Mockito Basic Example Using JDBC

Sep 05, 2016

It’s been a while since I did a lot of work with Mockito, but I like to cover it when I teach unit testing for a couple reasons. First, it encourages students to think about writing for testability by showing what kinds of designs are easy to test and what kinds are very challenging. I believe this encourages more modular code. Second, it encourages students to write smaller, more focused unit tests. Now that so many of our systems are radically distributed, with multiple services interacting with each other, it can be challenging to think in terms of true unit testing of the business logic inside the service (as opposed to just invoking the service from outside). The problem is that tests that invoke the service from outside tend to be brittle (because they usually involve network connections and service dependencies) and they tend to not be as comprehensive (because it’s hard to generate real-world failure conditions in the context of an integration environment).

Mockito is impressive because the relatively simple, fluent API hides a wealth of complexity. I was missing a decent Mockito example in my Java intro GitHub repository, so I wanted to add an example that would reveal a little of the power that’s available. I ended up creating an example using the JDBC API that I think has a couple cool features.

Code Under Test

To get started, let’s walk through the code under test. It’s a very basic database access object that uses JDBC to run some standard SQL commands.

package org.anvard.introtojava.jdbc;

import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.ResultSet;
import java.sql.SQLException;

import javax.sql.DataSource;

import org.anvard.introtojava.Person;
import org.springframework.util.Assert;

public class PersonDao {

	private DataSource ds;

	public PersonDao(DataSource ds) {
		this.ds = ds;
	}

	public void create(Person person) {
		Assert.notNull(person);
		try {
			Connection c = ds.getConnection();
			PreparedStatement stmt = c
					.prepareStatement("INSERT INTO person (id, first_name, last_name) values (?, ?, ?)");
			stmt.setInt(1, person.getId());
			stmt.setString(2, person.getFirstName());
			stmt.setString(3, person.getLastName());
			stmt.executeUpdate();
			c.close();
		} catch (SQLException e) {
			throw new DataAccessException(e);
		}
	}

	public Person retrieve(int id) {
		try {
			Connection c = ds.getConnection();
			PreparedStatement stmt = c
					.prepareStatement("SELECT id, first_name, last_name FROM person WHERE id = ?");
			stmt.setInt(1, id);
			ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery();
			if (!rs.first()) {
				return null;
			}
			Person p = new Person();
			p.setId(rs.getInt(1));
			p.setFirstName(rs.getString(2));
			p.setLastName(rs.getString(3));
			c.close();
			return p;
		} catch (SQLException e) {
			throw new DataAccessException(e);
		}
	}
	
	public void update(Person person) {
		Assert.notNull(person);
		try {
			Connection c = ds.getConnection();
			PreparedStatement stmt = c
					.prepareStatement("UPDATE person SET first_name=?, last_name=? WHERE id=?");
			stmt.setString(1, person.getFirstName());
			stmt.setString(2, person.getLastName());
			stmt.setInt(3, person.getId());
			stmt.executeUpdate();
			c.close();
		} catch (SQLException e) {
			throw new DataAccessException(e);
		}
	}

	public void delete(int id) {
		try {
			Connection c = ds.getConnection();
			PreparedStatement stmt = c
					.prepareStatement("DELETE FROM person WHERE id=?");
			stmt.setInt(1, id);
			stmt.executeUpdate();
			c.close();
		} catch (SQLException e) {
			throw new DataAccessException(e);
		}
	}
}

To improve the testability of this code, we set it up so it is injected with a DataSource rather than going out and getting its own connection using DriverManager. Of course, this also has the advantage that we can use a connection pool or run this code in a Java Enterprise environment. Otherwise this code just follows the JDBC API.

Testing It

What makes this challenging for testing is that there are multiple interfaces involved. The DataSource is used to get a Connection, the Connection is used to get a PreparedStatement, and the PreparedStatement is used to get a ResultSet. If we were going to test this without Mockito or a similar mocking framework, we would need to either use a real database (perhaps an in-memory database like H2), or we would need to write a bunch of test code that implements all of these interfaces; this is practically as much work as writing a JDBC driver itself. I’ve done both of these in creating integration tests, but neither is really a proper unit test approach.

Instead, we can use Mockito to create a “mock object” for each of these items. The mock object is a dynamically generated object that pretends to implement some interface or be an instance of some class, typically using a library like ASM. I discussed ASM and dynamic proxies in a couple articles early this year.

The test code for this database access object looks like this:

package org.anvard.introtojava.jdbc;

import static org.junit.Assert.*;
import static org.mockito.Matchers.*;
import static org.mockito.Mockito.*;

import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.PreparedStatement;
import java.sql.ResultSet;

import javax.sql.DataSource;

import org.anvard.introtojava.Person;
import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.mockito.Mock;
import org.mockito.runners.MockitoJUnitRunner;

@RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.class)
public class PersonDaoTest {

	@Mock
	private DataSource ds;
	
	@Mock
	private Connection c;
	
	@Mock
	private PreparedStatement stmt;
	
	@Mock
	private ResultSet rs;
	
	private Person p;
	
	@Before
	public void setUp() throws Exception {
		assertNotNull(ds);
		when(c.prepareStatement(any(String.class))).thenReturn(stmt);
		when(ds.getConnection()).thenReturn(c);
		
		p = new Person();
		p.setId(1);
		p.setFirstName("Johannes");
		p.setLastName("Smythe");

		when(rs.first()).thenReturn(true);
		when(rs.getInt(1)).thenReturn(1);
		when(rs.getString(2)).thenReturn(p.getFirstName());
		when(rs.getString(3)).thenReturn(p.getLastName());
		when(stmt.executeQuery()).thenReturn(rs);
	}
	
	@Test(expected=IllegalArgumentException.class)
	public void nullCreateThrowsException() {
		new PersonDao(ds).create(null);
	}
			
	@Test
	public void createPerson() {
		new PersonDao(ds).create(p);
	}
	
	@Test
	public void createAndRetrievePerson() throws Exception {
		PersonDao dao = new PersonDao(ds);
		dao.create(p);
		Person r = dao.retrieve(1);
		assertEquals(p, r);
	}
		
}

JUnit and Runners

Let’s take some time to walk through each part of this code in order to understand what’s going on. First, we see an annotation on the class:

@RunWith(MockitoJUnitRunner.class)

Ordinarily, when we run a JUnit test, we tell JUnit about our class and it uses reflection to inspect it for annotations. All of our methods annotated with @Test are added to a list of test methods. For each test method, it instantiates the class, runs any methods annotated with @Before, runs the test method, then runs any methods annotated with @After.

When JUnit sees the @RunWith annotation, instead of doing its normal processing, it delegates all operations to the separate runner class that was identified. In this case, the MockitoJUnitRunner ultimately ends up calling the regular JUnit code to run the tests; however, before running the @Before methods, it inspects the class using reflection and creates mock objects for everything annotated with @Mock. So even though there’s no code in the class that sets the ds variable, by the time we get into our setUp() method we can confidently assert that it is not null.

Configuring a Mock Object

A mock object, as I said above, is a dynamic object that pretends to implement an interface or be an instance of a class. I say “pretends to” because there isn’t any Java source code you can point to that implements the interface or provides any instance methods. Instead, there is generic code that is invoked, no matter what method is called. Mockito uses CGLib to generate its mock objects, so as I discuss in my article on CGLib, all method calls are sent to an MethodInterceptor. This interceptor in Mockito looks at any specific configuration that might have taken place for that mock object, or falls back to some default behavior.

The default behavior in Mockito is to return null for object return types, and the “default” value for primitives (basically “0” or “false”). This behavior lets us get pretty far without having to do any additional configuration. And it already represents the primary advantage over writing our own test classes; there are dozens of methods in the ResultSet interface, and we don’t have to write any code to deal with the ones we don’t care about.

Where the default behavior won’t work, we can tell Mockito what to do differently. This is where the fluent API is fun to use. Once we’ve got the knack, we can write statements like this:

when(ds.getConnection()).thenReturn(c);

Under the covers, Mockito is building an OngoingStubbing, which stores the method that is being configured and the provided return value. It’s called an OngoingStubbing in part because we can chain together instructions, for example to return a value the first time and then return a different value or throw an exception.

In this case, we are telling Mockito that when the getConnection() method is called, we want it to return our mock connection. We work similarly through the Connection and PreparedStatement mocks so that the code under test will get back the kind of objects it expects as it uses the JDBC API.

For methods that take arguments, Mockito has a sophisticated matching scheme. The simplest is to allow any argument to match:

when(c.prepareStatement(any(String.class))).thenReturn(stmt);

The any() method takes a class parameter not to match the type of the argument, since the Java compiler is already making sure of that, but to provide a generic type for the argument matching to avoid any type casting in our test code.

When we call when() like this, both the argument matcher and the return are saved up to be used later when the dynamic object is invoked.

Some Caveats

Note that in this example we do just enough work to make sure things behave as expected. We expect the code under test to use only prepared statements, so we don’t bother to configure any behavior for createStatement() on the connection. We know what order the parameters are in for the SELECT statement to retrieve data from the database, so we know exactly how to configure the ResultSet to behave as expected. Of course, this has the potential to make our test brittle, because there are lots of changes to the code under test that would cause the test to incorrectly report failure. We have to trade off between improving the realism of the test and its simplicity.

In the next article, I’ll show a more complex example where we pay closer attention to some of the parameters we receive and use them to make the behavior of the mocks more realistic.