Testing Django applications

Tests results in console

Code without tests is broken by design.

Jacob Kaplan-Moss

TDD (Test Driven Development)?

Test Drived Development on image

The most efficient way is to write tests and feature in parallel, part by part. For example: create url entry, add view and then write test that checks access rights, fix view, extend test to check what view returns, extend view, ...

Do I need 100% tests coverage?

Extreme reliability comes at a cost: maximizing stability limits how quickly products can be delivered to users, and dramatically increases their cost, which in turn reduces the numbers of features a team can afford to offer.

Mark Alvidrez, Site Reliability Engineering: How Google Runs Production Systems

Place for tests code

Split tests into files by entity type:

- __init__.py
- models.py
- forms.py
- views.py
- tests
-- __init__.py
-- test_models.py
-- test_forms.py
-- test_views.py

Prefix test_ is useful when I try to find files with tests in sublime text using mutual search. And this splits tests from tests utils and factories files.

tests/__init__.py have to looks like:

from .test_models import *
from .test_forms import *
from .test_views import *

From here I want to strongly recommend to use relative imports to refer to files from current app:

+ from ..models import MyModel
- from myproject.myapp.models import MyModel

This one simple thing may make your app reusable.

Names for tests and TestCases

I like to use names like this:

from django.test import TestCase

class MyAppModelsTestCase(TestCase):

    def test_unicode(self):

    def test_some_method(self):

class MyAppTagsTestCase(TestCase):

    def test_my_templatetag(self):

So, if I want to run test for certain app models, I enter in shell:

python manage.py test myapp.MyAppModelsTestCase

I should not remember complex names or open tests file and see name of TestCase, I just remember the rule how to build names.

Inside TestCase

A single test have to assert behavior of a single view, model, form, middlewar, templatetag or function.
If particular code migrates from one test case to another, then we have to use base TestCase class or factories/utils.
For example, create user and login using his credentials. We can place this code into helper function:

from django.contrib.auth.models import User
from django.test import TestCase

class MyAppBaseTestCase(TestCase):

    def create_user(self):
        return User.objects.create_user(
            username='kanata', email='kanata@mail.com',

Bad thing here is that we hard coded username and password. But, a trick is to use password == username, so password are always available:

class MyViewTestCase(BaseTestCase):

    def test_my_view(self):
        user = self.create_user()


Factories allows to fill models with automatically generated data.

factory_boy is a good choice for large projects.
Another one - dajngo-any.

Example of test without and with django-any:

# example models

class Genre(models.Model):
    caption = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    description = models.TextField()

class Anime(models.Model):
    caption = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    slag = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    genre = models.ForeignKey(Genre)
    year = model.PositiveIntegerField()
    studio = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    last_update = models.DateTimeField(auto_now=True)
    added_by = models.ForeignKey(User)

def __unicode__(self):
    return u'{captions} ({year})'.format(
        captions=self.caption, year=self.year)

# without django-any

class AnimeModelsTest(TestCase):

    def test_anime_save(self):
        user = User.objects.create(username='user', password='password')
        genre = Genre(caption='new_genre', description='description')
        anime = Anime(
            caption='new_anime', slag='anime', genre=genre,
            year='2012', studio='Sunrise', added_by=user)
        self.assertEqual(Anime.objects.count(), 1)
            unicode(Anime.objects.last()), 'anime (2012)')

# using django-any

class AnimeModelsTest(TestCase):

    def test_anime_save(self):
        anime = any_model(Anime, year=2012, caption='anime')
        self.assertEqual(Anime.objects.count(), 1)
        self.assertEqual(Anime.objects.count(), 1)
            unicode(Anime.objects.last()), 'anime (2012)')

django-any fills fields with valid data automatically:

slag = ltqltDNuEhBOEiFMmPCsdFTIhQOCiocoOykr
ganre.caption = hbgZlPrrXMCQjYhxJZqKAoZCSwbboh
ganre.description = ['Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
, natus iste explicabo aperiam laudantium?']
studio = JNVXNYwSVpuQiAyQl
image = images/anime_1.jpg
last_update = 2012-04-28 14:03:31.859193
added_by = XGiY

Or create your own factory:

from django.contrib.auth.models import User

class UserFactory(object):

    counter = 0

    def create(self):
        Returns new user.
        self.counter += 1
        return User.objects.create_user(
            username='kanata%d' % self.counter,
            password='kanata%d' % self.counter,
            email='kanata%d@mail.com' % self.counter,
            first_name='Kanata', last_name='Izumi')


user = UserFactory.create()

I store factories code inside tests/factories.py file.

One more way to fill models with necessary data is fixtures. But using fixtures is a bad practice. You'll need to edit/regenerate fixture after every schema migration, this is annoying.

Using Client

Use it only if no other alternatives. Client executes a lot of code we don't want to test in this particular test. Tempate tags and filters, context processors, middlewares are examples of things to test where Client absolutely redundant.

Don't do like this:

from django.test import TestCase
from django.test.client import Client

class MyTestCase(TestCase):

    def setUp(self):
        self.c = Client()

self.client already available in django TestCase!

Sometimes Client can't be used and we have to find alternative ways to test our code, for example, my test for error pages:

# urls.py

handler500 = 'project.apps.core.views.handler500'
handler404 = 'project.apps.core.views.handler404'

# views.py

from django.template.loader import get_template
from django.template import Context
from django.http import HttpResponseServerError, HttpResponseNotFound

def handler500(request, template_name='500.html'):
    t = get_template(template_name)
    ctx = Context({})
    return HttpResponseServerError(t.render(ctx))

def handler404(request, template_name='404.html'):
    t = get_template(template_name)
    ctx = Context({})
    return HttpResponseNotFound(t.render(ctx))

# tests.py

from django.test import TestCase
from django.test.client import RequestFactory

from project import urls

from ..views import handler404, handler500

class TestErrorPages(TestCase):

    def test_error_handlers(self):
        factory = RequestFactory()
        request = factory.get('/')
        response = handler404(request)
        self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 404)
        self.assertIn('404 Not Found!!', unicode(response))
        response = handler500(request)
        self.assertEqual(response.status_code, 500)
        self.assertIn('500 Internal Server Error', unicode(response))

ImageField with null == False in tests

A lot of times I seen when developers save an image inside project folder, opens it and passes to form. But better way is to generate image.

This is a factory for images I use:

import Image

from StringIO import StringIO

class ImageFactory(object):

    counter = 0

    def create(self, width=200, height=200):
        Returns image file with specified size.
        self.counter += 1
        image = Image.new(
            'RGBA', size=(width, height), color=(256, 0, 0))
        f = StringIO()
        image.save(f, 'png')
        f.name = 'testimage%d.png' % self.counter
        return f

Or even easier way:

imgfile = StringIO('GIF87a\x01\x00\x01\x00\x80\x01\x00\x00\x00\x00ccc,\x00'
imgfile.name = 'img.gif'

Don't forget to remove saved files from media folder:

path = my_mode_instance.image.path


If briefly:

Mock is a black box that have every (roughly) methods and every properties we ask for. If method does not exists, mock just returns another mock instance instead this method/property. Another feature in mock is memory, it remember all interactions with it. Example:

>>> from mock import Mock
>>> mock = Mock()
>>> mock.some_method()
<Mock name='mock.some_method()' id='4367510224'>
>>> mock.some_propery
<Mock name='mock.some_propery' id='4367565008'>
>>> mock.some_method.call_count
>>> mock.some_another_method.call_count
>>> mock.my_method.return_value = 'Hello!'
>>> mock.my_method()
# type help(Mock) to see all available features

In some tests there is not necessary to run particular parts of code (because their were already tested by another tests), we just need:

mock.patch allows to do patching with easy, there are two ways to use it, as decorator and as context manager:

import datetime

from mock import patch

from django.utils import timezone

def test_some_feature(self):
    with patch.object(timezone, 'now', return_value=datetime.datetime(2013, 2, 27)) as mock_now:
        # do something
@patch.object(timezone, 'now', return_value=datetime.datetime(2013, 2, 27)):
def test_some_feature(self, mock_now):
    # do something

Another example:

from mock import patch

from google_analytics.models import GoogleAnalytics
from pyga import requests

from django.test import TestCase
from django.contrib.sites.models import Site

from .utils import ga_event

def test_ga_event(self, TrackerMock):
    Check that pyga.requests.Track cals with right arguments
    analytics_code = 'UA-12345678-9'
    mobile_analytics_code = analytics_code.replace('UA', 'MO')
    sites = Site.objects.all()
    self.assertEqual(sites.count(), 1)
    site = sites[0]
    analytics = GoogleAnalytics.objects.create(
                            site=site, web_property_id=analytics_code)
    tracker_value = requests.Tracker(mobile_analytics_code, site.domain)
    # this function should call pyga.requests.Tracker once
    ga_event('a', 'b')
    TrackerMock.assert_called_once_with(mobile_analytics_code, site.domain)

Not necessary to use mock.patch for patching, you can write your own context manager to patch your code:

from contextlib import contextmanager

from mymodule import MyClass

def my_patch(value=1):
    def f(*args, **kwargs):
        return value
    old_f = MyClass.my_method
    MyClass.my_method = f
    MyClass.my_method = old_f

# usage:
# with my_patch(value=10):
#     ...

Testing models

First I test __unicode__ method (just to create initial test case for model), and then add test for every new method.
Don't save data to database when testing model methods:

# Bad
mymodel = MyModel.objects.create(
    required_field1=value1, required_field2=valued2, field3=value3)
self.assertEqual(mymodel.some_method_uses_only_field3(), ...)

# Good
mymodel = MyModel(field3=value3)
self.assertEqual(mymodel.some_method_uses_only_field3(), ...)

Testing forms

Form is a place where mistakes frequently appears, and find them with test cost much less then if user find them on production.
Form test example:

from django.test import TestCase

from ..forms import ProfileForm

class ProfileFormTest(TestCase):

    bad_test_data = [{
        'phone': '+377777777777',
        'skype': 'tsukasa',
        'is_valid': True,
    }, {
        'phone': '+077777777777',
        'skype': 'tsukasa',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+077777aaaa77',
        'skype': 'tsukasa',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+077777aaaa77',
        'skype': 'tsukasa',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+377777777777',
        'skype': 'ui',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+377777777777',
        'skype': '1tsukasa',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+377777777777',
        'skype': 'tsukasa!',
        'is_valid': False,
    }, {
        'phone': '+377777777777',
        'skype': 'tsukasa   ' * 6,
        'is_valid': False,

    def test_profile_form(self):
        """Phone number have to start from +3...
        Skype name must contains 6 to 32 characters,
        start from letter and contains only letters and numbers"""
        for data in self.bad_test_data:
            profile_form = ProfileForm(data)
            self.assertEqual(profile_form.is_valid(), data['is_valid'])

Testing context processors

Use RequestContext:

from django.template import RequestContext
from django.test.client import RequestFactory

factory = RequestFactory()
request = factory.get('/')
context = RequestContext(request)

self.assertIn('MyVar', context)

Testing middlewares

Create request using RequestFactory and pass it to middleware.
Or create mock and pass it to middleware instead request.

from django.test.client import RequestFactory

from .middlewares import MyMiddleware

factory = RequestFactory()
request = factory.get('/')
middleware = MyMiddleware()

Also you can check that middleware was included to MIDDLEWARE_CLASSES settings variable.

Testing template tags

from django.template import Template, Context

template = Template('{% load 'myapp_tags' %}{% mytag %}')
context = Context({})
result = template.render(context)
self.assertEqual(result, ...)

Testing template filters

Think about it like about function:

from .templatetags.myapp_tags import myfilter

result = myfilter(somearg)
self.assertEqual(result, ...)

Testing management commands

Use call_command to execute command.
Use StringIO to obtain stdout/stderr.

from StringIO import StringIO

from django.core.management import call_command

out = StringIO()
err = StringIO()
call_command('somecommandname', stdout=out, stderr=err)

Have fun writing tests!

Tests are the Programmer's stone,
transmuting fear into boredom.

Kent Beck

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0