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Add a Test!

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This testing.php file is basically already a test... except it's missing the most important part: the ability to start shouting when something breaks.

To test our API, we'll use PHPUnit! Yes! Awesome! I'm excited because even though PHPUnit isn't the most exciting tool, it's solid - and we're going to do some cool stuff with our tests.

TIP In our other REST tutorial, we tested with Behat. Both are great, and really the same under the surface.

Create that Test

Create a Tests directory inside AppBundle. Now mimic your directory structure. So, add a Controller directory, then an API directory, and finish it with a new PHPUnit test class for ProgrammerController. Be a good programmer and fill in the right namespace. All these directories: technically unnecessary. But now we've got a sane setup.

Of course, we'll test our POST endpoint - so create public function testPOST():

namespace AppBundle\Tests\Controller\Api;
class ProgrammerControllerTest extends \PHPUnit_Framework_TestCase
public function testPOST()
... lines 8 - 25

I'm being inconsistent - the controller is newAction, but this method is testPOST - it would be cool to have these match - maybe even with a mixture of the two - like postNewAction().

Anyways, let's go steal our first request code from testing.php and paste it into testPOST:

... lines 1 - 5
public function testPOST()
$client = new \GuzzleHttp\Client([
'base_url' => 'http://localhost:8000',
'defaults' => [
'exceptions' => false
$nickname = 'ObjectOrienter'.rand(0, 999);
$data = array(
'nickname' => $nickname,
'avatarNumber' => 5,
'tagLine' => 'a test dev!'
// 1) Create a programmer resource
$response = $client->post('/api/programmers', [
'body' => json_encode($data)
... lines 27 - 28

Ok cool. No asserts yet - but let's see if it blows up. I already installed PHPUnit into this project, so run php bin/phpunit -c app then the path to the test:

php bin/phpunit -c app src/AppBundle/Tests/Controller/Api/ProgrammerControllerTest.php

Pretty green! No assertions yet, but also no explosions. Solid start team!

Be Assertive

Ok, what should we assert? Always start with the status code - $this->assertEquals() that the expected 201 equals $response->getStatusCode():

... lines 1 - 21
// 1) Create a programmer resource
$response = $client->post('/api/programmers', [
'body' => json_encode($data)
$this->assertEquals(201, $response->getStatusCode());
... lines 28 - 33

Second: what response header should we send back whenever we create a resource? Location! Right now, just assertTrue that $response->hasHeader('Location'). Soon, we'll assert the actual value.

... lines 1 - 26
$this->assertEquals(201, $response->getStatusCode());
... lines 29 - 33

And to put a bow on things, let's json_decode the response body into an array, and just assert that is has a nickname key with assertArrayHasKey, with nickname and $data:

... lines 1 - 26
$this->assertEquals(201, $response->getStatusCode());
$finishedData = json_decode($response->getBody(true), true);
$this->assertArrayHasKey('nickname', $finishedData);
... lines 31 - 33

In a second, we'll assert the actual value. It's not a super-tight test yet, but let's give it a shot:

php bin/phpunit -c app src/AppBundle/Tests/Controller/Api/ProgrammerControllerTest.php

Yes! This time we deserve that green.

Leave a comment!

This tutorial uses an older version of Symfony. The concepts of REST are still valid, but I recommend using API Platform in new Symfony apps.

What PHP libraries does this tutorial use?

// composer.json
    "require": {
        "php": ">=5.3.3",
        "symfony/symfony": "2.6.*", // v2.6.11
        "doctrine/orm": "~2.2,>=2.2.3,<2.5", // v2.4.7
        "doctrine/dbal": "<2.5", // v2.4.4
        "doctrine/doctrine-bundle": "~1.2", // v1.4.0
        "twig/extensions": "~1.0", // v1.2.0
        "symfony/assetic-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.6.1
        "symfony/swiftmailer-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.3.8
        "symfony/monolog-bundle": "~2.4", // v2.7.1
        "sensio/distribution-bundle": "~3.0,>=3.0.12", // v3.0.21
        "sensio/framework-extra-bundle": "~3.0,>=3.0.2", // v3.0.7
        "incenteev/composer-parameter-handler": "~2.0", // v2.1.0
        "hautelook/alice-bundle": "0.2.*", // 0.2
        "jms/serializer-bundle": "0.13.*" // 0.13.0
    "require-dev": {
        "sensio/generator-bundle": "~2.3", // v2.5.3
        "behat/behat": "~3.0", // v3.0.15
        "behat/mink-extension": "~2.0.1", // v2.0.1
        "behat/mink-goutte-driver": "~1.1.0", // v1.1.0
        "behat/mink-selenium2-driver": "~1.2.0", // v1.2.0
        "phpunit/phpunit": "~4.6.0" // 4.6.4