About Petri Kainulainen

Petri is passionate about software development and continuous improvement. He is specialized in software development with the Spring Framework and is the author of Spring Data book.

Unit Testing of Spring MVC Controllers: Configuration

Writing unit tests for Spring MVC controllers has traditionally been both simple and problematic. Although it is pretty simple to write unit tests which invoke controller methods, the problem is that those unit tests are not comprehensive enough. For example, we cannot test controller mappings, validation and exception handling just by invoking the tested controller method.

Spring MVC Test solved this problem by giving us the possibility to invoke controller methods through the DispatcherServlet. This is the first part of my tutorial which describes the unit testing of Spring MVC controllers and it describes how we can configure our unit tests. Let’s get started.

Getting the Required Dependencies with Maven

We can get the required dependencies by declaring the following testing dependencies in our pom.xml file:

  • JUnit 4.11
  • Mockito Core 1.9.5
  • Spring Test 3.2.3.RELEASE

The relevant part of our pom.xml file looks as follows:

<dependency>
    <groupId>junit</groupId>
    <artifactId>junit</artifactId>
    <version>4.11</version>
    <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.mockito</groupId>
    <artifactId>mockito-core</artifactId>
    <version>1.9.5</version>
    <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>
<dependency>
    <groupId>org.springframework</groupId>
    <artifactId>spring-test</artifactId>
    <version>3.2.3.RELEASE</version>
    <scope>test</scope>
</dependency>

Let’s move on and take a quick look at our example application.

The Anatomy of Our Example Application

The example application of this tutorial provides CRUD operations for todo entries. In order to understand the configuration of our test class, we must have some knowledge about the tested controller class.

At this point, we need to know the answers to these questions:

  • What dependencies does it have?
  • How is it instantiated?

We can get the answers to those questions by taking a look at the source code of the TodoController class. The relevant part of the TodoController class looks as follows:

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.context.MessageSource;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;

@Controller
public class TodoController {

    private final TodoService service;

    private final MessageSource messageSource;

    @Autowired
    public TodoController(MessageSource messageSource, TodoService service) {
        this.messageSource = messageSource;
        this.service = service;
    }

    //Other methods are omitted.
}

As we can see, our controller class has two dependencies: TodoService and MessageSource. Also, we can see that our controller class uses constructor injection.

At this point this is all there information we need. Next we will talk about our application context configuration.

Configuring the Application Context

Maintaining a separate application context configurations for our application and our tests is cumbersome. Also, It can lead into problems if we change something in the application context configuration of our application but forget to do the same change for our test context.

That is why the application context configuration of the example application has been divided in a such way that we can reuse parts of it in our tests.

Our application context configuration has been divided as follows:

  • The first application configuration class is called ExampleApplicationContext and it is the “main” configuration class of our application.
  • The second configuration class is responsible of configuring the web layer of our application. The name of this class is WebAppContext and it is the configuration class which we will use in our tests.
  • The third configuration class is called PersistenceContext and it contains the persistence configuration of our application.

Note: The example application has also a working application context configuration which uses XML configuration files. The XML configuration files which correspond with the Java configuration classes are: exampleApplicationContext.xml, exampleApplicationContext-web.xml and exampleApplicationContext-persistence.xml.

Let’s take a look at the application context configuration of our web layer and find out how we can configure our test context.

Configuring the Web Layer

The application context configuration of the web layer has the following responsibilities:

  1. It enables the annotation driven Spring MVC.
  2. It configures the location of static resources such as CSS files and Javascript files.
  3. It ensures that the static resources are served by the container’s default servlet.
  4. It ensures that the controller classes are found during component scan.
  5. It configures the ExceptionResolver bean.
  6. It configures the ViewResolver bean.

Let’s move on and take a look at the Java configuration class and the XML configuration file.

Java Configuration

If we use Java configuration, the source code of the WebAppContext class looks as follows:

import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.ComponentScan;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ViewResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.DefaultServletHandlerConfigurer;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.EnableWebMvc;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.ResourceHandlerRegistry;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.config.annotation.WebMvcConfigurerAdapter;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.handler.SimpleMappingExceptionResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.JstlView;

import java.util.Properties;

@Configuration
@EnableWebMvc
@ComponentScan(basePackages = {
        "net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.common.controller",
        "net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.controller"
})
public class WebAppContext extends WebMvcConfigurerAdapter {

    @Override
    public void addResourceHandlers(ResourceHandlerRegistry registry) {
        registry.addResourceHandler("/static/**").addResourceLocations("/static/");
    }

    @Override
    public void configureDefaultServletHandling(DefaultServletHandlerConfigurer configurer) {
        configurer.enable();
    }

    @Bean
    public SimpleMappingExceptionResolver exceptionResolver() {
        SimpleMappingExceptionResolver exceptionResolver = new SimpleMappingExceptionResolver();

        Properties exceptionMappings = new Properties();

        exceptionMappings.
put("net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.exception.TodoNotFoundException", "error/404");
        exceptionMappings.put("java.lang.Exception", "error/error");
        exceptionMappings.put("java.lang.RuntimeException", "error/error");

        exceptionResolver.setExceptionMappings(exceptionMappings);

        Properties statusCodes = new Properties();

        statusCodes.put("error/404", "404");
        statusCodes.put("error/error", "500");

        exceptionResolver.setStatusCodes(statusCodes);

        return exceptionResolver;
    }

    @Bean
    public ViewResolver viewResolver() {
        InternalResourceViewResolver viewResolver = new InternalResourceViewResolver();

        viewResolver.setViewClass(JstlView.class);
        viewResolver.setPrefix("/WEB-INF/jsp/");
        viewResolver.setSuffix(".jsp");

        return viewResolver;
    }
}

XML Configuration

If we use XML configuration, the content of the exampleApplicationContext-web.xml file looks as follows:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
      xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
      xmlns:mvc="http://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc"
      xmlns:context="http://www.springframework.org/schema/context"
      xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd
      http://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc http://www.springframework.org/schema/mvc/spring-mvc-3.1.xsd
      http://www.springframework.org/schema/context http://www.springframework.org/schema/context/spring-context-3.1.xsd">

    <mvc:annotation-driven/>

    <mvc:resources mapping="/static/**" location="/static/"/>
    <mvc:default-servlet-handler/>

    <context:component-scan base-package="net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.common.controller"/>
    <context:component-scan base-package="net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.controller"/>

    <bean id="exceptionResolver" class="org.springframework.web.servlet.handler.SimpleMappingExceptionResolver">
        <property name="exceptionMappings">
            <props>
                <prop key="net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.exception.TodoNotFoundException">error/404</prop>
                <prop key="java.lang.Exception">error/error</prop>
                <prop key="java.lang.RuntimeException">error/error</prop>
            </props>
        </property>
        <property name="statusCodes">
            <props>
                <prop key="error/404">404</prop>
                <prop key="error/error">500</prop>
            </props>
        </property>
    </bean>

    <bean id="viewResolver" class="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver">
        <property name="prefix" value="/WEB-INF/jsp/"/>
        <property name="suffix" value=".jsp"/>
        <property name="viewClass" value="org.springframework.web.servlet.view.JstlView"/>
    </bean>
</beans>

Configuring the Test Context

The configuration of our test context has two responsibilities:

  1. It configures a MessageSource bean which is used by our controller class (feedback messages) and Spring MVC (validation error messages). The reason why we need to do this is that the MessageSource bean is configured in the “main” configuration class (or file) of our application context configuration.
  2. It creates a TodoService mock which is injected to our controller class.

Let’s find out how we configure our test context by using Java configuration class and XML configuration file.

Java Configuration

If we configure our test context by using Java configuration, the source code of the TestContext class looks as follows:

import org.mockito.Mockito;
import org.springframework.context.MessageSource;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Bean;
import org.springframework.context.annotation.Configuration;
import org.springframework.context.support.ResourceBundleMessageSource;

@Configuration
public class TestContext {

    @Bean
    public MessageSource messageSource() {
        ResourceBundleMessageSource messageSource = new ResourceBundleMessageSource();

        messageSource.setBasename("i18n/messages");
        messageSource.setUseCodeAsDefaultMessage(true);

        return messageSource;
    }

    @Bean
    public TodoService todoService() {
        return Mockito.mock(TodoService.class);
    }
}

XML Configuration

If we configure our test context by using an XML configuration, the content of the testContext.xml file looks as follow:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans"
      xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
      xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans.xsd">

    <bean id="messageSource" class="org.springframework.context.support.ResourceBundleMessageSource">
        <property name="basename" value="i18n/messages"/>
        <property name="useCodeAsDefaultMessage" value="true"/>
    </bean>

    <bean id="todoService" name="todoService" class="org.mockito.Mockito" factory-method="mock">
        <constructor-arg value="net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.service.TodoService"/>
    </bean>
</beans>

Configuring The Test Class

We can configure our test class by using one of the following options:

  1. The Standalone configuration allows us to register one or more controllers (classes annotated with the @Controller annotation) and configure the Spring MVC infrastructure programatically. This approach is a viable option if our Spring MVC configuration is simple and straight-forward.
  2. The WebApplicationContext based configuration allows us the configure Spring MVC infrastructure by using a fully initialized WebApplicationContext. This approach is better if our Spring MVC configuration is so complicated that using standalone configuration does not make any sense.

Let’s move on and find out how we can configure our test class by using both configuration options.

Using Standalone Configuration

We can configure our test class by following these steps:

  1. Annotate the class with the @RunWith annotation and ensure that test is executed by using the MockitoJUnitRunner.
  2. Add a MockMvc field to the test class.
  3. Add a TodoService field to the test class and annotate the field with the @Mock annotation. This annotation marks the field as a mock. The field is initialized by the MockitoJUnitRunner.
  4. Add a private exceptionResolver() method to the class. This method creates a new SimpleMappingExceptionResolver object, configures it, and returns the created object.
  5. Add a private messageSource() method to the class. This method creates a new ResourceBundleMessageSource object, configures it, and returns the created object.
  6. Add a private validator() method to the class. This method creates a new LocalValidatorFactoryBean object and returns the created object.
  7. Add a private viewResolver() method to the the class. This method creates a new InternalResourceViewResolver object, configures it, and returns the created object.
  8. Add a setUp() method to the test class and annotate the method with the @Before annotation. This ensures that the method is invoked before each test. This method creates a new MockMvc object by calling the standaloneSetup() method of the MockMvcBuilders class and configures the Spring MVC infrastructure programmatically.

The source code of our test class looks as follows:

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.mockito.Mock;
import org.mockito.runners.MockitoJUnitRunner;
import org.springframework.context.MessageSource;
import org.springframework.context.support.ResourceBundleMessageSource;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.MockMvc;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.setup.MockMvcBuilders;
import org.springframework.validation.beanvalidation.LocalValidatorFactoryBean;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.HandlerExceptionResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ViewResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.handler.SimpleMappingExceptionResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.InternalResourceViewResolver;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.view.JstlView;

import java.util.Properties;

@RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.class)
public class StandaloneTodoControllerTest {

    private MockMvc mockMvc;

    @Mock
    private TodoService todoServiceMock;

    @Before
    public void setUp() {
        mockMvc = MockMvcBuilders.standaloneSetup(new TodoController(messageSource(), todoServiceMock))
                .setHandlerExceptionResolvers(exceptionResolver())
                .setValidator(validator())
                .setViewResolvers(viewResolver())
                .build();
    }

    private HandlerExceptionResolver exceptionResolver() {
        SimpleMappingExceptionResolver exceptionResolver = new SimpleMappingExceptionResolver();

        Properties exceptionMappings = new Properties();

        exceptionMappings.
put("net.petrikainulainen.spring.testmvc.todo.exception.TodoNotFoundException", "error/404");
        exceptionMappings.put("java.lang.Exception", "error/error");
        exceptionMappings.put("java.lang.RuntimeException", "error/error");

        exceptionResolver.setExceptionMappings(exceptionMappings);

        Properties statusCodes = new Properties();

        statusCodes.put("error/404", "404");
        statusCodes.put("error/error", "500");

        exceptionResolver.setStatusCodes(statusCodes);

        return exceptionResolver;
    }

    private MessageSource messageSource() {
        ResourceBundleMessageSource messageSource = new ResourceBundleMessageSource();

        messageSource.setBasename("i18n/messages");
        messageSource.setUseCodeAsDefaultMessage(true);

        return messageSource;
    }

    private LocalValidatorFactoryBean validator() {
        return new LocalValidatorFactoryBean();
    }

    private ViewResolver viewResolver() {
        InternalResourceViewResolver viewResolver = new InternalResourceViewResolver();

        viewResolver.setViewClass(JstlView.class);
        viewResolver.setPrefix("/WEB-INF/jsp/");
        viewResolver.setSuffix(".jsp");

        return viewResolver;
    }
}

Using the standalone configuration has two problems:

  1. Our test class looks like a mess even though our Spring MVC configuration is rather simple. Naturally, we could clean it up by moving the creation of Spring MVC infrastructure components into a separate class. This is left as an exercise for the reader.
  2. We have to duplicate the configuration of Spring MVC infrastructure components. This means that if we change something in the application context configuration of our application, we must remember to do the same change to our tests as well.

Using WebApplicationContext Based Configuration

We can configure our test class by following these steps:

  1. Annotate the test class with the @RunWith annotation and ensure that the test is executed by using the SpringJUnit4ClassRunner.
  2. Annotate the class with the @ContextConfiguration annotation and ensure that the correct configuration classes (or XML configuration files) are used. If we want to use Java configuration, we have to set the configuration classes as the value of the classes attribute. On the other hand, if we prefer XML configuration, we have to set the configuration files as the value of the locations attribute.
  3. Annotate the class with the @WebAppConfiguration annotation. This annotation ensures that the application context which is loaded for our test is a WebApplicationContext.
  4. Add a MockMvc field to the test class.
  5. Add a TodoService field to the test class and annotate the field with the @Autowired annotation.
  6. Add a WebApplicationContext field to the test class and annotate the field with the @Autowired annotation.
  7. Add a setUp() method to the test class and annotate the method with the @Before annotation. This ensures that the method is called before each test. This method has responsibilities: it resets the service mock before each test and create a new MockMvc object by calling the webAppContextSetup() method of the MockMvcBuilders class.

The source code of our test class looks as follows:

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.mockito.Mockito;
import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.test.context.ContextConfiguration;
import org.springframework.test.context.junit4.SpringJUnit4ClassRunner;
import org.springframework.test.context.web.WebAppConfiguration;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.MockMvc;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.setup.MockMvcBuilders;
import org.springframework.web.context.WebApplicationContext;

@RunWith(SpringJUnit4ClassRunner.class)
@ContextConfiguration(classes = {TestContext.class, WebAppContext.class})
//@ContextConfiguration(locations = {"classpath:testContext.xml", "classpath:exampleApplicationContext-web.xml"})
@WebAppConfiguration
public class WebApplicationContextTodoControllerTest {

    private MockMvc mockMvc;

    @Autowired
    private TodoService todoServiceMock;

    @Autowired
    private WebApplicationContext webApplicationContext;

    @Before
    public void setUp() {
        //We have to reset our mock between tests because the mock objects
        //are managed by the Spring container. If we would not reset them,
        //stubbing and verified behavior would "leak" from one test to another.
        Mockito.reset(todoServiceMock);

        mockMvc = MockMvcBuilders.webAppContextSetup(webApplicationContext).build();
    }
}

The configuration of our test class looks a lot cleaner than the configuration which uses standalone configuration. However, the “downside” is that our test uses the full Spring MVC infrastructure. This might be an overkill if our test class really uses only a few components.

Summary

We have now configured our unit test class by using both the standalone setup and the WebApplicationContext based setup. This blog post has taught us two things:

  • We learned that it is important to divide the application context configuration in a such way that we can reuse parts of it in our tests.
  • We learned the difference between the standalone configuration and the WebApplicationContext based configuration.

The next part of this tutorial describes how we can write unit tests for “normal” Spring MVC controllers.

P.S. The example application of this blog post is available at Github.
 

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One Response to "Unit Testing of Spring MVC Controllers: Configuration"

  1. Suresh says:

    Thanks Petri Kainulainen.
    This is a very good article.

Leave a Reply


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