This guide walks you through the process of creating a Spring application and then testing it with JUnit.

What You Will Build

You will build a simple Spring application and test it with JUnit. You probably already know how to write and run unit tests of the individual classes in your application, so, for this guide, we will concentrate on using Spring Test and Spring Boot features to test the interactions between Spring and your code. You will start with a simple test that the application context loads successfully and continue on to test only the web layer by using Spring’s MockMvc.

What You Need

How to complete this guide

Like most Spring Getting Started guides, you can start from scratch and complete each step or you can bypass basic setup steps that are already familiar to you. Either way, you end up with working code.

To start from scratch, move on to Starting with Spring Initializr.

To skip the basics, do the following:

When you finish, you can check your results against the code in gs-testing-web/complete.

Starting with Spring Initializr

For all Spring applications, you should start with the Spring Initializr. The Initializr offers a fast way to pull in all the dependencies you need for an application and does a lot of the setup for you. This example needs only the Spring Web dependency.

The following listing shows the pom.xml file that is created when you choose Maven:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
	xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 https://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
	<modelVersion>4.0.0</modelVersion>
	<parent>
		<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
		<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-parent</artifactId>
		<version>2.3.2.RELEASE</version>
		<relativePath/> <!-- lookup parent from repository -->
	</parent>
	<groupId>com.example</groupId>
	<artifactId>testing-web</artifactId>
	<version>0.0.1-SNAPSHOT</version>
	<name>testing-web</name>
	<description>Demo project for Spring Boot</description>

	<properties>
		<java.version>1.8</java.version>
	</properties>

	<dependencies>
		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-web</artifactId>
		</dependency>

		<dependency>
			<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
			<artifactId>spring-boot-starter-test</artifactId>
			<scope>test</scope>
			<exclusions>
				<exclusion>
					<groupId>org.junit.vintage</groupId>
					<artifactId>junit-vintage-engine</artifactId>
				</exclusion>
			</exclusions>
		</dependency>
	</dependencies>

	<build>
		<plugins>
			<plugin>
				<groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
				<artifactId>spring-boot-maven-plugin</artifactId>
			</plugin>
		</plugins>
	</build>

</project>

The following listing shows the build.gradle file that is created when you choose Gradle:

plugins {
	id 'org.springframework.boot' version '2.3.2.RELEASE'
	id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.0.8.RELEASE'
	id 'java'
}

group = 'com.example'
version = '0.0.1-SNAPSHOT'
sourceCompatibility = '1.8'

repositories {
	mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {
	implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
	testImplementation('org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test') {
		exclude group: 'org.junit.vintage', module: 'junit-vintage-engine'
	}
}

test {
	useJUnitPlatform()
}

Create a Simple Application

Create a new controller for your Spring application. The following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/testingweb/HomeController.java) shows how to do so:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.ResponseBody;

@Controller
public class HomeController {

	@RequestMapping("/")
	public @ResponseBody String greeting() {
		return "Hello, World";
	}

}
The preceding example does not specify GET versus PUT, POST, and so forth. By default @RequestMapping maps all HTTP operations. You can use @GetMapping or @RequestMapping(method=GET) to narrow this mapping.

Run the Application

The Spring Initializr creates an application class (a class with a main() method) for you. For this guide, you need not modify this class. The following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/testingweb/TestingWebApplication.java) shows the application class that the Spring Initializr created:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.springframework.boot.SpringApplication;
import org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.SpringBootApplication;

@SpringBootApplication
public class TestingWebApplication {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		SpringApplication.run(TestingWebApplication.class, args);
	}
}

@SpringBootApplication is a convenience annotation that adds all of the following:

  • @Configuration: Tags the class as a source of bean definitions for the application context.

  • @EnableAutoConfiguration: Tells Spring Boot to start adding beans based on classpath settings, other beans, and various property settings.

  • @EnableWebMvc: Flags the application as a web application and activates key behaviors, such as setting up a DispatcherServlet. Spring Boot adds it automatically when it sees spring-webmvc on the classpath.

  • @ComponentScan: Tells Spring to look for other components, configurations, and services in the the com.example.testingweb package, letting it find the HelloController class.

The main() method uses Spring Boot’s SpringApplication.run() method to launch an application. Did you notice that there is not a single line of XML? There is no web.xml file, either. This web application is 100% pure Java and you did not have to deal with configuring any plumbing or infrastructure. Spring Boot handles all of that for you.

Logging output is displayed. The service should be up and running within a few seconds.

Test the Application

Now that the application is running, you can test it. You can load the home page at http://localhost:8080. However, to give yourself more confidence that the application works when you make changes, you want to automate the testing.

Spring Boot assumes you plan to test your application, so it adds the necessary dependencies to your build file (build.gradle or pom.xml).

The first thing you can do is write a simple sanity check test that will fail if the application context cannot start. The following listing (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/TestingWebApplicationTest.java) shows how to do so:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;

@SpringBootTest
public class TestingWebApplicationTests {

	@Test
	public void contextLoads() {
	}

}

The @SpringBootTest annotation tells Spring Boot to look for a main configuration class (one with @SpringBootApplication, for instance) and use that to start a Spring application context. You can run this test in your IDE or on the command line (by running ./mvnw test or ./gradlew test), and it should pass. To convince yourself that the context is creating your controller, you could add an assertion, as the following example (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/SmokeTest.java) shows:

package com.example.testingweb;

import static org.assertj.core.api.Assertions.assertThat;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;

@SpringBootTest
public class SmokeTest {

	@Autowired
	private HomeController controller;

	@Test
	public void contextLoads() throws Exception {
		assertThat(controller).isNotNull();
	}
}

Spring interprets the @Autowired annotation, and the controller is injected before the test methods are run. We use AssertJ (which provides assertThat() and other methods) to express the test assertions.

A nice feature of the Spring Test support is that the application context is cached between tests. That way, if you have multiple methods in a test case or multiple test cases with the same configuration, they incur the cost of starting the application only once. You can control the cache by using the @DirtiesContext annotation.

It is nice to have a sanity check, but you should also write some tests that assert the behavior of your application. To do that, you could start the application and listen for a connection (as it would do in production) and then send an HTTP request and assert the response. The following listing (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/HttpRequestTest.java) shows how to do so:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest.WebEnvironment;
import org.springframework.boot.test.web.client.TestRestTemplate;
import org.springframework.boot.web.server.LocalServerPort;

import static org.assertj.core.api.Assertions.assertThat;

@SpringBootTest(webEnvironment = WebEnvironment.RANDOM_PORT)
public class HttpRequestTest {

	@LocalServerPort
	private int port;

	@Autowired
	private TestRestTemplate restTemplate;

	@Test
	public void greetingShouldReturnDefaultMessage() throws Exception {
		assertThat(this.restTemplate.getForObject("http://localhost:" + port + "/",
				String.class)).contains("Hello, World");
	}
}

Note the use of webEnvironment=RANDOM_PORT to start the server with a random port (useful to avoid conflicts in test environments) and the injection of the port with @LocalServerPort. Also, note that Spring Boot has automatically provided a TestRestTemplate for you. All you have to do is add @Autowired to it.

Another useful approach is to not start the server at all but to test only the layer below that, where Spring handles the incoming HTTP request and hands it off to your controller. That way, almost of the full stack is used, and your code will be called in exactly the same way as if it were processing a real HTTP request but without the cost of starting the server. To do that, use Spring’s MockMvc and ask for that to be injected for you by using the @AutoConfigureMockMvc annotation on the test case. The following listing (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/TestingWebApplicationTest.java) shows how to do so:

package com.example.testingweb;

import static org.hamcrest.Matchers.containsString;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.request.MockMvcRequestBuilders.get;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultHandlers.print;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultMatchers.content;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultMatchers.status;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.autoconfigure.web.servlet.AutoConfigureMockMvc;
import org.springframework.boot.test.context.SpringBootTest;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.MockMvc;

@SpringBootTest
@AutoConfigureMockMvc
public class TestingWebApplicationTest {

	@Autowired
	private MockMvc mockMvc;

	@Test
	public void shouldReturnDefaultMessage() throws Exception {
		this.mockMvc.perform(get("/")).andDo(print()).andExpect(status().isOk())
				.andExpect(content().string(containsString("Hello, World")));
	}
}

In this test, the full Spring application context is started but without the server. We can narrow the tests to only the web layer by using @WebMvcTest, as the following listing (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/WebLayerTest.java) shows:

@WebMvcTest
public class WebLayerTest {

	@Autowired
	private MockMvc mockMvc;

	@Test
	public void shouldReturnDefaultMessage() throws Exception {
		this.mockMvc.perform(get("/")).andDo(print()).andExpect(status().isOk())
				.andExpect(content().string(containsString("Hello, World")));
	}
}

The test assertion is the same as in the previous case. However, in this test, Spring Boot instantiates only the web layer rather than the whole context. In an application with multiple controllers, you can even ask for only one to be instantiated by using, for example, @WebMvcTest(HomeController.class).

So far, our HomeController is simple and has no dependencies. We could make it more realistic by introducing an extra component to store the greeting (perhaps in a new controller). The following example (from src/main/java/com/example/testingweb/GreetingController.java) shows how to do so:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.ResponseBody;


@Controller
public class GreetingController {

	private final GreetingService service;

	public GreetingController(GreetingService service) {
		this.service = service;
	}

	@RequestMapping("/greeting")
	public @ResponseBody String greeting() {
		return service.greet();
	}

}

Then create a greeting service, as the following listing (from src/main/java/com/example/testingweb/GreetingService.java) shows:

package com.example.testingweb;

import org.springframework.stereotype.Service;

@Service
public class GreetingService {
	public String greet() {
		return "Hello, World";
	}
}

Spring automatically injects the service dependency into the controller (because of the constructor signature). The following listing (from src/test/java/com/example/testingweb/WebMockTest.java) shows how to test this controller with @WebMvcTest:

package com.example.testingweb;

import static org.hamcrest.Matchers.containsString;
import static org.mockito.Mockito.when;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.request.MockMvcRequestBuilders.get;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultHandlers.print;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultMatchers.content;
import static org.springframework.test.web.servlet.result.MockMvcResultMatchers.status;

import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import org.springframework.beans.factory.annotation.Autowired;
import org.springframework.boot.test.autoconfigure.web.servlet.WebMvcTest;
import org.springframework.boot.test.mock.mockito.MockBean;
import org.springframework.test.web.servlet.MockMvc;

@WebMvcTest(GreetingController.class)
public class WebMockTest {

	@Autowired
	private MockMvc mockMvc;

	@MockBean
	private GreetingService service;

	@Test
	public void greetingShouldReturnMessageFromService() throws Exception {
		when(service.greet()).thenReturn("Hello, Mock");
		this.mockMvc.perform(get("/greeting")).andDo(print()).andExpect(status().isOk())
				.andExpect(content().string(containsString("Hello, Mock")));
	}
}

We use @MockBean to create and inject a mock for the GreetingService (if you do not do so, the application context cannot start), and we set its expectations using Mockito.

Summary

Congratulations! You have developed a Spring application and tested it with JUnit and Spring MockMvc and have used Spring Boot to isolate the web layer and load a special application context.

See Also

The following guides may also be helpful:

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All guides are released with an ASLv2 license for the code, and an Attribution, NoDerivatives creative commons license for the writing.