Dart Testing

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Software testing, an important part of app development, helps verify that your app is working correctly before you release it. This Dart testing guide outlines several types of testing, and points you to where you can learn how to test your mobile, web, and server-side apps and scripts.

Kinds of testing

The Dart testing docs focus on three kinds of testing, out of the many kinds of testing that you may be familiar with: unit, component, and end-to-end (a form of integration testing). Testing terminology varies, but these are the terms and concepts that you are likely to encounter when using Dart technologies:

  • Unit tests focus on verifying the smallest piece of testable software, such as a function, method, or class. Your test suites should have more unit tests than other kinds of tests.

  • Component tests verify that a component (which usually consists of multiple classes) behaves as expected. A component test often requires the use of mock objects that can mimic user actions, events, perform layout, and instantiate child components.

  • Integration and end-to-end tests verify the behavior of an entire app, or a large chunk of an app. An integration test generally runs on a real device or OS simulator (for mobile) or on a browser (for the web) and consists of two pieces: the app itself, and the test app that puts the app through its paces. An integration test often measures performance, so the test app generally runs on a different device or OS than the app being tested.

Generally useful libraries

Although your tests partly depend on the platform your code is intended for—Flutter, the Dart VM, or Angular Dart, for example—the following packages are useful across Dart platforms:

  • package:test
    Provides a standard way of writing tests in Dart. You can use the test package to:
    • Write single tests, or groups of tests.
    • Use the @TestOn annotation to restrict tests to run on specific environments.
    • Write asynchronous tests just as you would write synchronous tests.
    • Tag tests using the @Tag annotation. For example, define a tag to create a custom configuration for some tests, or to identify some tests as needing more time to complete.
    • Create a dart_test.yaml file to configure tagged tests across multiple files or an entire package.
  • package:mockito
    Provides a way to create mock objects, easily configured for use in fixed scenarios, and to verify that the system under test interacts with the mock object in expected ways. For an example that uses both package:test and package:mockito, see the International Space Station API library and its unit tests in the mockito package.

Flutter testing

Use the following resources to learn more about testing Flutter apps:

Web testing

Use the following resources to learn more about testing Dart web applications:

Other tools and resources

You may also find the following resources useful for developing and debugging Dart applications.

IDE

When it comes to debugging, your first line of defense is your IDE. Dart plugins exist for many commonly used IDEs.

If you don’t have a preferred IDE, try WebStorm for web apps, or IntelliJ for Flutter. The JetBrains products have a full-featured Dart debugger, and WebStorm and IntelliJ Ultimate include additional built-in support for running test suites.

Observatory

Observatory is a browser-based tool for profiling and debugging your Dart applications. You can learn more using the following resources:

Continuous integration

Consider using continuous integration (CI) to build your project and run its tests after every commit. Two CI services for GitHub are Travis CI (for OS X and Unix) and AppVeyor (for Windows).

Travis has built-in support for Dart projects. Learn more at the following links:

  • Building a Dart Project covers how to configure Travis for Dart projects
  • The shelf example uses the dart_task tag (in .travis.yml) to configure the build.