Mock dependencies using Mockito

Sometimes, unit tests might depend on classes that fetch data from live web services or databases. This is inconvenient for a few reasons:

  • Calling live services or databases slows down test execution.
  • A passing test might start failing if a web service or database returns unexpected results. This is known as a “flaky test.”
  • It is difficult to test all possible success and failure scenarios by using a live web service or database.

Therefore, rather than relying on a live web service or database, you can “mock” these dependencies. Mocks allow emulating a live web service or database and return specific results depending on the situation.

Generally speaking, you can mock dependencies by creating an alternative implementation of a class. Write these alternative implementations by hand or make use of the Mockito package as a shortcut.

This recipe demonstrates the basics of mocking with the Mockito package using the following steps:

  1. Add the package dependencies.
  2. Create a function to test.
  3. Create a test file with a mock http.Client.
  4. Write a test for each condition.
  5. Run the tests.

For more information, see the Mockito package documentation.

1. Add the package dependencies

To use the mockito package, add it to the pubspec.yaml file along with the flutter_test dependency in the dev_dependencies section.

This example also uses the http package, so define that dependency in the dependencies section.

dependencies:
  http: <newest_version>
dev_dependencies:
  test: <newest_version>
  mockito: <newest_version>

2. Create a function to test

In this example, unit test the fetchPost function from the Fetch data from the internet recipe. To test this function, make two changes:

  1. Provide an http.Client to the function. This allows providing the correct http.Client depending on the situation. For Flutter and server-side projects, provide an http.IOClient. For Browser apps, provide an http.BrowserClient. For tests, provide a mock http.Client.
  2. Use the provided client to fetch data from the internet, rather than the static http.get() method, which is difficult to mock.

The function should now look like this:

class Post {
  dynamic data;
  Post.fromJson(this.data);
}

Future<Post> fetchPost(http.Client client) async {
  final response =
      await client.get('https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1');

  if (response.statusCode == 200) {
    // If the call to the server was successful, parse the JSON.
    return Post.fromJson(json.decode(response.body));
  } else {
    // If that call was not successful, throw an error.
    throw Exception('Failed to load post');
  }
}

3. Create a test file with a mock http.Client

Next, create a test file along with a MockClient class. Following the advice in the Introduction to unit testing recipe, create a file called fetch_post_test.dart in the root test folder.

The MockClient class implements the http.Client class. This allows you to pass the MockClient to the fetchPost function, and return different http responses in each test.

// Create a MockClient using the Mock class provided by the Mockito package.
// Create new instances of this class in each test.
class MockClient extends Mock implements http.Client {}

main() {
  // Tests go here
}

4. Write a test for each condition

The fetchPost() function does one of two things:

  1. Returns a Post if the http call succeeds
  2. Throws an Exception if the http call fails

Therefore, you want to test these two conditions. Use the MockClient class to return an “Ok” response for the success test, and an error response for the unsuccessful test. Test these conditions using the when() function provided by Mockito:

// Create a MockClient using the Mock class provided by the Mockito package.
// Create new instances of this class in each test.
class MockClient extends Mock implements http.Client {}

main() {
  group('fetchPost', () {
    test('returns a Post if the http call completes successfully', () async {
      final client = MockClient();

      // Use Mockito to return a successful response when it calls the
      // provided http.Client.
      when(client.get('https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1'))
          .thenAnswer((_) async => http.Response('{"title": "Test"}', 200));

      expect(await fetchPost(client), const TypeMatcher<Post>());
    });

    test('throws an exception if the http call completes with an error', () {
      final client = MockClient();

      // Use Mockito to return an unsuccessful response when it calls the
      // provided http.Client.
      when(client.get('https://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts/1'))
          .thenAnswer((_) async => http.Response('Not Found', 404));

      expect(fetchPost(client), throwsException);
    });
  });
}

5. Run the tests

Now that you have a fetchPost() function with tests in place, run the tests.

$ dart test/fetch_post_test.dart

You can also run tests inside your favorite editor by following the instructions in the Introduction to unit testing recipe.

Summary

In this example, you’ve learned how to use Mockito to test functions or classes that depend on web services or databases. This is only a short introduction to the Mockito library and the concept of mocking. For more information, see the documentation provided by the Mockito package.