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Mimic

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Mimic is a module for Kohana Framework v3.2 and up that allows easy mocking and testing of an application's interaction with external web services.

If you've used the VCR module for Ruby, you'll recognise the concept. By default, Mimic intercepts all external requests and throws an exception. When recording mode is enabled, Mimic executes the external request and records the response (complete with headers and response status) to disk. Future requests to the external resource will return the response that has been stored on disk, allowing increased performance and more importantly an idempotent implementation of unit and functional tests with a minimum of configuration or mocking code.

Matching requests

Outgoing requests can be matched by a variety of characteristics:

  • URL
  • HTTP Method
  • URI Parameters
  • Request Headers

By default, Mimic records all of these. The recording files can then be easily modified to allow looser matching of requests (useful if you want to return the same response in multiple request scenarios).

Scenarios

Mimic supports multiple named scenarios (nothing more complex than a separate set of disk paths where request/response files are stored) so that you can model different behaviour for the same request URL - for example an error condition, or the difference between authenticated and anonymous requests. This is broadly equivalent to VCR's "Cassettes".

Tweaking responses

Requests and responses are stored in easily editable formats, allowing you to tweak both the request and response for a variety of scenarios. For example, you might want to customise the response to fake an error condition that is difficult to trigger from the client side.

By default, responses with supported content types (currently XML and JSON) will be passed through a formatter before saving. The formatter adds additional whitespace so that responses are human-readable and more easily edited, diffed, etc.

If you are performing authenticated requests or accessing non-public content, you should always review the recording files by hand and remove any passwords, authentication tokens or private content before committing to a source code repository!

Verifying application behaviour

In addition to replaying "canned" responses, Mimic keeps a history of requests executed and responses returned. You can access the history from your test cases to verify:

  • That an expected pattern of requests were sent (for example, that a given parameter was present in an outbound query string)
  • That an expected number of requests were sent
  • Pretty much anything else you can think of.

Unit Tests

Mimic is fully unit tested (PHPUnit tests are included in this repository). The tests make use of the vfsStream virtual filesystem library for mocking and verifying file system interactions.

To run the tests on a standard Kohana installation (with the unittest module) just run the following from the base folder:

phpunit --bootstrap=modules/unittest/bootstrap.php --group=mimic modules/unittest/tests.php

The Mimic test suite also runs continuously on Travis CI against the current codebase. Helper scripts are provided in the dev/ folder to create a sandbox with up to date Kohana core and required modules.

Further Documentation

Is included with the module, integrated into the Kohana online userguide.

Roadmap and stability

Mimic is currently under initial development. Intended functionality includes:

  • Formatter support for Javascript and HTML.
  • Support for matching on body content of POST/PUT requests
  • PHPUnit base testcase class integrating Mimic and offering common assertions
  • A self-contained Kohana application using Mimic to power a proxy server controlled through an API. This can be used for isolated functional testing with tools like Behat (the proxy will come with a set of useful Behat step definitions). You will configure your server's internet routing table to pass all outbound requests to the Mimic Proxy, meaning your production application code can be fully exercised against a set of mocked web request/responses and allowing you to share web scenarios between unit and functional tests.

Licence

Mimic © 2011 Ingenerator and is released under the Kohana Licence

Issues and contributions

Bug reports and feature requests are welcome via the project's Github issue tracker, preferably with a pull request attached.

Pull requests should:

  • be targeted against the relevant develop branch
  • be contained in a separate topic/bug branch in your forked respository (in case further commits are required to complete your solution)
  • generally speaking, include a unit test or new dataset for an existing test that fails before your new code is merged and passes afterwards
  • adopt the Kohana coding standards
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