9 Best Automated Testing Frameworks For PHP

9 Best Automated Testing Frameworks For PHP.

Are you uninterested in spending hours debugging your PHP code? For many programmers, it’s not precisely an exhilarating activity. However, there’s a sensible answer that may make this much less of a chore: automated testing. This method can drastically improve the effectivity of PHP improvement by using pre-written assessments to information the event course of.

In this text, we’ll discover why automated testing is useful, the way it features, and introduce you to a number of the prime testing frameworks that you should utilize to get began.

Why Testing is Crucial for PHP Development

Many newbie PHP builders overlook the significance of writing assessments for his or her code. Often, we begin our careers by manually checking every new characteristic or perform within the browser, solely to be perplexed when one thing doesn’t work as anticipated.

Writing assessments for our code can save us hours of debugging and complications. When untested code is deployed, the suggestions isn’t at all times constructive. So, what’s the answer?

The reply lies in establishing a productive testing routine. This includes writing our personal assessments that verify whether or not our software code features accurately.

But here’s the catch: testing code ought to be written earlier than the precise software code. This proactive method ensures that our code features accurately from the beginning. The testing scripts are often saved in separate information. Should any errors come up in our PHP software, all we have to do is run our assessments, which is able to assist establish and resolve points successfully.

Apart from saving time and guaranteeing our app is prepared for manufacturing, testing provides a number of different advantages, equivalent to:

  • More maintainable code
  • Easier code refactoring
  • Fewer safety dangers
  • A leaner codebase (since adapting the appliance code to match the check code helps keep away from pointless elements)
  • Enhanced efficiency

Understanding Automated Testing

While we will conduct assessments manually, it typically turns into a repetitive and time-consuming course of. Automated testing replaces this guide effort with particular software program instruments that deal with the tedious facets, permitting us more time to deal with the logic behind the testing code.

Fortunately, PHP’s recognition means there are many automated testing frameworks accessible to select from.

Test-Driven Development (TDD) vs. Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD)

Automated testing frameworks usually comply with considered one of two foremost methodologies: Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD). Both approaches prioritize writing assessments earlier than the appliance code, driving the event course of. The key distinction lies within the syntax of the testing code: TDD makes use of customary PHP code in its assessments, whereas BDD employs human-readable sentences to explain characteristic behaviors, making it accessible to non-technical stakeholders as effectively.

A typical TDD check seems like this in a code editor, using common object-oriented PHP code:

Example of a TDD test in PHP

Conversely, a BDD check may appear like this, comprehensible even to these not versed in programming:

Example of a BDD test in PHP

PHP Automated Testing Frameworks

Now that we’ve a fundamental understanding of automated testing, let’s dive into 10 of the best automated testing frameworks accessible for PHP.


PHPUnit is a well known testing framework for crafting Unit Tests in PHP purposes. Unit assessments consider particular person items of code individually. Using PHPUnit facilitates test-driven improvement, permitting for thorough examination of every code section.

PHPUnit operates through the command line and provides a versatile TestCase class for builders to increase as wanted. It additionally allows using pre-written assertion strategies to verify particular behaviors within the software.

Illustration of PHPUnit in action

Codeception is a complete framework that helps Unit Tests, in addition to Functional and Acceptance Tests. Unlike Unit Tests, Functional and Acceptance Tests study the PHP software as an built-in system. Codeception permits for the customization of varied modules to go well with totally different improvement necessities.

Codeception is appropriate with quite a few PHP improvement frameworks, together with Symfony2, Laravel4, Yii, Phalcon, and Zend Framework. This integration allows a extremely environment friendly improvement course of by combining a PHP testing and improvement framework.

Codeception Framework Overview

Behat stands out within the realm of behaviour-driven PHP testing frameworks. Behat’s assessments resemble narratives reasonably than standard code. This framework employs the StoryBDD technique of behaviour-driven improvement (versus SpecBDD).

Inspired by the Cucumber challenge for Ruby, Behat provides a singular method to testing in PHP.

Behat Testing Framework

PHPSpec is one other framework that adopts the behaviour-driven testing methodology, particularly the SpecBDD subtype. In PHPSpec, the method begins by writing specs that outline the anticipated habits of software code. This framework is influenced by the RSpec Ruby testing framework.

PHPSpec Framework in Use

Storyplayer is a complete testing framework designed for full-stack, end-to-end testing of total platforms. It provides capabilities for creating and destroying testing environments as wanted, aligning with the TDD method. Storyplayer allows writing useful assessments that consider the appliance in its entirety.

Overview of Storyplayer Framework

Peridot is a versatile, light-weight testing framework for PHP, recognized for its event-driven structure. This design permits for intensive customization via plugins and reporters.

Peridot employs an easy-to-understand describe-it syntax, facilitating clear communication of how software code ought to function.

Peridot Testing Framework

Atoum is a contemporary and user-friendly PHP testing framework, splendid for operating unit assessments. It’s designed to streamline the testing course of, using options launched in PHP 5.3, making it incompatible with older PHP variations. Atoum emphasizes a safe testing setting by isolating every check technique in its personal PHP course of.

Atoum Framework for PHP Testing
8. Kahlan

Kahlan is a feature-rich BDD testing framework, supporting Unit Tests via the describe-it syntax. Adhering to the KISS precept, Kahlan is streamlined and environment friendly, requiring PHP 5.5 or newer. Despite its small code base, which is considerably smaller than PHPUnit, Kahlan provides a wealth of options for a versatile and customizable testing expertise.

Kahlan: A BDD Testing Framework

Selenium is a complicated testing framework that makes a speciality of automating net browsers, splendid for writing User Acceptance Tests. It simulates actual person interactions by leveraging its WebDriver API to function browsers natively, both domestically or remotely. Selenium is especially efficient for testing more complicated and established net purposes.

Selenium in Web Application Testing

Final Thoughts

Automated testing frameworks considerably improve the standard of PHP code improvement. Given PHP’s widespread use, there’s a wide selection of testing instruments accessible, permitting builders to pick the one that most closely fits their particular wants.

However, it’s essential to recollect one key side. While automated testing is a potent software, it can not exchange beta testing – the invaluable means of actual human customers testing the appliance, providing insights that automated assessments may miss.

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