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Getting started

As well as this package, you will need to download/install:

Composer dependencies file is included in this repository, so all you need to do for now on either Linux or Mac OS X is:

# Execute the following in your project root
# (or where composer.json is located)
# This will install composer for you
curl -s | php
# This will install dependencies required
php composer.phar install

To install PHPUnit:

# This will install PHPUnit
pear channel-discover
pear install phpunit/PHPUnit

To install Selenium:

# This will download selenium

Additional requirements

Because this testing framework is intended to be used with SilverStripe, you have to download and install it too. The minimum version required is 3.0. Recommended way to get started is to install from source, but it's really up to your preference.

No database content is required because it will be created automatically when needed.


admin_url and login_url should not be changed unless you customized them somehow.

Optional screenshot_path variable is used to store screenshot of a last known state of a failed step. It defaults to whatever is returned by PHP's sys_get_temp_dir(). Screenshot names within that directory consist of feature file filename and line number that failed.

# behat.yml
  # ...
      admin_url: /admin/
      login_url: /Security/login
      screenshot_path: features/screenshots/

Configuring extensions


You will probably need to change the base URL that is used during the test process. It is used every time you use relative URLs in your feature descriptions. It will also be used by file to URL mapping in SilverStripeExtension.

You also have to change files_path path when you want to support file uploads. Otherwise, you can remove it from the config. Currently only absolute paths are supported.

Only selenium2 sessions are supported at the moment, but default_session is the place to change it if you want to try other driver sessions like goutte.

# behat.yml
  # ...
        base_url:  http://localhost
        files_path: /absolute/path/to/files/
        default_session: selenium2
        selenium2: ~


You also can change the path to the SilverStripe framework with framework_path. It supports both absolute and relative (to behat.yml file) paths.

Because SilverStripe uses AJAX requests quite extensively, we had to invent a way to deal with them more efficiently and less verbose than just Optional ajax_steps is used to match steps defined there so they can be "caught" by special AJAX handlers that tweak the delays. You can either use a pipe delimited string or a list of substrings that match step definition.

# behat.yml
  # ...
      framework_path: ../../
      # ajax_steps: "go to|follow|press|click|submit"
        - go to
        - follow
        - press
        - click
        - submit

Additional profiles

By default, MinkExtension is using FirefoxDriver. Let's say you want to user ChromeDriver too.

You can either override the selenium2 setting in default profile or add another profile that can be run using bin/behat --profile=PROFILE_NAME, where PROFILE_NAME could be chrome.

            browserName: chrome
            version: ANY

Running tests

Starting the selenium server

You can either run the server in a separate Terminal tab:

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.25.0.jar

Or you can run it in the background:

java -jar selenium-server-standalone-2.25.0.jar > /dev/null &

Running the tests

You will have Behat binary located in bin directory in your project root (or where composer.json is located).

By default, Behat will use Selenium2 driver. Selenium will also try to use chrome browser. Refer to behat.yml for details.

# This will run all feature tests located in `features` directory

# This will run all feature tests using chrome profile
bin/behat --profile=chrome


Why does the module need to know about the framework path on the filesystem?

Sometimes SilverStripe needs to know the URL of your site. When you're visiting your site in a web browser this is easy to work out, but if you're executing scripts on the command-line, it has no way of knowing.

To work this out, this module is using file to URL mapping.

How does the module interact with the SS database?

The module creates temporary database on init and is switching to the alternative database session before every scenario by using /dev/tests/setdb TestRunner endpoint.

It also populates this temporary database with the default records if necessary.

It is possible to include your own fixtures, it is explained further.

How do I define fixtures?

Fixtures should be provided in YAML format (standard SilverStripe fixture format) as PyStrings

Take a look at the sample fixture logic first:

Given there are the following Permission records
    Code: ADMIN
And there are the following Group records
    Title: Admin Group
    Code: admin
    Permissions: =>Permission.admin
And there are the following Member records
    FirstName: Admin
    Groups: =>Group.admingroup

In this example, the fixture is used to create Admin member with admin permissions.

As you can see, there are special Gherkin steps that take care of loading fixtures into database. They use the following format:

Given there are the following TableName records
    ColumnName: Value

Fixtures may also use a => symbol to indicate relationships between records. In the example above =>Permission.admin will be replaced with row ID of a Permission record that has RowIdentifier set as admin.

When do fixtures get created?

Fixtures are created where you defined them. If you want the fixtures to be created before every scenario, define them in Background.

If you want them to be created only when a particular scenario runs, define them there.

When do fixtures get cleared during the feature runs?

Fixtures are usually not cleared between scenarios. You can alter this behaviour by tagging the feature or scenario with @database-defaults tag.

The module runner empties the database before each scenario tagged with @database-defaults and populates it with default records (usually a set of default pages).

How do I debug when something goes wrong?

First, read the console output. Behat will tell you which steps have failed.

SilverStripe Behaviour Testing Framework also notifies you about some events. It tries to catch some JavaScript errors and AJAX errors as well although it is limited to errors that occur after the page is loaded.

Screenshot will be taken by the module every time the step is marked as failed. Refer to configuration section above to know how to set up the screenshot path.

If you are unable to debug using the information collected with the above methods, it is possible to delay the step execution by adding the following step:

And I wait for "10000"

where 10000 is the number of millisecods you wish the session to wait. It is very useful when you want to look at the error or developer console inside the browser or if you want to interact with the session page manually.

Useful resources

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