Easy model creation/reference in cucumber - optionally leveraging your factories/blueprints
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Pickle gives you cucumber steps that create your models easily from factory-girl or machinist factories/blueprints. You can also just use ActiveRecord but it's not as cool.

References to the models are stored, not necessarily for the purpose of checking the db (although you could use it for that), but for enabling easy reference to urls, and for building complex givens which require a bunch of models collaborating


It's tested against all stable branches of 2.x rails, and edge, with the latest versions of rspec, cucumber, factory_girl, machinist.


Install pickle either as a rails plugin, or a gem

# plugin
script/plugin install git://github.com/ianwhite/pickle.git

# or, plugin as submodule
git submodule add git://github.com/ianwhite/pickle.git vendor/plugins/pickle

# or, gem
sudo gem install ianwhite-pickle

Get Started

(you'd better install cucumber)

script/generate pickle [paths] [email]

Now have a look at features/step_definitions/pickle_steps.rb

If you want path steps and email steps then just add 'paths' and/or 'email'. The code/steps will be written to features/env/paths.rb and features/step_definitions/email_steps.rb respectively.

Using with plain ole Active Record

If you have an AR called 'Post', with required fields 'title', and 'body', then you can now write steps like this

Given a post exists with title: "My Post", body: "My body"

Using with factory-girl or machinist

But you're using Machinist or FactoryGirl right?! To leverage all of the factories/blueprints you've written, you can just do stuff like

Given a user exists
And another user exists with role: "admin"

# later
Then a user should exist with name: "Fred"
And that user should be activated # this uses rspec predicate matchers

Machinst: require your blueprints and reset Shams

(The latest version of pickle supports multiple blueprints, for earlier versions of machinist use pickle <= 0.1.10)

In your features/support/env.rb add the following lines at the bottom

require "#{Rails.root}/spec/blueprints" # or wherever they live
Before { Sham.reset } # reset Shams in between scenarios

Configuring Pickle

You can tell pickle to use another factory adapter (see Pickle::Adapter), or create mappings from english expressions to pickle model names. You can also override many of the options on the Pickle::Config object if you so choose

require 'pickle/world'

Pickle.configure do |config|
  config.adapters = [:machinist, YourOwnAdapterClass]
  config.map 'me', 'myself', 'my', 'I', :to => 'user: "me"'



When you run script/generate pickle you get the following steps

Given steps

“Given a model exists”, e.g.

Given a user exists
Given a user: "fred" exists
Given the user exists

“Given a model exists with fields”, e.g.

Given a user exists with name: "Fred"
Given a user exists with name: "Fred", activated: false

You can refer to other models in the fields

Given a user exists
And a post exists with author: the user

Given a person: "fred" exists
And a person: "ethel" exists
And a fatherhood exists with parent: user "fred", child: user "ethel"

“Given n models exist”, e.g.

Given 10 users exist

“Given n models exist with fields”, examples:

Given 10 users exist with activated: false

Then steps

Asserting existence of models

“Then a model should exist”, e.g.

Then a user should exist

“Then a model should exist with fields”, e.g.

Then a user: "fred" should exist with name: "Fred" # we can label the found user for later use

You can use other models, booleans, numerics, and strings as fields

Then a person should exist with child: person "ethel"
Then a user should exist with activated: false
Then a user should exist with activated: true, email: "fred@gmail.com"

“Then n models should exist”, e.g.

Then 10 events should exist

“Then n models should exist with fields”, e.g.

Then 2 people should exist with father: person "fred"
Asserting associations

One-to-one assocs: “Then a model should be other model's association”, e.g.

Then the person: "fred" should be person: "ethel"'s father

Many-to-one assocs: “Then a model should be [in|one of] other model's association”, e.g.

Then the person: "ethel" should be one of person: "fred"'s children
Then the comment should be in the post's comments
Asserting predicate methods

“Then a model should [be|have] [a|an] predicate”, e.g.

Then the user should have a status # => user.status?.should == true
Then the car: "batmobile" should be fast # => car.fast?.should == true

“Then a model should [be|have] [a|an] predicate”, e.g.

Then person: "fred" should not be childless # => fred.childless?.should == false

Regexps for use in your own steps

By default you get some regexps available in the main namespace for use in creating your own steps: `capture_model`, `capture_fields`, and others (see lib/pickle.rb)

(You can use any of the regexps that Pickle uses by using the Pickle.parser namespace, see Pickle::Parser::Matchers for the methods available)


Given /^#{capture_model} exists$/ do |model_name|
  model(model_name).should_not == nil

Then /^I should be at the (.*?) page$/ |page|
  if page =~ /#{capture_model}'s/
    # ...

Then /^#{capture_model} should be one of #{capture_model}'s posts$/ do |post, forum|
  model(forum).posts.should include(post)


This is useful for setting attributes, and knows about pickle model names so that you can build up composite objects with ease

Given /^#{capture_model} exists with #{capture_fields}$/ do |model_name, fields|
  create_model(model_name, fields)

# example of use
Given a user exists
And a post exists with author: the user # this step will assign the above user as :author on the post