Gradle Goodness: Specify Spock As Test Framework At Initialization

Since Gradle 2.11 we can specify the test framework to use when we initialise a project with the init task. There is a new option for this task: --test-framework. By default JUnit dependencies are added, but if we specify the value spock the Spock libraries are included in the dependencies section of our build.gradle file.

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Spocklight: Grouping Assertions

In a Spock specification we write our assertion in the then: or expect: blocks. If we need to write multiple assertions for an object we can group those with the with method. We specify the object we want write assertions for as argument followed by a closure with the real assertions. We don’t need to use the assert keyword inside the closure, just as we don’t have to use the assert keyword in an expect: or then: block.

In the following example specification we have a very simple implementation for finding an User object. We want to check that the properties username and name have the correct value.

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Spocklight: Mocks And Stubs Returning Sequence of Values

Creating and working with mocks and stubs in Spock is easy. If we want to interact with our mocks and stubs we have several options to return values. One of the options is the triple right shift operator >>>. With this operator we can define different return values for multiple invocations of the stubbed or mocked method. For example we can use the >>> operator followed by a list of return values ['abc', 'def', 'ghi']. On the first invocation abc is return, the second invocation returns def and the third (and following) invocation(s) return ghi.

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Spocklight: Only Run Specs Based On Conditions

In a previous blog post we have seen the IgnoreIf extension. There is also a counterpart: the Requires extension. If we apply this extension to a feature method or specification class than the method or whole class is executed when the condition for the @Requires annotation is true. If the condition is false the method or specification is not executed. As a value for the @Requires annotation we must specify a closure. In the closure Spock adds some properties we can use for our conditions:

  • jvm can be used to check a Java version or compatibility.
  • sys returns the Java system properties.
  • env used to access environment variables.
  • os can be used to check for operating system names.
  • javaVersion has the Java version as BigDecimal, eg. 1.8.

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Spocklight: Undo Changes in Java System Properties

If we need to add a Java system property or change the value of a Java system property inside our specification, then the change is kept as long as the JVM is running. We can make sure that changes to Java system properties are restored after a feature method has run. Spock offers the RestoreSystemProperties extension that saves the current Java system properties before a method is run and restores the values after the method is finished. We use the extension with the @RestoreSystemProperties annotation. The annotation can be applied at specification level or per feature method.

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Spocklight: Optimize Run Order Test Methods

Spock is able to change the execution order of test methods in a specification. We can tell Spock to re-run failing methods before successful methods. And if we have multiple failing or successful tests, than first run the fastest methods, followed by the slower methods. This way when we re-run the specification we immediately see the failing methods and could stop the execution and fix the errors. We must set the property optimizeRunOrder in the runner configuration of the Spock configuration file. A Spock configuration file with the name SpockConfig.groovy can be placed in the classpath of our test execution or in our USER_HOME/.spock directory. We can also use the Java system property spock.configuration and assign the filename of our Spock configuration file.

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Spocklight: Include or Exclude Specifications Based On Class or Interface

In a previous post we saw how can use the Spock configuration file to include or exclude specifications based on annotations. Instead of using annotations we can also use classes to include or exclude specifications. For example we could have a base specification class DatabaseSpecification. Other specifications dealing with databases extend this class. To include all these specifications we use the DatabaseSpecification as value for the include property for the test runner configuration.

Because Java (and Groovy) doesn’t support real multiple inheritance this might be a problem if we already have specifications that extends a base class, but the base class cannot be used as filter for the include and exclude runner configuration. Luckily we can also use an interface as the value for the inclusion or exclusion. So we could simple create a marker interface and implement this interface for these specifications we want to include or exclude from the test execution.

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Spocklight: Including or Excluding Specifications Based On Annotations

One of the lesser known and documented features of Spock if the external Spock configuration file. In this file we can for example specify which specifications to include or exclude from a test run. We can specify a class name (for example a base specification class, like DatabaseSpec) or an annotation. In this post we see how to use annotations to have some specifications run and others not.

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Spock: Using ConfineMetaClassChanges when using MetaClass mocking

One of the handy features of Groovy is to change the behavior of classes using MOP (Meta-Object Protocol). We change the metaClass property of a class to alter an implementation. You can for example override a static method of a class. See the example below:

However this way of mocking has a nasty side effect. Since we apply changes on the User on class level, the changes are also applied in all our other test cases. This can have some unexpected behavior in your other tests

To prevent this Spock has introduced the @ConfineMetaClassChanges annotation. This annotation makes sure the class will return to its original state when it was used in our test.

See the example below:

Be aware: this means when some other test did changes to the User class without using @ConfineMetaClassChanges, these changes will be still applicable when the test which has @ConfineMetaClassChanges restores the User class to its old state.