Friday 10 April 2020

Testing using mocks

Mock objects are very useful if used right way. I shared some of the experience of using Mock Objects in need-driven-software-development-using post.

What is Mocking in Testing? - Piraveena Paralogarajah - Medium

In this post i share 2 things
- Contract based testing using mocks.
- Patterns to organized mock code.

Contract based testing 
Lets take scenario where you are building Money remittance service. Key component in such type of service is Currency Converter , Bank Service & FX Service.

50000 feet design of fictitious forex service will look something like below.

We have to write FX Service that needs Currency converter & Bank Transfer service. This is perfect scenario for contact based testing

Code snippet for FXService

Our new FX service has to follow below contract
  • Interact with currency converter & Bank Transfer based on input/output contract.
  • Makes 1 call to each of service.

One way to test FX service is to call the real service but that means slow running test and dependency on service that it has to up whenever our test is executing. Sometime calling real service is not an option because it is not developed yet. 

Smart way is to mock these collaborator( Currency Converter & Bank Transfer) and verify interaction using mocking framework.
Another advantage of testing with mocks that it enables to verify that both currency & bank transfer service are used by fxservice in expected way.

Lets look at mock based test.

This test is written using EasyMock framework and is mocking reply from collaborators.   

Write the test that you want to read

One of the important property of good test is that it is enjoyable to read. 
Mocks can make this goal more difficult to achieve as setup code for unit test will have very complex assembling logic that will be mix of some normal object set and some mocking expectation. I am sure you have seen before function in test that is used as dumping ground for setup required for all the tests in class. 

Lets look at some mock code we used earlier and try to improve it

Another way

Both of the above code is doing same thing but later one which is written with jmock has nice sugar method to express same thing.
This helps in keeping expectation clean and in context with code that is being tested. Collaborator object in the context are mocked out.

Simple pattern but very effective in making test readable.

Code used in this post is available on github

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