An XQuery test framework for MarkLogic
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xray is a framework for writing XQuery unit tests on MarkLogic Server. Version 2.0 uses function annotations to define tests, and requires MarkLogic 6 or above. For MarkLogic 5 support use the v1.1 branch.

Test cases are written as standard XQuery functions like this:

declare %test:case function string-equality-example ()
  let $foo := "foo"
  return assert:equal($foo, "foo")

xray can output test results as HTML, XML, xUnit compatible XML, JSON, and plain text, so it should be simple to integrate with your favourite build/ci server.

Getting Started

  • Clone/copy/symlink xray into the root directory of your project e.g.
    git clone git://
    git submodule add git://
  • Create an HTTP app server pointing to the root directory of your project.
  • Check all is well at http://server:port/xray/
  • Write some tests..

Writing Tests

Tests are grouped into library modules in the xray test namespace. Import the xray assertions module along with the modules to be tested.

xquery version "1.0-ml";
module namespace test = "";
import module namespace assert = "" at "/xray/src/assertions.xqy";

import module namespace some-module = "http://some-module-to-test" at "/some-module-to-test.xqy";

declare %test:case function string-equality-example ()
  let $foo := some-module:foo()
  return assert:equal($foo, "foo")

declare %test:case function multiple-assert-example ()
  let $foo := some-module:foo()
  let $bar := "bar"
  return (
    assert:not-empty($foo, "an optional failure help message"),
    assert:equal($foo, "foo"),
    assert:not-equal($foo, $bar),

declare %test:ignore function ignored-test-example ()
  let $foo := some-module:not-implemented-yet()
  return assert:equal($foo, <foo/>)

Invoking Tests

xray will find all functions with the %test:case annotation defined in library modules within a specific directory (including sub-directories), and can be told to execute a subset by specifying regex patterns to match tests by module name or test name.

  • browser - http://server:port/xray/
  • command line - call with your project parameters (see below, tested on OSX only).
  • invoke from xquery - import src/xray.xqy and call xray:run-tests(). See index.xqy for example.

By default, xray looks for a directory called test at the same level as the xray directory:

├── src
├── test
│   └── tests.xqy
└── xray

To invoke tests stored elsewhere, set the directory parameter.

Test Runner Command Line Parameters

usage: [options...]
      -c <user:password>    Credential for HTTP authentication.
      -d <path>             Look for tests in this directory.
      -h                    This message.
      -m <regex>            Test modules that match this pattern.
      -t <regex>            Test functions that match this pattern.
      -u <URL>              HTTP server location where index.xqy can be found.

Test Runner Shortcut

Rather than modify or always pass in custom parameters, it's handy to create a small wrapper script in the project root, something like this:

./xray/ -u http://localhost:8765/xray/ -c user:pass -d testdir $*

This still allows using -t and -m to select which tests to run but removes the need to constantly set the url and test directory.

See for an example.

Gradle Users

Integrate xray test into your project's build using this Gradle plugin from Ron Hitchens:


assert:equal ($actual as item()*, $expected as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:not-equal ($actual as item()*, $expected as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:empty ($actual as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:not-empty ($actual as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:error ($actual as item()*, $expected-error-name as xs:string, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:true ($actual as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

assert:false ($actual as item()*, [$message as xs:string?])

See src/assertions.xqy for the assertion definitions. All assertions are overloaded to accept an optional message parameter to provide more information of failures.

Setup and teardown functions

Use the annotations %test:setup and %test:teardown. If defined, the setup function is invoked before any tests, and in a different transaction so any database updates are visible to the tests. The teardown function is executed after all tests in that module have finished.

See test/setup-teardown.xqy for an example.

Ignoring Tests

Tests can be ignored by adding the %test:ignore annotation

declare %test:ignore function this-test-will-be-ignored()

MarkLogic Configuration

The app server user must belong to a role with the following execute privileges: xdmp:eval, xdmp:filesystem-directory, xdmp:filesystem-file, xdmp:invoke, xdmp:xslt-invoke

To work with modules stored in a modules database, the additional privileges are required: xdmp:eval-in And the user must have read rights to files in the modules db.



screenshot of html output screenshot of terminal output