Testing with TurboGears

TurboGears quickstart command already provides a fully working test suite for your newly quickstarted app.

Running Tests

The only required dependency to run the testsuite is the nose package, which can be installed with:

$ pip install nose

Other dependencies used by your tests will automatically be installed when the test suite is run through the install_requires and testpkgs variables in setup.py, so if your application requires any dependency specific for testing just make sure is listed there.

To actually run the test suite you can run:

$ python setup.py nosetests

This will install all the required dependencies and will run the tests. You should get an output similar to:

Wrong password keeps user_name in login form ... ok
Anonymous users are forced to login ... ok
Logouts must work correctly ... ok
Voluntary logins must work correctly ... ok
The data display demo works with HTML ... ok
The data display demo works with JSON ... ok
Displaying the wsgi environ works ... ok
The front page is working properly ... ok
Anonymous users must not access the secure controller ... ok
The editor cannot access the secure controller ... ok
The manager can access the secure controller ... ok
plain.tests.functional.test_root.TestWithContextController.test_i18n ... ok
Model objects can be created ... ok
Model objects can be queried ... ok
Model objects can be created ... ok
Model objects can be queried ... ok
Model objects can be created ... ok
Users should be fetcheable by their email addresses ... ok
User objects should have no permission by default. ... ok
The obj constructor must set the email right ... ok
The obj constructor must set the user name right ... ok
Model objects can be queried ... ok

Ran 22 tests in 11.931s


Those are the default tests that TurboGears generated for you.

Tests Collection

When running the nosetests command nose will look for any tests directory inside your application package.

Nose itself will look in all files whose name starts with test_[something].py for all the classes which name starts with Test[Something] and will consider them as Test Cases, for each method inside the test case whose name starts with test_[something] they will be treated as Test Units.

Writing Tests

When quickstarting an application you will notice that there is a tests package inside it. This package is provided by TurboGears itself and contains the fixture already creates a TestApp instance for you and loads configuration from test.ini instead of development.ini.

The TestApp which is available inside Test Cases as self.app is an object with methods that emulate HTTP requests: .get, .post, .put and so on and is able to understand both html and json responses.

Take note that test.ini actually inherits from development.ini and just overwrites some options. For example for tests by default a sqlalchemy.url = sqlite:///:memory: is used which forces SQLAlchemy to use an in memory database instead of a real one, so that it is created and discarded when the test suite is run withouth requiring you to use a real database.

All your application tests that call a web page should inherit from tests.TestController which ensure:

  • For each test unit the database is created and initialized by calling setup-app.
  • For each test unit the self.app object is provided which is a TestApp instance of your TurboGears2 application loaded from test.ini.
  • After each test unit the database is deleted.
  • After each test unit the SQLAlchemy session is cleared.

For a sample test see tests/functional/test_root:

from nose.tools import ok_
from testapp.tests import TestController

class TestRootController(TestController):
    """Tests for the method in the root controller."""

    def test_index(self):
        response = self.app.get('/')
        msg = 'TurboGears 2 is rapid web application development toolkit '\
              'designed to make your life easier.'
        ok_(msg in response)

    def test_environ(self):
        response = self.app.get('/environ.html')
        ok_('The keys in the environment are:' in response)

Simulating Authentication Requests

To simulate authentication you can just pass to the .get, .post and so on methods an extra_environ parameter (which is used to add WSGI environ values available in tg.request.environ) named REMOTE_USER.

For example if you want to behave like you are logged as the editor user you just pass:

def test_secc_with_editor(self):
    environ = {'REMOTE_USER': 'editor'}
    self.app.get('/secc', extra_environ=environ, status=403)

The previous test will check that when user is logged as editor a 403 error is returned from the /secc url instead of the 401 which is returned when user is not logged at all.

Checking HTML Responses

Within the tests it is also possible to check complex HTML structures if the pyquery module is installed.

To install pyquery just add it to your testpkgs in setup.py so that it will be automatically installed when running the test suite.

PyQuery is a python module that works like jQuery and permits easy traversing of the DOM:

from testapp.tests import TestController

class TestHelloWorldApp(TestController):
    """Tests an app that returns a simple HTML response with:

                <title>Hello to You</title>
                <h1>Hello World</h1>

    def test_hello_world(self):
        res = self.app.get('/')
        assert res.pyquery('h1').text() == 'Hello World'

    def test_title(self):
        res = self.app.get('/')
        assert res.pyquery('title').text() == 'Hello to You'

For pyquery documentation please rely on https://pythonhosted.org/pyquery/

Submitting Forms

The TestApp permits also to easily fill and submit forms, this can be used to test features that require submission of form values:

from testapp.tests import TestController

class TestFormApp(TestController):
    """Tests an app that contains a simple HTML form with:

        <form id="form1" action="/submit" method="POST">
            <input type="text" name="value"/>

       That submits to:

        def submit(self, value=None, **kwargs):
            return dict(value=value)

    def test_form_submission(self):
        page = self.app.get('/')

        form = page.forms['form1']
        form['value'] = 'prova'

        res = form.submit()
        assert res.json['value'] == 'prova', res

The form itself is identified by its id, so the page.forms['form1'] works as the form has id="form1".

Testing Outside Controllers

There might be cases when you are required to test something outside a controller, this is common with validators or utility methods.

In those cases you can inherit from tests.TestController as usual, and you will probably won’t use the self.app object. Unless you are required to have a request in place during your test.

This might be the case if your utility function or class uses TurboGears features that depend on a request like tg.url, tg.i18n.ugettext and so on...

Since version 2.3.6 the test_context context is available, when used together with a with statement, the whole body of the with will run with a fake TurboGears context, much like the one you get when using /_test_vars:

from tg.util.webtest import test_context

with test_context(self.app):
    hello = ugettext('hello')
    assert hello == 'hello', hello

On 2.3.5 the same behaviour could be achieved using the special /_test_vars url which initializes a fake TurboGears context which will be used until removed:

from testapp.tests import TestController

class TestWithContextController(TestController):
    def test_i18n(self):
        self.app.get('/_test_vars')  # Initialize a fake request

        hello = ugettext('hello')
        assert hello == 'hello', hello

Make sure you reset the request context after using /_test_vars otherwise you might end up with a messy environment as you have left behind the globally registered objects. It is a good practice to perform another another request to properly reset the global object status at the end of the test unit:

from testapp.tests import TestController

class TestWithContextController(TestController):
    def tearDown(self):
        self.app.get('/_del_test_vars', status=404)  # Reset fake request
        super(TestWithContextController, self).tearDown()

    def test_i18n(self):
        self.app.get('/_test_vars')  # Initialize a fake request

        hello = ugettext('hello')
        assert hello == 'hello', hello


Coverage is the process of identifying all the paths of execution that the Test Suite is not checking. Aiming at 100% code coverage means that we are sure that our tests pass through all branches in our code and all the code we wrote has been run at least once.

Note that Coverage is able to guarantee that we checked everything we wrote, it is not able to measure code that we should have written but didn’t. Missing errors handling won’t be detected in coverage but it is a fairly reliable tool to ensure that everything your wrote has been checked at least once.

By default coverage reporting is disabled in turbogears test suite, but it can easily be turned on by changing with-coverage option in setup.cfg:

verbosity = 2
detailed-errors = 1
with-coverage = true  # CHANGED TO true TO ENABLE COVERAGE
cover-erase = true
cover-package = plain

When coverage is enabled, after the tests results, you will get the coverage report:

Name      Stmts   Miss  Cover   Missing
_opnums      13      8    38%   2-3, 6-9, 12, 16-17
Ran 2 tests in 0.002s