We strongly encourage developers to apply TDD. Not only as a test tool but as a design tool.

Run tests

Tuleap comes with a handy test environment, based on SimpleTest. File organization:

  • Core tests (for things in src directory) can be found in tests/simpletest directory with same subdirectory organization (eg. src/common/frs/FRSPackage.class.php tests are in tests/simpletest/common/frs/FRSPackageTest.php).
  • Plugins tests are in each plugin tests directory (eg. plugins/tracker/include/Tracker.class.php tests are in plugins/tracker/tests/TrackerTest.php).

To run tests you can either use:

  • the web interface available at http://localhost/plugins/tests/ (given localhost is your development server)
  • the CLI interface: make tests (at the root of the sources). You can run a file or a directory: php tests/bin/simpletest plugins/docman

Run tests with docker

We have docker images to run unit tests on all environments:

  • centos6 + php 5.3: enalean/tuleap-simpletest:c6-php53
  • centos6 + php 5.6: enalean/tuleap-simpletest:c6-php56

Basically, executing tests is as simple as, from root of Tuleap sources:

$> docker run --rm=true -v $PWD:/tuleap enalean/tuleap-simpletest:c6-php53 \
    /tuleap/tests/simpletest /tuleap/tests/integration /tuleap/plugins

If there is only one file or directory you are interested in:

$> docker run --rm=true -v $PWD:/tuleap enalean/tuleap-simpletest:c6-php53 --nodb \


Please note the –nodb switch, it allows a faster start when there is no DB involved.

REST tests

There is also a docker image for REST tests:

$> docker run --rm -ti -v $PWD:/usr/share/tuleap enalean/tuleap-test-rest:c6-php53-httpd22-mysql51
# Also exists for php 5.6:
$> docker run --rm -ti -v $PWD:/usr/share/tuleap enalean/tuleap-test-rest:c6-php56-httpd24-mysql56

How to debug tests

Docker containers are stopped and removed once the tests are finished. In case of failure, if you want to debug things, you may need to start manually the container in order to parse logs for example.

$> docker run --rm -ti -v $PWD:/usr/share/tuleap enalean/tuleap-test-rest:c6-php53-httpd22-mysql51 bash
$root@d4601e92ca3f> /usr/share/tuleap/tests/rest/bin/setup.sh
$root@d4601e92ca3f> /usr/share/tuleap/vendor/bin/phpunit \
    --include-path '/usr/share/tuleap/src/www/include:/usr/share/tuleap/src' \
    -d date.timezone=Europe/Paris \

In another terminal, you can attach to this running container:

$> docker exec -ti <name-of-the-container> bash
$root@d4601e92ca3f> tail -f /var/log/httpd/error_log

Organize your tests

All the tests related to one class (therefore to one file) should be kept in one test file (src/common/foo/Bar.class.php tests should be in tests/simpletest/common/foo/BarTest.php). However, we strongly encourage you to split test cases in several classes to leverage on setUp.

class Bar_IsAvailableTest extends TuleapTestCase {
    //... Will test Bar->isAvailable() public method

class Bar_ComputeDistanceTest extends TuleapTestCase {
    //... Will test Bar->computeDistance() public method

Of course, it’s by no mean mandatory and always up to the developer to judge if it’s relevant or not to split tests in several classes. A good indicator would be that you can factorize most of tests set up in the setUp() method. But if the setUp() contains things that are only used by some tests, it’s probably a sign that those tests (and corresponding methods) should be in a dedicated class.

Write a test

What makes a good test:

  • It’s simple
  • It has an explicit name that fully describes what is tested
  • It tests only ONE thing at a time

Differences with simpletest:

  • tests methods can start with itXxx keyword instead of testXxx. Example:
public function itThrowsAnExceptionWhenCalledWithNull()

On top of simpletest we added a bit of syntactic sugar to help writing readable tests. Most of those helpers are meant to help dealing with mock objects.


class Bar_IsAvailableTest extends TuleapTestCase

    public function itThrowsAnExceptionWhenCalledWithNull()
        $bar = new Bar();

    public function itIsAvailableIfItHasMoreThan3Elements()
        $foo = mock('Foo');
        // Syntaxic sugar for :
        // $foo = new MockFoo();
        // $foo->setReturnValue('count', 4);

        $bar = new Bar();

    public function itIsNotAvailableIfItHasLessThan3Elements()
        $foo = stub('Foo')->count()->returns(2);

        $bar = new Bar();

Available syntaxic sugars:

$foo = mock('Foo');
stub($foo)->bar($arg1, $arg2)->returns(123);
stub($foo)->bar($arg1, $arg2)->once();
stub($foo)->bar(arg1, arg2)->at(2);

See details and more helpers in plugins/tests/www/MockBuilder.php.

Helpers and database


A bit of vocabulary

Interactions between Tuleap and the database should be done via DataAccessObject (aka. dao) objects (see src/common/dao/include/DataAccessObject.class.php) A dao that returns rows from database wrap the result in a DataAccessResult (aka. dar) object (see src/common/dao/include/DataAccessResult.class.php)

Tuleap test helpers ease interaction with database objects. If you need to interact with a query result you can use mock’s returnsDar(), returnsEmptyDar() and returnsDarWithErrors().

public function itDemonstrateHowToUseReturnsDar()

    $project_id = 15;
    $project    = stub('Project')->getId()->returns($project_id);

    $dao        = stub('FooBarDao')->searchByProjectId($project_id)->returnsDar(
            'id'  => 1
            'name' => 'foo'
            'id'  => 2
            'name' => 'klong'

    $some_factory = new Some_Factory($dao);
    $some_stuff   = $some_factory->getByProject($project);
    $this->assertEqual($some_stuff[0]->getId(), 1);
    $this->assertEqual($some_stuff[1]->getId(), 2);


Keep tests clean, small and readable is a key for maintainability (and avoid writing crappy tests). A convenient way to simplify tests is to use Builder Pattern to wrap build of complex objects.

Note: this is not an alternative to partial mocks and should be used only on “Data” objects (logic less, transport objects). It’s not a good idea to create a builder for a factory or a manager.

At time of writing, there are 2 builders in Core aUser.php and aRequest.php:

public function itDemonstrateHowToUseUserAndRequest()

    $current_user = aUser()->withId(12)->withUserName('John Doe')->build();
    $new_user     = aUser()->withId(655957)->withUserName('Usain Bolt')->build();

    $request = aRequest()
        ->withParam('func', 'add_user')
        ->withParam('user_id', 655957)

    $some_manager = new Some_Manager($request);

There are plenty of builders in plugins/tracker/tests/builders and you are strongly encouraged to add new one when relevant.

Integration tests for REST API of plugins

If your new plugin provides some new REST routes, you should implement new integration tests. These tests must be put in the tests/rest/ directory of your plugin.

If you want more details about integration tests for REST, go have a look at tuleap/tests/rest/README.md.