Superclass for ActionController functional tests. Functional tests allow you to test a single controller action per test method. This should not be confused with integration tests (see ActionController::IntegrationTest), which are more like "stories" that can involve multiple controllers and mutliple actions (i.e. multiple different HTTP requests).

Basic example

Functional tests are written as follows:

  1. First, one uses the get, post, put, delete or head method to simulate an HTTP request.
  2. Then, one asserts whether the current state is as expected. "State" can be anything: the controller’s HTTP response, the database contents, etc.

For example:

  class BooksControllerTest < ActionController::TestCase
    def test_create
      # Simulate a POST response with the given HTTP parameters.
      post(:create, :book => { :title => "Love Hina" })

      # Assert that the controller tried to redirect us to
      # the created book's URI.
      assert_response :found

      # Assert that the controller really put the book in the database.
      assert_not_nil Book.find_by_title("Love Hina")

Special instance variables

ActionController::TestCase will also automatically provide the following instance variables for use in the tests:

@controller:The controller instance that will be tested.
@request:An <a href="/rails/ActionController/TestRequest">ActionController::TestRequest,</a> representing the current HTTP request. You can modify this object before sending the HTTP request. For example, you might want to set some session properties before sending a GET request.
@response:An <a href="/rails/ActionController/TestResponse">ActionController::TestResponse</a> object, representing the response of the last HTTP response. In the above example, @response becomes valid after calling post. If the various assert methods are not sufficient, then you may use this object to inspect the HTTP response in detail.

(Earlier versions of Rails required each functional test to subclass Test::Unit::TestCase and define @controller, @request, @response in setup.)

Controller is automatically inferred

ActionController::TestCase will automatically infer the controller under test from the test class name. If the controller cannot be inferred from the test class name, you can explicity set it with tests.

  class SpecialEdgeCaseWidgetsControllerTest < ActionController::TestCase
    tests WidgetController
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