Clean Tests: Isolating the Database

Other posts in this series:

Isolating the database can be pretty difficult to do, but I’ve settled on a general approach that allows me to ensure my tests are built from a consistent starting point. I prefer a consistent starting point over something like rolled back transactions, since a rolled back transaction assumes that the database is in a consistent state to begin with.

I’m going to use my tool Respawn to build a reliable starting point in my tests, and integrate it into my tests. In my last post, I walked through creating a common fixture in which my tests use to build internal state. I’m going to extend that fixture to also include my Respawn project:

Since my SlowTestFixture is used in both styles of organization (fixture per test class/test method), my database will either get reset before my test class is constructed, or before each test method. My tests start with a clean slate, and I never have to worry about my tests failing because of inconsistent state again. The one downside I have is that my tests can’t be run in parallel at this point, but that’s a small price to pay.

That’s pretty much all there is – because I’ve created a common fixture class, it’s easy to add more behavior as necessary. In the next post, I’ll bring all these concepts together with a couple of complete examples.

Reliable database tests with Respawn