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Quick Start Example

Spring DBUnit provides integration between the Spring test framework and the DBUnit project. In this example we show how to test a Hibernate JPA project using a Hypersonic in-memory database.


This project will be built using Apache Maven. Here is the complete POM file with all of the dependencies that we will need:

4.0.0 example spring-dbunit-example 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT 3.0.5.RELEASE 3.5.6-Final jboss true false org.apache.maven.plugins maven-compiler-plugin 2.3.1 1.5 1.5 org.springframework spring-context ${spring.version} org.springframework spring-jdbc ${spring.version} org.springframework spring-orm ${spring.version} org.hibernate hibernate-annotations ${hibernate.core.version} org.hibernate hibernate-entitymanager ${hibernate.core.version} org.springframework spring-test ${spring.version} test org.dbunit dbunit 2.4.8 jar test org.springframework.test.dbunit spring-test-dbunit 0.0.1-SNAPSHOT org.slf4j slf4j-log4j12 1.5.2 test junit junit 4.8.1 test org.hsqldb hsqldb 2.0.0 test


For this simple project we will create a single “Person” Entity with attributes for their title, first name and last name. We will also declare a query that we will make use of later.

package example.entity;

import javax.persistence.Entity; import javax.persistence.Id; import javax.persistence.NamedQueries; import javax.persistence.NamedQuery;

@Entity @NamedQueries({ @NamedQuery(name = "Person.find", query = "SELECT p from Person p where p.firstName like :name " + "or p.lastName like :name") }) public class Person {

private int id;

private String title;

private String firstName;

private String lastName;

public int getId() {
    return id;

public String getTitle() {
    return title;

public void setTitle(String title) {
    this.title = title;

public String getFirstName() {
    return firstName;

public void setFirstName(String firstName) {
    this.firstName = firstName;

public String getLastName() {
    return lastName;

public void setLastName(String lastName) {
    this.lastName = lastName;


We also need to setup a persistence.xml file for hibernate to use:

org.hibernate.ejb.HibernatePersistence example.entity.Person


We need to have something to test so we’ll create a simple service that lets us search our Person entity using the named query from above:

package example.service;

import java.util.List;

import javax.persistence.EntityManager; import javax.persistence.PersistenceContext; import javax.persistence.Query;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Service; import org.springframework.transaction.annotation.Transactional;

import example.entity.Person;

@Service @Transactional public class PersonService {

private EntityManager entityManager;

public List<Person> find(String name) {
    Query query = entityManager.createNamedQuery("Person.find");
    query.setParameter("name", "%"+name+"%");
    return query.getResultList();



To make sure that our service is working we need to create a JUnit test. Here is the basic structure of the test class:

package example.service;

import static junit.framework.Assert.assertEquals;

import java.util.List;

import org.junit.Test; import org.junit.runner.RunWith; import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired; import org.springframework.test.context.ContextConfiguration; import org.springframework.test.context.TestExecutionListeners; import org.springframework.test.context.junit4.SpringJUnit4ClassRunner; import; import org.springframework.test.dbunit.DbUnitTestExecutionListener; import org.springframework.test.dbunit.annotation.DatabaseSetup; import org.springframework.test.dbunit.annotation.ExpectedDatabase;

import example.entity.Person;

@RunWith(SpringJUnit4ClassRunner.class) @ContextConfiguration @TestExecutionListeners({ DependencyInjectionTestExecutionListener.class, DbUnitTestExecutionListener.class }) public class PersonServiceTest {

private PersonService personService;


As the test is using the SpringJUnit4ClassRunner we also need a context xml configuration file. Here we tell spring to scan for beans and we also setup Hibernate and the in-memory database.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<context:component-scan base-package="example" />
<tx:annotation-driven transaction-manager="transactionManager" />

<bean id="dataSource"
    <property name="driverClassName" value="org.hsqldb.jdbcDriver" />
    <property name="url" value="jdbc:hsqldb:mem:paging" />
    <property name="username" value="sa" />
    <property name="password" value="" />

<bean id="entityManagerFactory"
    <property name="dataSource" ref="dataSource" />
    <property name="jpaDialect">
        <bean class="org.springframework.orm.jpa.vendor.HibernateJpaDialect"/>

<bean id="transactionManager" class="org.springframework.orm.jpa.JpaTransactionManager">
    <property name="entityManagerFactory" ref="entityManagerFactory" />

We can now create a test method to check that the service can find entities:

@Test public void testFind() throws Exception { List personList = personService.find("hil"); assertEquals(1, personList.size()); assertEquals("Phillip", personList.get(0).getFirstName()); }

At this point the test should fail because the returned personList contains 0 items. To make sure that the test passes we need to insert some database data. This is where DBUnit comes in. You may have noticed that the TestExecutionListeners annotation includes a reference to DbUnitTestExecutionListener. This means that we can use the @DatabaseSetup annotation on the test method to configure the database from a flat XML file. The xml file follows the standard DBUnit conventions:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

@Test @DatabaseSetup("sampleData.xml") public void testFind() throws Exception { List personList = personService.find("hil"); assertEquals(1, personList.size()); assertEquals("Phillip", personList.get(0).getFirstName()); }

DBUnit should now execute before the test method runs to insert appropriate data into the database. As a result the test should pass.

Testing expected data

As well as configuring the database before a test runs it is also possible to verify database set after the test completes. Let’s update our service with a method to remove entities:

... public class PersonService { ... public void remove(int personId) { Person person = entityManager.find(Person.class, personId); entityManager.remove(person); } ...

The method to test if remove works can use the @ExpectedDatabase annotation. This will use DBUnit to ensure that the database contains expected data after the test method has finshed.

@Test @DatabaseSetup("sampleData.xml") @ExpectedDatabase("expectedData.xml") public void testRemove() throws Exception { personService.remove(1); }

The sampleData.xml file is shown below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


This quick introduction has shown how Spring DBUnit can be used to setup a database and verify expected content using simple annotations.

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