Verifying pacts

Rashi Agarwal edited this page Jul 6, 2018 · 23 revisions

Verifying pacts

"Verifying a pact" is the second step of the Pact testing process. Each request in the pact file is replayed against the provider, and the response that is returned is compared with the expected response in the pact file, and if the two match, then we know the consumer and provider are compatible.

To verify a pact, we must:

  1. Configure the location of the pact to be verified. This can be a HTTP URL, or a local file system path.
  2. Set up the data for the provider states.
  3. Optionally, configure the service provider app that will be used to run the requests against.

Using rake pact:verify

Using the pact:verify task is the most common way to verify pacts. This is where you configure the default set of pacts that your service provider should honour.

It is made available by requiring 'pact/tasks' in your Rakefile.

# In Rakefile
require 'pact/tasks'

# Remember to add it to your default Rake task
task :default => 'pact:verify'

The pacts that will be verified by the pact:verify task are configured in the pact_helper.rb file in your provider codebase. The file must be called pact_helper.rb, however there is some flexibility in where it can be stored. The recommended place is spec/service_consumers/pact_helper.rb.

To ensure that the latest version of the consumer pact is used each time, it is recommended that you either use a Pact Broker or that you publish the pacts of a successful consumer build as artefacts in your CI system.

Note: Pact uses Rack::Test, and assumes that your service provider will be a Rack app. See below for options if your provider is not a Rack app.

# In specs/service_consumers/pact_helper.rb

require 'pact/provider/rspec'

# Require the provider states files for each service consumer
require 'service_consumers/provider_states_for_my_service_consumer'

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do

  # Optional app configuration. Pact loads the app from by default 
  # (it is recommended to let Pact use the if possible, so testing 
  # conditions are closest to runtime conditions)
  app { }

  honours_pact_with 'My Service Consumer' do

    # This example points to a local file, however, on a real project with a continuous
    # integration box, you would publish your pacts as artifacts,
    # and point the pact_uri to the pact published by the last successful build.

    pact_uri '../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json'

  # This block is repeated for every pact that this provider should be verified against.
  honours_pact_with 'Some other Service Consumer' do

With basic auth

To verify a pact from a URL that requires basic auth, add username and password options:

  pact_uri 'http://...', {username: '...', password: '...'}

Fetching pacts from a pact broker

To verify pacts with the specific tag(s):

  honours_pacts_from_pact_broker do
    # Base URL of pact broker is mandatory
    # {basic auth username and password} are optional parameters
    pact_broker_base_url 'http://...', {username: '...', password: '...'}

    # Array of tags to fetch pacts. 
    # name: name of the tag
    # all: it takes the boolean value true|false. Defaults to false.
    #      To fetch all the pacts for a tag, set it to true. 
    #      To fetch only the latest pact, set it to false.
    # fallback: In case, the tag does not exist, it will fetch pacts for the fallback-tag. This is an optional 
    #           parameter.
    consumer_version_tags [{name: 'tag-name', all: false, fallback: 'fallback-tag-name'}]

Publishing verification results to a pact broker

If you are using version 1.11.0 or later of the pact gem and 2.0.0 or later of the pact broker, you can automatically publish the results of pact verifications back to the broker by setting the app_version and publish_verification_results options in your service provider configuration. The recommended way to do this so that you only publish verifications from your CI is:

# Ensure your provider application version enables you to trace back to an exact
# state of your provider codebase.
# The easiest way to do this is to include the build number (or a SHA) in your version.
build_number = ENV.fetch('BUILD_NUMBER','dev')
publish_flag = !!ENV['BUILD_NUMBER']

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
  app_version "1.3.#{build_number}"
  publish_verification_results publish_flag

If your pact URL includes basic auth configurations for the pact broker, these will be used to publish the verification.

Verifying a pact at any URL using rake pact:verify:at

You can verify a pact at any arbitrary local or remote URL using the pact:verify:at task. This is useful when you are developing the consumer and provider concurrently, and wish to verify the pact you have just generated in the consumer code base. It will use the same pact_helper file as pact:verify.

$ rake pact:verify:at[../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json]
$ rake pact:verify:at[http://build-box/MyConsumerBuild/latestSuccessful/artifacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json]

With basic auth, set the environment variables PACT_BROKER_USERNAME and PACT_BROKER_PASSWORD, or use the basic auth URL format, http://username:password@pactbroker.yourdomain/....

Using a custom pact:verify task

To make a shortcut task for verifying a pact an arbitrary URL that you do not want to verify as part of your normal pact:verify task, (eg. when you are developing the consumer and provider side by side, and want a shorter feedback cycle than can be provided by by your CI box) add the following to your Rakefile. The pact.uri may be a local file system path or a remote URL.

# In Rakefile or /tasks/pact.rake

# This creates a rake task that can be executed by running
# $ rake pact:verify:dev do | task |
  task.uri '../path-to-your-consumer-project/specs/pacts/my_consumer-my_provider.json'

With basic auth, set the environment variables PACT_BROKER_USERNAME and PACT_BROKER_PASSWORD, or use the basic auth URL format, http://username:password@pactbroker.yourdomain/....

Verifying one interaction at a time

At some stage, you'll want to be able to run your specs one at a time while you implement each feature. At the bottom of the failed pact:verify output you will see the commands to rerun each failed interaction individually. A command to run just one interaction will look like this:

$ rake pact:verify PACT_DESCRIPTION="a request for something" PACT_PROVIDER_STATE="something exists"

Modifying the request with live data

Some times you may need to modify the request with data that you only know at run time, like authentication data. If you can't stub the authentication in your rack app, then you can use a proxy app as follows.

class ProxyApp

  def initialize real_provider_app
    @real_provider_app = real_provider_app

  def call env
    # Modify request hash (env) here
    # See for contents of the env
    # To see the env contents in the console while you run the verification, do a `puts env`
    response =
    # Modify response here
    # A rack response is a 3 item array in the format [status, headers_hash, body_iterable]
    # eg. [200, {"Content-Type" => "text/plain"}, ["Hello world"]]

Pact.service_provider "My Service Provider" do
  app { }

Be very careful here that you are only changing existing data in the request - if you add something that the consumer did not actually send in the request, then the request may fail in real life because the consumer does not know it needs to be sent.

Verifying pacts for non-Rack apps

Ruby apps

If your app is a non-Rack Ruby app, you may be able to find a Rack adapter for it. If you can do this, then configure the app in the Pact.service_provider block to point to an instance of your adapter. Otherwise, use the pact-provider-verifier gem.

JVM apps

Use pact-jvm.

Other apps

Use the pact-provider-verifier gem

Configuring RSpec

Pact uses dynamically created RSpec specs to verify pacts. If you want to modify the behaviour of the underlying RSpec execution, you can:

  1. Configure RSpec in the pact_helper using the normal RSpec.configure code.
  2. Set task.rspec_opts in your custom rake VerificationTask, the same way you would with a normal RSpec rake task declaration.

For future proofing though, try to use the provider state set_up/tear_down blocks where you can, because we may swap out RSpec for custom verification code in the future.

Pact Helper location

The search paths for the pact_helper are:

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