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I have met many developers who refer to tests as “Unit Tests” when they are actually integration tests. In service layers, I’ve seen tests referred as unit tests, but written with dependencies on the actual service, such as a database, web service, or some message server. Those are part of integration testing. Even if you’re just using the Spring Context to auto-wire dependencies, your test is an integration test. Rather than using the real services, you can use Mockito mocks and spies to keep your tests unit tests and avoid the overhead of running integration tests.

This is not to say Integration tests are bad. There is certainly a role for integration tests. They are a necessity.

But compared to unit tests, integration tests are sloooowwwww. Very slow. Your typical unit test will execute in a fraction of a second. Even complex unit tests on obsolete hardware will still complete sub-second.

Integration tests, on the otherhand take several seconds to execute. It takes time to start the Spring Context. It takes time to start a H2 in memory database. It takes time to establish a database connection.

While this may not seem much, it becomes exponential on a large project. As you add more and more tests, the length of your build becomes longer and longer.

No developer wants to break the build. So we run all the tests to be sure. As we code, we’ll be running the full suite of tests multiple times a day. For your own productivity, the suite of tests needs to run quickly.

If you’re writing Integration tests where a unit test would suffice, you’re not only impacting your own personal productivity. You’re impacting the productivity of the whole team.

On a recent client engagement, the development team was very diligent about writing tests. Which is good. But, the team favored writing Integration tests. Frequently, integration tests were used where a Unit test could have been used. The build was getting slower and slower. Because of this, the team started refactoring their tests to use Mockito mocks and spies to avoid the need for integration tests.

They were still testing the same objectives. But Mockito was being used to fill in for the dependency driving the need for the integration test.

For example, Spring Boot makes it easy to test using a H2 in memory database using JPA and repositories supplied by Spring Data JPA.

But why not use Mockito to provide a mock for your Spring Data JPA repository?

Unit tests should be atomic, lightweight, and fast that are done as isolated units. Additionally, unit tests in Spring should not bring up a Spring Context. I have written about the different types of tests in my earlier Testing Software post.

I have already written a series of posts on JUnit and a post on Testing Spring MVC With Spring Boot 1.4: Part 1. In the latter, I discussed unit testing controllers in a Spring MVC application.

I feel the majority of your tests should be unit tests, not integration tests. If you’re writing your code following the SOLID Principles of OOP, your code is already well structured to accept Mockito mocks.

In this post, I’ll explain how to use Mockito to test the service layer of a Spring Boot MVC application. If Mockito is new for you, I suggest reading my Mocking in Unit Tests With Mockito post first.

Using Mockito Mocks and SpiesMockito Mocks vs Spies

In unit test, a test double is a replacement of a dependent component (collaborator) of the object under test. The test double does not have to behave exactly as the collaborator. The purpose is to mimic the collaborator to make the object under test think that it is actually using the collaborator.

Based on the role played during testing, there can be different types of test doubles. In this post we’re going to look at mocks and spies.

There are some other types of test doubles, such as dummy objects, fake objects, and stubs. If you’re using Spock, one of my favorite tricks was to cast a map of closures in as a test double. (One of the many fun things you can do with Groovy!)

What makes a mock object different from the others is that it has behavior verification. Which means the mock object verifies that it (the mock object) is being used correctly by the object under test. If the verification succeeds, you can conclude the object under test will correctly use the real collaborator.

Spies on the other hand, provides a way to spy on a real object. With a spy, you can call all the real underlying methods of the object while still tracking every interaction, just as you would with a mock.

Things get a bit different for Mockito mocks vs spies. A Mockito mock allows us to stub a method call. Which meams we can stub a method to return a specific object. For example, we can mock a Spring Data JPA repository in a service class to stub a getProduct() method of the repository to return a Product object. To run the test, we don’t need the database to be up and running – a pure unit test.

A Mockito spy is a partial mock. We can mock a part of the object by stubbing few methods, while real method invocations will be used for the other. By saying so, we can conclude that calling a method on a spy will invoke the actual method, unless we explicitly stub the method, and therefore the term partial mock.

Let’s look mocks vs spies in action, with a Spring Boot MVC application.

The Application Under Test

Our application contains a single Product JPA entity. CRUD operations are performed on the entity by ProductRepository using a CrudRepository supplied by Spring Data JPA. If you look at the code, you will see all we did was extend the Spring Data JPA CrudRepository to create our ProductRepository. Under the hood, Spring Data JPA provides implementations to manage entities for most common operations, such as saving an entity, updating it, deleting it, or finding it by id.

The service layer is developed following the SOLID design principles. We used the “Code to an Interface” technique, while leveraging the benefits of dependency injection. We have a ProductService interface and a ProductServiceImpl implementation. It is this ProductServiceImpl class that we will unit test.

Here is the code of ProductServiceImpl .

ProductServiceImpl.java

In the ProductServiceImpl class, you can see that ProductRepository is @Autowired in. The repository is used to perform CRUD operations. – a mock candidate to test ProductServiceImpl.

Testing with Mockito Mocks

Coming to the testing part, let’s take up the getProductById() method of ProductServiceImpl. To unit test the functionality of this method, we need to mock the external Product and ProductRepository objects. We can do it by either using the Mockito’s mock() method or through the @Mockito annotation. We will use the latter option since it is convenient when you have a lot of mocks to inject.

Once we declare a mock` with the @Mockito annotation, we also need to initialize it. Mock initialization happens before each test method. We have two options – using the JUnit test runner, MockitoJUnitRunner or MockitoAnnotations.initMocks() . Both are equivalent solutions.

Finally, you need to provide the mocks to the object under test. You can do it by calling the setProductRepository() method of ProductServiceImpl or by using the @InjectMocks annotation.

The following code creates the Mockito mocks, and sets them on the object under test.

Note: Since we are using the Spring Boot Test starter dependency, Mockito core automatically is pulled into our project. Therefore no extra dependency declaration is required in our Maven POM.

Once our mocks are ready, we can start stubbing methods on the mock. Stubbing means simulating the behavior of a mock object’s method. We can stub a method on the ProductRepository mock object by setting up an expectation on the method invocation.

For example, we can stub the findOne() method of the ProductRepository mock to return a Product when called. We then call the method whose functionality we want to test, followed by an assertion, like this.

This approach can be used to test the other methods of ProductServiceImpl, leaving aside deleteProduct() that has void as the return type.

To test the deleteProduct(), we will stub it to do nothing, then call deleteProduct(), and finally assert that the delete() method has indeed been called.

Here is the complete test code for using Mockito mocks:

ProductServiceImplMockTest.java

Note: An alternative to doNothing() for stubbing a void method is to use doReturn(null).

Testing with Mockito Spies

We have tested our ProductServiceImpl with mocks. So why do we need spies at all? Actually, we don’t need one in this use case.

Outside Mockito, partial mocks were present for a long time to allow mocking only part (few methods) of an object. But, partial mocks were considered as code smells. Primarily because if you need to partially mock a class while ignoring the rest of its behavior, then this class is violating the Single Responsibility Principle, since the code was likely doing more than one thing.

Until Mockito 1.8, Mockito spies were not producing real partial mocks. However, after many debates & discussions, and after finding a valid use case for partial mock, support for partial mock was added to Mockito 1.8.

You can partially mock objects using spies and the callRealMethod() method. What it means is without stubbing a method, you can now call the underlying real method of a mock, like this.

Be careful that the real implementation is ‘safe’ when using thenCallRealMethod(). The actual implementation needs be able to run in the context of your test.

Another approach for partial mocking is to use a spy. As I mentioned earlier, all method calls on a spy are real calls to the underlying method, unless stubbed. So, you can also use a Mockito spy to partially mock few stubbed methods.

Here is the code provide a Mockito spy for our ProductServiceImpl .

ProductServiceImplSpyTest.java

In this test class, notice we used MockitoJUnitRunner instead of MockitoAnnotations.initMocks() for our annotations.

For the first test, we expected NullPointerException because the getProductById() call on the spy will invoke the actual getProductById() method of ProductServiceImpl, and our repository implementations are not created yet.

In the second test, we are not expecting any exception, as we are stubbing the save() method of ProductRepository.

The second and third methods are the relevant use cases of a spy in the context of our application– verifying method invocations.

Conclusion

In Spring Boot applications, by using Mockito, you replace the @Autowired components in the class you want to test with mock objects. In addition to unit test the service layer, you will be unit testing controllers by injecting mock services. To unit test the DAO layer, you will mock the database APIs. The list is endless – It depends on the type of application you are working on and the object under test. If your following the Dependency Inversion Principle and using Dependency Injection, mocking becomes easy.

For partial mocking, use it to test 3rd party APIs and legacy code. You won’t require partial mocks for new, test-driven, and well-designed code that follows the Single Responsibility Principle. Another problem is that when() style stubbing cannot be used on spies. Also, given a choice between thenCallRealMethod on mock and spy, use the former as it is lightweight. Using thenCallRealMethod on mock does not create the actual object instance but bare-bones shell instance of the Class to track interactions. However, if you use spy, you create an object instance. As regard spy, use it if you only if you want to modify the behavior of small chunk of API and then rely mostly on actual method calls.

The code for this post is available for download here.

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This is part 6 of the tutorial series for building a web application using Spring Boot. In this post we look at adding a DAO Authentication provider for Spring Security.

We started off with the first part by creating our Spring project using the Spring Initializr. In part 2, we rendered a web page using Thymeleaf and Spring MVC. This was followed by part 3 where we looked at setting up Spring Data JPA for database persistence. Part 4 was all about consolidating everything to provide a working Spring Boot MVC Web Application capable of performing CRUD operations.

In the previous part 5 of this series, we configured a basic in-memory authentication provider. It’s a good starting point to learn Spring Security, but as I mentioned there, it’s not for enterprise applications. A production-quality implementation would likely use the DAO authentication provider.

In this part of the series, I will discuss Spring Security with the DAO authentication provider to secure our Spring Boot Web application. We will implement both authentication and role-based authorization with credentials stored in the H2 database. For persistence, we will use the Spring Data JPA implementation of the repository pattern, that I covered in part 3. Although there are several Spring Data JPA implementations, Hibernate is by far the most popular.

As the Spring Data JPA dependency is included in our Maven POM, Hibernate gets pulled in and configured with sensible default properties via Spring Boot.

This post builds upon 5 previous posts. If you’re not familiar with all the content around Spring, I suggest you to go through this series from the start.

JPA Entities

Our application already has a Product JPA entity. We’ll add two more entities, User and Role. Following the SOLID design principle’sprogram to interface ” principle, we will start by writing an interface followed with an abstract class for our entities.

DomainObject.java

AbstractDomainClass.java

The entity classes are as follows.

User.java

Role.java

The User and Role JPA entities are part of the many-to-many relationship. Also, in Line 15 of the User class, notice that the password field is marked as @Transient.

That’s because we don’t want to store the password in text form.

Instead, we will store the encrypted form of the password.

JPA Repositories

Spring Data JPA provides the CRUD Repository feature. Using it, we just define the repository interfaces for our User and Role entities to extend CrudRepository.

The Spring Data JPA repositories for the User and Role entities are as follows.

UserRepository.java

RoleRepository.java

By extending CrudRepository, both the repositories inherit several methods for working with entity persistence, including methods for saving, deleting, and finding entities. Spring Data JPA uses generics and reflection to generate the concrete implementations of both the interfaces.

Spring Data JPA Services

We can now create the services, that will use Spring Data JPA to perform CRUD operations on the User and Role entities.

Of course, we will follow the Interface Segregation principle to maintain loose coupling. It’s always best to “program to interface”, especially when leveraging the benefits of Spring’s dependency injection.

So, let’s start with the service interfaces.

CRUDService.java

UserService.java

RoleService.java

Both RoleService and UserService extends CRUDService that defines the basic CRUD operations on entities. UserService, with the additional findByUsername() method is a more specialized service interface for CRUD operations on User.

We have made the service interfaces generic to mask our service implementations using the Façade design pattern. The implementations can be Spring Data JPA with repository, DAO, or Map patterns, or even plain JDBC, or some external Web service. The client code does not need not to be aware of the implementation. By using interfaces, we are able to leverage multiple concrete implementations of the services.

We’ll write the service implementation classes using the Spring Data JPA repository pattern.

UserServiceImpl.java

In this class, we auto-wired in UserRepository and EncryptionService. Going ahead, we will create EncryptionService using the Jasypt library to add encryption capabilities for storing user passwords. The overridden methods of this class use the UserRepository we created to perform CRUD operations on User.

The RoleServiceImpl provides a similar implementation for RoleService.

RoleServiceImpl.java

Free Spring TutorialPassword Encryption Service

The Jasypt library provides an implementation for unidirectional encryption. We will use Jasypt to encrypt a password before storing it to the database. For authentication, we will provide Jasypt the received password. Under the hood, Jasypt will encrypt the received password and compare it to the stored one.

Let’s add the Jasypt dependency to our Maven POM.

Note: The latest available Jasypt 1.9.2 targets Spring Security 3. But even for Spring Security 4 that we are using, Jasypt doesn’t have compatibility issues.

With Jasypt pulled in, we will write a bean for StrongPasswordEncryptor of Jasypt – a utility class for easily performing high-strength password encryption and checking. The configuration class, CommonBeanConfig is this.

CommonBeanConfig.java

Our generic EncryptionService interface will define two methods to encrypt and compare passwords.

EncryptionService.java

The implementation class is this.

EncryptionServiceImpl.java

In this implementation class, we autowired the StrongPasswordEncryptor bean. In Line 18, the encryptPassword() method encrypts the password passed to it. In Line 22, the checkPassword() method returns a boolean result of the password comparison.

User Details Service Implementation

Spring Security provides a UserDetailsService interface to lookup the username, password and GrantedAuthorities for any given user. This interface provides only one method, loadUserByUsername(). This method returns an implementation of Spring Security’s UserDetails interface that provides core user information.

The UserDetails implementation of our application is this.

UserDetailsImpl.java

In this class, we have defined the fields of our data model and their corresponding setter methods. The SimpleGrantedAuthority we set on Line 16 is a Spring Security implementation of an authority that we will convert from our role. Think of an authority as being a “permission” or a “right” typically expressed as strings.

We need to provide an implementation of the loadUserByUsername() method of UserDetailsService. But the challenge is that the findByUsername() method of our UserService returns a User entity, while Spring Security expects a UserDetails object from the loadUserByUsername() method.

We will create a converter for this to convert User to UserDetails implementation.

UserToUserDetails.java

This class implements the Spring Core Coverter  interface and overrides the convert() method that accepts a User object to convert. In Line 16, the code instantiates a UserDetailsImpl object, and from Line 19 – Line 26, the code initializes the UserDetailsImpl object with data from User.

With the converter ready, it’s now easy to implement the UserDetailsService interface. The implementation class is this.

Here is our implemention.

UserDetailsServiceImpl.java

In the UserDetailsServiceImpl class, we auto wired in UserService and Converter. In Line 31, the lone overridden method loadUserByUsername() converts a User to UserDetails by calling the convert() method of Converter.

Security Configuration

The current security configuration class, SpringSecConfig extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter to configure two things. An authentication provider and the application routes to protect. Our route configuration will remain the same. However, we need to register the DAO authentication provider for use with Spring Security.

We will start by setting up a password encoder to encode passwords present in the UserDetails object returned by the configured UserDetailsService. We will define a new bean for Spring Security’s PasswordEncoder that takes in the StrongPassordEncryptor bean.

Remember that we created StrongPassordEncryptor earlier in the CommonBeanConfig Spring configuration class?

Next, we will set up the DAO authentication provider, like this.

In this code, we passed the previously configured PasswordEncoder and UserDetailsService to daoAuthenticationProvider(). The PasswordEncoder is going to use the Jasypt library for encoding the password and verifying that the passwords match. The UserDetailsService will fetch the User object from the database and hand over to Spring Security as a UserDetails object. In the method, we instantiated the DaoAuthenticationProvider and initialized it with the PasswordEncoder and UserDetailsService implementations.

Next, we need to auto wire in the AuthenticationProvider as we want the Spring Context to manage it.

We will also auto wire in the AuthenticationManagerBuilder. Spring Security will use this to set up the AuthenticationProvider.

The complete SpringSecConfig class is this.

SpringSecConfig.java

Application Bootstrapping with Seed Data

For seed data of the application, we have an ApplicationListener implementation class that gets called upon the ContextRefresedEvent on startup. In this class, we will use Spring to inject the UserRepository and RoleRepository Spring Data JPA repositories for our use. We will create two User and two Role entities and save them to the database when the application starts. The code of this class is this.

SpringJpaBootstrap.java

This class in addition to loading product data, invokes the following methods to load users and roles at startup:

  • loadUsers(): Stores two User entities. One with “user” and the other with “admin” as both the user name and password.
  • loadRoles(): Stores two Role entities for the “USER” and “ADMIN” roles.
  • assignUsersToUserRole(): Assigns the User with username “user” to the “USER” role.
  • assignUsersToAdminRole(): Assigns the User with username “admin” to the “ADMIN” role.

Free Spring TutorialThymeleaf Extras module

In the previous part 5 of this series, I discussed the Thymeleaf “extras” integration module to integrate Spring Security in our Thymeleaf templates. Things will largely remain unchanged in this presentation layer, except for two instances.
Currently, both USER and ROLE are being referred from the presentation layer code as ROLE_USER and ROLE_ADMIN. This was required because we relied on Spring Security’s in-memory authentication provider for managing our users and roles, and Spring Security’s internal feature maps a configured role to the role name prefixed with ROLE_. With the DAO authentication provider, our roles are mapped to authorities as it is (We did this in in the UserToUserDetails converter), and we can refer them directly from code as USER and ADMIN.

The second change is brought in by GrantedAuthority used by the Spring Security UserDetails interface. If you recall, we mapped our Role implementation to SimpleGrantedAuthority in the UserToUserDetails converter.

Therefore, in the Thymeleaf templates, we need to change the hasRole() and hasAnyRole() authorization expressions to hasAuthority() and hasAnyAuthorities().

The affected templates are header.html and products.html.

header.html

products.html

Running the Application

Our application is configured to run the H2 database console, which I have explained here. So, when you run the application, you’ll now be able to access the H2 database console at http://localhost:8080/console. You can use it to view the initial authentication-related data loaded by the SpringJpaBootstrap class.
USER Table for Spring Security
Role Table for Spring Security

This is how the home page appears to authenticated users with USER and ADMIN roles.

Home Page View for USER Role
Home Page View for ADMIN Role

With our Security configuration, this is how the product listing page appears to users with different roles.

Home Page View for Anonymous
Home Page View for USER Role
Home Page View for ADMIN Role

Summary

Spring Security has a large scope, and what we configured is only a small part of it. Spring Security supports XML-based and annotation-based finer level security configurations. With Spring Security, we can secure websites down to specific URLs, assign roles to URL, and even roles to different HTTP actions – a security configuration typically employed in RESTful APIs.

What makes Spring Security great is that you can easily hook in another security provider. If you noticed, we hardly made any change in the presentation and business logic layers while transitioning from the earlier basic in-memory authentication provider to the DAO provider. We could also use LDAP, Single Sign-On (SSO), OpenID, and OAuth 2.0 providers. It all depends on the requirements of your application.

Get the Source!

The full source code for this example is available here on GitHub.

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This is the fifth part of my tutorial series on building a Spring Boot Web Application. We started off in the first part looking at using the Spring Initializr to start our Spring Boot project. In part 2, we configured Spring MVC and ThymeLeaf templates to display a basic web page. This was followed by part 3 where we setup the H2 database and Spring Data JPA and used them to persist data of our application to the database. In part 4, we consolidated everything to provide a working Spring Boot MVC Web Application capable of performing CRUD operations. We now have an application which displays data from the database, allows you to create new records, update existing records, and delete selected records too.

In part 5, we will use Spring Security to set up authentication and authorization in our application.

Spring Security, one of the most commonly used project in the Spring family of projects, provides a powerful and highly customizable authentication and authorization framework designed specifically to secure Java applications. In this part, I’ll show you how to setup Spring Security to secure our Spring Boot Web Application using the basic in-memory authentication provider.

Security Requirements

Our Spring Boot Web application in the current state is accessible to all users. Any user can create and view products, and also edit or delete them. Before we setup Spring Security to secure our application, let’s set few security requirements:

  • An anonymous user (user who doesn’t sign in) should be able to view the home page and product listing.
  • An authenticated user, in addition to the home page and product listing, should be able to view the details of a product.
  • An authenticated admin user, in addition to the above, should be able to create, update, and delete products.

Maven Dependencies

Spring Security is already listed as a dependency of our application in the Maven POM.

In the Maven Projects pane of IntelliJ we can see the additional dependencies of  Spring Security.

spring security dependencies in Maven

As we can see the Spring Security starter has brought in Spring AOP, Spring Security web, and Spring Security config, which in turn bring in Spring Security core.

Authentication and Authorization

Before we go deep, we need to understand what authentication and authorization means in Spring Security. Although both sound similar and it’s very easy to confuse them..

Authentication means ascertaining that somebody really is who they claim to be. Authentication is performed using different mechanisms. One simple and common mechanism is through user credentials in the form of user name and password. These are stored in some type back end data store, such as a SQL database. Others include LDAP, Single Sign-On (SSO), OpenID, and OAuth 2.0.

Authorization, on the other hand, defines what you are allowed to do. For example, an authenticated user may be authorized to view products but not to add or delete them.

Remember that authentication is “Who I am?” as a user to the system. While authorization is “You are either allowed or not to do this” from the system.

Securing URLs

In part 1, where we added Spring Security into our build, Spring Boot configured Spring Security to require Basic authentication for all endpoints. In part 2, we configured Spring Security to allow all requests access to the root path. We did this by creating a SecurityConfiguration class that extends the WebSecurityConfigurerAdapater class and overridden the configure() method. We will now update the same configure() method to define which URL paths should be secured and which should not.

Here is the the updated configure() method:

This security configuration will:

  • Allows all requests to the /, /products, /product/show/*, /console/** paths (Line 5)
  • Secures all other paths of the application to require authentication (Line 6)
  • Allows everyone to view a custom /login page specified by loginPage()(Line 8)
  • Permits all to make logout calls (Line 10)
  • Disables CSRF protection (Line 12)
  • Disables X-Frame-Options in Spring Security (Line 13) for access to H2 database console. By default, Spring Security will protect against CRSF attacks.

Note: Although this is not a production-level configuration, it should get us started with the basic in-memory authentication. I’ll revisit this part, when I discuss more advanced security configuration in my upcoming posts.

In the same SecurityConfiguration class, we will also autowire a configureGlobal() overridden method of WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter. At runtime, Spring will inject an AuthenticationManagerBuilder that we will use to configure the simplest, default in-memory authentication with two users. The complete code of the
SecurityConfiguration class is this.

SecurityConfiguration.java

In this code, Line 27 – Line 30 configures in-memory authentication with two users. The first user with the username user and a password user is assigned a role of USER. The second user with the username admin and a password admin is assigned a role of ADMIN.

The Login Page

Our application will have a login page to capture user credentials in the form of user name and password. The login page, a Thymeleaf template will be served whenever a request to /login is received. We will configure the request mapping in ProductController like this.

The code of the login template is this.

login.html

This is a standard Thymeleaf template that presents a form to capture a username and password and post them to /login. Spring Security provides a filter that intercepts that request and authenticates the user with our configured in-memory authentication provider. If authentication succeeds, the application displays the requested page. If authentication fails, the request is redirected to /login?error and the login page displays the appropriate error message (Line 10 – Line 12). Upon successfully signing out, our application is sent to /login?logout and the login page displays a sign out message (Line 13 – Line 17).

This is how the login page displays an error message on authentication failure.
Spring Security Login Error Message

Spring Security Integration in Thymeleaf

To integrate Spring Security in our Thymeleaf templates, we will use the Thymeleaf “extras” integration module for Spring Security. For this, we need to add a JAR dependency in our Maven POM like this.

The Thymeleaf “extras” module is not a part of the Thymeleaf core but fully supported by the Thymeleaf team. This module follows its own schema, and therefore we need to include its XML namespace in those templates that will use security features, like this.

Showing Content based on Role

One of our application requirement states that only authenticated users with the ADMIN role can create products. To address this, we will configure authorization in the header.html Thymeleaf fragment to display the Create Product link only to users with the ADMIN role. In this template, we will also display a welcome message with the user name to an authenticated user. The code of the header.html template file is this:

header.html

The Thymeleaf security extension provides the sec:authorize attribute that renders its content when the corresponding Spring Security expression evaluates to true.

In Line 16 we used the sec:authorize attribute to display the Create Product link only if the authenticated user has the ADMIN role. Observe that we are checking against ROLE_ADMIN instead of the ADMIN role. This is because of Spring Security’s internal feature of mapping a configured role to the role name prefixed with ROLE_. In Line 23 we again used the sec:authorize attribute to check whether the user is authenticated, and if so, displayed the name using the sec:authenticate attribute.

This is how the home page appears to authenticated users with USER and ADMIN roles.

Home Page View for USER Role
Home Page View for ADMIN Role

Our current Product Listing page rendered by the products.html template displays the View, Edit, and Delete links to all users. In this template, we will configure authorization:

  • To show the View, Edit, and Delete links to a user with ADMIN role
  • To show only the View link to a user with USER role
  • Not to show any links to an anonymous user who hasn’t signed in

The code of the products.html page is this.

products.html

In Line 16 the “Sign Out” form submits a POST to /logout. Upon successfully logging out it will redirect the user to /login?logout. The remaining authorization is performed using the sec:authorize attribute. The hasAnyRole('ROLE_USER','ROLE_ADMIN') expression on Line 30 and Line 39 evaluates to true if the user has either the ROLE_USER or ROLE_ADMIN.

With this configuration, the product listing page will appear to different roles like this.

Home Page View for Anonymous
Home Page View for USER Role
Home Page View for ADMIN Role
If you are wondering why the Sign Out Submit button is getting displayed as a link, it’s due to this CSS code I added to the guru.css stylesheet.

guru.css

The code of productshow.html and productform.html templates, except for the addition of the “Sign Out” form, remains the same.

productshow.html

productform.html

Finally, if any signed in user clicks on Sign Out in any one of the secured pages, the user is redirected to the login page with a message, like this.
Spring Security Log Out Message

free spring framework tutorialSummary

Spring Security is a very popular project in the Spring Framework family of projects. When you need to secure content in a Spring Boot web application, Spring Security is a natural ‘go to’ tool to use.

In this post, I’ve only scratched the surface of the capabilities of Spring Security. For example, I used the in-memory authentication provider for Spring Security. This a great tool to demonstrate how to configure Spring Security. But, you probably would not use an in-memory authentication provider in production. It’s actually fairly common to store user credentials in a database. In the next post of this series, I’ll explain how to setup a DAO authentication provider for Spring Security.

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In my earlier Integration Testing with Spring and JUnit post, I discussed how to test a service bean facade with JUnit. I also posted a video, titled Testing Spring with JUnit on YouTube. In post, Spring Boot Web Application – Part 3 – Spring Data JPA, I showed how to test a Spring Data JPA repository of a Spring MVC application.

It has been more than a year now since I wrote these posts and posted the video. Since then, there’s been an exciting overhaul of testing support for Spring Boot MVC applications. The Spring Boot 1.4 release includes a number of exciting new testing features for our use.

In this post, I will look the new Spring MVC testing features. And I’ll show you how to put them to use.

Spring Boot 1.4 Testing Enhancements

In Spring Boot 1.3, there’s a lot of choices to write tests for a Spring MVC application. One option to set Spring MVC is shown in my earlier post here. In this post on Spring Boot 1.3, the @RunWith annotation with @ContextConfiguration is used to test for a business service façade, like this:

Another method I used in the post here is a combination of the @RunWith annotation with @SpringApplicationConfiguration to test a Spring Data JPA repository, like this:

There are several other approaches you can check in the official Spring blog here.

The testing approaches I used above are actually integration tests.  A pure unit test shouldn’t create and load Spring Context.

Spring Boot 1.4 replaces these various testing approaches that via a single @SpringBootTest annotation for regular integration tests.

Prior to Spring Boot 1.4, I found Spring was lacking a simplified unit testing approach. This is really no surprise. The Spring team is always creating. Spring and Spring Boot offers a number of testing options. Due to innvotation, the testing options have evolved over time. In Spring Boot 1.4, the Spring committers took some time to clean testing up. They gave us much simpler options to use for testing Spring Boot applications. For example, a simple approach to unit test a controller having @Autowired external services without having to load Spring Context was lacking. With Spring Boot 1.4, it’s now possible.

Another missing piece that Spring Boot 1.4 tackels, is the ability to test portions (slices) of code. This can be done without the need to fire up a server. And with out the need to load up the entire Spring Context. Spring Boot 1.4 does this through the new Test Slicing feature that is designed to set-up a narrow slice of the Spring Context. This makes testing single ‘slices’ much easier. You can now focus on testing specific slices of your application. For example:

For example:

  • MVC slice: Controller code through the @WebMvcTest annotation
  • JPA slice: Spring Data JPA repository code through the @DataJpaTest annotation
  • JSON slice: JSON serialization code through the @JsonTest annotation

This may not seem like much at first glance. But when you have a large application starting the Spring context in testing, it is time consuming. Context loads can really increase your build time.

Let’s start putting the new test features to use.

The Application Under Test

I wrote a series of posts on Spring MVC starting off from Spring Boot Web Application – Part 1 – Spring Initializer. In the last post of the series, Spring Boot Web Application – Part 4 – Spring MVC, I completed creating a Spring MVC application to perform Create, Read, Update, and Delete (CRUD) operations.

In this post, I’ll show you how to write tests for the controllers of the same Spring MVC application.

If you are new to Spring MVC, you should go through my series on Spring MVC starting here.

You can also download the source code of the application available on GitHub here to follow along this post.

It’s a pretty simple example of a Spring Boot MVC application consisting of the following primary components:

  • Product: The domain object, which is a JPA entity
  • IndexController: Returns the index.html Thymeleaf template for a GET request to the application root
  • ProductController: Contains number of actions methods that use ProductService to perform CRUD operations via the repository model
  • ProductRepository: A Spring Data JPA repository
  • ProductService: A business service façade interface
  • ProductServiceImpl: A business service façade implementation annotated with @Service

With the Spring Boot MVC application that will be under test in place, lets start by writing few tests for the controllers.

Maven Dependencies

The testing features we’re looking at were introduced in Spring Boot 1.4. The version of Spring Boot we’ll be using is 1.4.0.RELEASE.

Here is the complete Maven POM that we’ll use.

pom.xml

Unit Testing Spring MVC Controllers

MockMvc has been around since Spring 3.2. This providing a powerful way to mock Spring MVC for testing MVC web applications. Through MockMvc, you can send mock HTTP requests to a controller and test how the controller behaves without running the controller within a server. You can obtain a MockMvc instance through the following two methods of MockMvcBuilders:

  • standaloneSetup(): Registers one or more @Controller instances and allows programmatically configuring the Spring MVC infrastructure to build a MockMvc instance. This is similar to plain unit tests while also making it possible to focus tests around a single controller at a time.
  • webAppContextSetup(): Uses the fully initialized (refreshed) WebApplicationContext to build a MockMvc instance. This lets Spring load your controllers as well as their dependencies for a full-blown integration test.

Pro Tip: Whenever possible, I will try to use standaloneSetup() for my SpringMVC tests. Your tests will remain true unit tests and stay blazing fast!

This is the IndexController that we are going to test:

IndexController.java

For our purpose, we’re starting with standaloneSetup() to test this IndexController.

The test class is this.

IndexControllerTest.java