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Functional Tests

Now that we’ve written some acceptance tests, functional tests are almost the same, with one major difference: functional tests don’t require a web server to run tests.

In simple terms we set the $_REQUEST, $_GET and $_POST variables and then we execute the application from a test. This may be valuable as functional tests are faster and provide detailed stack traces on failures.

Codeception can connect to different web frameworks that support functional testing: Symfony2, Laravel5, Yii2, Zend Framework and others. You just need to enable the desired module in your functional suite configuration to start.

Modules for all of these frameworks share the same interface, and thus your tests are not bound to any one of them. This is a sample functional test:

<?php
$I = new FunctionalTester($scenario);
$I->amOnPage('/');
$I->click('Login');
$I->fillField('Username', 'Miles');
$I->fillField('Password', 'Davis');
$I->click('Enter');
$I->see('Hello, Miles', 'h1');
// $I->seeEmailIsSent(); // only for Symfony2

As you see, you can use the same tests for functional and acceptance testing.

Pitfalls

Acceptance tests are usually much slower than functional tests. But functional tests are less stable as they run Codeception and the application in one environment. If your application was not designed to run in long lived processes, for instance you use the exit operator or global variables, then probably functional tests are not for you.

Headers, Cookies, Sessions

One of the common issues with functional tests is the use of PHP functions that deal with headers, sessions and cookies. As you may already know, the header function triggers an error if it is executed after PHP has already output something. In functional tests we run the application multiple times, thus we will get lots of irrelevant errors in the result.

Shared Memory

In functional testing, unlike running the application the traditional way, the PHP application does not stop after it has finished processing a request. Since all requests are run in one memory container, they are not isolated. So if you see that your tests are mysteriously failing when they shouldn’t - try to execute a single test. This will show if the tests were failing because they weren’t isolated during the run. Keep your memory clean, avoid memory leaks and clean global and static variables.

Enabling Framework Modules

You have a functional testing suite in the tests/functional directory. To start, you need to include one of the framework modules in the suite configuration file: tests/functional.suite.yml. Below we provide simple instructions for setting up functional tests with some of the most popular PHP frameworks.

Symfony

To perform Symfony integration you just need to include the Symfony module into your test suite. If you also use Doctrine2, don’t forget to include it too. To make the Doctrine2 module connect using the doctrine service from Symfony, you should specify the Symfony module as a dependency for Doctrine2:

Example of functional.suite.yml

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - Symfony
        - Doctrine2:
            depends: Symfony # connect to Symfony
        - \Helper\Functional

By default this module will search for AppKernel in the app directory.

The module uses the Symfony Profiler to provide additional information and assertions.

See the full reference

Laravel5

The Laravel5 module is included and requires no configuration:

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - Laravel5
        - \Helper\Functional

Yii2

Yii2 tests are included in Basic and Advanced application templates. Follow the Yii2 guides to start.

Yii

By itself Yii framework does not have an engine for functional testing. So Codeception is the first and the only functional testing framework for Yii. To use it with Yii include Yii1 module into config:

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - Yii1
        - \Helper\Functional

To avoid the common pitfalls we discussed earlier, Codeception provides basic hooks over the Yii engine. Please set them up following the installation steps in the module reference.

Zend Framework 2

Use the ZF2 module to run functional tests inside Zend Framework 2:

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - ZF2
        - \Helper\Functional

Zend Framework 1.x

The module for Zend Framework is highly inspired by the ControllerTestCase class, used for functional testing with PHPUnit. It follows similar approaches for bootstrapping and cleaning up. To start using Zend Framework in your functional tests, include the ZF1 module:

Example of functional.suite.yml

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - ZF1
        - \Helper\Functional

See the full reference

Phalcon

The Phalcon module requires creating a bootstrap file which returns an instance of \Phalcon\Mvc\Application. To start writing functional tests with Phalcon support you should enable the Phalcon module and provide the path to this bootstrap file:

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - Phalcon:
            bootstrap: 'app/config/bootstrap.php'
             cleanup: true
             savepoints: true
        - \Helper\Functional

See the full reference

Writing Functional Tests

Functional tests are written in the same manner as Acceptance Tests with the PhpBrowser module enabled. All framework modules and the PhpBrowser module share the same methods and the same engine.

Therefore we can open a web page with amOnPage method:

<?php
$I = new FunctionalTester($scenario);
$I->amOnPage('/login');

We can click links to open web pages:

<?php
$I->click('Logout');
// click link inside .nav element
$I->click('Logout', '.nav');
// click by CSS
$I->click('a.logout');
// click with strict locator
$I->click(['class' => 'logout']);

We can submit forms as well:

<?php
$I->submitForm('form#login', ['name' => 'john', 'password' => '123456']);
// alternatively
$I->fillField('#login input[name=name]', 'john');
$I->fillField('#login input[name=password]', '123456');
$I->click('Submit', '#login');

And do assertions:

<?php
$I->see('Welcome, john');
$I->see('Logged in successfully', '.notice');
$I->seeCurrentUrlEquals('/profile/john');

Framework modules also contain additional methods to access framework internals. For instance, Laravel5, Phalcon, and Yii2 modules have a seeRecord method which uses the ActiveRecord layer to check that a record exists in the database.

Take a look at the complete reference for the module you are using. Most of its methods are common to all modules but some of them are unique.

You can also access framework globals inside a test or access the dependency injection container inside the Helper\Functional class:

<?php
namespace Helper;

class Functional extends \Codeception\Module
{
    function doSomethingWithMyService()
    {
        $service = $this->getModule('Symfony')->grabServiceFromContainer('myservice');
        $service->doSomething();
    }
}

Also check all available Public Properties of the used modules to get full access to their data.

Error Reporting

By default Codeception uses the E_ALL & ~E_STRICT & ~E_DEPRECATED error reporting level. In functional tests you might want to change this level depending on your framework’s error policy. The error reporting level can be set in the suite configuration file:

actor: FunctionalTester
modules:
    enabled:
        - Yii1
        - \Helper\Functional
error_level: "E_ALL & ~E_STRICT & ~E_DEPRECATED"

error_level can also be set globally in codeception.yml file.

Conclusion

Functional tests are great if you are using powerful frameworks. By using functional tests you can access and manipulate their internal state. This makes your tests shorter and faster. In other cases, if you don’t use frameworks there is no practical reason to write functional tests. If you are using a framework other than the ones listed here, create a module for it and share it with community.

© 2011–2017 Michael Bodnarchuk and contributors
Licensed under the MIT License.
http://codeception.com/docs/04-FunctionalTests