Better Shopify integration testing

6 min readtestingrailsruby

Part of the system I am currently working on is to act as Shopify application. That is to be able to interact with its API.

I have an integration test (cucumber/capybara) that uses real Shopify retailer site, however, that approach has its obvious drawbacks: such tests are slower and they fail every now and then because of network issues. It is a good start while working on a feature, but it is just not good enough to have it in a an everyday test suite.

On the other hand, a test that uses real site is closer to reality. So, ideally, I want to keep both options, but only run the latter one occasionally to check higher lever integration.

My test scenario consists of three steps: application installation, buying something on retailer site and querying api for order details.

Below I am going to cover how to make all three not depend on actual shopify site, but still be able to dynamically switch back to that path.

install application

Shopify is using OAuth2 to authenticate and grant permissions to the application (that is, install). If your app is a rails one, then you must be using shopify_api gem which in turn is using omniauth-shopify-oauth2 under the hood. But you probably know that anyway.

Lesser known that omniauth has a pretty elegant solution for integration testing. All you have to do is to stick the following somewhere in env.rb:

OmniAuth.config.test_mode = true OmniAuth.config.add_mock :shopify, { provider: 'shopify', credentials: { token: 'test_token_blah' } }

From their docs:

Once you have enabled test mode, all requests to OmniAuth will be short circuited to use the mock authentication hash as described below. A request to /auth/provider will redirect immediately to /auth/provider/callback

So now in the step definition we need to distinguish between authenticating locally or against real shopify. Assuming there is link to install app on a current page, here is helper that does the job:

def install_app click_link 'install app' if not $http_stubbed # then 'install app' link will bring us to real shopify site admin area fill_in 'Email Address', with: '' fill_in 'Password', with: 'real_password' click_button 'Sign In' click_button 'Install' end end

$http_stubbed is set via passing an environment variable when running cucumber:

# env.rb $http_stubbed = ENV['UNSTUB_HTTP'] != 'true'


buying a product

In my application, when user buys something on shopify store, some custom javascript (added to shopify success page) calls back home to trigger order processing. The system does not care if it is a real shopify success page. So all we need is a page that, when visited, runs that script. Having done that, let us introduce a helper that will conditionally buy either real product or a fake local one:

def buy_banana if $http_stubbed # test route that leads to our fake success page visit '/test_retailer/banana_success' else visit '' add_current_product_to_cart purchase_contents_of_cart end end


querying Shopify API for order details

Once the order is purchased, our system goes away and queries the Shopify API to get order details and do some mumbo jumbo with it. Since the goal is to replace real Shopify, we need to stub out those interactions, but in such way that our system never notices the difference.

Common approach to stub HTTP interactions is to use VCR gem. It records low level HTTP interactions, stores them in files and allows to replay them later in tests.

On the surface that seems strait forward, but doing it right™ ended up being the most confusing and difficult part of the whole setup. Let us cover things I had troubles with bit by bit.

ignore unwanted requests

Once in playback mode, VCR will blow up on any request it does not know about. This is totally sensible, but may (and will) cause confusion at first. Good news is that VCR can be configured to ignore certain requests. Here is an example from my setup:

VCR.configure do |c| ... c.ignore_localhost = true c.ignore_request do |request| uri = URI(request.uri) # this is just an example obviously =~ /(?<!vasily-on-shopify.)localtest\.me| end ...


binary headers

By default, all headers in VCR fixtures (this is only in case of Shopify though) will be in binary representation. That is not always handy, especially if you need to dynamically change some values in there. This problem is described in more details here. And here is the workaround:

VCR.configure do |c| ... c.default_cassette_options = { ... serialize_with: :syck, # so that headers are human readable ... } ...


binary response body

The above trick does not solve another binary related problem: response body. That is because it is genuine binary data and it took me quite a while to figure out exactly what the heck this binary represents. Turns out the response content is gzipped.

Why is this a problem? It becomes one the second you need to dynamically modify response data. In my case, order created timestamp has to be changed so that order passes some validation inside my app. It is easy to find created_at in human readable response json and change its value to <%= %>. The same is obviously impossible with binary data.

So here how I deal with this:

VCR.configure do |c| ... c.before_record do |interaction| require 'zlib' require 'stringio' if interaction.request.headers['user-agent'].first =~ /ShopifyAPI/ content_encoding_header = interaction.response.headers['content-encoding'].first content = interaction.response.body interaction.response.body = if content_encoding_header == 'gzip' interaction.response.headers.delete 'content-encoding' else content end end end ...

The above code unzips content before cassette is recorded.

rerecord cassettes

I want to be able to rerecord cassettes every now and then to keep up with the reality. One problem here is that it erases all manual modifications made to VCR fixtures (e.g, created_at ERBfication).

The solution here is to employ c.before_record hook more heavily. It might end up in more code, you're going to need to parse json, change it and serialize back, but the result is worth it. Here an example:

VCR.configure do |c| ... c.before_record do |interaction| # change created_at to so it passes timebox check if interaction.request['uri'] =~ /orders.*\.json/ order = JSON.parse(interaction.response.body) if order['order'] # means if not 401 order['order']['created_at'] = '<%= %>' interaction.response.body = JSON.dump(order) end end end ...

Also, when rerecording, do not use VCR record mode :all as it only overwrites the same requests and adds new ones, but does not wipe out the old unmatched ones. Simply remove fixture file instead.

And that is about it! Simple, isn't it? But jokes apart, I believe fiddling with tests at such level is an investment in understanding your system better which in turn allows to find bugs earlier and fix them while in comfort zone (that is, while the context is in your head and the code is not in production)