Class: Fixtures

Inherits:
Object show all
Defined in:
activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb

Overview

Fixtures are a way of organizing data that you want to test against; in short, sample data.

Fixture formats

Fixtures come in 3 flavors:

1.  YAML fixtures
2.  CSV fixtures
3.  Single-file fixtures

YAML fixtures

This type of fixture is in YAML format and the preferred default. YAML is a file format which describes data structures in a non-verbose, human-readable format. It ships with Ruby 1.8.1+.

Unlike single-file fixtures, YAML fixtures are stored in a single file per model, which are placed in the directory appointed by ActiveSupport::TestCase.fixture_path=(path) (this is automatically configured for Rails, so you can just put your files in <your-rails-app>/test/fixtures/). The fixture file ends with the .yml file extension (Rails example: <your-rails-app>/test/fixtures/web_sites.yml). The format of a YAML fixture file looks like this:

rubyonrails:
  id: 1
  name: Ruby on Rails
  url: http://www.rubyonrails.org

google:
  id: 2
  name: Google
  url: http://www.google.com

This YAML fixture file includes two fixtures. Each YAML fixture (ie. record) is given a name and is followed by an indented list of key/value pairs in the “key: value” format. Records are separated by a blank line for your viewing pleasure.

Note that YAML fixtures are unordered. If you want ordered fixtures, use the omap YAML type. See yaml.org/type/omap.html for the specification. You will need ordered fixtures when you have foreign key constraints on keys in the same table. This is commonly needed for tree structures. Example:

--- !omap
- parent:
    id:         1
    parent_id:  NULL
    title:      Parent
- child:
    id:         2
    parent_id:  1
    title:      Child

CSV fixtures

Fixtures can also be kept in the Comma Separated Value (CSV) format. Akin to YAML fixtures, CSV fixtures are stored in a single file, but instead end with the .csv file extension (Rails example: <your-rails-app>/test/fixtures/web_sites.csv).

The format of this type of fixture file is much more compact than the others, but also a little harder to read by us humans. The first line of the CSV file is a comma-separated list of field names. The rest of the file is then comprised of the actual data (1 per line). Here's an example:

id, name, url
1, Ruby On Rails, http://www.rubyonrails.org
2, Google, http://www.google.com

Should you have a piece of data with a comma character in it, you can place double quotes around that value. If you need to use a double quote character, you must escape it with another double quote.

Another unique attribute of the CSV fixture is that it has no fixture name like the other two formats. Instead, the fixture names are automatically generated by deriving the class name of the fixture file and adding an incrementing number to the end. In our example, the 1st fixture would be called “web_site_1” and the 2nd one would be called “web_site_2”.

Most databases and spreadsheets support exporting to CSV format, so this is a great format for you to choose if you have existing data somewhere already.

Single-file fixtures

This type of fixture was the original format for Active Record that has since been deprecated in favor of the YAML and CSV formats. Fixtures for this format are created by placing text files in a sub-directory (with the name of the model) to the directory appointed by ActiveSupport::TestCase.fixture_path=(path) (this is automatically configured for Rails, so you can just put your files in <your-rails-app>/test/fixtures/<your-model-name>/ – like <your-rails-app>/test/fixtures/web_sites/ for the WebSite model).

Each text file placed in this directory represents a “record”. Usually these types of fixtures are named without extensions, but if you are on a Windows machine, you might consider adding .txt as the extension. Here's what the above example might look like:

web_sites/google
web_sites/yahoo.txt
web_sites/ruby-on-rails

The file format of a standard fixture is simple. Each line is a property (or column in db speak) and has the syntax of “name => value”. Here's an example of the ruby-on-rails fixture above:

id => 1
name => Ruby on Rails
url => http://www.rubyonrails.org

Using fixtures in testcases

Since fixtures are a testing construct, we use them in our unit and functional tests. There are two ways to use the fixtures, but first let's take a look at a sample unit test:

require 'test_helper'

class WebSiteTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase
  test "web_site_count" do
    assert_equal 2, WebSite.count
  end
end

By default, the test_helper module will load all of your fixtures into your test database, so this test will succeed. The testing environment will automatically load the all fixtures into the database before each test. To ensure consistent data, the environment deletes the fixtures before running the load.

In addition to being available in the database, the fixture's data may also be accessed by using a special dynamic method, which has the same name as the model, and accepts the name of the fixture to instantiate:

test "find" do
  assert_equal "Ruby on Rails", web_sites(:rubyonrails).name
end

Alternatively, you may enable auto-instantiation of the fixture data. For instance, take the following tests:

test "find_alt_method_1" do
  assert_equal "Ruby on Rails", @web_sites['rubyonrails']['name']
end

test "find_alt_method_2" do
  assert_equal "Ruby on Rails", @rubyonrails.news
end

In order to use these methods to access fixtured data within your testcases, you must specify one of the following in your ActiveSupport::TestCase-derived class:

  • to fully enable instantiated fixtures (enable alternate methods #1 and #2 above)

    self.use_instantiated_fixtures = true
  • create only the hash for the fixtures, do not 'find' each instance (enable alternate method #1 only)

    self.use_instantiated_fixtures = :no_instances

Using either of these alternate methods incurs a performance hit, as the fixtured data must be fully traversed in the database to create the fixture hash and/or instance variables. This is expensive for large sets of fixtured data.

Dynamic fixtures with ERb

Some times you don't care about the content of the fixtures as much as you care about the volume. In these cases, you can mix ERb in with your YAML or CSV fixtures to create a bunch of fixtures for load testing, like:

<% for i in 1..1000 %>
fix_<%= i %>:
  id: <%= i %>
  name: guy_<%= 1 %>
<% end %>

This will create 1000 very simple YAML fixtures.

Using ERb, you can also inject dynamic values into your fixtures with inserts like <%= Date.today.strftime("%Y-%m-%d") %>. This is however a feature to be used with some caution. The point of fixtures are that they're stable units of predictable sample data. If you feel that you need to inject dynamic values, then perhaps you should reexamine whether your application is properly testable. Hence, dynamic values in fixtures are to be considered a code smell.

Transactional fixtures

TestCases can use begin+rollback to isolate their changes to the database instead of having to delete+insert for every test case.

class FooTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase
  self.use_transactional_fixtures = true

  test "godzilla" do
    assert !Foo.find(:all).empty?
    Foo.destroy_all
    assert Foo.find(:all).empty?
  end

  test "godzilla aftermath" do
    assert !Foo.find(:all).empty?
  end
end

If you preload your test database with all fixture data (probably in the Rakefile task) and use transactional fixtures, then you may omit all fixtures declarations in your test cases since all the data's already there and every case rolls back its changes.

In order to use instantiated fixtures with preloaded data, set self.pre_loaded_fixtures to true. This will provide access to fixture data for every table that has been loaded through fixtures (depending on the value of use_instantiated_fixtures)

When not to use transactional fixtures:

  1. You're testing whether a transaction works correctly. Nested transactions don't commit until all parent transactions commit, particularly, the fixtures transaction which is begun in setup and rolled back in teardown. Thus, you won't be able to verify the results of your transaction until Active Record supports nested transactions or savepoints (in progress).

  2. Your database does not support transactions. Every Active Record database supports transactions except MySQL MyISAM. Use InnoDB, MaxDB, or NDB instead.

Advanced YAML Fixtures

YAML fixtures that don't specify an ID get some extra features:

  • Stable, autogenerated IDs

  • Label references for associations (belongs_to, has_one, has_many)

  • HABTM associations as inline lists

  • Autofilled timestamp columns

  • Fixture label interpolation

  • Support for YAML defaults

Stable, autogenerated IDs

Here, have a monkey fixture:

george:
  id: 1
  name: George the Monkey

reginald:
  id: 2
  name: Reginald the Pirate

Each of these fixtures has two unique identifiers: one for the database and one for the humans. Why don't we generate the primary key instead? Hashing each fixture's label yields a consistent ID:

george: # generated id: 503576764
  name: George the Monkey

reginald: # generated id: 324201669
  name: Reginald the Pirate

Active Record looks at the fixture's model class, discovers the correct primary key, and generates it right before inserting the fixture into the database.

The generated ID for a given label is constant, so we can discover any fixture's ID without loading anything, as long as we know the label.

Label references for associations (belongs_to, has_one, has_many)

Specifying foreign keys in fixtures can be very fragile, not to mention difficult to read. Since Active Record can figure out the ID of any fixture from its label, you can specify FK's by label instead of ID.

belongs_to

Let's break out some more monkeys and pirates.

### in pirates.yml

reginald:
  id: 1
  name: Reginald the Pirate
  monkey_id: 1

### in monkeys.yml

george:
  id: 1
  name: George the Monkey
  pirate_id: 1

Add a few more monkeys and pirates and break this into multiple files, and it gets pretty hard to keep track of what's going on. Let's use labels instead of IDs:

### in pirates.yml

reginald:
  name: Reginald the Pirate
  monkey: george

### in monkeys.yml

george:
  name: George the Monkey
  pirate: reginald

Pow! All is made clear. Active Record reflects on the fixture's model class, finds all the belongs_to associations, and allows you to specify a target label for the association (monkey: george) rather than a target id for the FK (monkey_id: 1).

Polymorphic belongs_to

Supporting polymorphic relationships is a little bit more complicated, since Active Record needs to know what type your association is pointing at. Something like this should look familiar:

### in fruit.rb

belongs_to :eater, :polymorphic => true

### in fruits.yml

apple:
  id: 1
  name: apple
  eater_id: 1
  eater_type: Monkey

Can we do better? You bet!

apple:
  eater: george (Monkey)

Just provide the polymorphic target type and Active Record will take care of the rest.

has_and_belongs_to_many

Time to give our monkey some fruit.

### in monkeys.yml

george:
  id: 1
  name: George the Monkey

### in fruits.yml

apple:
  id: 1
  name: apple

orange:
  id: 2
  name: orange

grape:
  id: 3
  name: grape

### in fruits_monkeys.yml

apple_george:
  fruit_id: 1
  monkey_id: 1

orange_george:
  fruit_id: 2
  monkey_id: 1

grape_george:
  fruit_id: 3
  monkey_id: 1

Let's make the HABTM fixture go away.

### in monkeys.yml

george:
  id: 1
  name: George the Monkey
  fruits: apple, orange, grape

### in fruits.yml

apple:
  name: apple

orange:
  name: orange

grape:
  name: grape

Zap! No more fruits_monkeys.yml file. We've specified the list of fruits on George's fixture, but we could've just as easily specified a list of monkeys on each fruit. As with belongs_to, Active Record reflects on the fixture's model class and discovers the has_and_belongs_to_many associations.

Autofilled timestamp columns

If your table/model specifies any of Active Record's standard timestamp columns (created_at, created_on, updated_at, updated_on), they will automatically be set to Time.now.

If you've set specific values, they'll be left alone.

Fixture label interpolation

The label of the current fixture is always available as a column value:

geeksomnia:
  name: Geeksomnia's Account
  subdomain: $LABEL

Also, sometimes (like when porting older join table fixtures) you'll need to be able to get a hold of the identifier for a given label. ERB to the rescue:

george_reginald:
  monkey_id: <%= Fixtures.identify(:reginald) %>
  pirate_id: <%= Fixtures.identify(:george) %>

Support for YAML defaults

You probably already know how to use YAML to set and reuse defaults in your database.yml file. You can use the same technique in your fixtures:

DEFAULTS: &DEFAULTS
  created_on: <%= 3.weeks.ago.to_s(:db) %>

first:
  name: Smurf
  <<: *DEFAULTS

second:
  name: Fraggle
  <<: *DEFAULTS

Any fixture labeled “DEFAULTS” is safely ignored.

Direct Known Subclasses

HabtmFixtures

Defined Under Namespace

Classes: HabtmFixtures

Constant Summary

MAX_ID =
2 ** 30 - 1
DEFAULT_FILTER_RE =
/\.ya?ml$/
@@all_cached_fixtures =
{}

Instance Attribute Summary collapse

Class Method Summary collapse

Instance Method Summary collapse

Constructor Details

#initialize(connection, table_name, class_name, fixture_path, file_filter = DEFAULT_FILTER_RE) ⇒ Fixtures

Returns a new instance of Fixtures



551
552
553
554
555
556
557
558
559
560
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 551

def initialize(connection, table_name, class_name, fixture_path, file_filter = DEFAULT_FILTER_RE)
  @connection, @table_name, @fixture_path, @file_filter = connection, table_name, fixture_path, file_filter
  @name = table_name # preserve fixture base name
  @class_name = class_name ||
                (ActiveRecord::Base.pluralize_table_names ? @table_name.singularize.camelize : @table_name.camelize)
  @table_name = "#{ActiveRecord::Base.table_name_prefix}#{@table_name}#{ActiveRecord::Base.table_name_suffix}"
  @table_name = class_name.table_name if class_name.respond_to?(:table_name)
  @connection = class_name.connection if class_name.respond_to?(:connection)
  read_fixture_files
end

Instance Attribute Details

#nameObject (readonly)

Returns the value of attribute name



549
550
551
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 549

def name
  @name
end

#table_nameObject (readonly)

Returns the value of attribute table_name



549
550
551
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 549

def table_name
  @table_name
end

Class Method Details

.cache_fixtures(connection, fixtures_map) ⇒ Object



478
479
480
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 478

def self.cache_fixtures(connection, fixtures_map)
  cache_for_connection(connection).update(fixtures_map)
end

.cache_for_connection(connection) ⇒ Object



460
461
462
463
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 460

def self.cache_for_connection(connection)
  @@all_cached_fixtures[connection.object_id] ||= {}
  @@all_cached_fixtures[connection.object_id]
end

.cached_fixtures(connection, keys_to_fetch = nil) ⇒ Object



469
470
471
472
473
474
475
476
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 469

def self.cached_fixtures(connection, keys_to_fetch = nil)
  if keys_to_fetch
    fixtures = cache_for_connection(connection).values_at(*keys_to_fetch)
  else
    fixtures = cache_for_connection(connection).values
  end
  fixtures.size > 1 ? fixtures : fixtures.first
end

.create_fixtures(fixtures_directory, table_names, class_names = {}) ⇒ Object



506
507
508
509
510
511
512
513
514
515
516
517
518
519
520
521
522
523
524
525
526
527
528
529
530
531
532
533
534
535
536
537
538
539
540
541
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 506

def self.create_fixtures(fixtures_directory, table_names, class_names = {})
  table_names = [table_names].flatten.map { |n| n.to_s }
  table_names.each { |n| class_names[n.tr('/', '_').to_sym] = n.classify if n.include?('/') }
  connection  = block_given? ? yield : ActiveRecord::Base.connection

  table_names_to_fetch = table_names.reject { |table_name| fixture_is_cached?(connection, table_name) }

  unless table_names_to_fetch.empty?
    ActiveRecord::Base.silence do
      connection.disable_referential_integrity do
        fixtures_map = {}

        fixtures = table_names_to_fetch.map do |table_name|
          fixtures_map[table_name] = Fixtures.new(connection, table_name.tr('/', '_'), class_names[table_name.tr('/', '_').to_sym], File.join(fixtures_directory, table_name))
        end

        all_loaded_fixtures.update(fixtures_map)

        connection.transaction(:requires_new => true) do
          fixtures.reverse.each { |fixture| fixture.delete_existing_fixtures }
          fixtures.each { |fixture| fixture.insert_fixtures }

          # Cap primary key sequences to max(pk).
          if connection.respond_to?(:reset_pk_sequence!)
            table_names.each do |table_name|
              connection.reset_pk_sequence!(table_name.tr('/', '_'))
            end
          end
        end

        cache_fixtures(connection, fixtures_map)
      end
    end
  end
  cached_fixtures(connection, table_names)
end

.fixture_is_cached?(connection, table_name) ⇒ Boolean

Returns:

  • (Boolean)


465
466
467
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 465

def self.fixture_is_cached?(connection, table_name)
  cache_for_connection(connection)[table_name]
end

.identify(label) ⇒ Object

Returns a consistent, platform-independent identifier for label. Identifiers are positive integers less than 2^32.



545
546
547
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 545

def self.identify(label)
  Zlib.crc32(label.to_s) % MAX_ID
end

.instantiate_all_loaded_fixtures(object, load_instances = true) ⇒ Object



497
498
499
500
501
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 497

def self.instantiate_all_loaded_fixtures(object, load_instances = true)
  all_loaded_fixtures.each do |table_name, fixtures|
    Fixtures.instantiate_fixtures(object, table_name, fixtures, load_instances)
  end
end

.instantiate_fixtures(object, table_name, fixtures, load_instances = true) ⇒ Object



482
483
484
485
486
487
488
489
490
491
492
493
494
495
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 482

def self.instantiate_fixtures(object, table_name, fixtures, load_instances = true)
  object.instance_variable_set "@#{table_name.to_s.gsub('.','_')}", fixtures
  if load_instances
    ActiveRecord::Base.silence do
      fixtures.each do |name, fixture|
        begin
          object.instance_variable_set "@#{name}", fixture.find
        rescue FixtureClassNotFound
          nil
        end
      end
    end
  end
end

.reset_cache(connection = nil) ⇒ Object



455
456
457
458
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 455

def self.reset_cache(connection = nil)
  connection ||= ActiveRecord::Base.connection
  @@all_cached_fixtures[connection.object_id] = {}
end

Instance Method Details

#delete_existing_fixturesObject



562
563
564
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 562

def delete_existing_fixtures
  @connection.delete "DELETE FROM #{@connection.quote_table_name(table_name)}", 'Fixture Delete'
end

#insert_fixturesObject



566
567
568
569
570
571
572
573
574
575
576
577
578
579
580
581
582
583
584
585
586
587
588
589
590
591
592
593
594
595
596
597
598
599
600
601
602
603
604
605
606
607
608
609
610
611
612
613
614
615
616
617
618
619
620
621
622
623
624
625
626
627
628
629
630
631
632
633
634
635
636
637
638
639
640
641
642
643
644
645
646
647
648
649
650
651
652
653
654
# File 'activerecord/lib/active_record/fixtures.rb', line 566

def insert_fixtures
  now = ActiveRecord::Base.default_timezone == :utc ? Time.now.utc : Time.now
  now = now.to_s(:db)

  # allow a standard key to be used for doing defaults in YAML
  if is_a?(Hash)
    delete('DEFAULTS')
  else
    delete(assoc('DEFAULTS'))
  end

  # track any join tables we need to insert later
  habtm_fixtures = Hash.new do |h, habtm|
    h[habtm] = HabtmFixtures.new(@connection, habtm.options[:join_table], nil, nil)
  end

  each do |label, fixture|
    row = fixture.to_hash

    if model_class && model_class < ActiveRecord::Base
      # fill in timestamp columns if they aren't specified and the model is set to record_timestamps
      if model_class.record_timestamps
        timestamp_column_names.each do |name|
          row[name] = now unless row.key?(name)
        end
      end

      # interpolate the fixture label
      row.each do |key, value|
        row[key] = label if value == "$LABEL"
      end

      # generate a primary key if necessary
      if has_primary_key_column? && !row.include?(primary_key_name)
        row[primary_key_name] = Fixtures.identify(label)
      end

      # If STI is used, find the correct subclass for association reflection
      reflection_class =
        if row.include?(inheritance_column_name)
          row[inheritance_column_name].constantize rescue model_class
        else
          model_class
        end

      reflection_class.reflect_on_all_associations.each do |association|
        case association.macro
        when :belongs_to
          # Do not replace association name with association foreign key if they are named the same
          fk_name = (association.options[:foreign_key] || "#{association.name}_id").to_s

          if association.name.to_s != fk_name && value = row.delete(association.name.to_s)
            if association.options[:polymorphic]
              if value.sub!(/\s*\(([^\)]*)\)\s*$/, "")
                target_type = $1
                target_type_name = (association.options[:foreign_type] || "#{association.name}_type").to_s

                # support polymorphic belongs_to as "label (Type)"
                row[target_type_name] = target_type
              end
            end

            row[fk_name] = Fixtures.identify(value)
          end
        when :has_and_belongs_to_many
          if (targets = row.delete(association.name.to_s))
            targets = targets.is_a?(Array) ? targets : targets.split(/\s*,\s*/)
            join_fixtures = habtm_fixtures[association]

            targets.each do |target|
              join_fixtures["#{label}_#{target}"] = Fixture.new(
                { association.primary_key_name => row[primary_key_name],
                  association.association_foreign_key => Fixtures.identify(target) },
                nil, @connection)
            end
          end
        end
      end
    end

    @connection.insert_fixture(fixture, @table_name)
  end

  # insert any HABTM join tables we discovered
  habtm_fixtures.values.each do |fixture|
    fixture.delete_existing_fixtures
    fixture.insert_fixtures
  end
end