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Nikola Posa:
Testing web API clients using Guzzle Mock Handler
Apr 09, 2018 @ 09:43:06

Nikola Posa has a quick post to his site showing how to use a mocked up HTTP request handler - in this case Guzzle - for testing web API clients. These scripts make live HTTP requests to remote APIs as a part of their functionality but this presents a dilemma for testers. Unit tests should not reach out to external sources...and that's where the mock comes in.

Whether you're writing a client for your own web API to offer it to users or you're simply implementing integration for a 3rd-party API in your system, it is important to test it to make sure your client is capable of handling actual API responses correctly.

Testing web API clients is mostly about checking how they deal with responses received after sending requests to API endpoints, and for your unit tests, you introduce test doubles to simulate API calls instead of executing real HTTP requests.

He starts with a quick note about the usual way he's seen this issue worked around, creating a separate mocked class instead of using the actual tool. Fortunately, if you're a Guzzle user, there's a tool that comes with the HTTP client that can be used in your unit tests in much the same way as a normal Guzzle instance: the Guzzle MockHandler. He includes some example code showing how to use this class and inject it into your client and use it in much the same way as a normal client instance.

tagged: guzzle http testing mock unittest handler tutorial

Link: https://blog.nikolaposa.in.rs/2018/04/07/testing-web-api-clients-using-guzzle-mock-handler/

Mark Baker:
Discharging Static #2
Apr 05, 2018 @ 10:22:09

Mark Baker continues his series looking at the use of static properties and methods in applications and how to test them. In this second part of the series he focuses more on some of the unintentional side-effects that could happen when you're trying to refactor them out.

In the first article in this series, I wrote about the problems with testing static methods in classes, and showed a few approaches that allow us to write mocks for statics. Testing classes where we have static properties is a lot harder to manage, because any changes made in any test to those properties are global, across the entire test suite, not simply the test that we are running. Static properties are part of the global state, and we can’t simply tearDown() those changes in the way that we do with instances — at least we cannot easily do so if the property has a visibility of private or protected.

He goes through an example of a refactor from a static property (essentially in the global scope) to a private property. He points out the issue of setting a static value in what seem to be separate child classes, the fact that it actually changes the base value, not the individual ones, leading to potentially unintended consequences.

His main recommendation is to avoid the use of static properties all together. Where that's no possible (like in a legacy project) he offers two potential solutions: either replace them with constants if they're never changed or changing them to instance properties.

tagged: static property series part2 refactor consequences testing

Link: https://markbakeruk.net/2018/04/03/discharging-static-2/

Matthias Noback:
Mocking the network
Apr 04, 2018 @ 11:19:06

Matthias Noback has continued his series about "mocking the edges" in your unit testing with this new post. In it, he talks about mocking "the network", those places where your application reaches out to external services to access data or perform other operations.

In this series, we've discussed several topics already. We talked about persistence and time, the filesystem and randomness. The conclusion for all these areas: whenever you want to "mock" these things, you may look for a solution at the level of programming tools used (use database or filesystem abstraction library, replace built-in PHP functions, etc.). But the better solution is always: add your own abstraction.

[...] The same really is true for the network. You don't want your unit tests to rely on a network connection, or a specific web service to be up and running. [...] The smarter solution again is to introduce your own interface, with its own implementation, and its own integration test. [...] Though this solution would be quite far from traditional mocking I thought it would be interesting to write a bit more about it, since there's also a lot to say.

In his example he shows the use of a file_get_contents call to fetch stock information. He introduces a ExchangeRateService interface with a getFor method to provide structure for the "wrapper" around the network call. He then covers the idea of an "anti-corruption layer" to change up the interface to use models instead of just a string value (code included). He ends the post talking about the inversion of the dependency - the option to have a job pull the value out-of-band and then have the application use that value.

tagged: mock testing unittest network connection interface inversion

Link: https://matthiasnoback.nl/2018/04/mocking-the-network/

Christoph Rumpel:
Build a newsletter chatbot in PHP - Part 3
Mar 27, 2018 @ 10:57:24

Christoph Rumpel has continued his series covering the creation of a chatbot using the Botman package in a new post to his site. The latest post, part three in the series, builds on the base created in parts one and two and integrates the bot with his project website.

In part one and two we created a Facebook Messenger chatbot that let your users subscribe to your newsletter. We stored that information in the database and sent out our first newsletter. In the last third part, we integrate this bot to a website and write our first tests.

He then walks you through the process of using the Facebook Customer Chat Plugin to integrate it into the site (using the Facebook JavaScript SDK). He includes instructions on whitelisting your domain and including the plugin into the site's source using a few custom configuration options. With the integration complete he then takes a step back and shows the creation of several tests evaluating the fallback handling and subscription conversation responses.

tagged: chatbot tutorial series part3 integrate facebook testing fallback subscribe

Link: https://christoph-rumpel.com/2018/03/build-a-newsletter-chatbot-in-php-part-3

Ivan Enderlin:
How Automattic (WordPress.com & co.) partly moved away from PHPUnit to atoum?
Mar 22, 2018 @ 12:08:37

In a post to his blog Ivan Enderlin talks about a move that his team at Automattic (the company behind WordPress) made away from using PHPUnit for their application testing over to atoum and some of the reasoning behind it.

Few months ago at tagged: wordpress testing unittest atoum phpunit comparison migration

Link: https://mnt.io/2018/02/26/how-automattic-partly-moved-away-from-phpunit-to-atoum/

Laravel News Podcast:
Episode 59 - Scaling Laravel, testing Vue components, and model events
Mar 22, 2018 @ 10:57:39

The Laravel News podcast, hosted by Jacob Bennett and Michael Dyrynda, has posted their latest episode - Episode #59: Scaling Laravel, testing Vue components, and model events

Join Jake and Michael as they discuss the latest Laravel releases, Scaling Laravel, testing Vue components, and more.

Other topics mentioned include the announcement about Let's Encrypt wildcard certificates and how to use Font Awesome 5 SVGs with Laravel Blade. You can listen to this latest show either using the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the show and want to hear more, check out their archives at the bottom of the page and subscribe to their feed for updates on new shows as they're released.

tagged: laravelnews podcast ep59 scaling vue testing model event

Link: https://laravel-news.com/podcast/59

Pineco.de:
Frequently Asked Questions About Laravel based APIs
Mar 15, 2018 @ 10:35:09

On the Pineco.de site there's a new post that answers some of the frequently asked questions they've heard about APIs in Laravel-based applications.

Developing APIs are getting more and more popular, but still, it’s a bit blurry field for many developers. We collected some common questions and tried to answer them in one place.

Their list of questions includes:

  • "What does RESTful mean?"
  • "How does API authentication work?"
  • "Why Laravel has a “web” and an “api ” middleware group?"
  • "How can I test my APIs?"

For each there's a brief summary of the issue and links to other sources (documentation and packages) to help answer or fix the issue.

tagged: laravel api faq question rest authentication middleware testing

Link: https://pineco.de/frequently-asked-questions-about-laravel-based-apis/

Marc Baker:
Discharging Static #1
Mar 14, 2018 @ 14:49:47

On his blog Marc Baker about static calls and the trouble they bring in your applications. It's a continuation of ideas that Kore Nordmann shared previously on his site.

It’s been seven years since Kore Nordmann first published “static considered harmful” on his blog, explaining the problems with using static method calls in classes, and the difficulties that they cause when trying to test that class. Seven years on, and those difficulties are still the same, and there is still new code being written using static calls despite that knowledge; but it’s often a more severe problem in legacy code with little or no unit tests.a

So why exactly are static calls so bad? If you’ve read Kore’s article, then you probably have a good idea already; but what that article doesn’t cover is approaches that we can use to make the code testable.

He covers the main issue static methods have when it comes to testing: they introduce coupling by hard-coding a dependency into your code. He talks about the static testing functionality that various PHP testing tools provided: PHPUnit, Phake and Mockery. He then focuses on a newer tool that he's discovered to help make the testing simpler: AspectMock. He gives an example of it in use and some examples of tests using anonymous classes to make it easier to create tests on the fly.

tagged: static testing phpunit example harmful tutorial aspectmock

Link: https://markbakeruk.net/2018/03/13/discharging-static-1/

Laravel News:
Testing Vue components with Laravel Dusk
Mar 14, 2018 @ 13:09:52

On the Laravel News site there's a new post showing how you can test Vue.js applications with Laravel Dusk, a testing tool created by the Laravel project to make it easier to create integration tests that are run with a ChromeDriver.

Adding tests to a project is always beneficial for different aspects, but choosing the right strategy could be a struggle for many developers.

The problem multiplies itself when you are using different tools or frameworks, and although “having as many tests as you can” sounds like a good idea, at least in theory, in practice this can be very different. The following is an interesting article from the Twitter team about their thoughts on Feature Testing.

Taylor Otwell shared Twitter’s article on his Bi-Weekly Laravel Tips newsletter, subscribe if you haven’t done yet. Let’s build a simple to-do list using Vue.js and Laravel to illustrate how to add Browser testing using Laravel dusk.

They starts with the controller code to create "tasks" functionality for read/write/update/delete that includes request validation, model binding and JSON responses. It then includes the code to create the first "task" tests for each of the CRUD operations. With those basics in place, the tutorial then gets into the Vue.js side, showing how to test a simple TasksComponent.vue file and its functionality.

tagged: laravel dusk testing crud task vuejs tutorial

Link: https://laravel-news.com/testing-vue-components-with-laravel-dusk

Laravel News:
Data-driven testing with PHPUnit
Feb 27, 2018 @ 11:54:24

The Laravel News site has a tutorial posted that approaches a common development task - writing tests - from a data-driven approach rather than a strictly functional one.

Testing your code is an essential part of the development process, but sometimes it could also be expensive when you try to emulate many uses cases based on a set of different input data.

In many cases, you could end up with a massive directory of tests repeating the same block of code over and over for each possible user interaction.

They start with an example of a feature to test (Markdown parsing) and how traditional testing would have methods for each of the transformations. With a data-driven approach they turn the tests around and make use of data providers to set up the initial string, transformer to use and the correct result. Code is included showing an example of this kind of testing for the same Markdown parsing example and what a failure would look like in a dataset with multiple items.

tagged: tutorial provider phpunit testing data datadriven markdown

Link: https://laravel-news.com/data-driven-testing-phpunit