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Test your application

Creating automatic test suites for your application is a good way to make it robust. It allows you to work in a very agile way.

Play tests are built using JUnit 4 or Selenium depending what you want to test.

Writing tests

The tests must be created in the test/ directory. This folder will only be added to the sources path when the application is run in test mode. You can write 3 different kinds of tests.

Unit test

A unit test is written using JUnit. In this kind of test you can test the model of your application (including some utilities).

Here is an example of a Unit test:

import play.test.*;
import org.junit.*;
public class MyTest extends UnitTest {
    public void aTest() {
        assertEquals(2, 1 + 1); // A really important thing to test
    public void testUsers() {
        assertEquals(3, Users.count()); 

Functional test

A functional test is written using JUnit. In this kind of test you can test your application by accessing directly the controller objects.

Here is an example of a Functional test:

import play.test.*;
import play.mvc.*;
import play.mvc.Http.*;
import org.junit.*;
public class ApplicationTest extends FunctionalTest {
    public void testTheHomePage() {
        Response response = GET("/");
        assertStatus(200, response);

Selenium test

Acceptance tests are written using Selenium. Here you can test your application by running it in an automated browser.

Selenium tests are written using HTML tables. You can either use this native syntax or use the #{selenium /} tag.

Here is an example of a Selenium test:

#{selenium 'Test security'}
    // Try to log in the administration area
    type('login', 'admin')
    type('password', 'secret')
    // Verify that the user in correctly logged in
    assertText('success', 'Welcom admin!')


When you run tests, you need to have stable data for your application. The simplest way is to reset your database before each test.

The play.test.Fixtures class helps you to manipulate your database and to inject test data. You typically use it in a @Before method of a JUnit test.

public void setUp() {

To import data, it is simpler to define them in a YAML file that the Fixtures helper can automatically import.

# Test data
   name:    Google
   name:    Zenexity
   name:    guillaume
   company: zen

And then:

public void setUp() {

You can read more about Play and YAML in the YAML manual page.

For Selenium tests, you can use the #{fixture /} tag:

#{fixture delete:'all', load:'data.yml' /}
    // Write your test here

Running the tests

To run the tests, you must run your application in test mode using the play test command.

# play test myApp

In this mode, Play will automatically load the test-runner module. This module provides a Web based test runner, available at the http://localhost:9000/@tests URL.

When you run a test, the result is saved into the /test-result directory of your application.

On the test runner page, each test is a link. You can ‘right click’ and ‘Open in a new tab’, to run the test directly outside of the test-runner.

When you run tests this way, Play will start with a special test framework ID. So you can define special configurations in the application.conf file.

For example:


Continuous integration, and running the tests automatically

The auto-test command does the same as the test command, but it automatically launches a browser, runs all the tests, and stops.

This is a useful command if you want to set up a continuous integration system;

After the run, all results are saved to the /test-result directory. Moreover, this directory contains a marker file (either result.failed or result.passed) for the test suite’s final result. Finally, this directory contains all the logs, in an application.log file.

So setting up a continuous integration system to test your application, could be:

Run these steps in a CRON tab, and you’re done!

Continuing the discussion

Next: Deployment options.