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RAML-based automated testing tool

Build Status Dependency Status devDependency Status Coverage Status Gitter CII Best Practices

Abao is a command-line tool for testing API documentation written in RAML format against its back-end implementation. With Abao, you can easily plug your API documentation into a Continuous Integration (CI) system (e.g., Travis, Jenkins) and have API documentation up-to-date, all the time. Abao uses Mocha for judging if a particular API response is valid or not.



  • Verify that each endpoint defined in RAML exists in service
  • Verify that URL params for each endpoint defined in RAML are supported in service
  • Verify that the required query parameters defined in RAML are supported in service
  • Verify that HTTP request headers for each endpoint defined in RAML are supported in service
  • Verify that HTTP request body for each endpoint defined in RAML is supported in service, via JSONSchema validation
  • Verify that HTTP response headers for each endpoint defined in RAML are supported in service
  • Verify that HTTP response body for each endpoint defined in RAML is supported in service, via JSONSchema validation

RAML Support

This version of the software only supports the RAML-0.8 specification.


Install stable version of full package globally.

$ npm install -g abao

A trimmed down version (without developer dependencies) can be installed for production usage.

$ npm install --only=prod -g abao

Install latest development version in GitHub branch

$ npm install -g github:cybertk/abao

If you get an EACCES error, see this NPM documentation.

Get Started Testing Your API

For general usage, an API endpoint (i.e., web service to be tested) must be specified; this can be done implicitly or explicitly, with the latter having priority. If the RAML file to be tested provides a baseUri property, the API endpoint is implicitly set to that value.

$ abao api.raml

To explicitly specify the API endpoint, use the --server argument.

$ abao api.raml --server http://localhost:8080

Writing testable RAML

Abao validates the HTTP response body against schema defined in RAML. No response body will be returned if the corresponding RAML schema is missing. However, the response status code can always be verified, regardless.


Abao can be configured to use hookfiles to do basic setup/teardown between each validation (specified with the --hookfiles flag). Hookfiles can be written in either JavaScript or CoffeeScript, and must import the hook methods.

NOTE: CoffeeScript files must use file extension .coffee.

Requests are identified by their name, which is derived from the structure of the RAML. You can print a list of the generated names with the --names flag.


The RAML file used in the examples below can be found here.

Get Names:

$ abao machines-single_get.raml --names
GET /machines -> 200

Abao can generate a hookfile to help validate more than just the response code for each path.

$ ABAO_HOME="/path/to/node_modules/abao"
$ TEMPLATE="${ABAO_HOME}/templates/hookfile.js"
$ abao machines-single_get.raml --generate-hooks --template="${TEMPLATE}" > test_machines_hooks.js

Then edit the JavaScript hookfile test_machines_hooks.js created in the previous step to add request parameters and response validation logic.

  hooks = require('hooks'),
  assert = require('chai').assert;

hooks.before('GET /machines -> 200', function (test, done) {
  test.request.query = {
    color: 'red'

hooks.after('GET /machines -> 200', function (test, done) {
  machine = test.response.body[0];

Alternately, write the same hookfile in CoffeeScript named

{before, after} = require 'hooks'
{assert} = require 'chai'

before 'GET /machines -> 200', (test, done) ->
  test.request.query =
    color: 'red'

after 'GET /machines -> 200', (test, done) ->
  machine = test.response.body[0]

Run validation with JavaScript hookfile (from above):

$ abao machines-single_get.raml --hookfiles=test_machines_hooks.js

You can also specify what tests Abao should skip:

  hooks = require('hooks');

hooks.skip('DELETE /machines/{machineId} -> 204');

Abao supports callbacks for intro and outro (coda) of all tests, as well as before/after each test:

{beforeAll, beforeEach, afterEach, afterAll} = require 'hooks'

beforeAll (done) ->
  # runs one-time setup before all tests (intro)

beforeEach (done) ->
  # runs generic setup before any test-specific 'before()`

afterEach (done) ->
  # runs generic teardown after any test-specific 'after()'

afterAll (done) ->
  # do one-time teardown after all tests (coda)

If beforeEach, afterEach, before and after are called multiple times, the callbacks are executed serially in the order they were called.

Abao provides hook to allow the content of the response to be checked within the test:

{test} = require 'hooks'
{assert} = require 'chai'

test 'GET /machines -> 200', (response, body, done) ->
  assert.deepEqual JSON.parse(body), ['machine1', 'machine2']
  assert.equal headers['content-type'], 'application/json; charset=utf-8'
  return done()


  • server - Server address, provided by command line option or parsed from RAML baseUri.
  • path - API endpoint path, parsed from RAML.
  • method - HTTP method, parsed from RAML request method (e.g., get).
  • params - URI parameters, parsed from RAML request uriParameters [default: {}].
  • query - Object containing querystring values to be appended to the path. Parsed from RAML queryParameters section [default: {}].
  • headers - HTTP headers, parsed from RAML headers [default: {}].
  • body - Entity body for POST, PUT, and PATCH requests. Must be a JSON-serializable object. Parsed from RAML example [default: {}].


  • status - Expected HTTP response code, parsed from RAML response status.
  • schema - Expected schema of HTTP response body, parsed from RAML response schema.
  • headers - Object containing HTTP response headers from server [default: {}].
  • body - HTTP response body (JSON-format) from server [default: null].

Command Line Options

  abao </path/to/raml> [OPTIONS]

  abao api.raml --server

Options passed to Mocha:
  --grep, -g      Only run tests matching <pattern>                     [string]
  --invert, -i    Invert --grep matches                                [boolean]
  --reporter, -R  Specify reporter to use             [string] [default: "spec"]
  --timeout, -t   Set test case timeout in milliseconds [number] [default: 2000]

  --generate-hooks  Output hooks generated from template file and exit [boolean]
  --header, -h      Add header to include in each request. Header must be in
                    KEY:VALUE format (e.g., "-h Accept:application/json").
                    Reuse option to add multiple headers                [string]
  --hookfiles, -f   Specify pattern to match files with before/after hooks for
                    running tests                                       [string]
  --hooks-only, -H  Run test only if defined either before or after hooks
  --names, -n       List names of requests and exit                    [boolean]
  --reporters       Display available reporters and exit               [boolean]
  --schemas         Specify pattern to match schema files to be loaded for use
                    as JSON refs                                        [string]
  --server          Specify API endpoint to use. The RAML-specified baseUri
                    value will be used if not provided                  [string]
  --sorted          Sorts requests in a sensible way so that objects are not
                    modified before they are created.
                    Order: CONNECT, OPTIONS, POST, GET, HEAD, PUT, PATCH,
                    DELETE, TRACE.                                     [boolean]
  --template        Specify template file to use for generating hooks   [string]
  --help            Show usage information and exit                    [boolean]
  --version         Show version number and exit                       [boolean]

Run Tests

$ npm test


Abao is always looking for new ideas to make the codebase useful. If you think of something that would make life easier, please submit an issue.

$ npm issues abao