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JUnit test for System.out.println()

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I need to write JUnit tests for an old application that’s poorly designed and is writing a lot of error messages to standard output. When the getResponse(String request) method behaves correctly it returns a XML response:

@BeforeClass
public static void setUpClass() throws Exception {
    Properties queries = loadPropertiesFile("requests.properties");
    Properties responses = loadPropertiesFile("responses.properties");
    instance = new ResponseGenerator(queries, responses);
}

@Test
public void testGetResponse() {
    String request = "<some>request</some>";
    String expResult = "<some>response</some>";
    String result = instance.getResponse(request);
    assertEquals(expResult, result);
}

But when it gets malformed XML or does not understand the request it returns null and writes some stuff to standard output.

Is there any way to assert console output in JUnit? To catch cases like:

System.out.println("match found: " + strExpr);
System.out.println("xml not well formed: " + e.getMessage());
Answers:

using ByteArrayOutputStream and System.setXXX is simple:

private final ByteArrayOutputStream outContent = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
private final ByteArrayOutputStream errContent = new ByteArrayOutputStream();

@Before
public void setUpStreams() {
    System.setOut(new PrintStream(outContent));
    System.setErr(new PrintStream(errContent));
}

@After
public void cleanUpStreams() {
    System.setOut(null);
    System.setErr(null);
}

sample test cases:

@Test
public void out() {
    System.out.print("hello");
    assertEquals("hello", outContent.toString());
}

@Test
public void err() {
    System.err.print("hello again");
    assertEquals("hello again", errContent.toString());
}

I used this code to test the command line option (asserting that -version outputs the version string, etc etc)

Questions:
Answers:

I know this is an old thread, but there is a nice library to do this:

System Rules

Example from the docs:

public void MyTest {
    @Rule
    public final SystemOutRule systemOutRule = new SystemOutRule().enableLog();

    @Test
    public void overrideProperty() {
        System.out.print("hello world");
        assertEquals("hello world", systemOutRule.getLog());
    }
}

It will also allow you to trap System.exit(-1) and other things that a command line tool would need to be tested for.

Questions:
Answers:

You can set the System.out print stream via setOut() (and for in and err). Can you redirect this to a print stream that records to a string, and then inspect that ? That would appear to be the simplest mechanism.

(I would advocate, at some stage, convert the app to some logging framework – but I suspect you already are aware of this!)

Questions:
Answers:

Instead of redirecting System.out, I would refactor the class that uses System.out.println() by passing a PrintStream as a collaborator and then using System.out in production and a Test Spy in the test.

In Production

ConsoleWriter writer = new ConsoleWriter(System.out));

In the Test

ByteArrayOutputStream outSpy = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
ConsoleWriter writer = new ConsoleWriter(new PrintStream(outSpy));
writer.printSomething();
assertThat(outSpy.toString(), is("expected output"));

Discussion

This way the class under test becomes testable by a simple refactoring, without having the need for indirect redirection of the standard output or obscure interception with a system rule.

Questions:
Answers:

Slightly off topic, but in case some people (like me, when I first found this thread) might be interested in capturing log output via SLF4J, commons-testing‘s JUnit @Rule might help:

public class FooTest {
    @Rule
    public final ExpectedLogs logs = new ExpectedLogs() {{
        captureFor(Foo.class, LogLevel.WARN);
    }};

    @Test
    public void barShouldLogWarning() {
        assertThat(logs.isEmpty(), is(true)); // Nothing captured yet.

        // Logic using the class you are capturing logs for:
        Foo foo = new Foo();
        assertThat(foo.bar(), is(not(nullValue())));

        // Assert content of the captured logs:
        assertThat(logs.isEmpty(), is(false));
        assertThat(logs.contains("Your warning message here"), is(true));
    }
}

Disclaimer:

  • I developed this library since I could not find any suitable solution for my own needs.
  • Only bindings for log4j, log4j2 and logback are available at the moment, but I am happy to add more.
Questions:
Answers:

@dfa answer is great, so I took it a step farther to make it possible to test blocks of ouput.

First I created TestHelper with a method captureOutput that accepts the annoymous class CaptureTest. The captureOutput method does the work of setting and tearing down the output streams. When the implementation of CaptureOutput‘s test method is called, it has access to the output generate for the test block.

Source for TestHelper:

public class TestHelper {

    public static void captureOutput( CaptureTest test ) throws Exception {
        ByteArrayOutputStream outContent = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
        ByteArrayOutputStream errContent = new ByteArrayOutputStream();

        System.setOut(new PrintStream(outContent));
        System.setErr(new PrintStream(errContent));

        test.test( outContent, errContent );

        System.setOut(new PrintStream(new FileOutputStream(FileDescriptor.out)));
        System.setErr(new PrintStream(new FileOutputStream(FileDescriptor.out)));

    }
}

abstract class CaptureTest {
    public abstract void test( ByteArrayOutputStream outContent, ByteArrayOutputStream errContent ) throws Exception;
}

Note that TestHelper and CaptureTest are defined in the same file.

Then in your test, you can import the static captureOutput. Here is an example using JUnit:

// imports for junit
import static package.to.TestHelper.*;

public class SimpleTest {

    @Test
    public void testOutput() throws Exception {

        captureOutput( new CaptureTest() {
            @Override
            public void test(ByteArrayOutputStream outContent, ByteArrayOutputStream errContent) throws Exception {

                // code that writes to System.out

                assertEquals( "the expected output\n", outContent.toString() );
            }
        });
}

Questions:
Answers:

If you were using Spring Boot (you mentioned that you’re working with an old application, so you probably aren’t but it might be of use to others), then you could use org.springframework.boot.test.rule.OutputCapture in the following manner:

@Rule
public OutputCapture outputCapture = new OutputCapture();

@Test
public void out() {
    System.out.print("hello");
    assertEquals(outputCapture.toString(), "hello");
}

Questions:
Answers:

You don’t want to redirect the system.out stream because that redirects for the ENTIRE JVM. Anything else running on the JVM can get messed up. There are better ways to test input/output. Look into stubs/mocks.

Questions:
Answers:

You cannot directly print by using system.out.println or using logger api while using JUnit. But if you want to check any values then you simply can use

Assert.assertEquals("value", str);

It will throw below assertion error:

java.lang.AssertionError: expected [21.92] but found [value]

Your value should be 21.92, Now if you will test using this value like below your test case will pass.

 Assert.assertEquals(21.92, str);

Questions:
Answers:

for out

@Test
void it_prints_out() {

    PrintStream save_out=System.out;final ByteArrayOutputStream out = new ByteArrayOutputStream();System.setOut(new PrintStream(out));

    System.out.println("Hello World!");
    assertEquals("Hello World!\r\n", out.toString());

    System.setOut(save_out);
}

for err

@Test
void it_prints_err() {

    PrintStream save_err=System.err;final ByteArrayOutputStream err= new ByteArrayOutputStream();System.setErr(new PrintStream(err));

    System.err.println("Hello World!");
    assertEquals("Hello World!\r\n", err.toString());

    System.setErr(save_err);
}