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Advanced Usage

In this chapter, we will cover some techniques and options that you can use to improve your testing experience and keep your project better organized.

Cest Classes

Cest is a common test format for Codeception, it is “Test” with the first C letter in it. It is scenario-driven format so all tests written in it are executed step by step. Unless you need direct access to application code inside a test, Cest format is recommended. As it provides more readable code for functional, api, and acceptance tests.

A new Cest class can be created via g:cest command:

php vendor/bin/codecept generate:cest suitename CestName

The generated file will look like this:

<?php

namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester;

class BasicCest
{
    public function _before(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
    }

    // tests
    public function tryToTest(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
    }
}

Each public method of Cest (except those starting with _) will be executed as a test and will receive an instance of the Actor class as the first parameter and the $scenario variable as the second one.

In _before and _after methods you can use common setups and teardowns for the tests in the class.

As you see, we are passing the Actor object into tryToTest method. This allows us to write scenarios the way we did before:

<?php

namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use \Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester;

class BasicCest
{
    // test
    public function tryToTest(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        $I->amOnPage('/');
        $I->click('Login');
        $I->fillField('username', 'john');
        $I->fillField('password', 'coltrane');
        $I->click('Enter');
        $I->see('Hello, John');
        $I->seeInCurrentUrl('/account');
    }
}

As you see, Cest classes have no parents. This is done intentionally. It allows you to extend your classes with common behaviors and workarounds that may be used in child classes. But don’t forget to make these methods protected so they won’t be executed as tests.

Cest format also can contain hooks based on test results:

  • _failed will be executed for failed test
  • _passed will be executed for passed test
public function _failed(AcceptanceTester $I)
{
    // will be executed on test failure
}

public function _passed(AcceptanceTester $I)
{
    // will be executed when test is successful
}

Skip Tests

To mark test as skipped Skip attribute can be used:

<?php
namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use Codeception\Attribute\Skip;
use Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester

class UserCest {

    #[Skip]
    public function notImportantTest(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        // this test should not be executed
    }

    // you can explain the reason to skip test in attribute
    #[Skip('this one is not needed anymore')]
    public function alsoNotImportantTest(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
    }
}

If you need to skip a test on a condition, inject \Codeception\Scenario into the test:

public function worksOnCondition(AcceptanceTester $I, \Codeception\Scenario $scenario)
{
    // some condition to execute test or not
    if ($this->shouldNotBeExecuted) {
        // skip test on condition
        // please note that `_before` is still executed for this test
        // and browser is launched in case of acceptance test
        $scenario->skip('This test is skipped on this condition');
    }
    // test body
}

Unit tests can be skipped via the attribute or by using markTestSkipped method:

<?php

namespace Tests\Unit;

use Codeception\Attribute\Skip;

class UserTest extends \Codeception\Test\Unit
{

    #[Skip]
    public function testToBeSkipped()
    {
    }

    #[Skip('this one is flaky')]
    public function testToAlsoBeSkipped()
    {
    }

    public function testToSkipOnCondition()
    {
        if ($this->shouldNotBeExecuted) {
            $this->markTestSkipped();
        }
    }
}

Incomplete Tests

Tests can be marked as Incomplete, in this case, they also will be skipped. To mark a test as incomplete use Codeception\Attribute\Incomplete which should be used similarly to Skip attribute:

use Codeception\Attribute\Incomplete;

// ---

#[Incomplete]
public function testNotReadyYet()
{
}

#[Incomplete('I will implement it tomorrow, I promise')]
public function testNotReadyToday()
{
}

Groups

There are several ways to execute a bunch of tests. You can run tests from a specific directory:

php vendor/bin/codecept run tests/acceptance/admin

You can execute one (or several) specific groups of tests:

php vendor/bin/codecept run -g admin -g editor

The concept of groups was taken from PHPUnit and behaves in the same way.

For Test and Cest files you can use the Group attribute to add a test to a group.

<?php
namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use Codeception\Attribute\Group;
use Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester

class UserCest {

    #[Group('admin')] // set a group for this test
    #[Group('slow', 'important')] // add groups in a single attribute
    public function testAdminUser(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
    }
}

For .feature-files (Gherkin) use tags:

@admin @editor
Feature: Admin area

Examples Attribute

What if you want to execute the same test scenario with different data? In this case you can inject examples as \Codeception\Example instances. Data is defined via the Examples attribute

<?php

namespace Tests\Api;

use \Tests\Support\ApiTester;
use \Codeception\Attribute\Examples;
use \Codeception\Example;

class EndpointCest
{

  #[Examples('/api', 200)]
  #[Examples('/api/protected', 401)]
  #[Examples('/api/not-found-url', 404)]
  #[Examples('/api/faulty', 500)]
  public function checkEndpoints(ApiTester $I, Example $example)
  {
    $I->sendGet($example[0]);
    $I->seeResponseCodeIs($example[1]);
  }
}

Example Annotation

As well as the \Codeception\Attribute\Examples attribute, available for Cest tests, the @example attribute allows you to inject test parameters in place of an actual DataProvider for Unit tests.

<?php
namespace Tests\Unit;

class ExampleTest extends \Codeception\Test\Unit
{
    /**
     * @param mixed $value
     * @example [3.14159]
     * @example ["a string"]
     * @example [["this", "is", "an", "array"]]
     * @example [{"associative": "array"}]
     */
    public function testExample($value)
    {
        $this->assertNotEmpty($value, "Expected a value");
    }
}

@testWith: as of Codeception 5.0, PHPUnit’s @testWith is no longer supported. @example is a good, almost drop-in, replacement.

DataProvider Attribute

You can also use the @dataProvider annotation for creating dynamic examples for Cest classes, using a protected method for providing example data:

<?php
namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use \Codeception\Attribute\DataProvider;
use \Codeception\Example;


class PageCest
{
    #[DataProvider('pageProvider')]
    public function staticPages(AcceptanceTester $I, \Codeception\Example $example)
    {
        $I->amOnPage($example['url']);
        $I->see($example['title'], 'h1');
        $I->seeInTitle($example['title']);
    }

    protected function pageProvider() : array  // to make it public use `_` prefix
    {
        return [
            ['url'=>"/", 'title'=>"Welcome"],
            ['url'=>"/info", 'title'=>"Info"],
            ['url'=>"/about", 'title'=>"About Us"],
            ['url'=>"/contact", 'title'=>"Contact Us"]
        ];
    }
}

Before/After Attributes

You can control execution flow with @before and @after annotations. You may move common actions into protected (non-test) methods and invoke them before or after the test method by putting them into annotations. It is possible to invoke several methods by using more than one @before or @after annotation. Methods are invoked in order from top to bottom.

<?php

namespace Tests\Functional;

use \Tests\Support\FunctionalTester;
use Codeception\Attribute\Before;
use Codeception\Attribute\After;

class ModeratorCest {

    protected function login(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        $I->amOnPage('/login');
        $I->fillField('Username', 'miles');
        $I->fillField('Password', 'davis');
        $I->click('Login');
    }

    #[Before('login')]
    public function banUser(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        $I->amOnPage('/users/charlie-parker');
        $I->see('Ban', '.button');
        $I->click('Ban');
    }

    // you can specify multiple before and after methods:
    #[Before('login', 'cleanup')]
    #[After('logout', 'close')]
    public function addUser(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        $I->amOnPage('/users/charlie-parker');
        $I->see('Ban', '.button');
        $I->click('Ban');
    }
}

Dependencies

With the Depends attribute, you can specify a test that should be passed before the current one. If that test fails, the current test will be skipped. You should pass the method name of the test you are relying on.

<?php
namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use Codeception\Attribute\Depends;

class ModeratorCest {

    public function login(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        // logs moderator in
    }

    #[Depends('login')]
    public function banUser(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        // bans user
    }
}

Depends attribute applies to the Cest and Codeception\Test\Unit formats. Dependencies can be set across different classes.

To specify a dependent test from another file you should provide a test signature. Normally, the test signature matches the className:methodName format. But to get the exact test signature just run the test with the --steps option to see it:

Signature: ModeratorCest:login`

Codeception reorders tests so dependent tests will always be executed before the tests that rely on them.

Environments

For cases where you need to run tests with different configurations, you can define different config environments. The most typical use cases are running acceptance tests in different browsers, or running database tests using different database engines.

Let’s demonstrate the usage of environments for multi-browser testing.

We need to add some new lines to acceptance.suite.yml:

actor: AcceptanceTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - WebDriver
    config:
        WebDriver:
            url: 'http://127.0.0.1:8000/'
            browser: 'firefox'
env:
    chrome:
         modules:
            config:
                WebDriver:
                    browser: 'chrome'

    firefox:
        # nothing changed

Basically you can define different environments inside the env root, name them (chrome, firefox etc.), and then redefine any configuration parameters that were set before.

You can also define environments in separate configuration files placed in the directory specified by the envs option in the paths configuration:

paths:
    envs: tests/_envs

The names of these files are used as environment names (e.g. chrome.yml or chrome.dist.yml for an environment named chrome). You can generate a new file with this environment configuration by using the generate:environment command:

php vendor/bin/codecept g:env chrome

In that file you can specify just the options you wish to override:

modules:
    config:
        WebDriver:
            browser: 'chrome'

The environment configuration files are merged into the main configuration before the suite configuration is merged.

You can easily switch between those configs by running tests with --env option. To run the tests only for Firefox you just need to pass --env firefox as an option:

php vendor/bin/codecept run acceptance --env firefox

To run the tests in all browsers, list all the environments:

php vendor/bin/codecept run acceptance --env chrome --env firefox

The tests will be executed 3 times, each time in a different browser.

It’s also possible to merge multiple environments into a single configuration by separating them with a comma:

php vendor/bin/codecept run acceptance --env dev,firefox --env dev,chrome --env dev,firefox

The configuration is merged in the order given. This way you can easily create multiple combinations of your environment configurations.

Depending on the environment, you may choose which tests are to be executed. For example, you might need some tests to be executed in Firefox only, and some tests in Chrome only.

The desired environments can be specified with the Env attribute for tests in Test and Cest formats:

<?php
namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use Codeception\Attribute\Env;

class UserCest
{
    /**
     * This test will be executed only in 'firefox' and 'chrome' environments
     */
    #[Env('firefox')]
    #[Env('chrome')]
    public function webkitOnlyTest(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        // I do something
    }
}

Multiple values can be set in one attribute:

#[Env('chrome', 'firefox')]

This way you can easily control which tests will be executed for each environment.

It is possible to combine environments. For instance, if a test should be executed only in chrome on staging, this can be declared as a combined environment:

#[Env('chrome,staging')]

Test marked with this attribute will be executed only if both environments are set:

php vendor/bin/codecept run --env chrome,staging

Get Test Metadata

Sometimes you may need to change the test behavior in real-time. For instance, the behavior of the same test may differ in Firefox and in Chrome. In runtime, we can retrieve the current environment name, test name, or list of enabled modules by calling the $scenario->current() method.

// retrieve current environment
$scenario->current('env');

// list of all enabled modules
$scenario->current('modules');

// test name
$scenario->current('name');

// browser name (if WebDriver module enabled)
$scenario->current('browser');

// capabilities (if WebDriver module enabled)
$scenario->current('capabilities');

You can inject \Codeception\Scenario like this:

public function myTest(\Codeception\Scenario $scenario)
{
    // list all metadata variables
    codecept_debug($scenario->current());

    // do some actions according to conditions
    if ($scenario->current('browser') == 'chrome') {
      // ...
    }
}

Codeception\Scenario is also available in Actor classes and StepObjects. You can access it with $this->getScenario().

Shuffle

By default, Codeception runs tests in alphabetic order. To ensure that tests are not depending on each other (unless explicitly declared via @depends) you can enable shuffle option.

# inside codeception.yml
settings:
    shuffle: true

Alternatively, you may run tests in the shuffle without changing the config:

codecept run -o "settings: shuffle: true"

Tests will be randomly reordered on each run. When tests are executed in shuffle mode a seed value will be printed. Copy this seed value from the output to be able to rerun tests in the same order.

$ codecept run
Codeception PHP Testing Framework v2.4.5
Powered by PHPUnit 5.7.27 by Sebastian Bergmann and contributors.
[Seed] 1872290562

Pass the copied seed into --seed option:

codecept run --seed 1872290562

Dependency Injection

Codeception supports simple dependency injection for Cest and Codeception\Test\Unit classes. It means that you can specify which classes you need as parameters of the special _inject() method, and Codeception will automatically create the respective objects and invoke this method, passing all dependencies as arguments. This may be useful when working with Helpers. Here’s an example for Cest:

<?php

namespace Tests\Unit;

use Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester;
use Tests\Support\Helper\SignUp;
use Tests\Support\Helper\NavBar;

class SignUpCest
{
    protected SignUp $signUp;
    protected NavBar $navBar;

    protected function _inject(SignUp $signUp, NavBar $navBar)
    {
        $this->signUp = $signUp;
        $this->navBar = $navBar;
    }

    public function signUp(AcceptanceTester $I)
    {
        $this->navBar->click('Sign up');
        $this->signUp->register([
            'first_name'            => 'Joe',
            'last_name'             => 'Jones',
            'email'                 => '[email protected]',
            'password'              => '1234',
            'password_confirmation' => '1234'
        ]);
    }
}

And for Test classes:

<?php

namespace Tests\Unit;

use \Tests\Support\UnitTester;
use \Tests\Support\Helper\Math;

class MathTest extends \Codeception\Test\Unit
{
    protected UnitTester $tester;
    protected Math $math;

    protected function _inject(Math $math)
    {
        $this->math = $math;
    }

    public function testAll()
    {
        $this->assertEquals(3, $this->math->add(1, 2));
        $this->assertEquals(1, $this->math->subtract(3, 2));
    }
}

However, Dependency Injection is not limited to this. It allows you to inject any class, which can be constructed with arguments known to Codeception.

In order to make auto-wiring work, you will need to implement the _inject() method with the list of desired arguments. It is important to specify the type of arguments, so Codeception can guess which objects are expected to be received. The _inject() will only be invoked once, just after the creation of the TestCase object (either Cest or Test). Dependency Injection will also work in a similar manner for Helper and Actor classes.

Each test of a Cest class can declare its own dependencies and receive them from method arguments:

<?php

namespace Tests\Acceptance;

use \Tests\Support\AcceptanceTester;
use \Tests\Support\Helper\User as UserHelper;
use \Tests\Support\Page\User as UserPage;

class UserCest
{
    function updateUser(UserHelper $u, AcceptanceTester $I, UserPage $userPage)
    {
        $user = $u->createDummyUser();
        $userPage->login($user->getName(), $user->getPassword());
        $userPage->updateProfile(['name' => 'Bill']);
        $I->see('Profile was saved');
        $I->see('Profile of Bill','h1');
    }
}

Moreover, Codeception can resolve dependencies recursively (when A depends on B, and B depends on C etc.) and handle parameters of primitive types with default values (like $param = 'default'). Of course, you are not allowed to have cyclic dependencies.

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