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A DB mockup / fixture creation library for Behat
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README.markdown

Phabric

Build Status

A tool that translates Gherkin Tables into database inserts / updates.

It's for use with the BDD library Behat which can be found at: http://behat.org/

The aim of this project is to allow the user to define fixtures 'on the fly' using Gherkin tables without having to undergo the painful process of maintaining an SQL file used to drive Behat test suites.

Introduction

When adopting Behat at the company I work for we quickly found that in order to write clear tests we needed to set the state of the database in scenarios rather than in monolithic fixture files.

Problems with fixture files:

  • They are difficult to maintain
  • It's easy to wreck an existing test by modifying it's data in the fixture
  • The semantics of the data are lost in the fixture file rather than being explicitly stated in a scenario.

The solution we settled on was to load an initial fixture containing just the basic DB structure and to define all the data in Gherkin tables within the scenarios of our test.

Enter Phabric...

Phabric

Phabric allows the user to mark up data for insertion into the database in a scenario. Like So:

Given The following events exist
    | Name  | Date             | Venue                  | Desc             |
    | PHPNW | 08/10/2011 09:00 | Ramada Hotel           | An awesome conf! |
    | PHPUK | 27/02/2012 09:00 | London Business Center | Quite good conf. |

To make the data as readable as possible Phabric supports the following:

Column Name Transformations - You can map the name of a column in Gherkin to a database column name. EG Desc > conf_description

Column Data Transformations - You can translate the data in the column by registering functions. EG 08/10/2011 09:00 > 2011-10-08 09:00:00

Default Values - You can assign default values to columns so you do not have to explicitly include them in the gherkin.

Relational data is supported. EG An Event with many Attendees

The aim of these features is to assist the user in setting up a scenario in a readable and maintainable way. It should facilitate behaviour driven development as once the initial creator steps have been setup anyone will be able to mark up entities in your system (testers and BAs included!).

Preview

The documentation below outlines how to configure and use Phabric. Here is a quick preview of whats achievable when Phabric is installed, configured and running:

The scenario:

Scenario:
    Given The following events exist
    | Name  | Date             | Venue                  | Desc             |
    | PHPNW | 08/10/2011 09:00 | Ramada Hotel           | An awesome conf! |
    | PHPUK | 27/02/2012 09:00 | London Business Center | Quite good conf. |

Note: The example contains name and data transformations.

The step:


<?php 

/**
 * @Given /^The following events exist$/
 */
public function theFollowingEventsExist(TableNode $table) {

    $this->phabric->insertFromTable('event', $table);
}

The database table after data creation:

    | name  | datetime            | venue                  | description      |
    | PHPNW | 2011-10-08 09:00:00 | Ramada Hotel           | An awesome conf! |
    | PHPUK | 2012-02-27 09:00:00 | London Business Center | Quite good conf. |

Note: Gherkin column names are mapped to database column names and some data (datetime) is transformed.

For those keen on doing rather than reading there are working examples in the 'examples' folder. See section below for instructions on setting up the examples.

DOCS

Install

Currently the only supported method of installing Phabric is via git.

Clone the git hub repository onto your local machine.

Change directory into the newley cloned repository.

  • cd Phabric/

Phabric has a number of dependencies these can be met by initializing the following submodules:

  • git submodule init lib/Vendor/mockery/
  • git submodule init lib/Vendor/Doctrine/
  • git submodule update --recursive

Then Doctrines submodules

  • cd lib/Vendor/Doctrine/

  • git submodule init lib/vendor/doctrine-common/

  • git submodule update --recursive

Setting Up Phabric

Phabric requires some setting up in the main feature context file of your behat tests folder.

Phabric requires a datasource to persist Gherkin tables to. Usually this is a relational database. Phabric ships with a Doctrine DBAL adapter. This allows support for many databases 'out of the box'. Most popular databases are supported including MySQL, Oracle and MSSQL.

If you wish to support non relational databases or databases that Donctrine does not support you can do so by writting an adapter and implementing Phabrics 'IDatasource' interface.

Autoloading Classes are loaded using the Doctrine Project autoloader.

Doctrine and Phabric Classes need to be registered with the auto loader in the Feature Context File:

<?php 

require_once __DIR__ . '/PATH/TO/PHABRIC/lib/Vendor/Doctrine/lib/vendor/doctrine-common/lib/Doctrine/Common/ClassLoader.php';

$phaLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Phabric', realpath(__DIR__ . '/../../../lib/'));
$phaLoader->register();

$docLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Doctrine\DBAL', __DIR__ . '/../../../lib/Vendor/Doctrine/lib');
$docLoader->register();

$docComLoader = new \Doctrine\Common\ClassLoader('Doctrine\Common', __DIR__ . '/../../../lib/Vendor/Doctrine/lib/vendor/doctrine-common/lib');
$docComLoader->register();

/**
 * Features context.
 */
class FeatureContext extends BehatContext {

public function __construct(array $parameters) {

}

// Rest of feature file.... 

A Doctrine DBAL connection (database connection class) needs to be created and injected into a Phabric datasource object, this class manages interactions with the datasource. Database connection parameters should be added to your behat.yml config file. Also some basic meta data is input about the 'entities' we wish to map. An entity is a Gherkin to DB table mapping, this is discussed further in later sections.

default:
  context:
    class: 'FeatureContext'
    parameters:
      database:
        username: 'root'
        password: ''
        dbname:   'behat-demo'
        host:     '127.0.0.1'
        driver:   'pdo_mysql'
      Phabric:
        entities:
          event:
            tableName: 'event'
            primaryKey: 'id'
            nameCol: 'name'
          session:
            tableName: 'session'
            primaryKey: 'id'
            nameCol: 'session_code'
          attendee:
            tableName: 'attendee'
            primaryKey: 'id' 
            nameCol: 'name'
          vote:
            tableName: 'vote'
            primaryKey: 'id'
            nameCol: null

NB Note that some basic table meta data is required in the Phabric section of the behat.yml file. tableName, primaryKey and nameCol.

  • tableName: The name of the table to be mapped e.g. 'event'
  • primaryKey: the name of the primary key column e.g. 'id'
  • nameCol: this is a column used to identify a piece of data inserted by phabric. It can be any column in the database but should be unique. eg 'PHPNW'

Creating the DBAL Connections and setting it as the database connection used by Phabric:

<?php 

protected $phabric;

public function __construct(array $parameters) {

        $config = new \Doctrine\DBAL\Configuration();

        self::$db = \Doctrine\DBAL\DriverManager::getConnection(array(
                    'dbname' => $parameters['database']['dbname'],
                    'user' => $parameters['database']['username'],
                    'password' => $parameters['database']['password'],
                    'host' => $parameters['database']['host'],
                    'driver' => $parameters['database']['driver'],
                ));

    $datasource = new \Phabric\Datasource\Doctrine(self::$db, $parameters['Phabric']['entities']);

    $this->phabric = new Phabric\Phabric($datasource);

}

This should be all the setup required to use Phabric. We can now define Phabric entities, these represent the mapping between Gherkin tables of data and data in our database.

The Phabric Class

The Phabric object handles interaction with all the 'entities' (Gherkin table > db table mappings) created when using Phabric. It accepts a datasource as it's only argument. It should be created in the constructor of the FeatureContext class and saved to a member variable (as in the example above).

Phabric Entities

A Phabric entity encapsulates the mapping between a Gherkin table and a database table.

There are two ways to configure a Phabric entity: Programmatically and by using a Configuration file. This documentation will show both methods. Those who prefer cleaner feature files with less set up should consider using the configuration based approach.

Programmatically:

<?php     

// Note: no second config parameter passed
$event = $this->phabric->createEntity('event');

$event->setTableName('event');

// @todo more entity config. @see The Docs bellow

And Using configuration:

<?php     
// Note: The config array is pulled from the $parameters argument passed
// into the FeatureContext constructor method.
$this->phabric->createEntity('event', $parameters['Phabric']['entities']['event']);

General Principles

  • The Phabric object is set up in the FeatureContext constructor.
  • Phabric entities are created via the Phabric class and configured in the FeatureContext constructor.
  • Entities are retrieved in step definitions and are used to insert and update data specified in Gherkin tables in the scenario.

Example Domain

For the purposes of the following examples we will use the database tables and Gherkin below.

The system we are modeling describes events.

An event database table exists:

Database Table:

| id | ev_name | ev_desc           | ev_date             | ev_disp |
| 1  | PHPNW   | A hella cool gig! | 2011-10-08 09:00:00 | 1       |
| 2  | PHPUK   | A great event!    | 2012-02-26 09:00:00 | 0       |

We decide we would like to describe it using a Gherkin table as follows:

Given the following event exists:

| Name  | Description       | Start Date      | 
| PHPNW | A hella cool gig! | 08/10/2011 9:00 | 
| PHPUK | A great event!    | 26/02/2011 9:00 |

Note: The column 'ev_disp' will have a default value of 1 unless otherwise specified.

The table above models the data in a more business friendly way and abstracts away the underlying database implementation. Testers, BA's and developers can now concentrate on modeling the data in the context of the business case rather than the database.

Creating an Entity

With the Phabric object set up you can now obtain Phabric entity instances like so:

<?php 

    $event = $this->phabric->createEntity('event', $config);

This creates and returns a entity with the name 'event'. The second argument $config is optional. Supplying it will configure the instance according to the configuration provided.

Note: An Explanation of $config parameters will be provided in the following sections.

Column Name Transformations

The goal of column name transformations is to change often ugly looking database column names to human readable and business friendly names.

In this example we want to change column names like 'ev_name' and 'ev_description' to the more friendly 'Name' and 'Description'.

First create an entity:


<?php 

   $event = $this->phabric->createEntity('event', $config);

Then set some column name transformations:


<?php

$event->setNameTransformations(array(
                            'Name' => 'ev_name',
                            'Description' => 'ev_description',
                            'Start Date' => 'ev_date',
                            'Displayed' => 'ev_disp'
                            ));

** Important: Column Name transformations get applied first. When referencing columns in subsequent methods / configs use the database column name **

By default, any columns without a specific mapping get transformed to lowercase. This can be configured by setting the defaultNameTransformation on an entity


<?php

$event->setDefaultNameTransformation(function($name) {
    return str_replace(' ', '_', strtolower($name));
});

Column Data Transformations

In the same way it is preferable to represent column names as human readable and business friendly as possible we should also represent the data in the column in the same manner.

In this example it is preferable to use and English representation of the date rather than a MySQL date time (08/10/2011 9:00 > 2011-10-08 09:00:00). Also in the Sold Out field 'YES' and 'NO' can be used to represent '0' and '1'.

This is achieved by registering closures with the Phabric object (so every Phabric instance can share the functionality defined in them). The closures are registered against a name. The closure name and the name of the column to be translated is then registered with the entity representing the table.

Register a closure with the Phabric object by supplying a name and a function. Conventionally names are in CAPS.

The closure accepts the data from a column and returns its translated form.

<?php 

$this->phabric->addDataTransformation(
            'UKTOMYSQLDATE', function($date) {
                $date = \DateTime::createFromFormat('d/m/Y H:i', $date);
                return $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s');
            }
    );

Then set the transformation(s) with the entity.


<?php 

    $event->setDataTransformations(array(
                                'ev_date' => 'UKTOMYSQLDATE'
                                ));

Note Notice the use of the real database column name when registering data transformations closures.

** Important: Registration of closures with the bus and registering transformations can be carried out in any order. However, remember that bus registration must occur before data transformation actually occurs. **

Column Default Values

Default values can be useful to reduce the number of columns in the Gherkin representation of the database table data.

In this example the 'ev_disp' column in the database is used to indicate if a an event should be displayed on the fron end of the application. By default we would like to set this to 1 (events should be displayed). We can always override this by including the column in our Gherkin.

Defaults are set using an array of database column names and values:

<?php 

    $event->setDefaults(array(
                        'ev_disp' => 1
                        ));

To override the default ensure a name transformation is set up (optionally with a data transformation) and include the column in the Gherkin table.

<?php

    $event->setNameTransformations(array(
                                'Name' => 'ev_name',
                                'Description' => 'ev_description',
                                'Start Date' => 'ev_date',
                                'Displayed' => 'ev_disp'
                                ));

    $this->phabric->addDataTransformation(
                'YESNOFLAG', function($ynFlag) {
                    switch($ynFlag) {
                    case 'YES':
                        return 1;
                    case 'NO':
                        return 0;
                    default:
                        throw new \Exception('Invalid Y/N Flag. Use: YES or NO);
                    } 
                },
                'UKTOMYSQLDATE', function($date) {
                    $date = \DateTime::createFromFormat('d/m/Y H:i', $date);
                    return $date->format('Y-m-d H:i:s');
                }
        );

    $event->setDataTransformations(array(
                                'ev_date' => UKTOMYSQLDATE
                                'ev_disp' => 'YESNOFLAG'
                                ));
| Name  | Description       | Start Date      | Displayed |
| PHPNW | A hella cool gig! | 08/10/2011 9:00 | YES       |
| PHPUK | A great event!    | 26/02/2011 9:00 | NO        |

Inserting Data

With a Phabric entity set up it's now possible to translate data from a Gherkin table into the database.

Inserting Unrelated Data (Basic Insert)

From a Behat feature file:

Scenario:
    Given The following events exist
    | Name  | Date             | Venue                  | Desc             |
    | PHPNW | 08/10/2011 09:00 | Ramada Hotel           | An awesome conf! |
    | PHPUK | 27/02/2012 09:00 | London Business Center | Quite good conf. |

And in the corresponding Behat step:


<?php 

    /**
     * @Given /^The following events exist$/
     */
    public function theFollowingEventsExist(TableNode $table) {

        // With an entity previously configured just pass it's name and
        // the table node to the 'insertFromTable' method on the Phabric 
        //object.
        $this->phabric->insertFromTable('event', $table);
    }

Relational Data

Phabric supports the entry of relational data. For example linking multiple attendees to an event.

Internally Phabric keeps track of the database entries it makes. It maps the last inserted ID returned from the database to the value of the left most column.

It's possible to access this id by using the 'getNamedItemId()' method on the Phabric entity. Id's can be substituted for entity names by registering a standard data transformation.

Note: When using relational data you should ensure the left most column is consistently the same. In this instance 'Name' is the left most column and ID's are mapped against this value (EG -'PHPNW' => 1).

In the following example attendees are asked to vote for their favorite session. The vote database table looks like this:

| id | session_id | attendee_id | vote |
| 1  | 1          | 1           | 1    |

*Note: * The following example just shows relational data functionality. Other transformations are required on names and data for the example to work.

From a Behat feature file:

Scenario: 
    Given the following sessions exist
    | Session Code | name                  | time  | description                               |
    | BDD          | BDD with behat        | 12:50 | Test driven behaviour development is cool |
    | CI           | Continous Integration | 13:30 | Integrate this!                           |
    And the following attendees exist
    | name                  |
    | Jack The Lad          |
    | Simple Simon          |
    | Peter Pan             |
    And the following votes exist
    | Attendee     | Session | Vote | 
    | Jack The Lad | BDD     | UP   |
    | Simple Simon | BDD     | UP   |
    | Peter Pan    | BDD     | UP   |
    | Jack The Lad | CI      | UP   |
    | Simple Simon | CI      | UP   |
    | Peter Pan    | CI      | DOWN |

When setting up the Phabric object data transformations are registered for translating Attendee names and session names with there ID's:


<?php 

$this->phabric->addDataTransformation(
        'ATTENDEELOOKUP', function($attendeeName, $bus) {
            $ent = $bus->getEntity('attendee');

            $id = $ent->getNamedItemId($attendeeName);

            return $id;
        });

$this->phabric->addDataTransformation(
        'SESSIONLOOKUP', function($sessionName, $bus) {
            $ent = $bus->getEntity('session');

            $id = $ent->getNamedItemId($sessionName);

            return $id;
        });

And the name and data transformation are registered with the vote entity:

<?php 

$vote->setNameTransformations(array(
                            'Session' => 'session_id',
                            'Attendee' => 'attendee_id'));

$vote->setDataTransformations(array(
                            'session_id' => 'SESSIONLOOKUP',
                            'attendee_id' => 'ATTENDEELOOKUP'));

The create() method is used as in the previous example:

<?php 

    /**
     * @Given /^the following votes exist$/
     */
    public function theFollowingVotesExist(TableNode $table)
    {
        $this->phabric->insertFromTable('vote', $table);
    }

Updating Data

Updating data is very similar to inserting data:

<?php 

    /**
     * @Given /^the following votes exist$/
     */
    public function theFollowingVotesExist(TableNode $table)
    {
        $this->phabric->updateFromTable('vote', $table);
    }

There are some gotcha's to watch out for when updating data.

  • The left hand column is the column Phabric uses to identify records. It should remain the same throughout your scenario. In this case an event is referenced internally by it's name (PHPNW or PHPUK).

  • If data hasn't previously been inserted then it can't be updated. Atempting this causes an exception to be thrown.

  • Partial updates are supported but remember the referencing column must be present.

A full table:

    | Name  | Date             | Venue                   | Desc             |
    | PHPNW | 08/10/2011 10:00 | Ramada Hotel MANCHESTER | An awesome conf! |
    | PHPUK | 27/02/2012 10:00 | London Business Center  | Quite good conf. |

A correct partial table:

    | Name  | Date             | Venue                   |
    | PHPNW | 08/10/2011 10:00 | Ramada Hotel MANCHESTER |
    | PHPUK | 27/02/2012 10:00 | London Business Center  |

An incorrect partial table:

    |Date              | Venue                   | Desc             |
    | 08/10/2011 10:00 | Ramada Hotel MANCHESTER | An awesome conf! |
    | 27/02/2012 10:00 | London Business Center  | Quite good conf. |

Configuration Approach

The previous examples have shown how to configure a Phabric entity programmatically. While this is effective it's also very verbose. Phabric configuration can be stored in a test suites 'behat.yml' file and used to succinctly create and configure entities.

An example of a 'behat.yml' configuration file with Phabric config in:

default:
  context:
    class: 'FeatureContext'
    parameters:
      database:
        username: 'root'
        password: ''
        dbname:   'behat-demo'
        host:     '127.0.0.1'
        driver:   'pdo_mysql'
      baseurl: 'http://behat-demo.dev/'
      registry:
        baseurl: 'http://behat-demo.dev/'
        eventsResourceUri: events
        eventsResourceMethod: GET
      Phabric:
        entities:
          event:
            tableName: 'event'
            entityName: 'Event'
            nameTransformations:
              Date: datetime
              Desc: description
            dataTransformations:
              datetime: UKTOMYSQLDATE
          session:
            tableName: 'session'
            entityName: 'Session'
            nameTransformations:
              Session Code: session_code
          attendee:
            tableName: 'attendee'
            entityName: 'Attendee'
          vote:
            tableName: 'vote'
            entityName: 'Vote'
            nameTransformations:
              Attendee: attendee_id
              Session: session_id
            dataTransformations:
              attendee_id: ATTENDEELOOKUP
              session_id: SESSIONLOOKUP
              vote: UPDOWNTOINT

By putting Phabric config under the FeatureContext>Parameters section it is available in the $parameters array of the Behat FeatureContext constructor. This is where all the configuration of the Phabric bus and entities occurs.

As you can see name and data transformations, name of database table an entity maps to and default values can be included in config.

In the constructor of the FeatureContext class:

<?php 

$event    = $this->phabric->createEntity('event', $parameters['Phabric']['entities']['event']);
$attendee = $this->phabric->createEntity('attendee', $parameters['Phabric']['entities']['attendee']);
$session  = $this->phabric->createEntity('session', $parameters['Phabric']['entities']['session']);
$vote     = $this->phabric->createEntity('vote', $parameters['Phabric']['entities']['vote']);

Or use the more convenient 'createEntitiesFromConfig' method to register all your entities at once:


    $this->phabric->createEntitiesFromConfig($parameters['Phabric']['entities']);

The factor methods return the Phabric entity instances but they can also be retrieved in step methods by using the bus:

<?php 

    $eventPh = $this->phabric->getEntity('event');

Examples

Some basic set up is required to run the examples.

  • Set up a database compatible with the database config in the 'behat.yml'
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