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Mimic is a module for Kohana 3 that allows easy mocking and testing of an application's interaction with external web services (like VCR for Ruby)
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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).

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.

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.

Roadmap and stability

Mimic is currently under initial development. Intended functionality includes:

  • Allowing multiple "mime" scenarios (equivalent to VCR's "Cassettes") where the same requests will return different responses - for example to separately test behaviour under normal or fault conditions, or to handle authenticated and anonymous access.
  • "Prettifying" responses of known content types (HTML, XML, JSON) to ease editing them by hand if they would normally be served minified by the external application.
  • 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.
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