Testing Zend Framework controllers in isolation

What I do is I have my controllers fetch all their dependencies from the bootstrap and/or front controller. The most common example is to pull the db resource from the bootstrap:

// in controller
$db = $this->getInvokeArg('bootstrap')->getResource('db');

But I also take it a step further. For example, if I’m using data mappers, I have the action controller check the front controller for the data mapper I need:

// in controller
$postsMapper = $this->getInvokeArg('posts_mapper');

I then update your unit test to inject the posts mapper with a stub:

// in unit test
$this->frontController->setParam('posts_mapper', $stubPostsMapper);

However, that invoke arg won’t exist in production, so I wrap that call in an if statement a la “lazy loading” style:

if (null === ($postsMapper = $this->getInvokeArg('posts_mapper'))) {
$postsMapper = new Default_Model_Mapper_Posts();

What this does is it allows me to stub in my stub posts mapper in my unit tests while letting the controller lazy-load the real one in production.

An alternative is to use Zend_Registry, but I find this to be a bit cleaner without the static calls.

Hector Virgen

Acceptance Test-Driven Development

Giorgio Sironi writes an interesting TDD story; I am halfway through reading Growing object-oriented software, guided by tests, a book that teaches Test-Driven Development in a Java environment. A review will come soon, since the process described in this work is really language-agnostic and interesting also for php developers.

However, the book’s authors introduce a very productive practice, which consists in a double cycle of TDD:

* a longer cycle, where you write acceptance (aka end-to-end) tests, deriving them from the user stories or formal requirements, and make them pass;

* a shorter cycle contained in the first, which happens in the phase when an acceptance test is red: you write unit tests and make them pass until the related acceptance test does not fail anymore.

Read complete story @ PHP Zone.

Getting Started with Zend_Test

Matthew Turland has written a very nice article on Unit Testing using Zend_Test, Zend_Test_PHPUnit_DatabaseTestCase, Zend_Test_PHPUnit_ControllerTestCase where he uses a few interesting solutions. Definitely worth a read.

“I worked on a project recently where we used Zend Framework. As part of that project, I was tasked with writing unit tests. So, I went to the “tests” directory generated for me by the zf CLI utility to get started…”

via Getting Started with Zend_Test | Blue Parabola, LLC.