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Chris Hartjes' Blog: Simple API Testing Using Behat

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 28 February 2012.
PHPDeveloper

Chris Hartjes has taken some of his first steps to testing a web service with the help of the Behat BDD testing framework. In this new post he shares some of that knowledge and a bit of code to help guide you if you'd like to get started yourself.

I have been trying to push my JavaScript skills lately by first playing around with Node.js to get a feel for event-driven server-side coding and by trying to build something semi-useful using Knockout. [...] After working with PHPUnit's "assert that the result matches expectations" philosophy, switching to using a behavioural approach has changed how I decide to approach actually testing something.

He shows how to define a "scenario" in a more recognizable sort of English. His example is testing a web service to ensure of a few things:

  • the response is JSON
  • it contains at least one transaction
  • the first transaction has an ID, contains two teams and has a description

Included in the post is the resulting Behat test code (generated and modified with his testing details) and an example of the execution of the test.

I think that the BDD approach maps better to a results-oriented methodology when it comes to testing: you are using real-life scenarios to make sure that you are getting back the results you are expecting. In the end. that is still the goal of testing.