What’s the difference between a mock & stub?

Questions : What’s the difference between a mock & stub?

I’ve read various articles about mocking vs stubbing in testing, including Martin Fowler’s Mocks Aren’t Stubs, but still don’t understand the difference.

Total Answers: 42 Answers 42


Popular Answers:

  1. Stub

    I believe the biggest distinction is that a stub you have already written with predetermined behavior. So you would have a class that implements the dependency (abstract class or interface most likely) you are faking for testing purposes and the methods would just be stubbed out with set responses. They would not do anything fancy and you would have already written the stubbed code for it outside of your test.

    Mock

    A mock is something that as part of your test you have to setup with your expectations. A mock is not setup in a predetermined way so you have code that does it in your test. Mocks in a way are determined at runtime since the code that sets the expectations has to run before they do anything.

    Difference between Mocks and Stubs

    Tests written with mocks usually follow an initialize -> set expectations -> exercise -> verify pattern to testing. While the pre-written stub would follow an initialize -> exercise -> verify.

    Similarity between Mocks and Stubs

    The purpose of both is to eliminate testing all the dependencies of a class or function so your tests are more focused and simpler in what they are trying to prove.

  2. Stub

    I believe the biggest distinction is that a stub you have already written with predetermined behavior. So you would have a class that implements the dependency (abstract class or interface most likely) you are faking for testing purposes and the methods would just be stubbed out with set responses. They would not do anything fancy and you would have already written the stubbed code for it outside of your test.

    Mock

    A mock is something that as part of your test you have to setup with your expectations. A mock is not setup in a predetermined way so you have code that does it in your test. Mocks in a way are determined at runtime since the code that sets the expectations has to run before they do anything.

    Difference between Mocks and Stubs

    Tests written with mocks usually follow an initialize -> set expectations -> exercise -> verify pattern to testing. While the pre-written stub would follow an initialize -> exercise -> verify.

    Similarity between Mocks and Stubs

    The purpose of both is to eliminate testing all the dependencies of a class or function so your tests are more focused and simpler in what they are trying to prove.

  3. A stub is a simple fake object. It just makes sure test runs smoothly.
    A mock is a smarter stub. You verify your test passes through it.

  4. Here’s a description of each one followed by with real world sample.

    • Dummy – just bogus values to satisfy the API.

      Example: If you’re testing a method of a class which requires many mandatory parameters in a constructor which have no effect on your test, then you may create dummy objects for the purpose of creating new instances of a class.

    • Fake – create a test implementation of a class which may have a dependency on some external infrastructure. (It’s good practice that your unit test does NOT actually interact with external infrastructure.)

      Example: Create fake implementation for accessing a database, replace it with in-memory collection.

    • Stub – override methods to return hard-coded values, also referred to as state-based.

      Example: Your test class depends on a method Calculate() taking 5 minutes to complete. Rather than wait for 5 minutes you can replace its real implementation with stub that returns hard-coded values; taking only a small fraction of the time.

    • Mock – very similar to Stub but interaction-based rather than state-based. This means you don’t expect from Mock to return some value, but to assume that specific order of method calls are made.

      Example: You’re testing a user registration class. After calling Save, it should call SendConfirmationEmail.

    Stubs and Mocks are actually sub types of Mock, both swap real implementation with test implementation, but for different, specific reasons.

  5. In the codeschool.com course, Rails Testing for Zombies, they give this definition of the terms:

    Stub

    For replacing a method with code that returns a specified result.

    Mock

    A stub with an assertion that the method gets called.

    So as Sean Copenhaver described in his answer, the difference is that mocks set expectations (i.e. make assertions, about whether or how they get called).

  6. Stubs don’t fail your tests, mock can.

  7. Reading all the explanations above, let me try to condense:

    • Stub: a dummy piece of code that lets the test run, but you don’t care what happens to it. Substitutes for real working code.
    • Mock: a dummy piece of code that you verify is called correctly as part of the test. Substitutes for real working code.
    • Spy: a dummy piece of code that intercepts and verifies some calls to real working code, avoiding the need to substitute all the real code.
  8. I think the simplest and clearer answer about this question is given from Roy Osherove in his book The art of Unit Testing (page 85)

    The easiest way to tell we’re dealing with a stub is to notice that the stub can never fail the test. The asserts the test uses are always against the class under test.

    On the other hand, the test will use a mock object to verify whether the test failed or not. […]

    Again, the mock object is the object we use to see if the test failed or not.

    Stub and mock are both fakes.

    If you are making assertions against the fake it means you are using the fake as a mock, if you are using the fake only to run the test without assertion over it you are using the fake as a stub.

  9. A Mock is just testing behaviour, making sure certain methods are called. A Stub is a testable version (per se) of a particular object.

    What do you mean an Apple way?

  10. If you compare it to debugging:

    Stub is like making sure a method returns the correct value

    Mock is like actually stepping into the method and making sure everything inside is correct before returning the correct value.

  11. To be very clear and practical:

    Stub: A class or object that implements the methods of the class/object to be faked and returns always what you want.

    Example in JavaScript:

    var Stub = { method_a: function(param_a, param_b){ return 'This is an static result'; } } 

    Mock: The same of stub, but it adds some logic that “verifies” when a method is called so you can be sure some implementation is calling that method.

    As @mLevan says imagine as an example that you’re testing a user registration class. After calling Save, it should call SendConfirmationEmail.

    A very stupid code Example:

    var Mock = { calls: { method_a: 0 } method_a: function(param_a, param_b){ this.method_a++; console.log('Mock.method_a its been called!'); } } 
  12. let see Test Doubles:

    • Fake: Fakes are objects that have working implementations, but not the same as production one. Such as: in-memory implementation of Data Access Object or Repository.
    • Stub: Stub is an object that holds predefined data and uses it to answer calls during tests. Such as: an object that needs to grab some data from the database to respond to a method call.

    • Mocks: Mocks are objects that register calls they receive. In test assertion, we can verify on Mocks that all expected actions were performed. Such as: a functionality that calls e-mail sending service. for more just check this.

  13. This slide explain the main differences very good.

    enter image description here

    *From CSE 403 Lecture 16 , University of Washington (slide created by “Marty Stepp”)

  14. Using a mental model really helped me understand this, rather than all of the explanations and articles, that didn’t quite “sink in”.

    Imagine your kid has a glass plate on the table and he starts playing with it. Now, you’re afraid it will break. So, you give him a plastic plate instead. That would be a Mock (same behavior, same interface, “softer” implementation).

    Now, say you don’t have the plastic replacement, so you explain “If you continue playing with it, it will break!”. That’s a Stub, you provided a predefined state in advance.

    A Dummy would be the fork he didn’t even use… and a Spy could be something like providing the same explanation you already used that worked.

  15. I think the most important difference between them is their intentions.

    Let me try to explain it in WHY stub vs. WHY mock

    Suppose I’m writing test code for my mac twitter client’s public timeline controller

    Here is test sample code

    twitter_api.stub(:public_timeline).and_return(public_timeline_array) client_ui.should_receive(:insert_timeline_above).with(public_timeline_array) controller.refresh_public_timeline 
    • STUB: The network connection to twitter API is very slow, which make my test slow. I know it will return timelines, so I made a stub simulating HTTP twitter API, so that my test will run it very fast, and I can running the test even I’m offline.
    • MOCK: I haven’t written any of my UI methods yet, and I’m not sure what methods I need to write for my ui object. I hope to know how my controller will collaborate with my ui object by writing the test code.

    By writing mock, you discover the objects collaboration relationship by verifying the expectation are met, while stub only simulate the object’s behavior.

    I suggest to read this article if you’re trying to know more about mocks: http://jmock.org/oopsla2004.pdf

  16. I like the explanantion put out by Roy Osherove .

    Every class or object created is a Fake. It is a Mock if you verify calls against it. Otherwise its a stub.

  17. Stub

    A stub is an object used to fake a method that has pre-programmed behavior. You may want to use this instead of an existing method in order to avoid unwanted side-effects (e.g. a stub could make a fake fetch call that returns a pre-programmed response without actually making a request to a server).

    Mock

    A mock is an object used to fake a method that has pre-programmed behavior as well as pre-programmed expectations. If these expectations are not met then the mock will cause the test to fail (e.g. a mock could make a fake fetch call that returns a pre-programmed response without actually making a request to a server which would expect e.g. the first argument to be "http://localhost:3008/" otherwise the test would fail.)

    Difference

    Unlike mocks, stubs do not have pre-programmed expectations that could fail your test.

  18. I was reading The Art of Unit Testing, and stumbled upon the following definition:
  19. A fake is a generic term that can be used to describe either a stub or a mock object (handwritten or otherwise), because they both look like the real object.

    Whether a fake is a stub or a mock depends on how it’s used in the current test. If it’s used to check an interaction (asserted against), it’s a mock object. Otherwise, it’s a stub.

    Fakes makes sure test runs smoothly. It means that reader of your future test will understand what will be the behavior of the fake object, without needing to read its source code (without needing to depend on external resource).

    What does test run smoothly mean?
    Forexample in below code:

     public void Analyze(string filename) { if(filename.Length<8) { try { errorService.LogError("long file entered named:" + filename); } catch (Exception e) { mailService.SendEMail("[email protected]", "ErrorOnWebService", "someerror"); } } } 

    You want to test mailService.SendEMail() method, to do that you need to simulate an Exception in you test method, so you just need to create a Fake Stub errorService class to simulate that result, then your test code will be able to test mailService.SendEMail() method. As you see you need to simulate a result which is from an another External Dependency ErrorService class.

  20. Right from the paper Mock Roles, not Objects, by the developers of jMock :

    Stubs are dummy implementations of production code that return canned results. Mock Objects act as stubs, but also include assertions to instrument the interactions of the target object with its neighbours.

    So, the main differences are:

    • expectations set on stubs are usually generic, while expectations set on mocks can be more “clever” (e.g. return this on the first call, this on the second etc.).
    • stubs are mainly used to setup indirect inputs of the SUT, while mocks can be used to test both indirect inputs and indirect outputs of the SUT.

    To sum up, while also trying to disperse the confusion from Fowler’s article title: mocks are stubs, but they are not only stubs.

  21. Mocks: help to emulate and examine outcoming interactions. These interactions are calls the SUT makes to its dependencies to change their state.

    Stubs: help to emulate incoming interactions. These interactions are calls the SUT makes to its dependencies to get input data.

    enter image description here

    source : Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns – Manning

  22. I came across this interesting article by UncleBob The Little Mocker. It explains all the terminology in a very easy to understand manner, so its useful for beginners. Martin Fowlers article is a hard read especially for beginners like me.

  23. a lot of valid answers up there but I think worth to mention this form uncle bob: https://8thlight.com/blog/uncle-bob/2014/05/14/TheLittleMocker.html

    the best explanation ever with examples!

  24. A mock is both a technical and a functional object.

    The mock is technical. It is indeed created by a mocking library (EasyMock, JMockit and more recently Mockito are known for these) thanks to byte code generation.
    The mock implementation is generated in a way where we could instrument it to return a specific value when a method is invoked but also some other things such as verifying that a mock method was invoked with some specific parameters (strict check) or whatever the parameters (no strict check).

    Instantiating a mock :

    @Mock Foo fooMock 

    Recording a behavior :

    when(fooMock.hello()).thenReturn("hello you!"); 

    Verifying an invocation :

    verify(fooMock).hello() 

    These are clearly not the natural way to instantiate/override the Foo class/behavior. That’s why I refer to a technical aspect.

    But the mock is also functional because it is an instance of the class we need to isolate from the SUT. And with recorded behaviors on it, we could use it in the SUT in the same way than we would do with a stub.


    The stub is just a functional object : that is an instance of the class we need to isolate from the SUT and that’s all. That means that both the stub class and all behaviors fixtures needed during our unit tests have to be defined explicitly.
    For example to stub hello() would need to subclass the Foo class (or implements its interface it has it) and to override hello() :

    public class HelloStub extends Hello{ public String hello { return "hello you!"; } } 

    If another test scenario requires another value return, we would probably need to define a generic way to set the return :

    public class HelloStub extends Hello{ public HelloStub(String helloReturn){ this.helloReturn = helloReturn; } public String hello { return helloReturn; } } 

    Other scenario : if I had a side effect method (no return) and I would check that that method was invoked, I should probably have added a boolean or a counter in the stub class to count how many times the method was invoked.


    Conclusion

    The stub requires often much overhead/code to write for your unit test. What mock prevents thanks to providing recording/verifying features out of the box.
    That’s why nowadays, the stub approach is rarely used in practice with the advent of excellent mock libraries.


    About the Martin Fowler Article : I don’t think to be a “mockist” programmer while I use mocks and I avoid stubs.
    But I use mock when it is really required (annoying dependencies) and I favor test slicing and mini-integration tests when I test a class with dependencies which mocking would be an overhead.

  25. Plus useful answers, One of the most powerful point of using Mocks than Subs

    If the collaborator [which the main code depend on it] is not under our control (e.g. from a third-party library),
    In this case, stub is more difficult to write rather than mock.

  26. Stub helps us to run test. How? It gives values which helps to run test. These values are itself not real and we created these values just to run the test. For example we create a HashMap to give us values which are similar to values in database table. So instead of directly interacting with database we interact with Hashmap.

    Mock is an fake object which runs the test. where we put assert.

  27. See below example of mocks vs stubs using C# and Moq framework. Moq doesn’t have a special keyword for Stub but you can use Mock object to create stubs too.

    namespace UnitTestProject2 { using Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting; using Moq; [TestClass] public class UnitTest1 { /// <summary> /// Test using Mock to Verify that GetNameWithPrefix method calls Repository GetName method "once" when Id is greater than Zero /// </summary> [TestMethod] public void GetNameWithPrefix_IdIsTwelve_GetNameCalledOnce() { // Arrange var mockEntityRepository = new Mock<IEntityRepository>(); mockEntityRepository.Setup(m => m.GetName(It.IsAny<int>())); var entity = new EntityClass(mockEntityRepository.Object); // Act var name = entity.GetNameWithPrefix(12); // Assert mockEntityRepository.Verify(m => m.GetName(It.IsAny<int>()), Times.Once); } /// <summary> /// Test using Mock to Verify that GetNameWithPrefix method doesn't call Repository GetName method when Id is Zero /// </summary> [TestMethod] public void GetNameWithPrefix_IdIsZero_GetNameNeverCalled() { // Arrange var mockEntityRepository = new Mock<IEntityRepository>(); mockEntityRepository.Setup(m => m.GetName(It.IsAny<int>())); var entity = new EntityClass(mockEntityRepository.Object); // Act var name = entity.GetNameWithPrefix(0); // Assert mockEntityRepository.Verify(m => m.GetName(It.IsAny<int>()), Times.Never); } /// <summary> /// Test using Stub to Verify that GetNameWithPrefix method returns Name with a Prefix /// </summary> [TestMethod] public void GetNameWithPrefix_IdIsTwelve_ReturnsNameWithPrefix() { // Arrange var stubEntityRepository = new Mock<IEntityRepository>(); stubEntityRepository.Setup(m => m.GetName(It.IsAny<int>())) .Returns("Stub"); const string EXPECTED_NAME_WITH_PREFIX = "Mr. Stub"; var entity = new EntityClass(stubEntityRepository.Object); // Act var name = entity.GetNameWithPrefix(12); // Assert Assert.AreEqual(EXPECTED_NAME_WITH_PREFIX, name); } } public class EntityClass { private IEntityRepository _entityRepository; public EntityClass(IEntityRepository entityRepository) { this._entityRepository = entityRepository; } public string Name { get; set; } public string GetNameWithPrefix(int id) { string name = string.Empty; if (id > 0) { name = this._entityRepository.GetName(id); } return "Mr. " + name; } } public interface IEntityRepository { string GetName(int id); } public class EntityRepository:IEntityRepository { public string GetName(int id) { // Code to connect to DB and get name based on Id return "NameFromDb"; } } } 
  28. I have used python examples in my answer to illustrate the differences.

    Stub – Stubbing is a software development technique used to implement methods of classes early in the development life-cycle. They are used commonly as placeholders for implementation of a known interface, where the interface is finalized or known but the implementation is not yet known or finalized. You begin with stubs, which simply means that you only write the definition of a function down and leave the actual code for later. The advantage is that you won’t forget methods and you can continue to think about your design while seeing it in code. You can also have your stub return a static response so that the response can be used by other parts of your code immediately. Stub objects provide a valid response, but it’s static no matter what input you pass in, you’ll always get the same response:

    class Foo(object): def bar1(self): pass def bar2(self): #or ... raise NotImplementedError def bar3(self): #or return dummy data return "Dummy Data" 

    Mock objects are used in mock test cases they validate that certain methods are called on those objects. Mock objects are simulated objects that mimic the behaviour of real objects in controlled ways. You typically creates a mock object to test the behaviour of some other object. Mocks let us simulate resources that are either unavailable or too unwieldy for unit testing.

    mymodule.py:

    import os import os.path def rm(filename): if os.path.isfile(filename): os.remove(filename) 

    test.py:

    from mymodule import rm import mock import unittest class RmTestCase(unittest.TestCase): @mock.patch('mymodule.os') def test_rm(self, mock_os): rm("any path") # test that rm called os.remove with the right parameters mock_os.remove.assert_called_with("any path") if __name__ == '__main__': unittest.main() 

    This is a very basic example that just runs rm and asserts the parameter it was called with. You can use mock with objects not just functions as shown here, and you can also return a value so a mock object can be used to replace a stub for testing.

    More on unittest.mock, note in python 2.x mock is not included in unittest but is a downloadable module that can be downloaded via pip (pip install mock).

    I have also read “The Art of Unit Testing” by Roy Osherove and I think it would be great if a similar book was written using Python and Python examples. If anyone knows of such a book please do share. Cheers 🙂

  29. A stub is a test double that returns values to the SUT.

    A mock is a test double that a test uses to verify that the SUT correctly invokes a dependency.

    Also, a mock is often a stub

  30. Stub

    A stub is an object that holds predefined data and uses it to answer calls during tests. It is used when you can’t or don’t want to involve objects that would answer with real data or have undesirable side effects.

    An example can be an object that needs to grab some data from the database to respond to a method call. Instead of the real object, we introduced a stub and defined what data should be returned.

    enter image description here

    example of Stub:

    public class GradesService { private final Gradebook gradebook; public GradesService(Gradebook gradebook) { this.gradebook = gradebook; } Double averageGrades(Student student) { return average(gradebook.gradesFor(student)); } } 

    Instead of calling database from Gradebook store to get real students grades, you preconfigure stub with grades that will be returned. You define just enough data to test average calculation algorithm.

    public class GradesServiceTest { private Student student; private Gradebook gradebook; @Before public void setUp() throws Exception { gradebook = mock(Gradebook.class); student = new Student(); } @Test public void calculates_grades_average_for_student() { //stubbing gradebook when(gradebook.gradesFor(student)).thenReturn(grades(8, 6, 10)); double averageGrades = new GradesService(gradebook).averageGrades(student); assertThat(averageGrades).isEqualTo(8.0); } } 

    Mock

    Mocks are objects that register calls they receive. In test assertion you can verify on Mocks that all expected actions were performed. You use mocks when you don’t want to invoke production code or when there is no easy way to verify, that intended code was executed. There is no return value and no easy way to check system state change. An example can be a functionality that calls e-mail sending service.

    You don’t want to send e-mails each time you run a test. Moreover, it is not easy to verify in tests that a right email was send. Only thing you can do is to verify the outputs of the functionality that is exercised in our test. In other worlds, verify that the e-mail sending service was called.

    enter image description here

    Example of Mock:

    public class SecurityCentral { private final Window window; private final Door door; public SecurityCentral(Window window, Door door) { this.window = window; this.door = door; } void securityOn() { window.close(); door.close(); } } 

    You don’t want to close real doors to test that security method is working, right? Instead, you place door and window mocks objects in the test code.

    public class SecurityCentralTest { Window windowMock = mock(Window.class); Door doorMock = mock(Door.class); @Test public void enabling_security_locks_windows_and_doors() { SecurityCentral securityCentral = new SecurityCentral(windowMock, doorMock); securityCentral.securityOn(); verify(doorMock).close(); verify(windowMock).close(); } } 

    Thanks a lot to Michał Lipski for his good article. For further reading:

    Test Double – Martin Fowler https://martinfowler.com/bliki/TestDouble.html
    Test Double – xUnit Patterns http://xunitpatterns.com/Test%20Double.html
    Mocks Aren’t Stubs – Martin Fowler https://martinfowler.com/articles/mocksArentStubs.html
    Command Query Separation – Martin Fowler https://martinfowler.com/bliki/CommandQuerySeparation.html

  31. A stub is an empty function which is used to avoid unhandled exceptions during tests:

    function foo(){} 

    A mock is an artificial function which is used to avoid OS, environment or hardware dependencies during tests:

    function foo(bar){ window = this; return window.toString(bar); } 

    In terms of assertions and state:

    • Mocks are asserted before an event or state change
    • Stubs are not asserted, they provide state before an event to avoid executing code from unrelated units
    • Spies are setup like stubs, then asserted after an event or state change
    • Fakes are not asserted, they run after an event with hardcoded dependencies to avoid state

    References

  32. Say you have a class named EmployeeService that you want to test and that has one dependency on an interface named EmployeeDao:

    public class EmployeeService{ private EmployeeDao dao; public EmployeeService(Dao dao){this.dao = dao;} public String getEmployeeName(int id){ Employee emp = bar.goToDatabaseAndBringTheEmployeeWithId(id); return emp != null?emp.getFullName:null; } //Further state and behavior } public interface EmployeeDao{ Employee goToDatabaseAndBringTheEmployeeWithId(int id); } 

    Inside your test class:

    public class EmployeeServiceTest{ EmployeeService service; EmployeeDao mockDao = Mockito.mock(EmployeeDao.class);//Line 3 @Before public void setUp(){ service = new EmployeeService(mockDao); } //Tests //.... } 

    In the above test class in line 3, we say to the mocking framework (in this case Mockito) “Hey, Mockito, craft me an object that has the EmployeeDao functionality.” The framework is going to create an object that has the method goToDatabaseAndBringTheEmployeeWithId but actually with no body. It’s your job to instruct that mock what to do. This is a mock.

    But you could also create a class that implements the EmployeeDao interface and use it in the test class instead:

    public EmployeeDaoStub implements EmployeeDao{ public Employee goToDatabaseAndBringTheEmployeeWithId(int id){ //No trip to DB, just returning a dummy Employee object return new Employee("John","Woo","123 Lincoln str"); } } 

    Inside your test class this time using stub instead of a mock:

    public class EmployeeServiceTest{ EmployeeService service; EmployeeDao daoStub = new EmployeeDaoStub();//Line 3 @Before public void setUp(){ service = new EmployeeService(daoStub); } //Tests //.... } 

    So to wrap it all, stubs are the classes that you create(or somebody else does) specifically to imitate some dependency just for the sake of having the desired state. Yes, as all the other people state, it’s mostly about a state Whereas mocks are typically created by a mocking framework and you have no idea what its guts look like. But with stubs you know what class you’re going to get: It’s the one you created.

    Oh, btw, if your dependency is a class rather than an interface, you can just extend that class to create your stub.

  33. A Stub is an object that implements an interface of a component, but instead of returning what the component would return when called, the stub can be configured to return a value that suits the test. Using stubs a unit test can test if a unit can handle various return values from its collaborator. Using a stub instead of a real collaborator in a unit test could be expressed like this:

    unit test –> stub

    unit test –> unit –> stub

    unit test asserts on results and state of unit

    First the unit test creates the stub and configures its return values. Then the unit test creates the unit and sets the stub on it. Now the unit test calls the unit which in turn calls the stub. Finally the unit test makes assertions about the results of the method calls on the unit.

    A Mock is like a stub, only it also has methods that make it possible determine what methods where called on the Mock. Using a mock it is thus possible to both test if the unit can handle various return values correctly, and also if the unit uses the collaborator correctly. For instance, you cannot see by the value returned from a dao object whether the data was read from the database using a Statement or a PreparedStatement. Nor can you see if the connection.close() method was called before returning the value. This is possible with mocks. In other words, mocks makes it possible to test a units complete interaction with a collaborator. Not just the collaborator methods that return values used by the unit. Using a mock in a unit test could be expressed like this:

    unit test –> mock

    unit test –> unit –> mock

    unit test asserts on result and state of unit

    unit test asserts on the methods called on mock

    More Detail >> Here

  34. A stub is a fake object built for test purposes. A mock is a stub that records whether expected calls effectively occurred.

  35. Mock – A mock intercepts a call to a method or function (or a group of methods and functions like in the case of a mocked class). It is not an alternative to that method or function. In that interception, the mock can do whatever it wants, such as record the input and output, decide to short circuit the call, change the returned value, etc.

    Stub – A stub is a valid full working implementation of a method or function (or group of methods and functions like in the case of a stubbed class) that has an identical interface/signature to the method, function or group of methods and functions it is stubbing for. The stubbed implementation will generally only do things that are acceptable within the context of a unit test, that means it won’t do IO for example, while mimicking the behavior of the thing it is stubbing.

  36. A test subject performs actions in response to certain prompts (function calls) or other stimuli. Here are concrete examples of test situations.

    Scenario — EMT student exam

    A student has studied to be an Emergency Medical Technician. Go watch Ian Gallagher in Shameless Season 6, Episode 10 if you are unfamiliar with this test situation.

    It is too expensive to find patients with various illnesses for test purposes. Instead we use actors. We ask the test subject (Ian) “you arrive on the scene and the patient is immobilized and unconscious what do you do first?” Ian responds “I check if the scene is safe”. And the test instructor says “the scene is safe”.

    The instructor (and actor) are able to inject arbitrary answers to the test subject’s queries.

    Here, the instructor (and actor) are a mock. Medical training uses this terminology (e.g. mock code simulation) the same as computer scientists.

    Scenario — register for a website

    You are testing Yahoo, a new email service you heard about. In order to sign up, you must provide your birthday and answers to other intrusive questions.

    The website requires that you are 21 years or older. So you enter in the value January 1, 1970. It meets the requirements and it saves you from the laborious process of implementing a remember-my-birthday-and-type-it-in workflow.

    This date is a stub. This word usage is specific to computer science.

  37. There a lots of greats answers, and I liked this one, so I turned it into a table.

    Dummy Stub Mock Fake
    API O O O O
    States X O O O
    Values X X O O
    Behavior X X X O
  38. following is my understanding…

    • if you create test objects locally and feed your local service with that, you are using mock object. this will give a test for the method you implemented in your local service. it is used to verify behaviors

    • when you get the test data from the real service provider, though from a test version of interface and get a test version of the object, you are working with stubs the stub can have logic to accept certain input and give corresponding output to help you perform state verification…

  39. Stubs are used on methods with an expected return value which you setup in your test. Mocks are used on void methods which are verified in the Assert that they are called.

Tasg: testing, mocking