Android Unit Testing Part IV: Mocking

avatar-victor_ronin.png Victor Ronin

This is the third of a four part series on Android Unit Testing. In the last two articles I discussed the general principles of having good tests and the way to run Android tests on JVM making them fast and how to make your code less coupled. This article will explain how to make tests isolated.

We need to mock a dependency, inject it, and then modify our test to indicate that we are not testing an end-to-end scenario anymore, but are now testing just one class at a time.

  • Modify application Gradle file

    Add the following code under the dependency section:

    androidTestCompile 'org.easymock:easymock:3.1'
  • Replace FooTest with the following code:

    package com.example.myapplication;
    import junit.framework.Assert;
    import org.easymock.EasyMockSupport;
    import org.junit.Before;
    import org.junit.Test;
    import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
    import org.robolectric.RobolectricTestRunner;
    import static org.easymock.EasyMock.expect;
    public class FooTest extends EasyMockSupport {
        Foo sut;
        // Mocks
        Bar barMock;
        public void setUp() {
            sut = new Foo();
            // Create mocks
            barMock = createMock(Bar.class);
            // Inject mock
            InjectHelper.injectMock(sut, barMock);
        public void testGetFoo_returns4() {
            // Arrange
            // Act
            int actualResult = sut.getFoo();
            // Assert
            Assert.assertEquals(4, actualResult);
  • Create a class InjectHelper under androidTest

    (I believe the original code for injecting fields is from Spring; however, it was modified afterwards.)

    package com.example.myapplication;
    import java.lang.reflect.Field;
    import javax.inject.Inject;
    public class InjectHelper {
        public static void injectMock(Object target, Object mock)
            Class targetClass = target.getClass();
            do {
                Field[] fields = targetClass.getDeclaredFields();
                // Iterate through all members
                for (Field field : fields) {
                    // Skip all non injectable members
                    if (field.getAnnotation(Inject.class) == null)
                    // Make private/prptected members accessible
                    // Get a class of the member
                    Class injectedClass = field.getType();
                    Class mockClass = mock.getClass();
                    // Check that mock is essentially the same class
                    if (!injectedClass.isAssignableFrom(mockClass))
                    try {
                        // Inject mock
                        field.set(target, mock);
                    } catch (IllegalAccessException e)
                        throw new RuntimeException(e);
                    // return accessibility
                targetClass = targetClass.getSuperclass();
            while (targetClass != null && targetClass != Object.class);

    Woo-Hoo! We are finally done!

    Now, your tests are:

    • fast — they are executed on a JVM and don’t require going to the network or a persistent layer.
    • repeatable — they don’t depend on emulator stability or network quality.
    • (potentially!) simple and consistent — there is a lot of good information out there on how to write good unit tests.
    • independent — since the persistent layer isn’t used, one test won’t influence another.

    In addition to all of this awesomeness, your code should actually be better off, too. Hopefully writing unit tests will force you to simplify classes with too many dependencies and more carefully think through interfaces.


    Let me mention several people who helped me to put this article together: Wils Dawson made the initial move to use Robolectric, Nadeem Khan figured out all those pesky details about usage of Robolectric, and Hans Reichenbach put a lot of these integration steps in writing on our wiki. Thanks guys!