Chapter 14. Integration Testing Databases with DbUnit[12]


The JUnit family provides the basic framework for unit testing for Java applications. On top of JUnit, there are many additional tools and frameworks for specialized areas of testing. In this chapter, we take a look at DbUnit,[*] an important tool for database integration testing.

We describe database testing as “integration testing” to distinguish it from ordinary “unit testing.” Integration tests involve infrastructure beyond your own code. In the case of database integration testing, the additional infrastructure is a real database.

DbUnit is often referred to as a “JUnit extension.” It is true that DbUnit provides TestCase subclasses, which you may extend in your own test classes. But DbUnit may be used in other ways independently of JUnit, too. For example, you can invoke DbUnit from within Ant to perform certain tasks.

In this chapter, we will describe the main purpose of DbUnit, give some simple examples of typical usage, and then proceed with several additional related topics.


Purpose of DbUnit

DbUnit has two main purposes:

To prime the database

DbUnit can set up tables with known contents before each test method.

To verify the database

DbUnit makes it easier to verify tables’ contents after each test method.

If you were not using DbUnit, you would have several rather awkward alternatives to choose from. You could hand-code JDBC calls to prime and verify the database. This would usually be very awkward ...

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