Automated Testing in Laravel

As software development becomes increasingly complex, testing has become a critical part of the software development process. Testing ensures that the application works as expected, and meets the project requirements. Without testing, it is difficult for a developer to make sure the application is working properly. One popular way to make testing as efficient as possible is to utilize automated testing.

Automated testing involves the use of specialized software to test the code and ensure that it is working properly. Instead of having a quality assurance technician carefully check every functionality, code can be written to test our software! It may sound crazy, but automated testing has become an essential part of modern software development.

There are two main types of automated testing: unit testing and feature testing.

Unit testing involves testing individual components of code in isolation. This type of testing is useful for catching bugs early in the development process. It allows developers to test each piece of code in a controlled environment. Unit tests typically cover small pieces of code, such as functions or methods. Developers often use specialized frameworks, such as JUnit or PHPUnit, to write and run their unit tests.

Feature testing, on the other hand, involves testing the application as a whole to ensure that it meets the requirements and functions as expected. Feature testing is more focused on the end-to-end functionality of the application, and involves testing the user interface, data flow, and other components of the application.

Automated testing has a number of advantages over manual testing. For one, it is much faster and more efficient, allowing developers to spend less time testing and more time building new features. Automated testing is also more reliable, as it removes the potential for human error that can occur during manual testing.

Another advantage of automated testing is that it allows developers to test their code in a wide range of scenarios and configurations. With automated testing, it is easy to simulate different user inputs, network conditions, and other variables that can affect the performance and functionality of the application. This can be particularly useful for testing the application under stress or load conditions, which can be difficult to simulate manually.

One of the most important benefits of automated testing is that it allows developers to catch and fix bugs early in the development process. By catching bugs before the users do, developers can save time and resources, and ensure that the final product meets the project requirements. This is particularly important in agile development environments, where rapid iteration and frequent releases are the norm.

Here at OPG, we use automated testing to speed up the development process and deliver high quality software. The Laravel framework provides built-in support for the PHPUnit testing framework. When I want to create a new automated test for my project, here is what I do:

  • I run the command php artisan make:test testUsers. This command will create a new testing template at project > tests > Feature.
  • My testing template looks like this.

  • Then I write logic to test the process of registering new users. For this test I will send an http request to the register endpoint with the data about my new users and then I check that they are logged in and have been redirected to my welcome page. This makes sure my application can create new users and log them in properly.

  • I can run this test with the php artisan test command which will give me this output.

  • If this wasn’t working, correctly it would give me an error like this.

  • Now, no matter what changes we make to our application, we can always test that our user registration functionality works correctly by running the php artisan test command. As the project progresses we can add tests so that we can test the functionality of our application in seconds.

In conclusion, automated testing is an essential part of any good software development process. By utilizing automated testing, developers can catch bugs and issues before users see them, speed up the development process, and ensure that their application meets the project requirements. With the right tools and techniques, automated testing can be a powerful tool for building high-quality software.

~ Isaac D.