An XQuery test framework for MarkLogic
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xray is a framework for writing XQuery unit tests on MarkLogic Server. Test cases are written as standard XQuery functions like this:

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

xray can output test results as HTML, XML, xUnit compatible XML, and plain text, so 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 function string-equality-example()
  let $foo := some-module:foo()
  return assert:equal($foo, "foo")

declare 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),

(: more tests ... :)

(: private functions are not evaluated as tests :)
declare private function return-true()

Invoking Tests

xray will find and execute all the test cases defined in a 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.


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

setup() and teardown() are special function signatures. If defined, setup() is invoked before any tests, and in a different transaction so any database updates are visible to the tests. teardown() is executed after all tests in that module have finished.

See test/tests.xqy for an example.

Ignoring Tests

Tests can be ignored by addding the prefix IGNORE to the test function name.

declare function IGNORE-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.

Test modules must be written in XQuery version "1.0-ml" to be parsed correctly.


Thanks to Gunther Rademacher's REx Parser Generator and John Snelson for the XQuery 1.0-ml parser.



screenshot of html output screenshot of terminal output