Unit testing angular applications with jasmine


In the previous article i have addressed about writing tests with frisby. Frisby is helpful in writing tests for angular applications that have active communications involving RESTful api’s. So more or less frisby is helpful as an API testing tool.

The sTeam web interface actively talks to a REST api written in pike along with controllers that make the entire application a complete collaboration platform. So in order to test the working ability of individual units of code, it was necessary to have unit tests written for the application.

What is unit testing really ?
In order to validate different segments of the same code base or isolated parts of the code base we have a testing mechanism called Unit testing which extends the afore mentioned idea of having individual or isolated pieces of code that constitute as units that are tested and ensured that they are working properly.
NOTE: It is always a good practice to write unit tests for your code base in order to ensure that all the individual segments as well as the entire code base is working without flaws.

What is jasmine and how is it related ?
Jasmine is a unit testing framework which is helpful in writing unit tests for applications and it is combined with a test runner called Karma in order to run/execute the tests so written. Now to put things in a simpler perspective, jasmine is test framework which we are going to use, but to run these tests so written we must a test runner that shall execute and give us the outcome of the tests so written with the help of the afore mentioned framework.
NOTE: Jasmine has its own syntax and code conventions.

Is it really going to help ?
Yes, let me give an example to illustrate the effect of writing unit tests. Let’s suppose we have an angular application and it involves controllers, directives etc etc. Now in order to quantify that communication is happening between all the components and the process as a whole is not broken we must first ensure that in the chain of communication the previous functionalities are not effecting components that are connected further and also whilst validating that the code is not breaking there has to be some proof to support the quantification which we before established. Therefore writing unit tests will help us to prove all of that.

Syntax and style :

'use strict';

describe('controllers', function(){


  it('should ....', inject(function() {
    // here the test specs go

  it('should ....', inject(function() {
    // here the test specs go

Let’s go ahead and test a real directive

'use strict';

describe('directives', function() {


  describe('fileModel', function() {
    it('Must give the flag whether the file upload directive is working or not', function() {
      module(function($provide) {
        $provide.value('model', 'attrs.fileModel');
      inject(function($compile, $rootScope) {
        var DOM = $compile("the html goes here")($rootScope);

Basically in the above example we are testing a unit of the sTeam web interface, a file uploader. It is basically a directive written in order to upload files to the web interface.

So the unit test comprises of a function called $inject which is responsible for injected the DOM code which we wish to test, and then compile the HTML. So after compiling the HTML we have a function called expect which is used for checking whether the desired output is obtained in the DOM or not.

Source : fileModel.js

Thats it folks,
Happy Hacking !!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.