Data Management

# Data Management

This chapter describes data management for external sources. If you are looking for using Data Sets in tests, see Data Driven Tests (opens new window) section*

Managing data for tests is always a tricky issue. How isolate data between tests, how to prepare data for different tests, etc. There are different approaches to solve it:

  1. reset database completely between tests
  2. create unique non-intersecting data sets per each test
  3. create and delete data for a test

The most efficient way would be to allow test to control its data, i.e. the 3rd option. However, accessing database directly is not a good idea as database vendor, schema and data are used by application internally and are out of scope of acceptance test.

Today all modern web applications have REST or GraphQL API . So it is a good idea to use it to create data for a test and delete it after. API is supposed to be a stable interface and it can be used by acceptance tests. CodeceptJS provides 4 helpers for Data Management via REST and GraphQL API.

# REST

REST helper (opens new window) allows sending raw HTTP requests to application. This is a tool to make shortcuts and create your data pragmatically via API. However, it doesn't provide tools for testing APIs, so it should be paired with WebDriver, Nightmare or Protractor helpers for browser testing.

Enable REST helper in the config. It is recommended to set endpoint, a base URL for all API requests. If you need some authorization you can optionally set default headers too.

See the sample config:

helpers: {
  REST: {
    endpoint: "http://localhost/api/v1/",
    defaultHeaders: {
      'Auth': '11111',
      'Content-Type': 'application/json',
      'Accept': 'application/json',
    },
  },
  WebDriver : {
    url: 'http://localhost',
    browser: 'chrome'
  }
}

REST helper provides basic methods to send requests to application:

I.sendGetRequest()
I.sendPostRequest()
I.sendPutRequest()
I.sendPatchRequest()
I.sendDeleteRequest()

As well as a method for setting headers: haveRequestHeaders.

Here is a usage example:

let postId = null;

Scenario('check post page', async ({ I })  => {
  // valid access token
  I.haveRequestHeaders({auth: '1111111'});
  // get the first user
  let user = await I.sendGetRequest('/api/users/1');
  // create a post and save its Id
  postId = await I.sendPostRequest('/api/posts', { author: user.id, body: 'some text' });
  // open browser page of new post
  I.amOnPage('/posts/2.html');
  I.see('some text', 'p.body');
});

// cleanup created data
After(({ I }) => {
  I.sendDeleteRequest('/api/posts/'+postId);
});

This can also be used to emulate Ajax requests:

I.sendPostRequest('/update-status', {}, { http_x_requested_with: 'xmlhttprequest' });

See complete reference on REST (opens new window) helper

# GraphQL

GraphQL helper (opens new window) allows sending GraphQL queries and mutations to application, over Http. This is a tool to make shortcuts and create your data pragmatically via GraphQL endpoint. However, it doesn't provide tools for testing the endpoint, so it should be paired with WebDriver, Nightmare or Protractor helpers for browser testing.

Enable GraphQL helper in the config. It is recommended to set endpoint, the URL to which the requests go to. If you need some authorization you can optionally set default headers too.

See the sample config:

helpers: {
  GraphQL: {
    endpoint: "http://localhost/graphql/",
    defaultHeaders: {
      'Auth': '11111',
      'Content-Type': 'application/json',
      'Accept': 'application/json',
    },
  },
  WebDriver : {
    url: 'http://localhost',
    browser: 'chrome'
  }
}

GraphQL helper provides two basic methods to queries and mutations to application:

I.sendQuery()
I.sendMutation()

As well as a method for setting headers: haveRequestHeaders.

Here is a usage example:

let postData = null;

Scenario('check post page', async ({ I })  => {
  // valid access token
  I.haveRequestHeaders({auth: '1111111'});
  // get the first user
  let response = await I.sendQuery('{ user(id:1) { id }}');
  let user = response.data;
  // create a post and save its Id
  response = await I.sendMutation(
    'mutation createPost($input: PostInput!) { createPost(input: $input) { id }}',
    {
      input : {
        author: user.data.id,
        body: 'some text',
      }
    },
  );
  postData = response.data.data['createPost'];
  // open browser page of new post
  I.amOnPage(`/posts/${postData.slug}.html`);
  I.see(postData.body, 'p.body');
});

// cleanup created data
After(({ I }) => {
  I.sendMutation(
    'mutation deletePost($id: ID!) { deletePost(id: $id) }',
    { id: postData.id},
  );
});

See complete reference on GraphQL (opens new window) helper

# Data Generation with Factories

This concept is extended by:

These helpers build data according to defined rules and use REST API or GraphQL mutations to store them and automatically clean them up after a test.

Just define how many items of any kind you need and the data factory helper will create them for you.

To make this work some preparations are required.

At first, you need data generation libraries which are Rosie (opens new window) and Faker (opens new window). Faker can generate random names, emails, texts, and Rosie uses them to generate objects using factories.

Install rosie and faker to create a first factory:

npm i rosie faker --save-dev

Then create a module which will export a factory for an entity. And add that module as a part of the configuration for the helper.

Please look at the respective Factory sections for examples for factory modules and configuration.

# API Data Factory

This helper uses REST API to store the built data and automatically clean them up after a test, The way for setting data for a test is as simple as writing:

// inside async function
let post = await I.have('post');
I.haveMultiple('comment', 5, { postId: post.id});

After completing the preparations under 'Data Generation with Factories', create a factory module which will export a factory.

See the example providing a factory for User generation:

// factories/post.js
var Factory = require('rosie').Factory;
var faker = require('faker');

module.exports = new Factory()
  .attr('name', () => faker.name.findName())
  .attr('email', () => faker.internet.email());

Next is to configure helper to match factories with API:

 ApiDataFactory: {
   endpoint: "http://user.com/api",
   headers: {
     'Content-Type': 'application/json',
     'Accept': 'application/json',
   },
   factories: {
     user: {
        uri: "/users",
        factory: "./factories/user"
     }
   }
 }

Then, calling I.have('user') inside a test will create a new user for you. This is done by sending POST request to /api/users URL. Response is returned and can be used in tests.

At the end of a test ApiDataFactory will clean up created record for you. This is done by collecting ids from crated records and running DELETE /api/users/{id} requests at the end of a test. This rules can be customized in helper configuration.

See complete reference on ApiDataFactory (opens new window) helper

# GraphQL Data Factory

The helper uses GraphQL mutations to store the built data and automatically clean them up after a test. This way for setting data for a test is as simple as writing:

// inside async function
let post = await I.mutateData('createPost');
I.mutateMultiple('createComment', 5, { postId: post.id});

After completing the preparations under 'Data Generation with Factories', create a factory module which will export a factory.

The object built by the factory is sent as the variables object along with the mutation. So make sure it matches the argument type as detailed in the GraphQL schema. You may want to pass a constructor to the factory to achieve that.

See the example providing a factory for User generation:

// factories/post.js
var Factory = require('rosie').Factory;
var faker = require('faker');

module.exports = new Factory((buildObj) => {
  return {
    input: { ...buildObj },
  }
})
  .attr('name', () => faker.name.findName())
  .attr('email', () => faker.internet.email());

Next is to configure helper to match factories with API:

GraphQLDataFactory: {
  endpoint: "http://user.com/graphql",
  cleanup: true,
  headers: {
    'Content-Type': 'application/json',
    'Accept': 'application/json',
  },
  factories: {
    createUser: {
      query: 'mutation createUser($input: UserInput!) { createUser(input: $input) { id name }}',
      factory: './factories/users',
      revert: (data) => ({
        query: 'mutation deleteUser($id: ID!) { deleteUser(id: $id) }',
        variables: { id : data.id},
      }),
    },
  }

Then, calling I.mutateData('createUser') inside a test will create a new user for you. This is done by sending a GraphQL mutation request over Http to /graphql endpoint. Response is returned and can be used in tests.

At the end of a test GraphQLDataFactory will clean up created record for you. This is done by collecting data from crated records, creating deletion mutation objects by passing the data to the revert function provided, and sending deletion mutation objects as requests at the end of a test. This behavior is according the revert function be customized in helper configuration. The revert function returns an object, that contains the query for deletion, and the variables object to go along with it.

See complete reference on GraphQLDataFactory (opens new window) helper

# Requests Using Browser Session

All the REST, GraphQL, GraphQLDataFactory, and ApiDataFactory helpers allow override requests before sending. This feature can be used to fetch current browser cookies and set them to REST API or GraphQL client. By doing this we can make requests within the current browser session without a need of additional authentication.

Sharing browser session with ApiDataFactory or GraphQLDataFactory can be especially useful when you test Single Page Applications

Since CodeceptJS 2.3.3 there is a simple way to enable shared session for browser and data helpers. Install @codeceptjs/configure (opens new window) package:

npm i @codeceptjs/configure --save

Import setSharedCookies function and call it inside a config:

// in codecept.conf.js
const { setSharedCookies } = require('@codeceptjs/configure');

// share cookies between browser helpers and REST/GraphQL
setSharedCookies();

exports.config = {}

Without setSharedCookies you will need to update the config manually, so a data helper could receive cookies from a browser to make a request. If you would like to configure this process manually, here is an example of doing so:


let cookies; // share cookies

exports.config = {
helpers: {
  ApiDataFactory: {
    endpoint: 'http://local.app/api',
    cleanup: true,
    headers: {
      'Content-Type': 'application/json',
      'Accept': 'application/json',
    },
    factories: {
      user: {
          uri: "/users",
          factory: "./factories/user",
      }
    },
    onRequest: async (request) => {
      // get a cookie if it's not obtained yet
      if (cookies) cookies = await codeceptjs.container.helpers('WebDriver').grabCookie();
      // add cookies to request for a current request
      request.headers = { Cookie: cookies.map(c => `${c.name}=${c.value}`).join('; ') };
    },
  }
  WebDriver: {
    url: 'https://local.app/',
    browser: 'chrome',
  }
}

In this case we are accessing WebDriver helper. However, you can replace WebDriver with any helper you use.

The same can be done with GraphQLDataFactory.

The order of helpers is important! ApiDataFactory will clean up created users after a test, so it needs browser to be still opened to obtain its cookies.

Last Updated: 2/5/2021, 2:49:41 AM