Using Mockito To Test Spring MVC Ajax Interaction

Filed under: java, spring, testing — Tags: , , , , , , , — digitaljoel @ 4:36 pm

So, I shared in Ajax Post to Spring MVC Controller what I learned about making an ajax post to a Spring MVC Controller. Then I shared in Mock Testing Spring MVC Controller what I learned about using Mockito to test my Spring MVC controller. So what about testing my RequestHandler that handles the ajax post and returns a JSON object? Well, as Samuel L. Jackson says in Jurassic Park, “Hold on to your butts”

Here’s the method that handles the ajax post of form data.

    @RequestMapping( value="answer/new", method=RequestMethod.POST)
    public ResponseEntity<String> newAnswer( @RequestParam(value="answerSeverity", required=true ) String severity
            , @RequestParam( value="answerText", required=true ) String text
            , @RequestParam( value="requiresReason", required=false, defaultValue="false" ) boolean requiresReason
            , @RequestParam( value="answerReasons", required=false ) List<Long> reasonKeys
        Severity sev = Severity.valueOf( severity );
        SurveyAnswer answer = new SurveyAnswer( text, sev );
        answer.setRequiresReason( requiresReason );
        if ( requiresReason )
            // add all the reasons
            List<SurveyAnswerReason> reasons = surveyService.findReasonsByKey( reasonKeys );
            for( SurveyAnswerReason reason : reasons )
                answer.addReason( reason );
        answer = surveyService.persist( answer );
        this.getAnswers( sev ).add( answer );
        return createJsonResponse( answer );

    private ResponseEntity<String> createJsonResponse( Object o )
        HttpHeaders headers = new HttpHeaders();
        headers.set(  "Content-Type", "application/json" );
        String json = gson.toJson( o );
        return new ResponseEntity<String>( json, headers, HttpStatus.CREATED );

You can read the previous post for information on what’s going on here, but basically, we handle the form post, create a new SurveyAnswer, and then return the created answer as a JSON object using the createJsonResponse method.

In order to mock test this, I’m going to have to mock all the calls to the surveyService methods. That would be findReasonsByKey, and persist. The persist was a bit tricky because I wanted it to just return the answer that was passed as an argument to ensure that the controller was creating the answer correctly. Here’s the code to do that.

        when( surveyService.persist( any( SurveyAnswer.class ))).thenAnswer(
                new Answer<SurveyAnswer>()
                    public SurveyAnswer answer( InvocationOnMock invocation ) throws Throwable
                        Object[] args = invocation.getArguments();
                        return (SurveyAnswer) args[0];
        when ( surveyService.findReasonsByKey( anyCollectionOf( Long.class ))).thenReturn( getReasons() );

I put it in my @Before annotated setup method in my unit test. I didn’t come up with it myself, I adapted it from an excellent answer to this question on That snippet allows me to just return the argument passed to the method, which is basically what JPA would do, other than setting the key and version, which I don’t really need for my test anyway. The mocked out findReasonsByKey just returns a list of objects that I’m creating elsewhere for testing purposes only.

So, on to the test. Here’s the code:

    public void testNewAnswerWithReasons()
        ResponseEntity<String> response = controller.newAnswer(, answerText,
                true, getReasonKeys() );
        assertEquals( "application/json", response.getHeaders().get( "Content-Type" ).get( 0 ));
        SurveyAnswer answer = gson.fromJson( response.getBody(), SurveyAnswer.class );
        assertEquals( getSingleAnswerWithReasons(), answer );

There are some helper methods that create the object graph needed for the SurveyAnswer. It then calls the method on the controller (which is also initialized in the @Before setup method) and checks the result. I’m really looking for two things. First, that the response has the Content-Type set correctly to application/json, and second, that I get an answer that corresponds to the values I passed in. Here again, I use Google’s GSON library for converting from my JSON string to my Java object. Once that is done, I can just test for equality with the answer I’m expecting. Obviously, for that to work, you’ll need to make sure your equals method is correct, but that’s an issue well addressed elsewhere on the internet and well beyond the scope of this post.

Mock Testing Spring MVC Controller

Filed under: development, spring, testing — Tags: , , , , , , — digitaljoel @ 2:08 pm

I’m in the midst of implementing a Spring MVC based web application. We have hudson for continuous integration builds that run all of our unit tests, but testing spring MVC controllers still just isn’t quite as easy as I would hope. There is some information on testing the controllers in the official spring documentation, but for someone like me that’s not a spring guru, or just starting out, it wasn’t enough to get me going. I recently was introduced to Mockito, so I spent a bit of time today trying to get a test for our controller using Mockito. It was simple and took no time at all.

I have yet to try it in a more complex controller method, but I think it’ll work just fine , especially when I get some utilities in place to initialize the mock objects that are commonly used by the controller. As it stands, here’s what I did to get it going. This tests the controller as a POJO, without using any spring configuration or capabilities.

Here is the controller I wish to test. Obviously I stripped out a bunch of code not needed for this demonstration.

@RequestMapping( "/admin/survey" )
public class SurveyAdminController
    private SurveyService surveyService;
    private UnitService unitService;
    private OrganizationService orgService;
     * Show the table of existing questions to the user
     * @param model
     * @return
    @RequestMapping( "questions" )
    public ModelAndView listQuestions()
        ModelAndView mav = new ModelAndView( "/admin/questionList");
        List<SurveyQuestion> questions = surveyService.findAllQuestions();
        mav.addObject( "questions", questions );
        List<UnitFeature> features = unitService.getAllFeatures();
        mav.addObject( "features", features );
        List<Organization> organizations = orgService.getAll();
        mav.addObject( "organizations", organizations );
        return mav;

For this simple test, it’s just going to validate that the view name is correct, and that the model that’s returned contains the correct information.


import static org.junit.Assert.assertEquals;
import static org.mockito.Mockito.when;

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

import org.junit.Before;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.mockito.Mock;
import org.mockito.MockitoAnnotations;
import org.springframework.test.util.ReflectionTestUtils;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ModelAndView;


public class SurveyAdminControllerTest
    @Mock SurveyService surveyService;
    @Mock UnitService unitService;
    @Mock OrganizationService orgService;
    @Mock MessageUtil messageUtil;

    public void setup()
        // this must be called for the @Mock annotations above to be processed.
        MockitoAnnotations.initMocks( this );
    public void testListQuestions()
        // setup our mock question list
        List<SurveyQuestion> questions = new ArrayList<SurveyQuestion>();
        questions.add( new SurveyQuestion( "asdf", null ));
        when( surveyService.findAllQuestions()).thenReturn( questions );

        // setup our mock feature list
        List<UnitFeature> features = new ArrayList<UnitFeature>();
        features.add( new UnitFeature( "TEST FEATURE" ));
        when( unitService.getAllFeatures()).thenReturn( features );

        // setup our mock organization list
        List<Organization> orgs = new ArrayList<Organization>();
        orgs.add( new Organization( "TEST ORGANIZATION" ));
        when( orgService.getAll()).thenReturn( orgs );

        // create an instance of the controller we want to test
        SurveyAdminController controller = new SurveyAdminController();

        // since we aren't using spring, these values won't be injected, so set them manually
        ReflectionTestUtils.setField( controller, "surveyService", surveyService );
        ReflectionTestUtils.setField( controller, "unitService", unitService );
        ReflectionTestUtils.setField( controller, "orgService", orgService );

        // call the method under test
        ModelAndView mav = controller.listQuestions();

        // review the results.
        assertEquals( questions, mav.getModel().get( "questions" ));
        assertEquals( features, mav.getModel().get( "features" ));
        assertEquals( orgs, mav.getModel().get( "organizations" ));
        assertEquals( "/admin/questionList", mav.getViewName());

The comments should be pretty self explanatory in the test class. The awesomeness of Mockito is how you setup the mocks. A line like this:

        when( unitService.getAllFeatures()).thenReturn( features );

reads very nicely and sets up the return value for my service object, which keeps me from needing a database or anything setup in order to test my controller method. Mockito ftw.

Create a free website or blog at