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Groovy's RESTClient with Spock Extensions

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Groovy's RESTClient with Spock Extensions

Groovy has an extension to its HTTPBuilder class called RESTClient which makes it fairly easy to test a RESTful web service.

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Groovy has an extension to its HTTPBuilder class called RESTClient which makes it fairly easy to test a RESTful web service. This post will describe how to use the RESTClient, how to inject it into a Groovy Spock test class via custom annotations, how to swap the injected client between a real one and a mocked one using Mockito, and how to test it.

The RESTClient class provides methods to perform the HTTP's GET, POST, PUT and DELETE methods. The RESTClient instance can be constructed with a url string and optionally a content type. The HTTP methods can then be called with a named parameter list. For example, the below code will create a RESTClient instance and call the get method passing in the path and a path parameter:

def client = new RESTClient("http://localhost:8080/testWebService/")
def resp = client.get(path : "server/status/ServerOne")

The response returned is an instance of HttpResponseDecorator. This wraps the HttpResponse to allow for easy access to the data which is parsed depending upon the content type. The below class shows it's use within a Spock framework test and how the parsed data can be extracted from the response object. The returned XML is:



import groovy.util.slurpersupport.GPathResult
import groovyx.net.http.RESTClient
import spock.lang.*
import groovyx.net.http.ContentType

class InjectedRestServiceTest extends Specification {

 def client

 def "Test Server Statuses"() {

  when: "retrieve server status"
  def resp1 = client.get(path : "server/status/ServerOne")
  def resp2 = client.get(path : "server/status/ServerTwo")

  then: "test server one response"
  assert resp1.data.serverName.text() == "ServerOne"
  assert resp1.data.isRunning.text() == "true"

  then: "test server two response"
  assert resp2.data.serverName.text() == "ServerTwo"
  assert resp2.data.isRunning.text() == "false"



The test asserts are purely there in this example to prove that the response from the real web service are the same as from the mocked web service. In reality, you would be testing some other functionality of which calling a RESTful web service is part of the flow. You wouldn't really assert the response from a mocked RESTClient although you may want to verify that it has been called n times.

The InjectedRestServiceTest class has the RESTClient injected using the custom made annotation @RESTWebClient. There are three classes involved which enable this functionality. First the interface, which is marked as only visible at field level, contains an @ExtensionAnnotation specifying the class which basically tells Spock what to do when it encounters the @RESTClient annotation:

import java.lang.annotation.ElementType
import java.lang.annotation.Retention
import java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy
import java.lang.annotation.Target
import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.ExtensionAnnotation

@Target([ ElementType.FIELD ])

public @interface RESTWebClient{}

The RESTWebClientAnnotationDrivenExtension class in this example only needs to override the visitFieldAnnotation method of the AbstractAnnotationDrivenExtension class because of the annotation's target element type:

import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.AbstractAnnotationDrivenExtension
import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.AbstractMethodInterceptor
import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.IMethodInvocation
import org.spockframework.runtime.model.FieldInfo
import org.spockframework.runtime.model.SpecInfo

class RESTWebClientAnnotationDrivenExtension extends
 AbstractAnnotationDrivenExtension<RESTWebClient> {

 private static final String url =
 private static final boolean useMock =

 void visitFieldAnnotation(RESTWebClient annotation, FieldInfo field) {
  def methodInterceptor = new RESTWebClientMethodInterceptor(field, url, useMock)


The above extension tells Spock that when it encounters @RESTClient, it must create an interceptor with the arguments denoting the field to which the RESTClient instance is to be set, the url of the web service and a boolean to specify if the mock is to be used or the real web service should be used. (The meaning of the two values could be combined to just have a url and if set then the real web service must be used.)

The interceptor will create either a mock RESTClient or a real one. It will do this when the client field needs to be set in the InjectedRestServiceTest class. If the real RESTClient is required then an instance using the url will be created and set using the fieldInfo.writeValue method. If a mock is required then a Mockito mock RESTClient is created and the expected behaviour mocked using instances of the class HttpResponseDecorator (although these could be mocks too.) Again , this is set using the fieldInfo.writeValue method:

import groovy.mock.interceptor.MockFor
import groovyx.net.http.HttpResponseDecorator
import groovyx.net.http.RESTClient
import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.AbstractMethodInterceptor;
import org.spockframework.runtime.extension.IMethodInvocation;
import org.spockframework.runtime.model.FieldInfo;
import org.spockframework.runtime.model.SpecInfo;

import static org.mockito.Mockito.*
import static org.mockito.Matchers.*

class RESTWebClientMethodInterceptor extends AbstractMethodInterceptor {

 private final FieldInfo fieldInfo
 private final String url
 private final boolean useMock

 RESTWebClientMethodInterceptor(FieldInfo fieldInfo, String url, boolean useMock) {
  this.fieldInfo = fieldInfo
  this.url = url
  this.useMock = useMock

 void interceptSetupMethod(IMethodInvocation methodInvocation) {

 void install(SpecInfo specInfo) {
  specInfo.setupMethod.addInterceptor this

 private void setupRESTClient(target) {

  if (useMock) {

   def xmlServerOne =

   def xmlServerTwo =

   def httpResponseDecoratorServerOne = new HttpResponseDecorator(
     null, new XmlParser().parseText(xmlServerOne))
   def httpResponseDecoratorServerTwo = new HttpResponseDecorator(
     null, new XmlParser().parseText(xmlServerTwo))
   def mapServerOne = [path:"server/status/ServerOne"]
   def mapServerTwo = [path:"server/status/ServerTwo"]

   RESTClient mockRESTClient = org.mockito.Mockito.mock(RESTClient)

   fieldInfo.writeValue(target, mockRESTClient)
  else {
   fieldInfo.writeValue(target, new RESTClient(url))


Whilst there are different ways to mock and test RESTful web services, the above classes do show how easily RESTful web services can be called and their responses parsed, how annotations can be created and how objects can be mocked. Similar examples could be constructed for different aspects of a Spock test eg features, fixtures etc..

More can be found on extensions at http://code.google.com/p/spock/wiki/SpockBasics#Extensions and on RESTClient at http://groovy.codehaus.org/modules/http-builder/doc/rest.html

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java ,groovy ,enterprise-integration ,tutorial ,rest ,spock

Published at DZone with permission of Geraint Jones, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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