase.
  4. Like other class names, the test case class names should match the filename. RouterTest.php should contain class RouterTest extends CakeTestCase.
  5. The name of any method containing a test (i.e. containing an assertion) should begin with test, as in testPublished(). You can also use the @test annotation to mark methods as test methods.

When you have created a test case, you can execute it by browsing to http://localhost/your_app/test.php (depending on how your specific setup looks). Click App test cases, and then click the link to your specific file. You can run tests from the command line using the test shell:

./Console/cake test app Model/Post

For example, would run the tests for your Post model.

Creating Your First Test Case

In the following example, we’ll create a test case for a very simple helper method. The helper we’re going to test will be formatting progress bar HTML. Our helper looks like:

class ProgressHelper extends AppHelper {
    public function bar($value) {
        $width = round($value / 100, 2) * 100;
        return sprintf(
            '<div class="progress-container">
                <div class="progress-bar" style="width: %s%%"></div>
            </div>', $width);
    }
}

This is a very simple example, but it will be useful to show how you can create a simple test case. After creating and saving our helper, we’ll create the test case file in app/Test/Case/View/Helper/ProgressHelperTest.php. In that file we’ll start with the following:

App::uses('Controller', 'Controller');
App::uses('View', 'View');
App::uses('ProgressHelper', 'View/Helper');

class ProgressHelperTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public function setUp() {

    }

    public function testBar() {

    }
}

We’ll flesh out this skeleton in a minute. We’ve added two methods to start with. First is setUp(). This method is called before every test method in a test case class. Setup methods should initialize the objects needed for the test, and do any configuration needed. In our setup method we’ll add the following:

public function setUp() {
    parent::setUp();
    $Controller = new Controller();
    $View = new View($Controller);
    $this->Progress = new ProgressHelper($View);
}

Calling the parent method is important in test cases, as CakeTestCase::setUp() does a number things like backing up the values in Configure and, storing the paths in App.

Next, we’ll fill out the test method. We’ll use some assertions to ensure that our code creates the output we expect:

public function testBar() {
    $result = $this->Progress->bar(90);
    $this->assertContains('width: 90%', $result);
    $this->assertContains('progress-bar', $result);

    $result = $this->Progress->bar(33.3333333);
    $this->assertContains('width: 33%', $result);
}

The above test is a simple one but shows the potential benefit of using test cases. We use assertContains() to ensure that our helper is returning a string that contains the content we expect. If the result did not contain the expected content the test would fail, and we would know that our code is incorrect.

By using test cases you can easily describe the relationship between a set of known inputs and their expected output. This helps you be more confident of the code you’re writing as you can easily check that the code you wrote fulfills the expectations and assertions your tests make. Additionally because tests are code, they are easy to re-run whenever you make a change. This helps prevent the creation of new bugs.

Running Tests

Once you have PHPUnit installed and some test cases written, you’ll want to run the test cases very frequently. It’s a good idea to run tests before committing any changes to help ensure you haven’t broken anything.

Running tests from a browser

CakePHP provides a web interface for running tests, so you can execute your tests through a browser if you’re more comfortable in that environment. You can access the web runner by going to http://localhost/your_app/test.php. The exact location of test.php will change depending on your setup. But the file is at the same level as index.php.

Once you’ve loaded up the test runner, you can navigate App, Core and Plugin test suites. Clicking an individual test case will run that test and display the results.

Viewing code coverage

If you have XDebug installed, you can view code coverage results. Code coverage is useful for telling you what parts of your code your tests do not reach. Coverage is useful for determining where you should add tests in the future, and gives you one measurement to track your testing progress with.

Code Coverage

The inline code coverage uses green lines to indicate lines that have been run. If you hover over a green line a tooltip will indicate which tests covered the line. Lines in red did not run, and have not been exercised by your tests. Grey lines are considered unexecutable code by xdebug.

Running tests from command line

CakePHP provides a test shell for running tests. You can run app, core and plugin tests easily using the test shell. It accepts all the arguments you would expect to find on the normal PHPUnit command line tool as well. From your app directory you can do the following to run tests:

# Run a model tests in the app
./Console/cake test app Model/Article

# Run a component test in a plugin
./Console/cake test DebugKit Controller/Component/ToolbarComponent

# Run the configure class test in CakePHP
./Console/cake test core Core/Configure

Note

If you are running tests that interact with the session it’s generally a good idea to use the --stderr option. This will fix issues with tests failing because of headers_sent warnings.

Changed in version 2.1: The test shell was added in 2.1. The 2.0 testsuite shell is still available but the new syntax is preferred.

You can also run test shell in the project root directory. This shows you a full list of all the tests that you currently have. You can then freely choose what test(s) to run:

# Run test in project root directory for application folder called app
lib/Cake/Console/cake test app

# Run test in project root directory for an application in ./myapp
lib/Cake/Console/cake test --app myapp app

Filtering test cases

When you have larger test cases, you will often want to run a subset of the test methods when you are trying to work on a single failing case. With the CLI runner you can use an option to filter test methods:

./Console/cake test core Console/ConsoleOutput --filter testWriteArray

The filter parameter is used as a case-sensitive regular expression for filtering which test methods to run.

Generating code coverage

You can generate code coverage reports from the command line using PHPUnit’s built-in code coverage tools. PHPUnit will generate a set of static HTML files containing the coverage results. You can generate coverage for a test case by doing the following:

./Console/cake test app Model/Article --coverage-html webroot/coverage

This will put the coverage results in your application’s webroot directory. You should be able to view the results by going to http://localhost/your_app/coverage.

Running tests that use sessions

When running tests on the command line that use sessions you’ll need to include the --stderr flag. Failing to do so will cause sessions to not work. PHPUnit outputs test progress to stdout by default, this causes PHP to assume that headers have been sent which prevents sessions from starting. By switching PHPUnit to output on stderr, this issue is avoided.

Test Case Lifecycle Callbacks

Test cases have a number of lifecycle callbacks you can use when doing testing:

  • setUp is called before every test method. Should be used to create the objects that are going to be tested, and initialize any data for the test. Always remember to call parent::setUp()
  • tearDown is called after every test method. Should be used to cleanup after the test is complete. Always remember to call parent::tearDown().
  • setupBeforeClass is called once before test methods in a case are started. This method must be static.
  • tearDownAfterClass is called once after test methods in a case are started. This method must be static.

Fixtures

When testing code that depends on models and the database, one can use fixtures as a way to generate temporary data tables loaded with sample data that can be used by the test. The benefit of using fixtures is that your test has no chance of disrupting live application data. In addition, you can begin testing your code prior to actually developing live content for an application.

CakePHP uses the connection named $test in your app/Config/database.php configuration file. If this connection is not usable, an exception will be raised and you will not be able to use database fixtures.

CakePHP performs the following during the course of a fixture based test case:

  1. Creates tables for each of the fixtures needed.
  2. Populates tables with data, if data is provided in fixture.
  3. Runs test methods.
  4. Empties the fixture tables.
  5. Removes fixture tables from database.

Creating fixtures

When creating a fixture you will mainly define two things: how the table is created (which fields are part of the table), and which records will be initially populated to the table. Let’s create our first fixture, that will be used to test our own Article model. Create a file named ArticleFixture.php in your app/Test/Fixture directory, with the following content:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {

      // Optional.
      // Set this property to load fixtures to a different test datasource
      public $useDbConfig = 'test';
      public $fields = array(
          'id' => array('type' => 'integer', 'key' => 'primary'),
          'title' => array(
            'type' => 'string',
            'length' => 255,
            'null' => false
          ),
          'body' => 'text',
          'published' => array(
            'type' => 'integer',
            'default' => '0',
            'null' => false
          ),
          'created' => 'datetime',
          'updated' => 'datetime'
      );
      public $records = array(
          array(
            'id' => 1,
            'title' => 'First Article',
            'body' => 'First Article Body',
            'published' => '1',
            'created' => '2007-03-18 10:39:23',
            'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:41:31'
          ),
          array(
            'id' => 2,
            'title' => 'Second Article',
            'body' => 'Second Article Body',
            'published' => '1',
            'created' => '2007-03-18 10:41:23',
            'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:43:31'
          ),
          array(
            'id' => 3,
            'title' => 'Third Article',
            'body' => 'Third Article Body',
            'published' => '1',
            'created' => '2007-03-18 10:43:23',
            'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:45:31'
          )
      );
 }

The $useDbConfig property defines the datasource of which the fixture will use. If your application uses multiple datasources, you should make the fixtures match the model’s datasources but prefixed with test_. For example if your model uses the mydb datasource, your fixture should use the test_mydb datasource. If the test_mydb connection doesn’t exist, your models will use the default test datasource. Fixture datasources must be prefixed with test to reduce the possibility of accidentally truncating all your application’s data when running tests.

We use $fields to specify which fields will be part of this table, and how they are defined. The format used to define these fields is the same used with CakeSchema. The keys available for table definition are:

type
CakePHP internal data type. Currently supported:
  • string: maps to VARCHAR
  • text: maps to TEXT
  • integer: maps to INT
  • float: maps to FLOAT
  • datetime: maps to DATETIME
  • timestamp: maps to TIMESTAMP
  • time: maps to TIME
  • date: maps to DATE
  • binary: maps to BLOB
key
Set to primary to make the field AUTO_INCREMENT, and a PRIMARY KEY for the table.
length
Set to the specific length the field should take.
null
Set to either true (to allow NULLs) or false (to disallow NULLs).
default
Default value the field takes.

We can define a set of records that will be populated after the fixture table is created. The format is fairly straight forward, $records is an array of records. Each item in $records should be a single row. Inside each row, should be an associative array of the columns and values for the row. Just keep in mind that each record in the $records array must have a key for every field specified in the $fields array. If a field for a particular record needs to have a null value, just specify the value of that key as null.

Dynamic data and fixtures

Since records for a fixture are declared as a class property, you cannot easily use functions or other dynamic data to define fixtures. To solve this problem, you can define $records in the init() function of your fixture. For example if you wanted all the created and updated timestamps to reflect today’s date you could do the following:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {

    public $fields = array(
        'id' => array('type' => 'integer', 'key' => 'primary'),
        'title' => array('type' => 'string', 'length' => 255, 'null' => false),
        'body' => 'text',
        'published' => array('type' => 'integer', 'default' => '0', 'null' => false),
        'created' => 'datetime',
        'updated' => 'datetime'
    );

    public function init() {
        $this->records = array(
            array(
                'id' => 1,
                'title' => 'First Article',
                'body' => 'First Article Body',
                'published' => '1',
                'created' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
                'updated' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
            ),
        );
        parent::init();
    }
}

When overriding init() just remember to always call parent::init().

Importing table information and records

Your application may have already working models with real data associated to them, and you might decide to test your application with that data. It would be then a duplicate effort to have to define the table definition and/or records on your fixtures. Fortunately, there’s a way for you to define that table definition and/or records for a particular fixture come from an existing model or an existing table.

Let’s start with an example. Assuming you have a model named Article available in your application (that maps to a table named articles), change the example fixture given in the previous section (app/Test/Fixture/ArticleFixture.php) to:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = 'Article';
}

This statement tells the test suite to import your table definition from the table linked to the model called Article. You can use any model available in your application. The statement will only import the Article schema, and does not import records. To import records you can do the following:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = array('model' => 'Article', 'records' => true);
}

If on the other hand you have a table created but no model available for it, you can specify that your import will take place by reading that table information instead. For example:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = array('table' => 'articles');
}

Will import table definition from a table called ‘articles’ using your CakePHP database connection named ‘default’. If you want to use a different connection use:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = array('table' => 'articles', 'connection' => 'other');
}

Since it uses your CakePHP database connection, if there’s any table prefix declared it will be automatically used when fetching table information. The two snippets above do not import records from the table. To force the fixture to also import its records, change the import to:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = array('table' => 'articles', 'records' => true);
}

You can naturally import your table definition from an existing model/table, but have your records defined directly on the fixture as it was shown on previous section. For example:

class ArticleFixture extends CakeTestFixture {
    public $import = 'Article';
    public $records = array(
        array(
          'id' => 1,
          'title' => 'First Article',
          'body' => 'First Article Body',
          'published' => '1',
          'created' => '2007-03-18 10:39:23',
          'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:41:31'
        ),
        array(
          'id' => 2,
          'title' => 'Second Article',
          'body' => 'Second Article Body',
          'published' => '1',
          'created' => '2007-03-18 10:41:23',
          'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:43:31'
        ),
        array(
          'id' => 3,
          'title' => 'Third Article',
          'body' => 'Third Article Body',
          'published' => '1',
          'created' => '2007-03-18 10:43:23',
          'updated' => '2007-03-18 10:45:31'
        )
    );
}

Loading fixtures in your test cases

After you’ve created your fixtures, you’ll want to use them in your test cases. In each test case you should load the fixtures you will need. You should load a fixture for every model that will have a query run against it. To load fixtures you define the $fixtures property in your model:

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.article', 'app.comment');
}

The above will load the Article and Comment fixtures from the application’s Fixture directory. You can also load fixtures from CakePHP core, or plugins:

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('plugin.debug_kit.article', 'core.comment');
}

Using the core prefix will load fixtures from CakePHP, and using a plugin name as the prefix, will load the fixture from the named plugin.

You can control when your fixtures are loaded by setting CakeTestCase::$autoFixtures to false and later load them using CakeTestCase::loadFixtures():

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.article', 'app.comment');
    public $autoFixtures = false;

    public function testMyFunction() {
        $this->loadFixtures('Article', 'Comment');
    }
}

As of 2.5.0, you can load fixtures in subdirectories. Using multiple directories can make it easier to organize your fixtures if you have a larger application. To load fixtures in subdirectories, simply include the subdirectory name in the fixture name:

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.blog/article', 'app.blog/comment');
}

In the above example, both fixtures would be loaded from App/Test/Fixture/blog/.

Changed in version 2.5: As of 2.5.0 you can load fixtures in subdirectories.

Testing Models

Let’s say we already have our Article model defined on app/Model/Article.php, which looks like this:

class Article extends AppModel {
    public function published($fields = null) {
        $params = array(
            'conditions' => array(
                $this->name . '.published' => 1
            ),
            'fields' => $fields
        );

        return $this->find('all', $params);
    }
}

We now want to set up a test that will use this model definition, but through fixtures, to test some functionality in the model. CakePHP test suite loads a very minimum set of files (to keep tests isolated), so we have to start by loading our model - in this case the Article model which we already defined.

Let’s now create a file named ArticleTest.php in your app/Test/Case/Model directory, with the following contents:

App::uses('Article', 'Model');

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.article');
}

In our test cases’ variable $fixtures we define the set of fixtures that we’ll use. You should remember to include all the fixtures that will have queries run against them.

Note

You can override the test model database by specifying the $useDbConfig property. Ensure that the relevant fixture uses the same value so that the table is created in the correct database.

Creating a test method

Let’s now add a method to test the function published() in the Article model. Edit the file app/Test/Case/Model/ArticleTest.php so it now looks like this:

App::uses('Article', 'Model');

class ArticleTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.article');

    public function setUp() {
        parent::setUp();
        $this->Article = ClassRegistry::init('Article');
    }

    public function testPublished() {
        $result = $this->Article->published(array('id', 'title'));
        $expected = array(
            array('Article' => array('id' => 1, 'title' => 'First Article')),
            array('Article' => array('id' => 2, 'title' => 'Second Article')),
            array('Article' => array('id' => 3, 'title' => 'Third Article'))
        );

        $this->assertEquals($expected, $result);
    }
}

You can see we have added a method called testPublished(). We start by creating an instance of our Article model, and then run our published() method. In $expected we set what we expect should be the proper result (that we know since we have defined which records are initially populated to the article table.) We test that the result equals our expectation by using the assertEquals method. See the Running Tests section for more information on how to run your test case.

Note

When setting up your Model for testing be sure to use ClassRegistry::init('YourModelName'); as it knows to use your test database connection.

Mocking model methods

There will be times you’ll want to mock methods on models when testing them. You should use getMockForModel to create testing mocks of models. It avoids issues with reflected properties that normal mocks have:

public function testSendingEmails() {
    $model = $this->getMockForModel('EmailVerification', array('send'));
    $model->expects($this->once())
        ->method('send')
        ->will($this->returnValue(true));

    $model->verifyEmail('test@example.com');
}

New in version 2.3: CakeTestCase::getMockForModel() was added in 2.3.

Testing Controllers

While you can test controller classes in a similar fashion to Helpers, Models, and Components, CakePHP offers a specialized ControllerTestCase class. Using this class as the base class for your controller test cases allows you to use testAction() for simpler test cases. ControllerTestCase allows you to easily mock out components and models, as well as potentially difficult to test methods like redirect().

Say you have a typical Articles controller, and its corresponding model. The controller code looks like:

App::uses('AppController', 'Controller');

class ArticlesController extends AppController {
    public $helpers = array('Form', 'Html');

    public function index($short = null) {
        if (!empty($this->request->data)) {
            $this->Article->save($this->request->data);
        }
        if (!empty($short)) {
            $result = $this->Article->find('all', array('id', 'title'));
        } else {
            $result = $this->Article->find('all');
        }

        if (isset($this->params['requested'])) {
            return $result;
        }

        $this->set('title', 'Articles');
        $this->set('articles', $result);
    }
}

Create a file named ArticlesControllerTest.php in your app/Test/Case/Controller directory and put the following inside:

class ArticlesControllerTest extends ControllerTestCase {
    public $fixtures = array('app.article');

    public function testIndex() {
        $result = $this->testAction('/articles/index');
        debug($result);
    }

    public function testIndexShort() {
        $result = $this->testAction('/articles/index/short');
        debug($result);
    }

    public function testIndexShortGetRenderedHtml() {
        $result = $this->testAction(
           '/articles/index/short',
            array('return' => 'contents')
        );
        debug($result);
    }

    public function testIndexShortGetViewVars() {
        $result = $this->testAction(
            '/articles/index/short',
            array('return' => 'vars')
        );
        debug($result);
    }

    public function testIndexPostData() {
        $data = array(
            'Article' => array(
                'user_id' => 1,
                'published' => 1,
                'slug' => 'new-article',
                'title' => 'New Article',
                'body' => 'New Body'
            )
        );
        $result = $this->testAction(
            '/articles/index',
            array('data' => $data, 'method' => 'post')
        );
        debug($result);
    }
}

This example shows a few of the ways you can use testAction to test your controllers. The first parameter of testAction should always be the URL you want to test. CakePHP will create a request and dispatch the controller and action.

When testing actions that contain redirect() and other code following the redirect it is generally a good idea to return when redirecting. The reason for this, is that redirect() is mocked in testing, and does not exit like normal. And instead of your code exiting, it will continue to run code following the redirect. For example:

App::uses('AppController', 'Controller');

class ArticlesController extends AppController {
    public function add() {
        if ($this->request->is('post')) {
            if ($this->Article->save($this->request->data)) {
                $this->redirect(array('action' => 'index'));
            }
        }
        // more code
    }
}

When testing the above code, you will still run // more code even when the redirect is reached. Instead, you should write the code like:

App::uses('AppController', 'Controller');

class ArticlesController extends AppController {
    public function add() {
        if ($this->request->is('post')) {
            if ($this->Article->save($this->request->data)) {
                return $this->redirect(array('action' => 'index'));
            }
        }
        // more code
    }
}

In this case // more code will not be executed as the method will return once the redirect is reached.

Simulating GET requests

As seen in the testIndexPostData() example above, you can use testAction() to test POST actions as well as GET actions. By supplying the data key, the request made to the controller will be POST. By default all requests will be POST requests. You can simulate a GET request by setting the method key:

public function testAdding() {
    $data = array(
        'Post' => array(
            'title' => 'New post',
            'body' => 'Secret sauce'
        )
    );
    $this->testAction('/posts/add', array('data' => $data, 'method' => 'get'));
    // some assertions.
}

The data key will be used as query string parameters when simulating a GET request.

Choosing the return type

You can choose from a number of ways to inspect the success of your controller action. Each offers a different way to ensure your code is doing what you expect:

  • vars Get the set view variables.
  • view Get the rendered view, without a layout.
  • contents Get the rendered view including the layout.
  • result Get the return value of the controller action. Useful for testing requestAction methods.

The default value is result. As long as your return type is not result you can also access the various other return types as properties in the test case:

public function testIndex() {
    $this->testAction('/posts/index');
    $this->assertInternalType('array', $this->vars['posts']);
}

Using mocks with testAction

There will be times when you want to replace components or models with either partially mocked objects or completely mocked objects. You can do this by using ControllerTestCase::generate(). generate() takes the hard work out of generating mocks on your controller. If you decide to generate a controller to be used in testing, you can generate mocked versions of its models and components along with it:

$Posts = $this->generate('Posts', array(
    'methods' => array(
        'isAuthorized'
    ),
    'models' => array(
        'Post' => array('save')
    ),
    'components' => array(
        'RequestHandler' => array('isPut'),
        'Email' => array('send'),
        'Session'
    )
));

The above would create a mocked PostsController, stubbing out the isAuthorized method. The attached Post model will have save() stubbed, and the attached components would have their respective methods stubbed. You can choose to stub an entire class by not passing methods to it, like Session in the example above.

Generated controllers are automatically used as the testing controller to test. To enable automatic generation, set the autoMock variable on the test case to true. If autoMock is false, your original controller will be used in the test.

The response object in the generated controller is always replaced with a mock that does not send headers. After using generate() or testAction() you can access the controller object at $this->controller.

A more complex example

In its simplest form, testAction() will run PostsController::index() on your testing controller (or an automatically generated one), including all of the mocked models and components. The results of the test are stored in the vars, contents, view, and return properties. Also available is a headers property which gives you access to the headers that would have been sent, allowing you to check for redirects:

public function testAdd() {
    $Posts = $this->generate('Posts', array(
        'components' => array(
            'Session',
            'Email' => array('send')
        )
    ));
    $Posts->Session
        ->expects($this->once())
        ->method('setFlash');
    $Posts->Email
        ->expects($this->once())
        ->method('send')
        ->will($this->returnValue(true));

    $this->testAction('/posts/add', array(
        'data' => array(
            'Post' => array('title' => 'New Post')
        )
    ));
    $this->assertContains('/posts', $this->headers['Location']);
}

public function testAddGet() {
    $this->testAction('/posts/add', array(
        'method' => 'GET',
        'return' => 'contents'
    ));
    $this->assertRegExp('/<html/', $this->contents);
    $this->assertRegExp('/<form/', $this->view);
}

This example shows a slightly more complex use of the testAction() and generate() methods. First, we generate a testing controller and mock the SessionComponent. Now that the SessionComponent is mocked, we have the ability to run testing methods on it. Assuming PostsController::add() redirects us to index, sends an email and sets a flash message, the test will pass. A second test was added to do basic sanity testing when fetching the add form. We check to see if the layout was loaded by checking the entire rendered contents, and checks the view for a form tag. As you can see, your freedom to test controllers and easily mock its classes is greatly expanded with these changes.

When doing controller tests using mocks that use static methods you’ll have to use a different method to register your mock expectations. For example if you wanted to mock out AuthComponent::user() you’d have to do the following:

public function testAdd() {
    $Posts = $this->generate('Posts', array(
        'components' => array(
            'Session',
            'Auth' => array('user')
        )
    ));
    $Posts->Auth->staticExpects($this->any())
        ->method('user')
        ->with('id')
        ->will($this->returnValue(2));
}

By using staticExpects you will be able to mock and manipulate static methods on components and models.

Testing a JSON Responding Controller

JSON is a very friendly and common format to use when building a web service. Testing the endpoints of your web service is very simple with CakePHP. Let us begin with a simple example controller that responds in JSON:

class MarkersController extends AppController {
    public $autoRender = false;
    public function index() {
        $data = $this->Marker->find('first');
        $this->response->body(json_encode($data));
    }
}

Now we create the file app/Test/Case/Controller/MarkersControllerTest.php and make sure our web service is returning the proper response:

class MarkersControllerTest extends ControllerTestCase {
    public function testIndex() {
        $result = $this->testAction('/markers/index.json');
        $result = json_decode($result, true);
        $expected = array(
            'Marker' => array('id' => 1, 'lng' => 66, 'lat' => 45),
        );
        $this->assertEquals($expected, $result);
    }
}

Testing Views

Generally most applications will not directly test their HTML code. Doing so is often results in fragile, difficult to maintain test suites that are prone to breaking. When writing functional tests using ControllerTestCase you can inspect the rendered view content by setting the return option to ‘view’. While it is possible to test view content using ControllerTestCase, a more robust and maintable integration/view testing can be accomplished using tools like Selenium webdriver.

Testing Components

Lets pretend we have a component called PagematronComponent in our application. This component helps us set the pagination limit value across all the controllers that use it. Here is our example component located in app/Controller/Component/PagematronComponent.php:

class PagematronComponent extends Component {
    public $Controller = null;

    public function startup(Controller $controller) {
        parent::startup($controller);
        $this->Controller = $controller;
        // Make sure the controller is using pagination
        if (!isset($this->Controller->paginate)) {
            $this->Controller->paginate = array();
        }
    }

    public function adjust($length = 'short') {
        switch ($length) {
            case 'long':
                $this->Controller->paginate['limit'] = 100;
            break;
            case 'medium':
                $this->Controller->paginate['limit'] = 50;
            break;
            default:
                $this->Controller->paginate['limit'] = 20;
            break;
        }
    }
}

Now we can write tests to ensure our paginate limit parameter is being set correctly by the adjust method in our component. We create the file app/Test/Case/Controller/Component/PagematronComponentTest.php:

App::uses('Controller', 'Controller');
App::uses('CakeRequest', 'Network');
App::uses('CakeResponse', 'Network');
App::uses('ComponentCollection', 'Controller');
App::uses('PagematronComponent', 'Controller/Component');

// A fake controller to test against
class PagematronControllerTest extends Controller {
    public $paginate = null;
}

class PagematronComponentTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $PagematronComponent = null;
    public $Controller = null;

    public function setUp() {
        parent::setUp();
        // Setup our component and fake test controller
        $Collection = new ComponentCollection();
        $this->PagematronComponent = new PagematronComponent($Collection);
        $CakeRequest = new CakeRequest();
        $CakeResponse = new CakeResponse();
        $this->Controller = new PagematronControllerTest($CakeRequest, $CakeResponse);
        $this->PagematronComponent->startup($this->Controller);
    }

    public function testAdjust() {
        // Test our adjust method with different parameter settings
        $this->PagematronComponent->adjust();
        $this->assertEquals(20, $this->Controller->paginate['limit']);

        $this->PagematronComponent->adjust('medium');
        $this->assertEquals(50, $this->Controller->paginate['limit']);

        $this->PagematronComponent->adjust('long');
        $this->assertEquals(100, $this->Controller->paginate['limit']);
    }

    public function tearDown() {
        parent::tearDown();
        // Clean up after we're done
        unset($this->PagematronComponent);
        unset($this->Controller);
    }
}

Testing Helpers

Since a decent amount of logic resides in Helper classes, it’s important to make sure those classes are covered by test cases.

First we create an example helper to test. The CurrencyRendererHelper will help us display currencies in our views and for simplicity only has one method usd().

// app/View/Helper/CurrencyRendererHelper.php
class CurrencyRendererHelper extends AppHelper {
    public function usd($amount) {
        return 'USD ' . number_format($amount, 2, '.', ',');
    }
}

Here we set the decimal places to 2, decimal separator to dot, thousands separator to comma, and prefix the formatted number with ‘USD’ string.

Now we create our tests:

// app/Test/Case/View/Helper/CurrencyRendererHelperTest.php

App::uses('Controller', 'Controller');
App::uses('View', 'View');
App::uses('CurrencyRendererHelper', 'View/Helper');

class CurrencyRendererHelperTest extends CakeTestCase {
    public $CurrencyRenderer = null;

    // Here we instantiate our helper
    public function setUp() {
        parent::setUp();
        $Controller = new Controller();
        $View = new View($Controller);
        $this->CurrencyRenderer = new CurrencyRendererHelper($View);
    }

    // Testing the usd() function
    public function testUsd() {
        $this->assertEquals('USD 5.30', $this->CurrencyRenderer->usd(5.30));

        // We should always have 2 decimal digits
        $this->assertEquals('USD 1.00', $this->CurrencyRenderer->usd(1));
        $this->assertEquals('USD 2.05', $this->CurrencyRenderer->usd(2.05));

        // Testing the thousands separator
        $this->assertEquals(
          'USD 12,000.70',
          $this->CurrencyRenderer->usd(12000.70)
        );
    }
}

Here, we call usd() with different parameters and tell the test suite to check if the returned values are equal to what is expected.

Save this in and execute the test. You should see a green bar and messaging indicating 1 pass and 4 assertions.

Creating Test Suites

If you want several of your tests to run at the same time, you can create a test suite. A test suite is composed of several test cases. CakeTestSuite offers a few methods for easily creating test suites based on the file system. If we wanted to create a test suite for all our model tests we would create app/Test/Case/AllModelTest.php. Put the following in it:

class AllModelTest extends CakeTestSuite {
    public static function suite() {
        $suite = new CakeTestSuite('All model tests');
        $suite->addTestDirectory(TESTS . 'Case/Model');
        return $suite;
    }
}

The code above will group all test cases found in the /app/Test/Case/Model/ folder. To add an individual file, use $suite->addTestFile($filename);. You can recursively add a directory for all tests using:

$suite->addTestDirectoryRecursive(TESTS . 'Case/Model');

Would recursively add all test cases in the app/Test/Case/Model directory. You can use test suites to build a suite that runs all your application’s tests:

class AllTestsTest extends CakeTestSuite {
    public static function suite() {
        $suite = new CakeTestSuite('All tests');
        $suite->addTestDirectoryRecursive(TESTS . 'Case');
        return $suite;
    }
}

You can then run this test on the command line using:

$ Console/cake test app AllTests

Creating Tests for Plugins

Tests for plugins are created in their own directory inside the plugins folder.:

/app
    /Plugin
        /Blog
            /Test
                /Case
                /Fixture

They work just like normal tests but you have to remember to use the naming conventions for plugins when importing classes. This is an example of a testcase for the BlogPost model from the plugins chapter of this manual. A difference from other tests is in the first line where ‘Blog.BlogPost’ is imported. You also need to prefix your plugin fixtures with plugin.blog.blog_post:

App::uses('BlogPost', 'Blog.Model');

class BlogPostTest extends CakeTestCase {

    // Plugin fixtures located in /app/Plugin/Blog/Test/Fixture/
    public $fixtures = array('plugin.blog.blog_post');
    public $BlogPost;

    public function testSomething() {
        // ClassRegistry makes the model use the test database connection
        $this->BlogPost = ClassRegistry::init('Blog.BlogPost');

        // do some useful test here
        $this->assertTrue(is_object($this->BlogPost));
    }
}

If you want to use plugin fixtures in the app tests you can reference them using plugin.pluginName.fixtureName syntax in the $fixtures array.

Integration with Jenkins

Jenkins is a continuous integration server, that can help you automate the running of your test cases. This helps ensure that all your tests stay passing and your application is always ready.

Integrating a CakePHP application with Jenkins is fairly straightforward. The following assumes you’ve already installed Jenkins on *nix system, and are able to administer it. You also know how to create jobs, and run builds. If you are unsure of any of these, refer to the Jenkins documentation .

Create a job

Start off by creating a job for your application, and connect your repository so that jenkins can access your code.

Add test database config

Using a separate database just for Jenkins is generally a good idea, as it stops bleed through and avoids a number of basic problems. Once you’ve created a new database in a database server that jenkins can access (usually localhost). Add a shell script step to the build that contains the following:

cat > app/Config/database.php <<'DATABASE_PHP'
<?php
class DATABASE_CONFIG {
    public $test = array(
        'datasource' => 'Database/Mysql',
        'host'       => 'localhost',
        'database'   => 'jenkins_test',
        'login'      => 'jenkins',
        'password'   => 'cakephp_jenkins',
        'encoding'   => 'utf8'
    );
}
DATABASE_PHP

This ensures that you’ll always have the correct database configuration that Jenkins requires. Do the same for any other configuration files you need to. It’s often a good idea to drop and re-create the database before each build as well. This insulates you from chained failures, where one broken build causes others to fail. Add another shell script step to the build that contains the following:

mysql -u jenkins -pcakephp_jenkins -e 'DROP DATABASE IF EXISTS jenkins_test; CREATE DATABASE jenkins_test';

Add your tests

Add another shell script step to your build. In this step run the tests for your application. Creating a junit log file, or clover coverage is often a nice bonus, as it gives you a nice graphical view of your testing results:

app/Console/cake test app AllTests \
--stderr \
--log-junit junit.xml \
--coverage-clover clover.xml

If you use clover coverage, or the junit results, make sure to configure those in Jenkins as well. Failing to configure those steps will mean you won’t see the results.

Run a build

You should be able to run a build now. Check the console output and make any necessary changes to get a passing build.