2. Writing Tests

One of the core principles of Aqueduct is effective testing. While opening up your browser and typing in a URL can verify the code you just wrote succeeds, it's not a very reliable way of testing software. We'll also run into trouble when testing endpoints that use HTTP methods other than GET. Therefore, there are some helpful utilities for writing tests in Aqueduct.

Testing in Dart is simple: create a file that ends with _test.dart, write a main function and use the test function register a test. Each test is a closure that runs some code and has expectations. For example, this code would test that 1 + 1 = 2:

import 'package:test/test.dart';

void main() {
  test("1+1 = 2", () {
    expect(1 + 1, equals(2));

Tests are made possible by the test package which you'll need to claim as a dependency. Locate the file quiz/pubspec.yaml in your project. This file contains metadata about your application, including it's dependencies. At the bottom of this file, the following two lines specify that this project uses the test package as a development dependency:

  test: any

In Dart, tests are stored in a top-level test directory that has already been created from the template. Add a new file to it named test/question_controller_test.dart. (Tests must end in _test.dart and live in the test directory.) In this file, import your application's test harness:

import 'harness/app.dart';

The test harness exports the test package and declares a class named TestApplication. Aqueduct's testing strategy is simple: run the application locally, execute requests and verify their responses. A TestApplication can run the application from your tests and has a client property for executing requests against that application. In test/question_controller_test.dart, add the following code to set up the test harness:

Future main() async {
  TestApplication app = new TestApplication();

  setUpAll(() async {
    await app.start();

  tearDownAll(() async {
    await app.stop();

It's really important that the application is stopped in tearDownAll, otherwise your tests won't exit because there is an HTTP server running!

Let's add a test to verify that GET /questions returns a list of questions in a 200 OK response.

void main() {

  test("/questions returns list of questions", () async {
    var request = app.client.request("/questions");
      await request.get(),
      body: everyElement(endsWith("?")));

This test executes the request GET http://localhost/questions and ensures that the response's status code is 200 and the body is a list of strings that all end in '?'.

The method expectResponse takes a TestResponse, status code and an optional body matcher (it optionally takes a header matcher, too). It verifies that the response has the expected values and fails the test if it doesn't.

A TestResponse is created by executing a TestRequest, which is created by with the request method of a TestApplication's client. The execution methods for TestRequest are get(), post(), etc.

Run this test by right-clicking anywhere on it and selecting Run from the pop-up menu. A test runner will appear on the bottom of the screen with the results of the test.

There's one little issue here: the everyElement matcher ensures each string in the response body passes the inner matcher endsWith. However, if the response body were an empty list, the inner matcher would never run and the test would still pass. Let's verify that there is at least one question, too:

test("/questions returns list of questions", () async {
  var request = app.client.request("/questions");
    await request.get(),
    body: allOf([

Writing More Tests

Let's write two more tests - first, a test that ensures GET /questions/:index returns a single question and then another that ensures an index outside of the range of questions will return a 404. Add the following two tests inside the main function:

test("/questions/index returns a single question", () async {
    await app.client.request("/questions/1").get(),
    body: endsWith("?"));

test("/questions/index out of range returns 404", () async {
    await app.client.request("/questions/100").get(),

You can run all of the tests in a test file by right-clicking the main function and selecting Run from the popup menu.

All of your tests should pass - but what if they don't? If we, for example, went back into question_controller.dart and added a new question that didn't end with a ?:

var questions = [
  "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?",
  "What's the tallest mountain in the world?",
  "This is a statement."

The first test that gets all questions will fail and the following will be printed to the console:

Expected: --- HTTP Response ---
          - Status code must be 200
          - Headers can be anything
          - Body after decoding must be:

            (an object with length of a value greater than <0> and every element(a string ending with '?'))
  Actual: TestResponse:<-----------
          - Status code is 200
          - Headers are the following:
            - content-encoding: gzip
            - content-length: 108
            - x-frame-options: SAMEORIGIN
            - content-type: application/json; charset=utf-8
            - x-xss-protection: 1; mode=block
            - x-content-type-options: nosniff
            - server: aqueduct/1
   Which: the body differs for the following reasons:
          has value 'This is a statement.' which doesn't match a string ending with '?' at index 2

The Expected: value tells what was expected, the Actual: value tells you what you got, and Which: tells you why they differ. Here, the body differs because 'This is a statement.' doesn't end with '?'.

Remove This is a statement. from the list of questions and your tests will pass again.

Next Chapter: Executing Database Queries