sfPHPUnit2Plugin - 0.8.2

Plugin adding PHPUnit support to symfony

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sfPHPUnit2 plugin

The sfPHPUnit2Plugin is a symfony plugin that adds basic functionality for unit and functional testing with PHPUnit.

Symfony 1.x provides lime as default testing framework, but this does not match to every company's testing guidelines. This plugin provides several tasks for generating PHPUnit test cases and for executing them. It mimics the lime usage, so that switching from lime tests is quite easy.


  • a symfony version greater equal 1.2 is required
  • the PHPUnit command-line test runner has to be available as phpunit in the command line (PHPUnit is not bundled with this plugin)
  • for running all tests PHPUnit 3.4 is required, otherwise this plugin is independant to the PHPUnit version


This plugin is marked as beta currently. Therefore the stability option has to be added to the plugin installer

    $ ./symfony plugin:install --stability=beta sfPHPUnit2Plugin

Generate test cases

Unit tests

Generating a test case for a unit test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:generate-unit <name>

Creates a new file in test/phpunit/unit/<name>Test.php

Functional tests

Generating a test case for a functional test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:generate-functional <application> <controller_name>

Creates a new file in test/phpunit/functional/<application>/<controller_name>ActionsTest.php. This generation is not done automatically when a new module is generated and has to be called by hand currently.


  • overwrite: An existing test case is not overwritten by default. Overwritting is enabled with this option.
  • dir (unit test only): A subfolder the generated test case should be saved in.


    $ #test/phpunit/unit/somesubfolder/SomeToolsTest.php
    $ ./symfony phpunit:generate-unit --dir="somesubfolder" --overwrite SomeTools

    $ #test/phpunit/functional/frontend/homeActionsTest.php
    $ ./symfony phpunit:generate-functional frontend home


Unit tests

The unit test given in the official documenation would look like this:

require_once dirname(__FILE__).'/../bootstrap/unit.php';

class SomeTest extends sfPHPUnitBaseTestCase
  protected function _start()
    $this->getTest()->diag('test is starting');

  protected function _end()
    $this->getTest()->diag('test is ending');

  public function testStrtolower()
    $t = $this->getTest();

    // strtolower()
    $t->diag('strtolower() ...');
    $t->isa_ok(strtolower('Foo'), 'string',
        'strtolower() returns a string');
    $t->is(strtolower('FOO'), 'foo',
        'strtolower() transforms the input to lowercase');
    $t->is(strtolower('foo'), 'foo',
        'strtolower() leaves lowercase characters unchanged');
    $t->is(strtolower('12#?@~'), '12#?@~',
        'strtolower() leaves non alphabetical characters unchanged');
    $t->is(strtolower('FOO BAR'), 'foo bar',
        'strtolower() leaves blanks alone');
    $t->is(strtolower('FoO bAr'), 'foo bar',
        'strtolower() deals with mixed case input');

    $this->assertEquals('foo', strtolower('FOO'));

The getTest method returns a sfPHPUnitTest instance which mimics the lime interface. This mechanism makes moving from an existing lime test quite easy. Of course you can call the native PHPUnit API directly for making assertions. The base class for this test case is using the setUp and tearDown methods of PHPUnit for doing something just before and after every test. When you need some custom code during those test phases, please use the according _start and _end methods.

Functional tests

Here some content of a generated functional test:

require_once dirname(__FILE__).'/../../bootstrap/functional.php';

class functional_frontend_homeActionsTest extends sfPHPUnitBaseFunctionalTestCase
  protected function getApplication()
    return 'frontend';

  public function testDefault()
    $browser = $this->getBrowser();


        isParameter('module', 'home')->
        isParameter('action', 'index')->

        checkElement('body', '!/This is a temporary page/')->

As you can see, the main testing code is almost equal to the one of lime. This could be realized, because the browser instance is linked here to the current PHPUnit test case and not to the lime test instance. Only the way the browser instance has to be fetched is different.

Execute test cases

Unit tests

Executing a unit test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-unit <name>
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit test/phpunit/unit/<name>Test.php

When the name parameter is not given, all unit tests will be executed!

Functional tests

Executing a functional test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-functional <application> <controller_name>
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit test/phpunit/functional/<application>/<controller_name>ActionsTest.php

Both parameters are optional. When they are not given, all functional tests will be executed.


  • options: An option string which is directly passed to the command-line test runner of PHPUnit.
  • dir (unit test only): The subfolder an existing unit test is located in.


Executing a unit test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-unit SomeTools
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit test/phpunit/unit/SomeToolsTest.php

Executing a unit test from a subfolder:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-unit --dir="somesubfolder" --options="--colors --verbose" SomeTools
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit --colors --verbose test/phpunit/unit/somesubfolder/SomeToolsTest.php

Executing a functional test:

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-functional --options="--colors" frontend home
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit --colors test/phpunit/functional/frontend/homeActionsTest.php

Executing all functional tests with process isolation (PHPUnit 3.4 required):

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-functional --options="--colors --process-isolation"
    $ # equal to
    $ phpunit --colors --process-isolation test/phpunit/functional

Executing all tests (process isolation option required!):

    $ ./symfony phpunit:test-all --options="--colors --process-isolation"

Some Hints

  • Functional tests of several applications have to be run with the "process isolation" PHPUnit option (only available in PHPUnit 3.4)!
  • Use the colors option of PHPUnit to get a colorful representation of your test results
  • You do not like the PHPUnit syntax? Use $this->getTest() to retrieve a instance of sfPHPUnitTest, which mimics the lime-like interface!
  • Use the _start and _end methods for doing something just before and after a test (please do not overwrite the setUp and tearDown methods)!
  • implement the getApplication method in your unit test and call getContext afterwards for creating an according sfContext instance


Loading fixtures in your test:

  public function _start()
    new sfDatabaseManager(ProjectConfiguration::getApplicationConfiguration('frontend', 'test', true));

Creating a sfContext instance in a unit test:

  protected function getApplication()
    return 'frontend';

  public function testContext()
    $this->assertEquals('frontend', $this->getContext()->getConfiguration()->getApplication());