Preloader image


Validation is a critical and integral part of the project. If you are writing some code which validates some rules, you should definitely write a test for it. A little validation test framework is available to write tests specifically for Validation. This page explains the details of writing such tests using example snippets.

The Validation Framework

  1. org.apache.openejb.config.ConfigurationFactory uses a chain of org.apache.openejb.config.DynamicDeployer implementations. One of the implementations in the chain is org.apache.openejb.config.ValidateModules. ValidateModules is conditionally added to the chain if the property openejb.validation.skip=true|false. If this property is false, then ValidateModules is used to kick off the Validation Framework

  1. Internally ValidateModules uses the AppValidator.validate() method

  2. This method then performs validation using a number of rules. A validation rule/s is represented by a class implementing ValidationRule. In fact, all the classes checking the validation rules, extend ValidationBase, which further implements ValidationRule.


The list of rules being executed can actually be found in the following method of AppValidator

  1. The above rules are then executed one by one

  2. Each module has an attached ValidationContext, which maintains a list of failures, warnings and errors. As the above rules are being invoked, the failure/errors/warnings for a module are being added to its ValidationContext. Every Validation failure has an associated message which can be found in org/apache/openejb/config/rules/ A message has three levels as explained below:

Format for the different levels follows this spirit:

  1. Should be short and fixed such that someone could search/grep for it without having to know/use regular expressions. These tend to be similar to the message key.

  2. Intended to contain the issue expressed in 1 with only the essential details, should not line wrap if possible. Be terse.

  3. Teacher’s assistant. A much more conversational and possibly more detailed explanation of the issue, should tell the user what to do to fix the problem. I.e. don’t just point out what is wrong, also point out what is right. Use several lines if needed.

Here is an example validation message

 # 0 - method name
 # 1 - full method
 # 2 - remote|home
 # 3 - interface name
 # 4 - EJB Class name	  No such business method	  Business method {0} not implemented.	  Business method {1} not implemented. The method was declared in the {2} interface {3}, but not implemented in the ejb class {4}
  1. The validation framework does not stop processing on the first validation failure, but keeps going and checking for other validation errors and reports them all to the user. This allows the user to fix all errors in one go and re-attempt deploying the application.

The Validation Test Framework

The test framework is specifically written with the following goals in mind:

  1. It should be easy to write the test, and the framework should do the boiler-plate work, the test author just needs to provide the relevant info

  2. It should report the test coverage i.e. the framework should generate a report regarding which keys in have tests written for them and what is the corresponding Test class/es which test for the validation rule associated with that key

  3. It should ensure that if a test is being written for a specific message key, then that key should exist in the file

  4. Lets break down the framework by using an example

    1. The first thing to note is that we are running the test using our own custom runner i.e. @RunWith(ValidationRunner.class). This runner ensures that the keys we are testing, actually exist in the file. It does a lot more, as we shall see later

    2. The test method

    3. Can be given any name

    4. Must be annotated with @Keys and CANNOT be annotated with @Test. The rest of the JUnit annotations can be used

    5. Must return one of EjbJar / EjbModule / AppModule. The returned EjbJar/EjbModule/AppModule will be specifically created to cause one or more validation errors/warnings/failures.

    6. Following annotations are provided by the framework

    7. @Keys : is a collection of zero or more @Key

    8. @Key : represents a key for which this test is being written. A @Key can be of type FAILURE or WARNING or ERROR. Default value is FAILURE. As seen in the example above, the test() method is expecting two warnings for the key injectionTarget.nameContainsSet. If count is not equal to 2 or some other Validation Failure/Warning/Error was also thrown from the method, then the test fails.

Be Careful The test must cause a Validation Failure otherwise the test framework does not get invoked. For example, in the above code, a Key of type WARNING is being tested, however the test is purposely being failed by putting an @AroundInvoke around the method with zero arguments
  1. Once you have written the test and successfully run it, you now need to generate the report. Simply invoke the following maven command

mvn test -Dtest=ValidationKeysAuditorTest -DconfluenceUsername=YourConfluenceUsername -DconfluencePassword=YourConfluencePassword

The above command will create a complete test coverage report and post it to this location Validation Keys Audit Report

Quick facts about ValidationRunner and things to keep in mind while writing tests

This class is created specifically to write tests which test OpenEjb validation code. Specifically, it is used to check the usage of keys defined in To use this runner, simply annotate your test case with @RunWith(ValidationRunner.class). Here are some things to keep in mind when writing tests:

  1. A test method needs to be annotated with org.apache.openejb.config.rules.Keys instead of the org.junit.Test

  2. Any usage of the @Test annotation will be ignored.

  3. If the @Keys and @Test annotation are used together on a test method, then the TestCase will error out.

  4. Every test method should create a EjbJar or EjbModule or AppModule and return it from the method. It should list the keys being tested in the @Keys annotation

  5. The runner will invoke the test method and use the Assembler and ConfigurationFactory to create the application.

  6. This will kick off validation and this Runner will catch ValidationFailureException and make sure that all the keys specified in the @Keys annotation show up in the ValidationFailureException.

  7. If the keys listed in the @Keys annotation match the keys found in the ValidationFailureException, the test passes, else the test fails.

  8. This Runner also validates that the keys specified in the @Keys annotation are also available in the file. If the key is not found, then the Runner throws and exception resulting in your test case not being allowed to run.

  9. Sometimes you want to write a test where you do not want any ValidationFailureException to be thrown, in those scenarios, simply annotate your test with @Keys and do not specify any @Key in it.