The same way we tested a web site, Codeception allows you to test web services. They are very hard to test manually, so it’s a really good idea to automate web service testing. We have SOAP and REST as standards, which are represented in corresponding modules, which we will cover in this chapter.
You should start by creating a new test suite, (which was not provided by the
bootstrap command). We recommend calling it api and using the
ApiTester class for it.
We will put all the api tests there.
The REST web service is accessed via HTTP with standard methods:
DELETE. They allow users to receive and manipulate entities from the service. Accessing a WebService requires an HTTP client, so for using it you need the module
PhpBrowser or one of framework modules set up. For example, we can use the
Symfony module for Symfony2 applications in order to ignore web server and test web service internally.
Configure modules in
The REST module will connect to
PhpBrowser according to this configuration. Depending on the web service we may deal with XML or JSON responses. Codeception handles both data formats well, however If you don’t need one of them, you can explicitly specify that the JSON or XML parts of the module will be used:
API tests can be functional and be executed using Symfony, Laravel5, Zend, or any other framework module. You will need slightly update configuration for it:
Once we have configured our new testing suite, we can create the first sample test:
It will be called
CreateUserCept.php. We can use it to test the creation of a user via the REST API.
We can use HTTP code constants from
Codeception\Util\HttpCode instead of numeric values to check response code in
Testing JSON Responses
The last line of the previous example verified that the response contained the provided string. However we shouldn’t rely on it, as depending on content formatting we can receive different results with the same data. What we actually need is to check that the response can be parsed and it contains some of the values we expect. In the case of JSON we can use the
You may want to perform even more complex assertions on a response. This can be done by writing your own methods in the Helper classes. To access the latest JSON response you will need to get the
response property of the
REST module. Let’s demonstrate it with the
The same way you can receive request parameters and headers.
Validate JSON structures
It is pretty common for API tests to not only validate the received data but to check the structure of the response. Response data is not usually considered to be consistent, and may change on each request, however the JSON/XML structure should be kept the same for an API version. In order to check response structure the REST module has some useful methods.
If we expect a JSON response to be received we can check its structure with JSONPath. It looks and sounds like XPath but is designed to work with JSON data, however we can convert JSON into XML and use XPath to validate the structure. Both approaches are valid and can be used in the REST module:
More detailed check can be applied if you need to validate the type of fields in a response.
You can do that by using with a seeResponseMatchesJsonType action in which you define the structure of JSON response.
Codeception uses this simple and lightweight definitions format which can be easily learned and extended.
Testing XML Responses
In case your REST API works with XML format you can use similar methods to test its data and structure.
seeXmlResponseIncludes method to match inclusion of XML parts in response, and
seeXmlResponseMatchesXpath to validate its structure.
We are using XmlUtils class which allows us to build XML structures in a clean manner. The
toXml method may accept a string or array and returns \DOMDocument instance. If your XML contains attributes and so can’t be represented as a PHP array you can create XML using the XmlBuilder class. We will take a look at it a bit more in next section.
Use `\Codeception\Util\Xml::build()` to create XmlBuilder instance.
SOAP web services are usually more complex. You will need PHP configured with SOAP support. Good knowledge of XML is required too.
SOAP module uses specially formatted POST request to connect to WSDL web services. Codeception uses
PhpBrowser or one of framework modules to perform interactions. If you choose using a framework module, SOAP will automatically connect to the underlying framework. That may improve the speed of a test execution and will provide you with more detailed stack traces.
SOAP module to be used with
SOAP request may contain application specific information, like authentication or payment. This information is provided with SOAP header inside the
<soap:Header> element of XML request. In case you need to submit such header, you can use
haveSoapHeader action. For example, next line of code
will produce this XML header
sendSoapRequest method to define the body of your request.
This call will be translated to XML:
And here is the list of sample assertions that can be used with SOAP.
In case you don’t want to write long XML strings, consider using XmlBuilder class. It will help you to build complex XMLs in jQuery-like style.
In the next example we will use
XmlBuilder instead of regular XML.
It’s up to you to decide whether to use
XmlBuilder or plain XML.
XmlBuilder will return XML string as well.
You may extend current functionality by using
SOAP module in your helper class. To access the SOAP response as
\DOMDocument you can use
response property of
Codeception has two modules that will help you to test various web services. They need a new
api suite to be created. Remember, you are not limited to test only response body. By including
Db module you may check if a user has been created after the
CreateUser call. You can improve testing scenarios by using REST or SOAP responses in your helper methods.