PHPUnit Best Pratice

Sebastian Bergmann is talking about PHPUnit Best Pratices

Nobody likes to install a software.

Install PHPUnit via PEAR or composer.

Be descriptive about what you are testing

If you write tests for a class named Money, name the Test MoneyTest, give your test methods descriptive names.

It (the descriptive name of the method) forces you to think about what the test code is supposed to do

Be expressive what you are testing

In PHPUnit 3.7 there is a new @cover Annotation to only mark code inthis method in the code coverage report

  * @cover Money::negate

This avoids false positives in the code coverage report, if the method only is a sidenote of a test.

Create good error messages

$this->assertEmpty(array()); # Error: asserted empty, got not empty
# vs.
$this->assertTrue(empty()) # Error: asserted true, got false <- bad.

Use assertions

Obviously... Use them.

Strict mode

The strict mode counts the assertions in a test. If there is no assertion, the test is marked as incomplete and there is no code coverage.

phpunit --strict --verbose MoneyTest

Use it!

Write real unit tests

Remove all dependencies, use mock objects or stubs.

$stub = $this->getMock('MoneyInterface');


Decouple test code and data

Data providers solve the problem to duplicate the test code for different parameters.

 * @dataProvider provider
public function testAdd($a, $b, $c) {
    $this->assertEquals($c, $a + $b);

public function provider() {
    return array(
        'correct1' => array(1,2,3),     # you can set names for the groups to pop up in error message
        'correct2' => array(5,6,11)

Use a configuration file

Bootstrap file, configuration settings

Bootstrap runs a bootstrap file before the tests are run.

  • backupGlobals (backup global variables before tests and restore afterwards)
  • backupStaticAttributes (same as above, but with static attributes)
  • strict mode (see above)
  • cacheTokens (static code analysis checks for die(), echo(), etc. and caches these tokens)

It is possible to order the unit tests

  1. (real) unit tests, run fast, are very valuable, because it shows directly the unit of code which fails
  2. integration tests
  3. edge-to-edge tests
  4. end-to-end test

The larger the test is, the less valuable the output is

Define the type of logging

junit, coverage-clover, coverage-html and the targets of the export files


Define filters, in which files should be looked for tests

Use the most specific assertion!

Write real unit tests