Standalone Test Server

Circle CI Documentation Clojars Project

A simple clojure HTTP ring handler to test HTTP requests.

Instead of mocking or stubbing HTTP requests, this library can spawn a basic web server that runs any ring handler while recording all incoming requests.

We use it at Mayvenn to simulate external apis in our tests. We’ve written a short blog post to help explain some of the motivation/reasoning behind this small library.


Add this line to your :dependencies key for your project.clj:

[standalone-test-server "0.7.2"]

Then you can require it using:

(ns my-system.tests
  (:require [standalone-test-server.core :as sts]))


There are only two functions and one macro. But they are usually used together to form a test case.


A wrapper around ring.adapter.jetty’s run-jetty function.

Like run-jetty, it expects a ring handler and some (optional) config.

(let [server (sts/standalone-server (constantly {:status 201, :body "hi"})
                                    {:port 4334})]
    ;; Make requests which need an HTTP server listening at a specific port
    (http/get "http://localhost:4334/endpoint")
      (.stop server))))

with-standalone-server (macro)

You can avoid the let-try-finally boilerplate of standalone-server with the with-standalone-server macro.

It assumes the first binding is the server:

(sts/with-standalone-server [server (sts/standalone-server (constantly {:status 201, :body "hi"}))]
  ;; perform requests
  ;; macro ensures `(.stop server)`


When you want to record the requests that pass through a standalone-server, use with-requests-chan.

This function creates (or wraps - see below) a ring middleware handler. It returns a tuple: the first item is a channel containing the requests the handler receives; the second item is a modified handler to pass to the standalone-server.

(let [[requests handler] (sts/with-requests-chan)]
  (sts/with-standalone-server [s (sts/standalone-server handler)]
    (http/get "http://localhost:4334/endpoint")
    (is (core.async/<!! requests))))

By default with-requests-chan uses a handler that returns a 200 empty body response. Alternatively, provide a handler as the underlying ring handler to call.

(let [[requests handler] (sts/with-requests-chan (constantly {:status 201, :body "hi"}))]
  (sts/with-standalone-server [s (sts/standalone-server handler)]
    (http/get "http://localhost:4334/endpoint")
    (is (= "hi" (:body (core.async/<!! requests))))))

Waiting for asynchronous requests

Many systems will make requests to the standalone server asynchronously. Tests usually want to wait until the requests have been made before making further assertions. Often the tests want to make assertions about the requests themselves, or some subset of the requests. If the system fails to produce the expected requests, the tests should not block forever.

For these scenarios, txfm-requests gathers and returns the asynchronous requests.

It takes a requests channel, a filter (a transducing function) and a timeout. If the requests satisfy the filter before the timeout this helper returns the requests. Otherwise, it returns as many matching requests as it has received so far.

(let [[requests handler] (sts/with-requests-chan)]
  (sts/with-standalone-server [s (sts/standalone-server handler)]
    ;; Trigger async code which will make requests...
    (future (http/get "http://localhost:4334/endpoint1"))
    (future (http/get "http://localhost:4334/endpoint2"))
    (is (= "endpoint2"
           (-> requests
               (sts/txfm-requests (comp (filter #(= "endpoint2" (:uri %)))
                                        (take 1))
                                  {:timeout 1000})

Most tests will look like this, so make sure you understand this format.

The filter should contain (take n) to avoid waiting for the whole timeout. With a limit like this, txfm-requests will return as soon as n matching requests have been found.

To avoid delays, mosts tests should include (take n). One exception is if you don’t know how many requests will be made. In this case simply exclude the take. When the timeout is reached, you will see all the requests made so far.

(let [[requests handler] (sts/with-requests-chan)]
  (sts/with-standalone-server [s (sts/standalone-server handler)]
    ;; Trigger async code which will make unknown number of requests...
    ;; Following waits for one second, gathering as many requests as happen in
    ;; that period.
    (is (< 0 (count (sts/txfm-requests requests conj {:timeout 1000}))))))

A shorter way to extract the first matching request is with txfm-request. This helper adds an implicit (take 1) to ensure it returns as quickly as possible.

(is (= "endpoint2"
       (-> requests
           (sts/txfm-request (filter #(= "endpoint2" (:uri %)))
                             {:timeout 1000})

Note that just because a request was recorded, doesn’t mean your system has received the response yet or even has had time to process it. You may still need to poll for whether your system has successfully processed the response.

Filtering requests

The query namespace contains helpers for filtering collections of requests.

Name Params Includes
with-uri uri coll Filters coll to requests with the given uri
with-method method coll With the given request method
with-query-keys key-set coll Matches key-set to the parsed query-string’s keys
with-query-key-subset key-set coll Where key-set is a subset of the parsed query-string’s keys
with-query-params kv-map coll Matches kv-map to the parsed query-string
with-body-keys key-set coll Matches key-set to the parsed body’s keys
with-body-key-subset key-set coll Where key-set is a subset of the parsed body keys
with-body kv-map coll Matches kv-map to the parsed body