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Unit testing with the Spock framework

Writing and executing tests for Java and related languages

Ken Kousen

Testing is fundamental to writing high-quality code. The Spock testing framework emerged from the Groovy community as a powerful way to write unit and integration tests. It combines the simplicity and intuitive power of Groovy with a sophisticated mocking framework that makes writing and executing unit tests simple. Expert Ken Kousen walks you through the major features of Spock. You'll get hands-on experience performing basic tests and learn how to test persistence layers and RESTful web services, create and verify mock objects, and more.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • How Spock tests leverage existing JUnit infrastructure
  • Spock annotations and where they apply
  • Spock mocks and stubs and how to take advantage of them

And you’ll be able to:

  • Set up test fixtures
  • Run testing methods before and after tests and test classes
  • Mock classes and interfaces, set expectations, and validate them

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a Java developer who normally writes unit tests using a compatible library like JUnit.
  • You're interested in test-driven development and would like to learn an easy way to do it.
  • You intend to test code written in any JVM-based language (Java, Groovy, Kotlin, etc.).


Recommended preparation:

Modern Java Recipes (book)

Recommended follow-up:

Introduction to Spock (video)

The Spock Testing Framework (video)

Spock: Up and Running (book)

About your instructor


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Installing and configuring Spock (25 minutes)

  • Lecture: Using a build tool; taking advantage of IDE integration
  • Hands-on exercise: Using Spock tests in a build tool and IDE

Writing Spock tests (50 minutes)

  • Lecture: Fixture methods; feature methods; basic Spock blocks
  • Hands-on exercise: Basic tests for Java classes

Break (10 minutes)

Spock in detail (45 minutes)

  • Lecture: Using "when/then" pairs, "expect," and more; pre- and postprocessing methods; the "old" method; testing for exceptions with "thrown" and "notThrown"
  • Hands-on exercise: Testing for exceptions

Break (10 minutes)

Data-driven and database-driven specs (40 minutes)

  • Lecture: Testing DAO layers; the "where" block; using the @Unroll annotation
  • Hands-on exercise: Testing DAO layers and RESTful web services

Break (10 minutes)

Spock mocks (30 minutes)

  • Lecture: Differences between mocks and stubs; setting expectations; working with multiplicity and ordering; the underscore wildcard and patterns
  • Hands-on exercise: Mocking interfaces and classes

Miscellaneous features and extensions (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Setting time-out periods for tests; conditional execution; ignoring tests under certain circumstances; working with the Spring TestContext framework; resources for future study