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Back-porting Rails 5 controller & integration tests into Rails 4
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LICENSE.txt Initial commit Jul 3, 2017


Backport Rails 5 style controller/integration testing syntax using kwargs to Rails 4. Supports minitest and rspec.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'rails-forward_compatible_controller_tests', require: false

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install rails-forward_compatible_controller_tests

At the appropriate spot in your test_helper.rb, spec_helper.rb, or similar file add the following line:

require 'rails/forward_compatible_controller_tests'

If using rspec, add the following lines to your rspec config:

config.include Rails::ForwardCompatibleControllerTests, type: :controller
config.include Rails::ForwardCompatibleControllerTests, type: :request


Allows you to simultaneously use the old and new syntax while making HTTP calls to your controllers in your test suite. So both:

get #{url_or_action}, params, headers
xhr :post, #{url_or_action}, params, headers


get #{url_or_action}, params: params, headers: headers
get #{url_or_action}, xhr: true, params: params, headers: headers

should work while you transition your test suite.

Modes of Operation

Deprecation warnings will appear by default when executing statements that utilize the old method. Deprecation warnings can be disabled by adding the following to your appropriate test helper:


The above is useful if you simply want to support the Rails 5 syntax. If instead you want to prevent new uses of the old syntax, add the following:


The above is useful when you're done coverting the syntax but are not yet ready to make the switch to Rails 5.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies.

This library uses Appraisal to run specs in Rails 4 and 5:

  • bundle exec appraisal actionpack-4.2 rake.
  • bundle exec appraisal actionpack-5.0 rake.

The library is a no-op when used with Rails 5 (it doesn't affect the implementation of controller tests). You can run the tests in Rails 5 mode to ensure that the behaviour native to Rails 5 is the same as the behaviour in Rails 4 with the library.

You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

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