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Codeception: BDD-style testing in PHP

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    Here goes another minor release with some fixes and improvements. Codeception 1.8 now supports Laravel 4.1 and Yii2 and is tested for this frameworks on Travis. Also Laravel and Yii modules got some nice new actions for database interactions.

    Laravel, Yii2, and Phalcon frameworks implement ActiveRecord pattern. That's why all database actions in this modules look and work in a very similar manner.

    Laravel 4.1

    $user_id = $I->haveRecord('users', array('name' => 'Davert'));
    $I->seeRecord('users', array('name' => 'davert'));
    $I->dontSeeRecord('users', array('name' => 'davert'));
    $user = $I->grabRecord('users', array('name' => 'davert'));

    This methods will work for Laravel 4 as well, but Laravel 4.1 supports nested transactions and allows us to wrap functional test into one database transaction. This is really useful, as we can rollback any database changes we do in functional tests. Tests also run really fast, as nothing is written in database. A new cleanup config option was introduced to Laravel4 module, and by default it is turned on.

    Now it is really simple to use database in your functional tests. Don't hesitate and try *Record methods in action!

    Also nice seeSessionErrorMessage was added by elijan to perform validation error assertions.


    Yii2 is in very active development, and its official basic application is tested with Codeception, and uses Specify and Verify libraries. Yii2 module is tested on Travis as in official Yii2 repo and in Codeception repo as well.

    $user_id = $I->haveRecord('app\model\users', array('name' => 'Davert'));
    $I->seeRecord('app\model\users', array('name' => 'davert'));
    $I->dontSeeRecord('app\model\users', array('name' => 'davert'));
    $user = $I->grabRecord('app\model\users', array('name' => 'davert'));

    ActiveRecord methods work in very similar manner. We expect that Yii2 will have nested transactions support before the release.

    Thanks to Ragazzo for Yii2 module contributions and bughunting.


    • CodeCoverage was improved. Remote codecoverage with WebDriver or PhpBrowser opens page, sends authorization cookie before the test.
    • WebDriver cookies (and sessions) are destroyed after the test. If you have troubles when session is not restared in WebDriver - toggle restart option.


    redownload your codeception.phar for update:


    php codecept.phar self-update

    for composer version

    $ php composer.phar update codeception/codeception

    P.S. Yeah, yeah, Codeception 2.0 is on its way.

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  • 02/17/14--17:03: Codeception 2.0 alpha
  • Finally we are ready to show you Codeception 2.0. We tried not to break everything (as it was supposed for major version change), but keep things work as they are, but maybe in a different way. Let's review the most important changes:

    Codeception: Not Just For Guys

    Before 2.0 there were only Guys in it. That is not fair! We wanted to make Codeception a tool for everyone: for guys, girls, developers, test engineers, ninjas and even wookiees... (nope, wookiees should wait for 3.0).

    That's why you can now choose the desired actor from a list during the bootstrap process.

    Before proceed you can choose default actor:
    $I = new [ACTOR]
      Select an actor. Default: Guy  
      [0] Guy
      [1] Girl
      [2] Person
      [3] Engineer
      [4] Ninja
      [5] Dev

    so you all your test actors (that's how we call guy classes now) will be in form like TestGirl, WebNinja, CodeDev, etc. Pretty flexible.

    Codeception: Not Alone

    Before Codeception 2.0 guys (or should we say actors now) were left to themselves. You know, it is so sad to see that there is only $I in the test, forever alone, like on a desert island, or in space... But in 2.0 you can invite some friends into your tests. Let's say...

    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);
    $nick = $I->haveFriend('nick');

    So we can write multi-session tests that can be executed in two browser windows. You may try to run this test on to see how it works:

    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);
    $I->wantTo('surf Github with Nick');
    $I->submitForm('#top_search_form', array('q' => 'php-webdriver'));
    $nick = $I->haveFriend('nick');
    $nick->does(function(WebGuy $I) {
    $I->click('li.public:nth-child(1) > h3:nth-child(3) > a:nth-child(1) > em:nth-child(2)');
    $nick->does(function(WebGuy $I) {

    As you see, everything in does closure is executed in separate session. This way you can test user-to-user interactions on your site. For example Alice writes a private message to Bob and Bob responds back. Similarly you can have multiple REST sessions in a test.

    Such scenario cases can be implemented. That's what friends are for.

    Notable Changes

    As it was announced earlier, the main goals for Codeception 2.0 was internal refactoring.

    • Mink (and its drivers) was removed completely. Instead you can use WebDriver module to do Selenium testing, and PhpBrowser (which uses Goutte) for browser-emulation. PhpBrowser module is now more compatible with frameworks modules, they use the same methods and acts in the same manner. If you were using Selenium or Selenium2 module you should switch to WebDriver, for PHPBrowser everything should (crossing fingers) work smoothly.
    • 2-phases test execution with tricky magic including usage of Maybe class was removed. Tests are now executed one time, like any regular PHP file. So you can use any PHP code in your tests, and appearance of Maybe object would not confuse you anymore.
    $card = $I->grabTextFrom('#credit_card')
    var_dump($card); // was showing `Maybe` instead of real value
    • Codeception 2.0 require PHP 5.4 and higher. Time changes, PHP 5.3 is getting harder and harder to support, thus we decided to move to 5.4 and keep our code base up to date. And yes, we wanted to use short array syntax. We are tired to keeping write all those nasty array() stuff.
    • Actor classes (initial Guy classes) are now rebuilt automatically. Thus, you want get exception when change suite configuration, or add methods to helper. Rebuilds are not required anymore.
    • Added Assert module that can be used to write common asserts in your tests. You can now use seeEquals, seeContains and other actions inside your Cepts or Cests.
    • Experimental: added Silex module. We need your Feedback on using it.

    Minor Internal Changes

    Refactoring, Refactoring, Refactoring. We use PSR-2 now. We rewrote CodeCoverage. We have better directory structure... More new files. What else? Oh, lets admit it, these are not the changes you would actually notice. But internals are now more clean and easy to understand (Except the parts which heavily rely on PHPUnit).


    We'd like to ask you to try Codeception 2.0 on your projects. Before the release is ready we need to collect feedback and fix all encountered issues. You know where GitHub issues are.



    Via Composer:

    composer require --dev "codeception/codeception:2.0.0-alpha" 

    Development of 2.0 now happens in master branch, so keep track on changes and send your pull requests.

    Some Upgrading Notes

    • Run build command
    • Replace Selenium2 to WebDriver module
    • Check you don't use PHPBrowser->session property anywhere (it was Mink part)
    • CodeCoverage with c3 will require new version of c3.

    What's next?

    We need your feedback, and meanwhile we will work on updating documentation parts. 1.8.x will be maintained, but new features will be added to 2.x branch.

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  • 03/17/14--18:03: Codeception 2.0 beta
  • It took about a month to get to the beta release. This release brings lots of changes even a few BC breaks and clearly shows what Codeception 2.0 is planning to be. Today we will announce more technical changes, and not conceptual ones. As it was stated previously: Codeception 2.0 will bring lots of small improvements, will be much easier to extend, and understand. Changes for beta release were not planned initially, but were added to help Codeception evolve during the 2.0 branch development. Let's list briefly all major changes and see how to deal with them. Documentation for 2.0 branch can be found on GitHub and will be published on RC release.


    • Upgraded to PHPUnit 4.0
    • Upgraded to facebook/webdriver 0.4
    • RunFailed extension added. To rerun tests on fail include Codeception\Platform\RunFailed extension, and call codecept run -g failed.
    • Logger disabled by default and moved to Extension. You will need to install Monolog by yourself, and enable Codeception\Platform\Logger as extension.
    • Methods _before/_after of Cest can use $I object.
    • Destination for xml/html/reports can be customized. For instance
    codecept run --xml myreport.xml
    codecept run --xml /home/davert/report.xml
    codecept run -g database --xml database.xml
    • --coverage + --xml or --html won't produce xml or html codecoverage output. Use new options coverage-xml and coverage-html instead. They were added so you could specify custom destination for codecoverage reports as well.
    • you can get current environment in a test by accessing $this->env (even in Cept)
    • shortcut functions added: codecept_debug to print custom output in debug mode, codecept_root_dir, codecept_log_dir, codecept_data_dir for retrieving Codeception paths.
    • extensions can change global config before processing.

    Breaking Changes

    In Codeception 1.x bootstrap files were used differently for different types of tests. They were introduced to pass variables (and fixtures) into Cept scenarios. They were almost useless in Cests, and absolutely useless for Test files. They are not removed at all, but now they are loaded only once before the suite. If you were using bootstrap files for setting fixtures, you still can use them, but you will need to require them manually.

    require __DIR__ . '/_bootstrap.php'
    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);

    The same way you can load bootstrap files into Cests. But we recommend to create _fixtures.php file, and use bootstrap file for suite initialization.

    Dynamic Groups

    One significant internal feature is dynamic groups. You can save test names into file and run them inside a group. That's how the RunFailed extension works: it saves names of failed tests into file tests/_log/failed, then execute codecept run -g failed to run these tests.

      # add 2 tests to db group
      db: [tests/unit/PersistTest.php, tests/unit/DataTest.php]
      # add list of tests to slow group
      slow: tests/_log/slow

    For example, you can create the list of the most slow tests, and run them inside their own group. Pretty interesting and powerful feature that also can be used to run tests in parallel.

    Parallel Test Execution

    Not yet! Codeception does not support parallel test execution, nor will be provide it out of the box. That's because there is no solution that will fit for everyone. You may want to run parallel tests locally in threads via pthreads extension, or run them on different hosts via SSH, AMQP, etc. But we already have everything to implement parallel testing.

    Here is the algorithm:

    • split all tests into groups (with dynamic groups)
    • run each groups separately
    • merge results

    And we will write guides on implementing this algorithm, as well as we plan to release a sample tool that will run tests in parallel.

    Try it

    As usual, we need your feedback to get 2.0 released as stable.



    Via Composer:

    composer require --dev "codeception/codeception:2.0.0-beta" 

    P.S. Our sponsors 2Amigos updated their site and logo. Check it out!

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    Bugfix release on stable 1.8 branch. While you are waiting for 2.0 RC and final version, you can update your current Codeception to get the newest patches and updates. Here they are:

    • [WebDriver] Correctly return to main page when switchToIFrame() is called by n8whnp.
    • [WebDriver] fixed screenshot capture by FnTm.
    • [Frameworks] More details in debug output by Ragazzo.
    • Fixed problem with encoding in $I->wantTo() by vgoodvin.
    • Add clone and unset capabilites to Maybe by brutuscat.
    • [WebDriver] Fixes to submitForm when typing password by pcairns.
    • [Phalcon1] haveRecord return id even when id is not public by xavier-rodet.
    • Modules to be loaded from global context by Ragazzo. Now you can pass long name of module into module configuration:
    class_name: WebGuy
        enabled: [\My\Custom\Module, WebHelper]

    Really helpful feature if you have multiple Codeception inits in one project and you want to have shared module.

    All those features were included in 2.0-beta. Thanks to all contributors!


    redownload your codeception.phar for update:


    php codecept.phar self-update

    for composer version

    $ php composer.phar update codeception/codeception

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    This relese fixes two reported bugs.

    • using see commands on pages with <!DOCTYPE
    • using see commands with non-latin characters. PhpBrowser, Selenium, Frameworks modules were updated.

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package. It's important to update Codeception now.

    In next releases an automatic updater will be added.

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  • 02/04/12--17:03: Codeception 1.0.2 Released.
  • As you may know, Codeception a BDD-style testing framework has tools for cleaning up tested database between tests. This week tools for database repopulation in Codeception were improved and it's usage was covered in new chapter of Guides. To get your database populated before tests, just provide an SQL dump and set up PDO connection. For functional and unit testing best way to clean up your database faster is not to pollute it at all. All database queries can be taken into transaction and rolled back at test end. This behavior is introduced within new Dbh module, and in ORM modules for Doctrine1 and Doctrine2. To speed up data repopulation in acceptance tests we recommend you to move database to SQLite.

    Database repopulation is the subject of the new Guide: Working with Data was started. It explains different strategies for database cleanups and usage of fixtures in Codeception.

    Codeception is now tested for loading and cleaning up SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL dumps.


    • configuration merged improperly (reported and fixed by zzmaster).
    • steps are printed in realtime and not buffered anymore.
    • asserts on html pages doesn't echo all page texts for strings longer then 500 chars.
    • tests are sorted by name when loading.

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package.

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    This Codeception release is all about minor but useful features. Starting from 1.0.3 you will be notified on every new Codeception release from console. If you are not running tests, Codeception Cli application will check for new version and notify you if it is available.

    $ codecept
    UPDATE: version 1.0.3 released. See changes on:
    Codeception version 1.0.2

    There are new generators for empty tests: Cest and Cept files. Empty test suite can be generated too. Just check new 'generate:' commands.

    Agile Documentation

    But the most interesting generation feature is Agile Documentation. From now you can improve your documentation generated by DocBlox by appending test scenarios into text. With Codeception BDD approach to Unit Tests it's easy to imagine every test as usage documentation.

    The concept of Agile Documentation will be demonstrated in following example:

    We have a sample static method for creating an entity Group. Which can be group of people in social network, for example. This method uses Doctrine 2 as ORM.

    class Group {
        // This creates new group by user
        public static function create($name, $founder_id)
            $em = self::$entityManager;
            $group = new \Model\Group;
            return $group->getId();

    This method requires Id of user who creates group and group name. Here is test for this function:

        public function create(\CodeGuy $I)
            $user_id = Fixtures::get('valid_user')->getId();
            $I->wantTo('create group');
            $I->executeTestedMethodWith('DemoGroup', $user_id)
                ->seeInRepository('Model\Group', array('name' => 'DemoGroup', 'user_id' => $user_id, 'type' => 'group'))

    This test is translated into documentation for Group::create method.

    With this method I can create group
    If I execute \Service\Group::create("DemoGroup",1)
    I will see in repository "Model\Group",{"name":"DemoGroup","user_id": 1, "type": "group" }
    I will see result is "int"

    Codeception scans for all Cest files and for all classes passed to DocBlox. When tests match the function in documentation the test is processed and appended into function description.

    To start using Codeception with DocBlox you should use the same project root for both projects, i.e. codeception.yml and docblox.xml should be in one directory. Include plugin into docblox.xml:

            <plugin path="{FULL-PATH-TO-PEAR}/Codeception/plugins/DocBlox/Codeception">

    As you see, you should specify path to PEAR explicitly. This is DocBlox limitation. Plugins can be either local or provided with DocBlox distribution. I'm not sure how to deal with current Codeception plugin for DocBlox, so I asked this question on GitHub. I hope in near future a better solution will be proposed.


    • replaced suppressed errors with error elimination (thanks to jonphipps)
    • fixed scenario generations
    • fixed generation of html reports

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package.

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    This release brings a real behavior driven development to Codeception. Before that we talked about testing in BDD-style, but nothing about real development by behavior. There were just few changes made in code. More changes are coming to documentation.


    With Behavior Driven Development you start development of class by writing it's specifications. Specifications are written as methods of Cest class and start with 'should' word.

    class EventMachineCest {
        $class = 'EventMachine';
        function shouldHaveInitialState() {}   
        function shouldMoveBetweenTransitions() {}
        function shouldMoveBetweenTransitionsOnCondition() {}

    The EventMachine class in example above is not written, but we've already defined what to expect from it. After a basic requirements are specified we can take a deeper look into it and describe how it should be used. From this point your specifications become a valid Codeception tests.

    class EventMachineCest  {
        $class = 'EventMachine';
       * @doc getState
        function shouldHaveInitialState(CodeGuy $I)
            $em = new EventMachine;
            $I->executeMethod($em, 'getState')

    For full EventMachineCest example see my Gist on Github.

    Codeception generates a pretty good documentation with DocBlox based on your scenario. The @doc annotation marks that a getState method documentation will be updated by current test scenario.

    I want to have initial state
    I execute method $eventMachine, 'getState'
    I see result equals 'initial'


    For making acceptnace tests usable for writing Stories we've added 2 new methods. It's am and lookForwardTo which represent 'As a ...' and 'So that' definitions from Story.

    $I = new WebGuy();
    $I->am('regular site user');        // As a regular user
    $I->wantTo('create my blog page');  // I want to create my blog page
    $I->lookForwardTo('get a cool blog here');  // So that I get a cool blog
    $I->expect("blog can't be created twice");
    $I->expect("blog has RSS feed");
    $I->expect("am administrator of this blog");

    After that Cept can be extended in a valid Cept file. Refer to this Gist demonstrates for example.


    • seeLink and dontSeeLink for acceptance tests were fixed. Thanks to Kanstantsin Kamkou.
    • comments are displayed in output as well as actions.
    • Selenium docs updated.

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package.

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  • 02/20/12--17:03: Codeception 1.0.5 Released.
  • Almost every week Codeception gets a new release. I think it's quite good tempo. Every release contains not only bugfixes but a new features too. I'm satisfied but today's release, because all changes were made by new Codeception contributors. Thank you, guys!


    A new module for Social Engine was created by Artem Kovradin. He took the code of Zend Framework module and adopted it for Social Engine, which is build with powered by Zend Framework. With now on, you can simply test you social networks built on top of Social Engine.


    • Windows command line problem solved, thanks to Morf
    • There were problem in functional tests for forms with no submits ('<input type="submit"'). This bug was pointed by svsool.

    Also there were some encoding issues, but they are solved easily if you make sure your code and site has a UTF-8 encoding.

    Thanks again to all contributors and reporters.

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package.

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  • 04/04/12--18:03: Codeception 1.0.7 Released.
  • That was quite a long time after last version was released. This time we decided to skip version 1.0.6, just because 1.0.7 looks prettier.

    With this release Codeception can be used in CI systems like Jenkins. It's very easy: you just append '--xml' option for running test and receive xml report in JUnit format stored in 'tests/_log' directory. Other popular formats like Json and TAP were added too. Here is a sample report.xml generated by Codeception test suite:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <testsuite name="acceptance" tests="9" assertions="29" failures="0" errors="0" time="41.532108">
        <testcase file="Cli\BuildCept.php" name="test build command (Cli\BuildCept.php)" assertions="5" time="4.016982"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\GenerateCeptCept.php" name="generate sample cept (Cli\GenerateCeptCept.php)" assertions="5" time="15.401255"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\GenerateCestCept.php" name="generate sample cest (Cli\GenerateCestCept.php)" assertions="3" time="3.742880"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\GenerateScenariosCept.php" name="generate scenarios (Cli\GenerateScenariosCept.php)" assertions="3" time="3.668740"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\GenerateSuiteCept.php" name="generate sample suite (Cli\GenerateSuiteCept.php)" assertions="4" time="4.706381"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\RunWithHtmlCept.php" name="check xml reports (Cli\RunWithHtmlCept.php)" assertions="1" time="2.428402"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\RunWithJsonCept.php" name="check json reports (Cli\RunWithJsonCept.php)" assertions="2" time="2.692029"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\RunWithTapCept.php" name="check tap reports (Cli\RunWithTapCept.php)" assertions="2" time="2.459026"/>
        <testcase file="Cli\RunWithXmlCept.php" name="check xml reports (Cli\RunWithXmlCept.php)" assertions="4" time="2.416413"/>

    Currently this reports are not perfect as for different file formats and you may lack some important information. For this cases, please create issues on GitHub or in Q&A section.

    Thanks to Nikita Groshin new module for Kohana Framework integration was added. Please, check it out for your Kohana projects and leave a feedback.


    Also there were some encoding issues, but they are solved easily if you make sure your code and site has a UTF-8 encoding.

    Thanks again to all contributors and reporters.

    Please update your version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or download updated Phar package.

    Also you should update Mink, as it uses Zend Framework 2 beta 3 now for PHP browser. All Codeception dependencies can be updated with a single command.

    $ codecept install

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  • 05/07/12--18:03: Codeception 1.0.8 Released.
  • From this release you can install Codeception via Composer. If you have fucked up with PEAR it's a good idea to try out brand new Composer. It allows you to install Codeception with all it's dependencies, even PHPUnit, without any usage of PEAR.

    If you already use Composer add this lines int your composer.json to and update packages.

        "require": {
            "Codeception/Codeception": "*"
        "repositories": {
            "behat/mink-deps": {
                "type": "composer",
                "url":  ""

    From now on you can run Codeception with

    php vendor/bin/codecept

    If you are new to composer but you are troubled with PEAR, the installation guide is updated for you.

    Except this significant (but simple change) this release is all about bugfixing.

    With the help of GitHub users ilex and nike-17 Kohana module was improved. Do you want to have a module for other frameworks? Maybe Yii, Fuel, CodeIgniter or Zend Framework 2? It's really simple. You just need to write a proper connector and you can go with performing functional tests inside your application. Check the [Functional Testing] section of documentation.

    And some good news about documentation! Jon Phipps has done a great job on editing the docs. Soon it will be published here. I know my English is not perfect. So I really appreciate any help in editing and reviewing documentation or blog posts.

    Thanks to Sergii Grebeniuk for a small patch on autoloading.

    There was not too much unique features in this release. Maybe you have some ideas on what should be improved?

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    This evening I released Codeception 1.0.9. The most important thing you may notice is documentation. It's just better. It was improved by Jon Phipps. Better phrasing goes to better understanding, right? But let's move on to see the actual new features.

    Zombies are coming!

    Two new modules were intoduced by Alexander Bogdanov @synchrone. It's new Selenium2 module and ZombieJS.

    Ok, you may know about Selenium. But what is the purpose of Zombie?

    Tools like ZombieJS, (PhantomJS, and more) are built in order to run tests without a browser. And so they are called headless. They don't require a browser window to start, they don't show any interactions on screen.

    Why do we need browser for testing web applications? Only browser-based javascript engines can run all the client side code. ZombieJS is one of them, taken from browser and produced as a standalone tool. It's built with Node.js and requires Node.js, NPM, a C++ compiler and Python to install. Check out it's official site for more information.

    Thanks to Mink from now on you can write ZombieJS tests inside Codeception just like tests for other cases.

    Don't run too fast!

    Selenium and Selenium2 modules was updated with the new delay option. If Selenium performs actions faster the user, and javascript just can't catch it it, you can slow down the execution by setting the delay param. It's set in milliseconds and will perform pauses after each step in scenarios.

    Composer Tricks

    Seems like the PHP WebScrapper Goutte (which is used by PHPBroser module) has a new backend now. It has moved from Zend Framework 2 libraries to new lightweight HTTP client Guzzle. So, no more Zend dependencies and long stack trackes. This change doesn't affect PEAR users, cause this change arrive in PEAR packages yet.

    Thanks again to all contributors and reporters.

    Please update Codeception version via PEAR:

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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    Codeception testing framework got significant improvements during last week. The first and the major one is that you don't even need PEAR and Composer to execute tests. Only one file codecept.phar required. This might save your time and mind of your testers.

    So Installation is much simplier now:

    1. Download archive.

    2. Execute it with PHP php codecept.phar

    Now you can start generating a test suite with php codecept.phar bootstrap or execute existing tests with php codecept.phar run.

    Documentation section was created. New section Reference was added. There you can review Codeception commands and configuration values.

    But the most cool stuff is new module for testing web services!

    Modules for SOAP and REST were added recently. You know it's always hard to test the API manually. So why not to automate it?

    This API modules keeps simple manner in describing tests. Take a look at sample REST test.

    $I = new ApiGuy($scenario);
    $I->wantTo('create a new user by API');
    $I->sendPOST('/users', array('name' => 'davert' ));
    $I->seeResponseContainsJson(array('result' => 'ok'));

    And here goes a sample SOAP test:

    use \Codeception\Utils\Soap;
    $I = new ApiGuy($scenario);
    $I->wantTo('create a new user thorough API');
    $I->haveSoapHeader('Auth', array('token' => '123123'));
    $I->sendSoapRequest('CreateUser', Soap::request()

    Ok, the one thing you may have noticed. We are working with JSON in first case and XML in second. But there is no JSON or XML in code! Well, we could have used it, but we didn't. Just because we can use PHP to set data in this formats. Json is built from PHP arrays and for XML is used jQuery-like styled XMLBuilder class. But you could possibly add a raw json or XMl into your tests. No problems with that!

    Modules themselves are already documented and tested. Soon a complete guide on WebService API testing will be added.

    The other thing worth to mention is new finalizers in test scenarios. If you need to execute code after test is finished and you don't want to put it in helper use the $scenario->finilize method. See it's usage example in new Manual Cleanup section of Guides.

    This is Codeception 1.0.11. Download new version to run tests or update

    via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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    Hi, that's been a while from the last release. But still Codeception is evolving. And today's release notes I'm going to start with some thoughts on Codeception installation strategy.

    For a long time a PEAR was the primary method for install. It had some issues and develoeprs got stuck with it. Nowdays alternative is a [Composer[(] which Codeception uses too. But nevertheless we consider it a bit complex too. Codeception is tool where everything is kept simple. We are trying to make it work even for junior developers and testers. So our primary goal is to provide a standalone version 'codecept.phar' which was introduced recently. In future version we will try to make it autoupdate itself (as Composer does).

    It's really cool cause it simplifies integration with CI systems and has less requirements to your PHP environment. Right now Codeception phar archive includes Symfony Components, Mink, PHPUnit in one file. So if you ever wanted to run PHPUnit tests without PEAR, the Codeception can be used that way too.

    The major feature is related to current installation strategy. We finally added custom assertions to modules and user helper classes. Before that you should have used PHPUnit's static methods for assertions. But now you can just write this->assertXXX in a helper class.

    In next example we connect PhpBrowser module to helper and use assertion to check a menu exists for current user.

    class WebHelper extends \Codeception\Module {
        function seeEditingToolsMenu()
            $content = $this->getModule('PhpBrowser')->session->getPage()->getContent();
            $this->assertContains('<a id="menu" href="#">Edit Post</a>',$content);

    The Helpers section in Guides was totally rewritten to represent this change and provide more examples.

    In this release a new module WebDebug was intorduced. It provides means to make screenshots with a single command. In case a screenshot can't be saved, it tries at least save the HTML response to file. After the test you can review all saved files to see what actually happened during test.

    Thanks to Andrey Popov for contributions.


    • click method for frameworks now accepts CSS selectors.

    This is Codeception 1.0.14. Download new version to run tests or update

    via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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  • 08/06/12--18:03: Major Codeception Update
  • Hi, last week Codeception got it's first major update. Welcome the Codeception 1.1. Many core classes were refactored to solve the common issues and reduce the level of dark magic inside. Only white magic left. And that's really cool 'cause you don't need to study to source code to implement your custom hooks now. Codeception is rapidly evolving to be the professional testing tool, ready to use by testers and developers through out the PHP world.

    Test Execution Remastered

    Did you ever were wondered why you can't receive values in test and pass it to next steps? To do something like this:

    $user_name = $I->grabTextFrom('#user_name');
    $I->fillField('username', $user_name);

    Actually, there is no any good reason for not doing so. The only reason was - the code was not designed to execute test file in runtime. The steps were recorded, analyzed, and only then they were executed, without touching the test file again. That is the source of dark magic that was removed in Codeception 1.1. This magic was awful because you didn't control the test execution. So, usage of custom PHP code in test was leading to unpredictable results. Even simple tasks was encouraged to be done in helpers, not in test code itself, to be run properly.

    So what changed in Codeception 1.1? There is no magic in test execution, test file is required and executed, that's all. Still the analyzes step is not skipped, so test is run two times: first to record scenario, validate and analyze all steps, second to execute them. With that simple idea you can use ANY php code in your tests if only you define the stage when it should be executed. The additional bootstrap files should be loaded one time before the analyses:

    if ($scenario->preload()) {
        require '_user_fixtures.php';
    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);
    // ...

    And when you need something to be executed in runtime, like cleaning the fixture data, please use the following:

    // ..
    $I->see('Hello, '.$user->name);
    if ($scenario->running()) {

    In this example user is removed in the very end of scenario. $scenario->running method allows you to execute any code in the runtime. But please, always specify the stage when the custom code should be executed, or it will be executed 2 times.

    In Codeception 1.0.x the build command was optional, when updating configuration. But now it's required to run every time the modules are added or removed in suite config file. That's the only new issue, but Guy-classes look much better now.


    As the result of changed described above, you can finally return values to scenario and use them in next steps. The new grabbers commands were introduced:

    $text = $I->grabTextFrom($element);
    $value = $I->grabValueFrom($form_field);
    $attr = $I->grabAttributeFrom($element, 'attribute');
    $name = $I->grabFromDatabase('users', 'name', array('id' => 1));
    // ....

    You can write your own grabbers. Just return values from your helper methods and you can use them in test. Please review the modules to see new commands there!

    XPath Introduction

    Codeception is a tool for testing, and many testers like specifying locators by XPath. CSS selectors have their limitations, so why not to use XPath in tests too? Sure, why not! You can freely use XPath selectors in your tests from now. But no new methods added for this! Really. The old methods were updated to support CSS and XPath as well. So whenever you need to pass a selector you can either pass CSS or XPath and Codeception is smart enough to guess what did you pass and how to use it.

    $I->click('New User');
    $I->click('#user_1 .user_new');
    $I->click("descendant::*[@id = 'user_1']/descendant::a");

    All the methods where CSS was used were updated to support XPath. Try it!

    Unit Tests

    There was no common idea how to deal with unit tests in Codeception. As you know, Codeception can run standard PHPUnit tests as well as the hybrid scenario-driven unit tests. Scenario driven tests for many cases looked to complex to use. But they allowed to use Codeception modules in them. Why not to provide standard PHPUnit tests to use Codeception features? For Codeception 1.1 the new chapter of Guides describing unit tests is written. In brief: you can use the CodeGuy class inside your tests! Include any modules and use it as you need it. Use them to perform database cleanups, use them to check values in database, use them to work with file system. They are just wonderful helpers in your work.

    And yep, new unit tests can be generated by command: generate:test.

    Bugfixes and Minor changes

    • nested array logging was done by tiger-seo
    • ability to specify different configs for test execution, also done by (tiger-seo)
    • ZF1 module fixes by insside

    Upgrade notes.

    • right after updating Codeception please run the build command.
    • remove all chained method executions in your tests. The $I object can return values, not self.

    Codeception 1.1 can be downloaded from site,

    via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

    P.S. Documentation was updated for 1.1 version.

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    Good news, everyone! Codeception 1.1.2 released. And it's hard to list everything that were improved and fixed, but i will try. With the help of our active contributor tiger.seo Codeception got an AMQP module wich allows to manipulate queue engines, like RabbitMQ. You can use this module if you need to clear queues between tests. Also, new Memcache module was introduced. You can perform simple checks and use data from your Memcache storage in tests. Guys, it's very simple to contribute to Codeception. All new modules are welcome, they can grow from your local helpers and become part of this library. Just fork Codeception, add a module and send me a pull request!

    UX Improvements

    You should regenerate your guy-classes after this update with the build command. Rebuilt Guy-classes will contain full documentation for each method and link to the source code of underlying method. Also, with the help of tiger.seo Codeception got better PHPStorm integration. Codeception when run in PHPStorm console outputs stack traces that is recognized by PHPStorm. So you can click on any file name and move to it in IDE.

    Save Scenarios as HTML

    You know that there is --html option which saves results of running tests in HTML. But now you can save the test scenarios in HTML without running them. That's quite useful if you want to save test scenarios into your company's wiki. The HTML format can inserted into Confluence, for example. And now testers, managers, and developers will have the test scenarios up to date. Yep, thanks again to tiger.seo.

    PEAR Updates

    PEAR package was completely redesigned. Codeception is not using PEAR as a dependency manager anymore, Composer is ok. But PEAR is quite useful if you want a system-wide install, and simple call to Codeception with codecept command. PEAR package now contains all dependent modules and doesn't require PHPUnit or Mink installed anymore. That will prevent possible conflicts and reduce level of PEAR-related wtfs.

    Bugs Fixed

    Codeception 1.1.2 can be downloaded from site,

    via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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  • 09/13/12--18:03: YetAnotherRelease.
  • Codeception 1.1.3 and then 1.1.4 was released during last month. In this post I will summarize the changes happened in this minor updates. The 1.1.3 version fixed one bug pointed by Nastya Ahramenko. Yep, only one bug. But it was pretty cool for me to mention it and make a release for it.

    Nastya wrote:

    If the web-page contains two similar links, then the second link is not opened. For example:

    1. Page contains two links: "Test Link" is first link, "Test" is second link
    2. Create test with the following steps
    $I->click('Test Link');

    Both steps open the first link.

    Actually we can discuss if it's a bug or a feature. But, it's more bug then a feature. This occur due to XPath locators in Mink and BrowserKit libraries. Codeception is a wrapper for Mink and BrowserKit, so there is no reason why it can't be done right. So, Codeception is solving this bug by seraching the strictly matched object at first, and then is trying to find it by more complex XPath locator. I.e., at first it will try to locate <a href="#">Test</a> and if it's not found will match the <a href="#">Test Link</a>.

    That's all about 1.1.3

    And now what about 1.1.4?

    There are pretty much fixes from other contributors. Thanks for anyone sending me pull requests and patches. Here are the changes done by this awesome guys!

    Selenium2 module improvements

    Define Actions Beforehand

    From now on it's much easier to define actions in helpers. You can write a method that is not defined yet, and then run new analyze command to append new commands to helper classes. It's quite useful when tester writes a test and needs some new actions to define. When you run

    php codecept.phar analyze suitename`

    you will be notified on all methods which do not exist in modules, and you will be asked to create them in helpers. Just try!

    New Locator class

    XPath locators are very powerful but are pretty hard to write and maintain. We decided to provide some useful functions to help writing locators better. Try new Codeception\Util\Locator for that. It will be described in next blogpost. Stay in touch.

    As usual, Codeception 1.1.4 can be downloaded from site,

    installed via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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  • 09/23/12--18:03: The Locator Class
  • In the latest Codeception 1.1.4 new Locator class was introduced. Basically it should simplify your life in writing complex XPath or CSS locators. Right now it has minimal, yet useful functionality.


    Locator can combine two locators using OR operand:

    use \Codeception\Util\Locator;
    $I->see('Title', Locator::combine('h1','h2','h3'));

    This will search for Title text in either h1, h2, or h3 tag. You can also combine CSS selector with XPath locator:

    use \Codeception\Util\Locator;
    $I->fillField(Locator::combine('form input[type=text]','//form/textarea[2]'), 'qwerty');

    As a result the Locator will produce a mixed XPath value that will be used in fillField action.


    Do you often use the TAB key to navigate through the web page? How do your site respond to this navigation? You could try to match elements by their tab position using tabIndex method of Locator class.

    use \Codeception\Util\Locator;
    $I->fillField(Locator::tabIndex(1), 'davert');
    $I->fillField(Locator::tabIndex(2) , 'qwerty');


    Does the page contain link wo specified URL? Check that easily with href method of Locator class.

    use \Codeception\Util\Locator;
    $I->see('Log In', Locator::href('/login.php'));

    And that's all folks for today. We are sure the locator class will evolve to simplify writing complex locators. If you have ideas what methods should be added, post them here. Or, which is better, patch this class and send Pull Request to Github.

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  • 10/02/12--18:03: 5 Reasons to Try Codeception
  • Codeception is PHP framework for testing web applications in BDD-style. It was started about a year ago, as a plugin for symfony1, to speed up and simplify functional testing inside the framework. But as time passed, Codeception evolved to standalone project, with support of various frameworks and engines. It's built on top of wonderful PHPUnit, but with aim for acceptance, and functional scenario driven tests. In this post we will remind why you may like Codeception and why we feel it's awesome.

    1. PHP!

    Yes, the first reason is PHP. If you are PHP developer it's natural you would like to write tests in PHP. Codeception provides you the best way to do so. Any IDE with code completion and syntax highlighting will help you write tests faster and without stupid syntax mistakes. Usage of PHP inside of tests unleashes the true power and control over the test flow. You can use your application classes or create testing helpers. Also you can get values (with grabbers) from results and use them in your tests. You just control everything. And yep, use everything you like from PHPUnit.

    $I = new TestGuy($scenario);
    $I->wantTo('launch missiles from my website');
    $I->click('Launch Missiles!')
    $I->see('Missiles launched');

    2. Simplicity

    You know, KISS is our first principle. Even Codeception requires basic knowledge of PHP it narrows testing to using PHP DSL where all actions are defined with user's perspective. Just enter the $I-> and select action from a list and put parameters. That's how a test is written. Also add minimal configuration in YAML format, and installation by downloading a single phar archive. It's really that simple.


    3. Multi-Framework and Multi-Backend

    You decided to migrate your application from symfony1 to Symfony2, from Kohana to Zend? You decided to test with Selenium inside a real browser? Your tests will run inside chosen the engine, no matters what happen. Codeception using one common syntax for all the backends. Frameworks support allows you to create more complex assertion and check the internals of your application, not only the visible part.

    4. Complex Tests

    Here comes a QA and says: I need XPath, I need complex selectors, I need to test UI elements strictly. No problems! You can use CSS selectors, XPath locators and even combine them with Locator class. You can also test your SOAP and REST webservices, pragmatical use XMLs (defined in jQuery-like style) and JSONs (as PHP arrays). Despite Codeception tend to be simple, it can be used by QAs creating solid tests automation platform.

    $I->click('New User');
    $I->click('#user_1 .user_new');
    $I->click('//*[@id = 'user_1']/descendant::a');
    $I->see('Title', Locator::combine('h1','h2','h3'));
    $I->fillField(Locator::tabIndex(1), 'davert');
    $I->see('Log In', Locator::href('/login.php'));

    5. Data

    Tests isolation is a problem. Most of testing frameworks puts it's solving to your shoulders. But Codeception tries to fetch your needs and provide Data cleanup from the box. With the Db module you can repopulate database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, ...), after each run, use SQLite (for faster testing), or just run all tests inside transaction (in functional or unit testing). Also Codeception have modules for using and cleaning Memcache and AMQP storages.

    And Finally!

    And just to mention, the results of tests are readable to non-technical guys. When you export result in HTML you will see the cool colored page with all passed steps described in pure English. Also test results are readable to robots: export result as XML and the CI-server (Jenkins, Bamboo) will use them.

    If you are still deciding weather or not to test your application, start doing it now. And Codeception is the right tool for this.

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  • 10/21/12--18:03: Error Reporting and XmlRPC
  • It looks like a good time for the new release! Do you agree?

    And yes, there are enough changes to announce Codeception 1.1.5. In this release we concentrated mostly on fixing bugs and improving error reporting. But the most important change, that from now Codeception uses PHPUnit 3.7. This PHPUnit version doesn't have that much BC breaks as previous one, so we hope you will not notice this change.

    Some tasty features were added too. But let's start with error reporting.

    • In stack trace PHP files of yours will be highlighted (if you use colors, of cource)
    • No more ERROR with no descriptions, every error have stack trace and description
    • Errors are displayed better, stack traces avaible only with --debug options

    XML-RPC Module

    Tiger SEO added just another useful module for testing XML-RPC web services. It requires 'php_xmlrpc' extension and PhpBrowser module to run. With this module you can perform XMLRPC calls and check the responses. You can review the code at GitHub or read the docs.

    Minor Features and Bugfixes

    • Composer package fixed
    • grabServiceFromContainer method added to Symfony2 module
    • REST fixes and improvements by tiger-seo
    • Fix for using seeInDatabase command with PostgreSQL
    • build command is not generating methods with the same names anymore
    • no need to run build command just after bootstrap

    BC breaks to aware of

    There could be some BC breaks, you should know about. Before 1.1.5 you could start writing tests without defining a page. Codeception opened the root url "/" by default. So all actions were performed on home page. But opening the page before each test is not the best idea, especially if we test REST/SOAP web service. We just spend time for useless action. So whenever you write acceptance test, please start it with amOnPage action. This change didn't affect the functional tests (for now).

    $I = new WebGuy($scenario);
    $I->amOnPage('/'); // required!

    Also, we did some changes for 2-steps tests loading, intrudoced in 1.1. At the first stage we read the test contents, in the next we execute it. From now on this stages are isolated, variables from preload will not pass to run. This will require loading of bootstrap file two times. Be prepared for that and optimize your bootstrap file.

    As usual, Codeception 1.1.5 can be downloaded from site,

    installed via PEAR

    $ pear install codeception/Codeception

    or via Composer

    $ php composer.phar update

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